Bobby Labonte confirmed today that he will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet this weekend at the Michigan International Speedway for Phoenix Racing. The agreement was reached after Labonte spoke with and received approvals from officials with JTG/Daugherty Racing and Toyota Racing Development. It is currently an agreement for one race.
Labonte, who has 14 previous starts for Phoenix Racing and the James Finch-owned team, is always grateful for the opportunity to race with the team.
"James has always been one of the first to reach out to offer help in a situation like this," said Labonte. "I enjoy racing with Nick Harrison, Steve Barkdoll and the entire group of guys. I'm looking forward to this weekend."
Labonte also feels this will help his current team, JTG/Daugherty Racing, as he continues to be committed to helping the organization move forward.
"Racing for another team this weekend will be another process in helping me understand the development of the new car and how it compares to my current ride," continued Labonte. "I'm not happy with our current performance level as a team and absolutely want to work hard to help our race team improve. My commitment continues to give the best efforts possible each weekend. That has never changed and this opportunity will hopefully make everyone, including myself, get a better understanding of where improvements can be made. We just completed our first test at Kentucky, which was valuable time spent on the track, that should assist in improving our team performance starting this weekend and going forward."
Labonte, the 1991 Nationwide Series champion and 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is focusing on the remainder of this season with JTG/Daugherty Racing. Labonte, who does not have a contract for the 2014 race season, still wants to help the Tad and Jodi Geschickter-owned team move forward.
"I enjoy racing for Tad, Jodi and Brad (Daugherty)," commented Labonte. "They have given me a great opportunity to help this team grow. It's where my focus has been since racing with the team in 2011. I want to see this team get better and will do what I need to do to make that happen."
Labonte will be making his 705th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend.
Bobby Labonte PR