NASCAR veteran driver Bobby Labonte will drive a second entry for Sprint Cup Series team Phoenix Racing in the 2014 Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 23, according to an official announcement from the race team on Tuesday. Labonte is also expected to compete in other races for Phoenix Racing, but a specific schedule has not been released for the driver.
“I am grateful and excited to return to Daytona with Phoenix Racing,” Labonte said. “The Daytona 500 is, obviously, a special event for everyone involved int he sport. I can’t wait to get back in the car for my 22nd Daytona 500.”
A car number for Labonte’s efforts with the team also has not been revealed, and neither has the identity of the driver for the organization’s full-time entry for 2014.
The deal for Labonte came about through a deal between Phoenix Racing’s current owner Harry Scott Jr. and former owner James Finch. Finch sold the team to Scott during the 2013 season. Finch recently announced that he would to field a car for the Daytona 500 through a deal with his former team.
Labonte is not guaranteed a starting spot for the Daytona 500, as his car will be a new, second team for Phoenix Racing, and therefore, will not have owner points from 2013 to fall back on. He will, however, be able to take advantage of a past champion’s provisional, should Kurt Busch, driver for a new team at Stewart-Haas Racing, not need it.
Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR Cup champion, has 21 wins to his credit, with the last coming in 2003. He lost his most recent full-time ride, the No. 47 at JTG Daugherty Racing, during the 2013 Sprint Cup season.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR