CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Yates Racing is taking Bobby Labonte out of its No. 96 car for seven upcoming races because of sponsorship issues.
The team instead will use Erik Darnell, because it could secure funding for the 26-year-old.
The switch begins this weekend at Atlanta, which is considered Labonte's best track. The former Cup champion has six wins at Atlanta and has usually run near the front.
Yates general manager Max Jones says the team must begin planning for the future, and Darnell might be part of their plans. Stuck in the development program at Roush Fenway Racing, Darnell will make his Cup debut Sunday.
Jones says Labonte is disappointed, but understands business decisions.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)