Bobby Labonte has terminated his contract with TRG Motorsports over the team's decision to move to a "start-and-park" approach to Sprint Cup races due to a lack of sponsorship.
"I just don't want to do it," the 2000 Cup Series champion told NASCAR.com. "I don't want to do the start-and-park thing."
Instead, Labonte has agreed to a pair of short-term deals. Labonte will drive Robby Gordon's No. 7 Toyota this weekend at New Hampshire, and then move into James Finch's No. 09 for Daytona and Chicagoland, with the possibility of more starts in the Phoenix Racing vehicle if sponsorship can be found.
"When we found out that Bobby was available to drive for us, we jumped at it," said team owner/driver Robby Gordon, who finished second last weekend on the Infineon Raceway road course in his No. 7. "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 had started 23 Sprint Cup events for owner Kevin Buckler's TRG organization since season, but has been unable to crack the top 20 this year and has dropped out of four recent races with mechanical troubles.
"We didn't have the success that we really wanted, and kind of got to the point where Kevin was in a position that he was going to have to do some start-and-park races," said Labonte, 46. "He's in a little different place right now with his race team, and I felt I had to find different opportunities that would allow me to race. That's what we were supposed to do to start with, and that's what we were doing up until then. I just felt like we needed to go down different avenues so he would do what he needed to, and I could race."