Hall Of Fame Completes Lineup

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FORT WORTH, Tex. - As RacingOne reported last month, Hall of Fame Racing officially announced today at Texas Motor Speedway that Tony Raines and Terry Labonte will co-drive the No. 96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet in the inaugural season for the team headed by former Dallas Cowboy stars Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach.

Along with crew chief Philippe Lopez and managing partner Bill Saunders, Labonte will kick off the season in the first five races starting at Daytona. Labonte, who also ran some races for Joe Gibbs in 2005, will return for the road course events with Raines piloting the car in the remaining 29 races.

"Being from Texas, it was certainly hard to tell Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman No," said Labonte, who will also run 10 events for Hendrick Motorsports in 2006. "I have been a huge Dallas Cowboys fan all my life, I couldn't say that around Joe (Gibbs) too loud. I used to not like the Redskins but I can't after meeting Joe."

Raines, who won the 1996 ASA championship and the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the year award, couldn't be more excited about the opportunity.

"This is the best opportunity of my career," said Raines, who has captured one top 10 in 54 races in the NEXTEL Cup Series. "I kept pinching myself to make sure it was real to have owners like Bill, Roger and Troy, a crew chief like Philippe and a sponsor like DLP/Texas Instruments. It's what every driver dreams of."

The team will run the No. 96, which is symbolic not only for the result of Aikman's No. 8 times Staubach's No. 12, but it's also the year (1996) in which DLP commenced commercial shipments to the marketplace.

Over the past three years Staubach and Aikman came together on an idea to form a NASCAR team. And the two, who have five combined Super Bowl titles, are looking to recapture the same magic they did on the gridiron in NASCAR.

"I have my competitive juices flowing again," said Staubach. "It's really evolved over the last three years, and I have learned a lot about NASCAR. And now we are in the NEXTEL Cup, and we are going to be there in Daytona in February. I am a little scared, but I am excited also."

Although they won't be in the shop on a daily basis working with the team, which is aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing, the two Football greats will still be heavily involved at and off the track, with Saunders managing the shop in North Carolina.

"The thing that limits us to some degree when you talk about the involvement compared to Joe Gibbs is like Joe picked up and moved to Charlotte," said Aikman. "That is something Roger and I will not be doing. Bill Saunders will be in Charlotte. Just from that standpoint alone, as far as being right in the middle of it will be difficult. Anybody who knows Roger or I know that we'll definitely know what's going on and part of the decisions that will take place."

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