Labonte to Run Part-Time Nationwide Series Schedule for RCR
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has signed two-time NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte to a part-time schedule driving its No. 21 Chevrolet in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series.
The 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion, 1991 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and 2001 IROC champion will compete in 15 races next season for the 11-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native made his Nationwide Series debut in September 1982 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway where he qualified 15th and finished 26th driving a car owned by his father, Bob Labonte. He has 197 starts in NASCAR’s junior series, including three full seasons from 1990 to 1992, and has earned 10 wins, 10 poles, 49 top-five and 98 top-10 finishes.
Labonte started ninth and finished 11th in April 2004 when he drove RCR’s Nationwide Series No. 29 ESGR/Army National Guard/Army Reserve Chevrolet at Texas Motor Speedway. He competed in 19 series races in 2007 for Kevin Harvick Incorporated, earned one win (Talladega Superspeedway in April) and three top-10 finishes.
“I’m really looking forward to driving for Richard (Childress) and the No. 21 team in the Nationwide Series next year,” said Labonte. “I had a great time in the one race I did for them in 2004 so I’m excited about running 15 races with a team that has won a lot of races and a couple of championships. RCR’s Nationwide Series program has been at the top for years and I hope I can help keep it there.”
RCR’s No. 21 team earned six victories in 2007 with driver Kevin Harvick and has earned two of the organization’s four NASCAR Nationwide Series championships. Harvick and Johnny Sauter shared driving duties and won NASCAR’s first owner-only championship in 2004 and Harvick won the overall championship in 2006. Securing sponsorship for the program is ongoing.
“I’ve watched Bobby’s career since he was a rookie in the Cup Series in 1991,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “He’s a champion in every sense of the word and, with crew chief Shane Wilson and his championship-winning team, we know they will continue the No. 21 team’s winning legacy. We’re working on getting sponsorship all lined up but all of us at RCR are honored to have Bobby driving the No. 21 Chevrolet next season.”