Aric Almirola's departure to Richard Petty Motorsports opened up a seat at JR Motorsports and Cole Whitt filled that vacancy on Wednesday when he was named driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Series entry.
The 20-year-old Whitt will compete for 2012 Sunoco Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year honors.
He comes to JR Motorsports from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he finished ninth in last year's championship standings with one pole, two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
To date he is the youngest driver ever to win the USAC (United States Auto Club) National Midget championship, as his title-winning effort in 2008 put him alongside esteemed former USAC national champions such as Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne.
The signing of Whitt completes the 2012 driver line-up for JR Motorsports, which will compete in Nationwide Series competition with Whitt in the#88 Chevy, Danica Patrick in the No. 7 Chevy, and team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. in select races in the No. 5 Chevy.
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