Dylan Lupton will not drive JGL Racing’s No. 28 Ford in the Xfinity Series for the rest of the season, Lupton announced Thursday in a press release.
“Due to unfortunate circumstances, I will not be competing in this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway nor will I be returning to JGL Racing for the remainder of the 2018 season. I appreciate the opportunity I had to drive for James Whitener and I wish him and JGL Racing the best in their future endeavors.
“I’m re-focusing my efforts to secure a competitive ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and look forward to announcing my plans for the rest of the 2018 season when appropriate. I’d like to thank all of my marketing partners, family, friends and the fans for their continued support.”
NBC Sports has reached out to the team for comment.
Lupton, 24, leaves JGL Racing after making 11 starts this year. He is 30th in points. He has one top 10 in 35 Xfinity starts since 2015. Twenty-five of his 35 starts were with JGL Racing.
Lupton is the second driver to leave the team this season following Kaz Grala‘s departure following the May 5 race at Dover International Speedway.
JGL Racing initially said Grala’s departure was due to lack of sponsorship, but Grala revealed owner James Whitener was dealing with medical issues that kept him from supporting both cars. Whitener later confirmed to NBC Sports he had been diagnosed with liver failure.
CONCORD, N.C. – JGL Racing owner James Whitener was diagnosed with liver failure in January and is going on a transplant list to receive a new one, he confirmed in a statement to NBC Sports.
Whitener, 54, formed JGL Racing in 2014. Based in Denver, North Carolina, the team fields the No. 28 Ford driven by Dylan Lupton.
The team had fielded the No. 24 for Kaz Grala until earlier this month when Grala was let go.
Grala said Whitener’s medical costs played a part in the decision to shutter the team. The team originally stated the decision was due to lack of sponsorship.
“I found out kind of before the Dover race that things were looking a little bit shakey, unfortunately,” Grala said. “(Whitener) has some medical issues unfortunately. He didn’t really want to spend the money to continue running, which is understandable.”
Below is Whitener’s statement.
“What Kaz said is true that I have health issues. In fact, in January I found out that my liver is failing and I’m going on the transplant list for a new liver. It was not a decision to stop the No. 24 team with everyone just finding out after Dover – that was not the case at all. It had been discussed among the team really since Las Vegas. I really wish Kaz the best and hope I was instrumental in helping him start his Xfinity career. I watched him in the trucks last year and thought he would do well in our cars. All of my guys at JGL have helped me build this team and accomplish what we have up to this point and I thank all of them for their hard work and dedication in building both the No. 24 and No. 28 teams.”
“Since I couldn’t continue building both teams this year and helping young drivers as I have done in the past, I decided to give Kaz the three Roush cars along with parts and pieces to give him the opportunity to keep running and building on his career. Myself and everyone at JGL Racing wish him the best. Fury Racing has hired most of the employees from the 24 team that ran the first 10 races, so hopefully they can continue Kaz’s success with their program. I would like to thank Kaz Grala and Dylan Lupton for being a part of the JGL Racing program.”
Through nine starts this season, Lupton is 29th in the point standings. His best finish is 17th at Texas Motor Speedway. Since 2014, JGL Racing has six top fives and 12 top 10s. Its best result is third in the July 2017 race at Daytona.
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Dylan Lupton will return to JGL Racing and compete in at least 21 Xfinity Series races this season, the team announced Wednesday.
Lupton will drive the No. 28 Ford after having driven the No. 24 in 14 starts last season.
The 24-year-old driver joins rookie teammate Kaz Grala, who will drive the No. 24.
“We continued to improve throughout the 2017 season and I was able to gain valuable experience that will help tremendously in the new season,” Lupton said in a press release. “With the switch to Ford over the off-season and our new alliance with Roush Fenway Racing, I am confident that we will be competitive right out of the gate. I would like to thank (JGL Racing owner) James Whitener and the whole JGL Racing organization for this opportunity.”
Lupton has 24 Xfinity starts since 2015. His best finish is 10th at Mid-Ohio in 2015.
The native of Wilton, California, also has two wins in the K&N Pro Series West.
Lupton’s first start of 2018 will come in the Feb. 17 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.
JGL Racing will announce Lupton’s sponsorship and crew chief at a later date.
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JGL Racing announced Monday it has parted ways with Dakoda Armstrong, who battled for a playoff spot through the Xfinity regular-season finale, because of lack of sponsorship payments.
“We really hate that it has come to this,” said James Whitener, owner of JGL Racing, in a statement. “However, this business is driven by sponsorship and when payments aren’t made then we cannot continue to race out off our own pocket. I hate this for our race team as well as Dakoda. We all appreciate the effort he has put into the growth of JGL Racing and wish him nothing but the best of success moving forward.”
JGL Racing announced that the No. 28 entry that Armstrong had driven will not race this weekend at Dover. The team plans to re-focus on the remaining races for that car. The No. 24 team will continue for the remainder of the season with Corey LaJoie and Dylan Lupton sharing the seat.
“We will focus on finishing out the season with our programs on our No. 24 Toyota,” said Whitener. “We will explore future options for the No. 28 entry as well as focusing on finalizing programs for both cars for the 2018 season.”
WinField was Armstrong’s sponsor in 20 of 27 Xfinity races this season. There was no primary sponsor listed on Armstrong’s car the other seven races.
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