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Bobby Labonte returns to Phoenix Racing for Daytona 500 and beyond

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Former NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte will drive a second car for the Phoenix Racing in the Daytona 500 on February 23, 2014 at Daytona International Speedway. The team made the announcement Tuesday.

Labonte drove for Phoenix Racing for 13 races in the No. 09 in 2010 and for one race at Michigan International Speedway in 2013 in the No. 51. Harry Scott, Jr. purchased the team from James Finch in 2013.

"James continues to be a valuable part of our team,” Scott said in an emailed press release. “When he came up with the idea of running Bobby in a second car, I jumped at the opportunity to bring him back into the fold. Bobby is a veteran driver that can also provide valuable insight and leadership for Phoenix Racing."

The team said Labonte would run a number of races for Phoenix Racing next season.

"I'm thrilled to be headed back to Daytona with Bobby Labonte," said Finch. "I thank Harry Scott for this opportunity. He knew I would have to be weaned off racing, I can't quit cold turkey."

Labonte has won 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in his career that started in 1991. During that time he scored 115 Top 5s and 203 Top 10s. In 1990 Labonte was named the NASCAR Nationwide Series Most Popular Driver. He captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship a year later in 1991. He won the NASCAR Cup title in 2000. Labonte raced for JTG-Daugherty from 2011 until last season.

"I am grateful and excited to return to Daytona with Phoenix Racing," said Labonte. "The Daytona 500 is obviously a special event for everyone involved in the sport. I can't wait to get back in the car for my 22nd Daytona 500."

The team said they would provide additional information in the coming weeks about which car number will be entered, the crew chief for the team and sponsors supporting the car.

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