Cecil Whig - - SPORTS -

ONE-YEAR RENTAL The ink was barely dry on Erik Jones’ 2017 con­tract be­fore Fur­ni­ture Row Rac­ing owner Bar­ney Visser dis­cussed what life might look like for the Den­ver-based team in 2018. Visser, who is ex­pand­ing his op­er­a­tion to two cars next sea­son to ac­com­mo­date Jones, hinted in an in­ter­view last week on NASCAR’s satel­lite ra­dio chan­nel that Jones would leave the team af­ter one sea­son. Jones’ des­ti­na­tion is likely Joe Gibbs Rac­ing, the team Jones cur­rently drives for in the XFIN­ITY Se­ries. It makes sense — JGR and FRR have a very tight Toyota al­liance and its drivers of­ten re­fer to each other as team­mates — but it leaves open the ques­tion of which JGR driver might be leav­ing. SUS­PENDED It’s been a rough sea­son Ste­wart-Haas Rac­ing jack­man Mike Casto, and it got worse last week when NASCAR sus­pended him in­def­i­nitely for vi­o­lat­ing the sport’s sub­stance-abuse pol­icy. Casto be­gan the sea­son on the side­lines as he re­cov­ered from a shoul­der in­jury and even­tu­ally re-joined Kevin Har­vick’s pit crew. Casto was moved, how­ever, to du­ties on Front Row Mo­tor­sports’ No. 38 (driver Lan­don Cas­sill) in June. TONE IT DOWN Af­ter Denny Ham­lin blew both tires and caused rear-end dam­age to his No. 11 Toyota af­ter win­ning at Watkins Glen last week, NASCAR vice pres­i­dent Steve O’Don­nell said that the sport would re­view its rules gov­ern­ing post-race cel­e­bra­tions. NASCAR fears teams may use the cel­e­bra­tion dam­age as a cover for il­le­gal mod­i­fi­ca­tions. “We want to see a cel­e­bra­tion, and we think that drivers can cel­e­brate without do­ing that,” O’Don­nell said. “You’ll prob­a­bly see us sooner than later put some­thing in place that cov­ers us for that as you kind of head into the last quar­ter of the sea­son.”

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