Labonte's sponsors will likely be Texas Instruments DLP products, as well as Ask.com. Bobby Labonte also is a past champion, so he will have up to 5 provisional starts in 2009, in order to get the 96 car into the top 35 in points by race 5. Labonte finished 21st in points in the Petty-Boston Ventures 43 in 2008, so getting the car into the points probably won't be much of a problem, especially for a guy who really wants to drive competitively in 2009.
Remember, Labonte has won 21 races and the championship in 2000. He won all those races and the championship with Joe Gibbs Racing, but a relatively young driver can do great things. I say relatively, since Bobby Labonte is younger than I am, which means he's younger than dirt, but old enough to know how to drive. In my opinion, if Bobby Labonte can put the 96 Ford inside the top 15 in 2009, he will have done his job, and done it well.
In other news, Robby Loomis, former crew chief for Jeff Gordon, has been named executive director for raciing for the new GEM-Petty team. Loomis will oversee the operations of the 9 car of Kasey Kahne, the 10 car of AJ Allmendinger, the 19 car of Elliot Sadler, and the 43 car of Reed Sorenson.
The 2009 racing season is about to start, with the Bud Shootout in a matter of weeks. It's good to see Bobby Labonte secure a ride for 2009, and I wish him the very best of luck. Even if the 43 ride that Bobby's had for several years wasn't the most successful, he can tell his grandchildren that he did indeed drive the car. That's more than about 99.99 per cent of the population can say.