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It’s Official: Labonte To Drive RGM’s No. 7 At Loudon

[1]As expected, Bobby Labonte has been named the driver of Robby Gordon Motorsports’ No. 7 Monster Energy Toyota for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Robby Gordon, team owner and driver, has a previous committment that will keep him from piloting the car this weekend [2]. As a result, Labonte will take over driving duties.

Originally, it was reported that PJ Jones would drive the car. But, reports began to surface [3] about Labonte leaving TRG Motorsports’ No. 71 Chevy.

Kevin Buckley, owner of TRG, said earlier that Labonte and the team hadn’t parted ways. But, he did confirm that Labonte would not be in the car this weekend, and that Andy Lally had been named his replacement.

Labonte, however, confirmed in a release that he and TRG did, in fact, part ways. Labonte said:

I want to be in a position to win races and be competitive. 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.

It’s good to see Labonte has still got the competitive fire in him. For his fans, it has been pretty hard to watch him make his way around the track in an uncompetitive car, and ultimately start and park.

Gordon said:

When we found out that Bobby was available to drive for us, we jumped at it. 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.

Labonte added:

I can’t thank Robby and his folks enough for this opportunity. We’re going to New Hampshire with the goal of having another solid run for his team. They had a great finish at Sonoma and have some momentum right now. I’m just thankful for the opportunity and hope to get another solid finish for his team.

Update: It’s also been announced that Labonte will drive Phoenix Racing’s No. 09 Sprint Cup Chevy at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3rd, and the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.