|Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis|
The Swan Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team released a number of employees today and may not compete in the circuit’s next race at Richmond International Raceway On April 26.
The team issued a written statement saying, “Swan Racing is in the process of reviewing its current situation and the ability to continue to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The team has been unable to secure the kind of sponsorship required to effectively operate the team. As a result, the team management is exploring every available option. We hope to be in position to provide a detailed update in the near future.”
The 2014 campaign has been a competitive struggle for Swan, with a best finish of 18th by driver Cole Whitt at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California last month. Whitt finished 42nd in last Saturday night’s Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (his second consecutive 42nd-place finish), while teammate Parker Kligerman was 30th. The team has suffered a total of five DNFs in 16 combined starts this season, with Whitt currently 33rd in Sprint Cup Series championship points and Kligerman 38th.
Team employees were reportedly informed today that the team is suspending operations, and many of them are already seeking employment with other teams. Swan Racing minority owner Anthony Marlowe – who also serves as co-founder and president of TMOne -- commented on the situation today via Twitter, saying, “My mission is to ensure @ColeWhitt races in every #NASCAR Sprint Cup event this season.” Sources say there is a possibility that Whitt’s No. 26 Toyota could be absorbed into the existing BK Racing operation, if Swan Racing is unable to continue.
Majority owner Brandon Davis purchased the former Inception Motorsports in mid-2012, running most of that season with driver David Stremme. Stremme parted company with the team following last year’s fall Atlanta race, with Kligerman, Whitt, Kevin Swindell and Michael Waltrip all filling the seat of the team’s No. 30 Toyota before season’s end. Swan expanded to a two-car operation this year with Kligerman and Whitt, while also adding Marlowe and former NFL star Bill Romanowski as minority partners.
Sponsorship has come from Davis’ Swan Energy – a Denver-based oil and gas company -- and Romanowski’s Lean1 Nutrition Shakes, as well as SMS audio, Widow Wax; the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and Black Clover. Phone calls to Davis and the team’s race shop went unanswered today, and messages requesting additional comment were not immediately returned.