By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Yesterday Marcos Ambrose announced that he and JTG Daugherty Racing would be splitting at years end. The partnership which started five years ago, seemed strong and it was quite a shocking development yesterday.
Well it didn’t take the team long to find a replacement for next season. Bobby Labonte the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has signed on, and will look to revive his career which has stalled out over the last few seasons.
Labonte’s career began to go off track when he signed on with Petty Enterprises back in 2006. From there he has bounced around to Front Row Motorsports, and ultimately hitting rock bottom with TRG Motorsports in 2010. Labonte of course left TRG Motorsports after they asked him to ‘start and park’.
The move will provide Labonte with a financially stable team, and strong engines and chassis from Michael Waltrip Racing.
In a press release today from the team Labonte spoke his mind, on landing the ride for 2011.
“JTG Daugherty Racing is a solid race team that has come close to winning races with Marcos Ambrose and I’m looking forward to developing our new partnership in 2011,” Labonte said. “The team is thriving and their technical alliance with MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing) is intact. It’s great to have next year already set in stone so when this season ends we can begin focusing on next year right away. Everything is in place and we have all the right ingredients to win races together.”
Labonte has proven in the past that he can be a force on the circuit. In addition to his championship in 2000, Labonte has collected 21 victories in his Sprint Cup Series career.
Brad Daugherty, co-owner of the team is proud to have Labonte on board.
“We are really happy Bobby has decided to join our team because I have known him for a long time and I have always admired him as a professional driver and as an individual,” Daugherty said. “He will do an outstanding job representing our products and team. He has gotten to a point in his career that he still has some things to accomplish. He is highly experienced with a championship on his résumé’ and we know he is capable of winning.”
JTG Daugherty racing came about as close as you can get to capturing a win this season at Infineon, but when Marcos Ambrose inadvertently stalled the car under caution, they lost the lead and the race.
Bobby Labonte’s Career Sprint Cup Stats as of: July 28, 2010