The swirling force of Texas politics

Bobby Labonte Will Drive "Gov. Perry" Car at TMS

Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010  |  Updated 2:43 PM CDT
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<a title=Rick Perry for Governor coming to a NASCAR near you." />

Rick Perry for Governor coming to a NASCAR near you.

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Gentlemen, start your ... political campaign?

Gov. Rick Perry's re-election is sponsoring Bobby Labonte's No. 71 Chevrolet for the April 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Texas Motor Speedway. The campaign said it paid $225,000 for the sponsorship.

Perry and Labonte were on hand Tuesday as the car was unveiled. It had the words "Governor Perry" painted on the hood, the campaign's Web address emblazoned on the doors and the message "Perry Governor 2010" on the back.

"I am proud to partner with fellow Texan and unwavering patriot, Bobby Labonte, in my effort to raise awareness of the conservative values that have kept our state at the forefront of the national economy," Perry said.

Labonte, who is 33rd on the NASCAR money leaders list, is originally from Corpus Christi.

"It's always great for me to come back to my home state, and now I've got an even bigger reason to be able to connect to all of the fans and my fellow Texans," said Labonte, who now lives in North Carolina.

Perry is running against Democrat Bill White in November's election.

The NASCAR race draws more than 400,000 fans to the Fort Worth track.

Labonte usually drives the No. 71 Tax Slayer Chevrolet for The Racer's Group.

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