Gilliland gets Gibbs ride for 3 of 12 races

Updated: September 4, 2009, 11:37 AM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- David Gilliland, who earlier this week was replaced by Bobby Labonte for seven races at TRG Motorsports, will attempt to qualify a fourth Sprint Cup car at Joe Gibbs Racing for three of the final 12 events, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Friday.

Gilliland will compete at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Texas and Homestead-Miami in a car sponsored by Farm Bureau.

The JGR deal actually initiated the deal for TRG Motorsports to sign Labonte after the 2000 Cup champion was pulled from the No. 96 car at Hall of Fame/Yates Racing in favor of Erik Darnell for seven of the final 12 events.

Gilliland had made 22 of 24 events for TRG Motorsports and ranks 37th in points in the No. 71.

Sources said the decision to go with Gilliland was to satisfy a contract with Farm Bureau to compete in three Cup events and does not necessarily mean the organization will expand to a fourth full-time team in 2010.

Officials at JGR were not available for comment.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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