At age 45 soon to 46 Bobby Labonte has some, not many years left in the NASCAR Sprint cup series.
Labonte has had a great career that includes winning the 2000 Cup championship over the late Dale Earnhardt, 21 career wins including the 2000 Brickyard 400 and the 1995 Coca Cola 600 which was his first career win, 114 top fives, 199 top tens, an average finish of 17.8, and has finished in the top ten in points seven times.
But his last came at Homestead in 2003. Since then he has been winless, his highest points finish has been 12th, he has only had 13 top fives, and 33 top tens in that time frame.
Some say he is "washed up" some say he is a "has been."
Well look at the cars Labonte has been in.
He was with Petty Enterprises from 2006 to 2008 had some good runs but never got going. He raced for Hall of Fame racing in 2009 and recorded just one top five and one top ten finish.
He now races for TRG racing a new team who is still seeking sponsor for the rest of the season.
I have no doubt that when Labonte has a car under him that he can get the best out of the car and them some. As he has been overachieving in the cars he has been in.
Stewart Haas racing might go to three cars in 2010. While it is widely believed that it will be either Kevin Harvick or Kasey Kahne, why not Bobby Labonte?
From 1999 to 2004 Labonte and Stewart were teammate at Joe Gibbs racing. Stewart said Labonte along with Mark Martin and Dale Jarret were guys that he could go to and receive alot of help from when he was making his transition from the Indycar series to the Cup series.
Labonte and Stewart have stayed close friends Labonte even races at Stewart's prelude to a dream.
Also Labonte's team TRG's pit crew is a pit crew that is from Stewart Haas racing.
Stewart knows Labonte can drive and Labonte's career is getting into the twlight. With Labonte's wealth of experience and knowledge he could really get the third Stewart Haas car started and when he decides to hang up the helmet hand over the to be for sure legendary ride to a young and upcoming driver (see Bill Elliott and Kasey Kahne).
In a Stewart Haas car Labonte would for sure be at least a top 15 car in points and challenge for a chase spot. He would also win his fair share of races.
Perhaps he could do what 51 Mark Martin is doing and show that old guys can win everyone once in a while.
Labonte deserves to end his career with a good competitive team and perhaps he could do that at Stewart.