If the rumors are right, Bobby Labonte not only has a championship provisional, but also both Ask.com and Academy Sports + Outdoors sponsorship deals in his pocket.
It means only one thing, that Labonte, in these tough economic times, will have a ride in 2010 and it could be a upgrade, team-wise, for him.
It doesn't matter that he's 45 years old, riding a 209 winless race streak with his last win coming in 2003 at Homestead and sits 30th in the points this season.
Let's face it, he's a racer's racer, a class act, and more importantly, he still has gas left in the tank to be competitive.
Here are five driving options available to him, or at least I think these owners won't pass on the chance to land a quality veteran.
1.) Richard Childress Racing
This one is the most obvious. Since the No. 07 is sponsorless after the 2009 season, if Labonte brings sponsors with him, Richard Childress will definitely sign him.
He's a perfect fit with Harvick, Burton, and Bowyer and more importantly, it will keep the team running four cars versus three.
2.) Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
With either the No. 1 or it's defunct No. 8 car and depends on is Jamie McMurray headed to the team in 2010.
They also have history. Labonte could have basically been driving for them in 2009 but something happened between the parties that made him run not walk to Hall of Fame Racing.
He'd make a great teammate with Montoya and McMurray. We could see Bass Pro Shop stay with the team to pair with Labonte and since they do have history together.
Labonte worked with them, participating in many of their charity fishing events. Plus, with them wanting to reduce their sponsorship and switch to run X number of races.
3.) Red Bull Racing
With Scott Speed having the possibility of finishing outside the top 35 in the owner standings this season.
They could be attracted by his championship provisional, he doesn't need to worry about having a sponsor, the veteran presence he brings to the young team and he fits well with Vickers.
But I doubt this one, since owner Dietrich Mateschitz really likes Speed, calls all the shots and doubt he's going any where anytime soon.
4.) TRG Motorsports
If nothing pan's out ride wise he'll have this one to fall back on. If it came down to TRG or Hall Of Fame Racing, he'd pick the Racing Group.
So this one really a nothing more than a safety pick that would keep him in Cup but with it being with GM his results would improve.
5.) Bobby Labonte Motorsports
In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and a chance to make history. Becoming the first to win championships in all three of NASCAR's top divisions.
He has the pieces in place, with his race team fielding Earl Pearson Jr. in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, and just adding to it too field a truck team.
Labonte already has said, he'd switch to the Truck Series when the time was right, and wouldn't run part-time in Cup like his brother has.
What if the time is right for him to make the move, with a 25 race schedule don't be shocked to see a certain sponsor jump on the chance to re-unite with Labonte.
While I doubt Ask.com would leave Cup. I could see them being a associate sponsor and we could see Academy Sports + Outdoors just step up as a full time sponsor for him.
Two other sponsor options would be Goody's or Life Long Locks and both have been sponsors for him.
Regardless were Labonte ends up driving, I'll be happy but I'd love to see him racing in the Truck Series and make some history.
Author's note: No actually sources were used for this article, other than the one rumor that started the article and just pure 100 percent speculation on my part.
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