CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Sterling Marlin was hired to drive for MB2 Motorsports next season, and the team will let him switch his car number to 14 in memory of his late father.

Also, Bill Davis Racing said Wednesday that Scott Wimmer will not be back for the 2006 NASCAR season.

Wimmer joined BDR as a Busch Series driver in 2001 and won five races before Davis moved him up to the Cup series in late 2003. His third-place finish in the 2004 Daytona 500 has been his lone bright spot.

“This is the part of this business I don’t like,” Davis said. “Change isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is usually the best thing for everyone.

“Scott is going to be successful, and he most definitely still has a promising career ahead of him as a race car driver.”

Davis did not announce a replacement for Wimmer. He is expanding to two cars next season, and Michael Waltrip is scheduled to drive the new entry.

Marlin has driven the No. 40 since 1998, when he was hired by car owner Felix Sabates. Marlin remained in the car when Chip Ganassi took over majority ownership in 2001 and won four races with the team.

Marlin also led in the standings for 25 consecutive weeks in 2002 until a broken neck sidelined him the final seven races of that season.

Ganassi announced earlier this season that he was replacing Marlin next year with Busch Series driver David Stremme.

MB2 Motorsports took Marlin to replace Scott Riggs, moving to Evernham Motorsports at the end of the Nextel Cup season. Riggs drove the No. 10 Chevrolet, but the team will switch it to No. 14, the number once used by Coo Coo Marlin, who died in August.

Coo Coo Marlin used that number for most of his NASCAR career. His son, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, said earlier this week that he’ll probably race another two years.

“I still have some unfinished business as a driver and that’s why I am really excited about joining MB2 Motorsports,” Marlin said. “And to drive a car with the same number that my father drove makes the move even more special.”


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