Labonte to run No. 71 full-time in 2010

Updated: November 14, 2009, 1:55 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Former Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte will drive the No. 71 of TRG Motorsports full-time in 2010.

Labonte, who won the 2000 Cup title at Joe Gibbs Racing, started this season driving for Hall of Fame Racing/Yates Racing. When it was announced he was being replaced for seven races he agreed to run those events for TRG Motorsports.

That turned into a full-time deal that was announced Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

"Each time I've run with the team this year I've enjoyed the experience and I'm looking forward to filling the seat full-time next year and really building on what we've started,'' Labonte said.

Labonte, who hasn't won a race since 2003, finished 10th in the 71 two weeks ago at Talladega. He finished 18th in his first race for the organization at Atlanta.

The car will be sponsored by TaxSlayer.com for roughly half the season. Team owner Kevin Buckler said on Saturday that he'll try to use multiple companies to fill the rest of the schedule.

Labonte also was a candidate for the No. 1 at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, but sources said the organization settled on Jamie McMurray and will make that announcement next week.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com. Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter