NASCAR & Auto Racing

David Stremme out at Ganassi; Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti said to be on deck

RICHMOND, Va. - Reed Sorenson will likely be the only American driver competing in the Nextel Cup Series next season with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

David Stremme, who has driven the No. 40 Dodge for Ganassi, since the 2006 season, will not return to the team next season. Earlier this week, Ganassi officials announced sponsor Coors Light would not be returning to the team.

Likely set to replace Stremme is current Indy Racing League points leader Dario Franchitti, The Charlotte Observer and have learned. Franchitti, a native of Scotland, is looking to lock up his first IRL championship in Sunday's season finale at Chicagoland with Andretti Green Racing.

Ganassi already fields former Formula One star and Colombia native Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 42 Dodge.

Reached by phone on Friday, Ganassi said he was working on several new options for the No. 40.

"In my conversation with David, I explained to him two or three different deals I'm working on for him," Ganassi said.

"I want him to stick around, but I just don't have anything for him right now and I don't want to hold him up in finding something new.

"I told him that if he gets close to a new deal somewhere, I want to be the last phone call so I at least have an opportunity to keep him."

Jeff Dickerson, Stremme's agent, said the 30-year-old native of South Bend, Ind, is exploring all his options.

"David is very thankful for the opportunity he received from Chip Ganassi and looks to finish this year strong," Dickerson said. "But David is also looking forward to beginning the process of finding a new home."

In 63 career Cup starts, Stremme has two top-10 finishes, with his career best finish of eighth coming earlier this season at Talladega, Ala. In 101 Busch Series starts, Stremme has 15 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes and two poles.