Aric Almirola will not run the full 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season unless funding is secured, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing co-owner Chip Ganassi said Friday afternoon.
Ganassi would not specify how many races Almirola, who has sponsorship from Guitar Hero for a select number of events, would run, but he said he definitely will run the first five.
Last year, Ganassi shut down his underfunded No. 40 car driven by Dario Franchitti.
“I’d like to sit here and tell you we’re close,” Ganassi said. “But the fact of the matter is we’re not. We’re not unlike … a situation we were in a year ago, but we’re going to give it our best shot. We need more funding to run Aric.”
The 24-year-old Almirola has 18 career starts over the last two seasons and hopes to run the entire 2009 schedule.