Saturday, February 4, 2012
Thursday, September 3, 2009
After Labonte was dismissed from his driving duties for seven of the remaining 12 races in the No. 96 Yates Racing Ford, the 2000 Cup champ has agreed to pilot the No. 71 Chevrolet for TRG Motorsports in those seven events starting this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Bobby Labonte is stepping out of the No. 96 car for seven races, as Yates Racing attempts to bridge a sponsorship gap by putting Erik Darnell in its Hall of Fame Racing entry beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Darnell, who shares a ride on the Nationwide Series with Roush Racing, will also compete at New Hampshire, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead. Academy Sports and Outdoor will be his primary sponsor in the No. 96 at Atlanta, Talladega, and Texas. His car will be backed at New Hampshire and Kansas by Northern Tool and Equipment, which also sponsors his Nationwide entry.
Ask.com, the primary sponsor for the No. 96 for most of this season, committed to 18 of the first 21 races and up to 29 total. Another sponsor, DLP, is filling some of the remaining gap, but not all of it. Yates Racing and Hall of Fame have a one-year agreement for Yates to field the No. 96 car, and it's up to Yates to fill any sponsorship holes.
"We were left with a handful of races that have gone unsponsored to this point," Max Jones, co-owner of Yates Racing, said in a statement. "Northern Tool has been Erik's primary sponsor in both the Nationwide and Truck Series, and they were willing to help Erik and Yates Racing this year. We believe Erik is an extremely talented driver, ready for a shot at racing in the Sprint Cup Series. We are looking forward to seeing Erik progress as a driver and hopefully become a full-time driver in the Cup Series."
Labonte will continue to race the No. 96, with sponsorship from Ask.com or DLP, at Richmond, Dover, California, Charlotte and Martinsville. "This is a move that will be beneficial to Yates Racing surviving this difficult economic time," Labonte said in a statement released by the team. "Of course, I'm disappointed that the sponsorship environment is so challenging right now, but I intend to make the most out of the remaining races that I'm behind the wheel for Ask.com, DLP and Hall of Fame Racing."
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
CONCORD, N.C. -- Yates Racing announced Ben Leslie, former crew chief for the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford, will serve as crew chief for Bobby Labonte and the No. 96 Hall of Fame entry for the remainder of the 2009 season. Previous crew chief Todd Parrot will assist the Yates organization as a whole.
"Ben's experience with Ford Racing is really an asset to our organization," said Max Jones, co-owner of Yates Racing. "The No. 96 team is fortunate enough to have a champion driver and a group of experts in the sport. I believe Ben will bring the right changes to this team to help it accomplish some solid finishes this season and climb a few positions in the points."
Prior to joining Yates Racing, Leslie served as a liaison between Ford Racing and NASCAR managing Ford's development in all three series. Earlier in his career, Leslie worked with several notable drivers including Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd. In 2001 Leslie led Martin to a second-place finish in the Cup Series point standings, recorded 15 top-10 finishes and a win in the Coca-Cola 600.
"I'm looking forward to working with Ben," Labonte said. "He's done a lot with Ford Racing specifically and I like that he has experience with many champion drivers. I'm excited to see what we will do together on the track in the next few weeks."
Todd Parrot, who aided in Labonte's fifth-place finish in Las Vegas, will remain with Yates Racing and assist with both the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry as well as the No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion.