New Crew Chief For Labonte

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Yates Racing today announced Ben Leslie, former crew chief for the No. 28 Yates Racing Ford, will serve as crew chief for Bobby Labonte and the No. 96 Hall of Fame entry for the remainder of the 2009 season. Previous crew chief Todd Parrot will assist the Yates organization as a whole.

“Ben’s experience with Ford Racing is really an asset to our organization,” said Max Jones, co-owner of Yates Racing. “The No. 96 team is fortunate enough to have a Champion driver and a group of experts in the sport. I believe Ben will bring the right changes to this team to help it accomplish some solid finishes this season and climb a few positions in the points.”

Prior to joining Yates Racing, Leslie served as a liaison between Ford Racing and NASCAR managing Ford’s development in all three series. Earlier in his career, Leslie worked with several notable drivers including Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Ricky Rudd. In 2001 Leslie led Martin to a second-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, recorded 15 top-10 finishes and a win in the Coke 600.

“I’m looking forward to working with Ben,” said Labonte. “He’s done a lot with Ford Racing specifically and I like that he has experience with many Champion drivers. I’m excited to see what we will do together on the track in the next few weeks.”

Todd Parrot who aided in Labonte’s fifth-place finish in Las Vegas will remain with Yates Racing and assist with both the No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing entry as well as the No. 98 Menards Ford Fusion.

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