So much for former NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte calling it a career.
Labonte, a 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, has already accomplished nearly all there is to do in racing. He was the first driver to win both the Xfinity Series championship (1991) and the Cup Series championship (2000). He won 21 races at NASCAR's premier level, including notable races such as the Southern 500 at Darlington and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. He was even the first driver to win three races — one in each of NASCAR's three circuits — at the same track, Martinsville Speedway.
And now he's back.
On Monday, NASCAR and Labonte announced that he will run full-time in the 2018 Whelen Euro Series, a European affiliate of NASCAR. Labonte premiered in the Whelen Euro Series in 2017, finishing 10th in his series debut at Brands Hatch (United Kingdom).
“Joining the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is a great opportunity,” Labonte said in a statement. “At the Brands Hatch race last year, I was definitely impressed by the competitiveness of the series.
"I look forward to all the growth and new opportunities this could bring."
The Whelen Euro Series schedule begins this weekend in Valencia, Spain, and concludes in Belgium in October. Races this weekend will be live-streamed on FansChoice.tv starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Labonte was one of five new 2018 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame, joining Red Farmer, Davey Allison, and car owners Joe Gibbs and Roger Penske. None of the five were selected in 2018 and are on the ballot again for this year's class.
NASCAR will announce its 2019 inductees in May.