Labonte to Earnhardt Ganassi

UPDATE #2 Sirius Speedway reported earlier this week that veteran Bobby Labonte will drive the #41 next season, and he remains the leading candidate for the ride. However, a sponsor Labonte hopes to bring to the team has not yet come through, putting the partnership – at least temporarily — on hold. Sirius Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox

12/17/08 Bobby Labonte will drive the #41 Target Chevrolet for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing in 2009, joining Martin Truex, Jr., Juan Pablo Montoya and Aric Almirola as part of a newly merged, four-car team. Labonte has not commented since announcing his split from Petty Enterprises last week, and the new Earnhardt-Ganassi operation remains in a virtual media lockdown. However, multiple sources close to the situation tell Sirius Speedway that a deal to put Labonte in the #41 is signed, sealed and delivered, after receiving the approval of sponsor Target. Work has already begun on the necessary promotional infrastructure — photo shoots, marketing campaigns, ancillary programs, etc. — for the coming season. Sirius Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox

12/16/08 Bobby Labonte has talked to Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing about their #41 opening, but said Tuesday a deal with the Sprint Cup team isn't imminent. "There are a lot of things that have to develop to make it happen," Labonte said in his first comments since leaving Petty Enterprises on Dec. 11. "Talks are happening, but that's not happened yet," Labonte said in a telephone interview. "I feel like they've got a great program, it's just a matter of they have to put their deal together before I come into the picture." USA Today

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