Bobby Labonte announced today that effective immediately, he has been released from all contractual obligations with Petty Enterprises, and will turn his attention toward other opportunities for 2009. Terms of the split were agreed upon by both parties.
Labonte said, “I will always be very appreciative of what Richard Petty, the Petty family, every employee of Petty Enterprises and members of Boston Ventures did to invest in bettering my career the past three seasons.” He added that he does not have a contract in place with any other team for 2009, but is “ready to explore all opportunities and form the next partnership in my career.”
Multiple sources tell Sirius Speedway that Labonte is close to a deal to put him in the driver’s seat of a #41 Target Chevrolet at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing next season.
Petty Enterprises is expected to make an announcing regarding its future later today; most likely concerning a merger or other partnership with Gillett Evernham Racing that could put AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the iconic #43 Dodge next season.