RICHMOND, Va. - Former Sprint Cup series champion Bobby Labonte appears set to return to Petty Enterprises next season as driver of the No. 43 Dodge and perhaps remain with the organization for the remainder of his career.
On Saturday, Robbie Loomis, the team's executive vice president, said, "I'm 100 percent confident Bobby will be back with us. When we came here, we came for the same reason – to get the No. 43 car back in Victory Lane.
"I think the mission and the goal is the same. We still have a lot of work to do, but Bobby has been an integral part of getting us on a solid foundation."
Asked if Kyle Petty would return for another season as a driver in the No. 45, Loomis said, "That's a Kyle question. I saw today where this is his 53rd start at Richmond and he's had a great career.
"What I think Kyle has accomplished that stands out the most ... is Victory Junction Gang Camp and what he stands for off the track. We just need to let it play out. It's Kyle's decision and his time frame."
Loomis also said he would like Labonte to close his career with the Pettys. Labonte, 44, has 21 career Cup wins with his last coming in 2003 while he was at Joe Gibbs Racing.