Ricky Craven of Newburgh will drive Joe Gibbs Racing’s third car this weekend in the EA Sports 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, according to a report on NASCAR.com.
Craven, 38, who earlier this season was released from the last two years of his contract with PPI Motorsports, will drive JGR’s No. 11 Old Spice Chevrolet as a team car to Chase for the Nextel Cup contender Tony Stewart’s No. 20 Home Depot Chevy and Bobby Labonte’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, the Web site reported.
The No. 11 will be a full-time program in 2005, but the Gibbs organization has yet to make an announcement on its driver or crew chief.
Gibbs Racing updated its entry late Tuesday afternoon and named veteran mechanic Philippe Lopez as Craven’s crew chief. Lopez has worked at JGR for about a month since coming from Bill Davis Racing.
Craven drove the first 24 races of the Nextel Cup Series before he was released in favor of Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Craven, who has won two NASCAR races, finished 27th in the points series last year and was 34th this season. He was 21st and 15th in points in his first two seasons with Wells in the No. 32 Tide car.