(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)
Effective immediately Bobby Labonte has terminated his contract with TRG. So it appears that he will spend the rest of the 2010 race season as “a hired gun”.
Labonte, the 2000 Winston Cup champion, now Sprint Cup, announced Wednesday morning in a new conference that he was leaving his present race team, the TRG #71 TaxSlayer Chevy. Before the close of the business day, he had already secured a ride for this weeks race at Louden, N.H. with Robby Gordon Motorsports. Additionally, he has picked up a two race deal with James Finch, owner of the # 09 Phoenix Racing Chevy.
After finishing 23rd at this season’s first road course, Labonte decided it was time to split from his team, The Racer’s Group. The team is struggling to find sponsorship in the second half of this race season. Consequently, the last few races TRG has had to resort to the old “start and park” system.
“I want to be in a position to win races and be competitive,” Labonte, 46, said in a statement. “I have worked as hard as possible to give my best at the track so far this season. I’m now looking to move on and get back into a position to win races.”
Labonte will get his first opportunity to do so driving the Robby Gordon Motorsports # 7 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in place of owner/driver Gordon in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend.
“When we found out that Bobby was available to drive for us, we jumped at it,” said Gordon, who scored the first of his three career Cup wins _ and only victory on an oval _ at Loudon, N.H., at the end of the 2001 season. “To have a past champion driving your car is a good opportunity. I think we can learn from him this weekend and it will help our program moving forward.”
So the “hired gun season” starts for the seasoned veteran, Bobby Labonte. Where he could end up is anybody’s guess.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!