Giaffone Leaves Treadway

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Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year Felipe Giaffone will not return to Treadway-Hubbard Racing next season, the team surprisingly announced Thursday. Sponsor Hollywood cigarettes will also leave the team with Giaffone.

Giaffone, 26, came into the IRL this year from the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series. The Brazilian driver surprised many in the IRL paddock by finishing sixth in points, with 10 top-10 finishes and a second-place result at Texas in June.

Treadway-Hubbard Racing Vice President Scott Cronk said the team is continuing to develop other driver-sponsor opportunities for next season.

Giaffone has been rumored to make the move to the Mo Nunn Racing team in the CART FedEx Championship Series next year. Nunn has yet to officially announce his 2002 driver lineup, but hired Casey Mears to replace Alex Zanardi after the two-time CART Series champ lost both his legs in the American Memorial 500.

Treadway-Hubbard has been one of the IRL's most competitive teams since the league was formed in 1996 with five wins and a 70 percent top-10 finishing rate. The team finished 1-2 in the 1997 Indianapolis 500 with Arie Luyendyk and Scott Goodyear.

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