It's official: Penske-Jasper Racing's No. 77 Cup team is parked and this year's driver, Travis Kvapil, is out of a job. Its sponsor, Kodak, is shifting to an associate role with Penske South Racing's No. 2 Dodges, to be driven by Kurt Busch.
Kvapil was supposed to improve the team's performance when he was hired to replace Las Vegan Brendan Gaughan but didn't.
Gaughan finished the 2004 season 28th in points; Kvapil was 33rd this year. Here's a further comparison, and Gaughan was better in all categories: top-five finishes (one to zero), top-10s (four to two), average finish (25.4 to 26.1) and average starting position (20.8 to 25.9).
In retrospect, Gaughan's credentials with a subpar team should earn him a chance with a legitimate Cup series contender.
Jeff Wolf's motor sports column is published Friday. He can be reached at 383-0247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.