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General Motors Corp. has landed some proven winners -- Joe Gibbs and Bobby Labonte -- to help restore the Pontiac Grand Prix to prominence on the Winston Cup circuit.

Gibbs, who now fields Chevrolet Monte Carlos for Labonte on stock car racing's top series, will switch to Pontiacs for the 1997 Winston Cup season.

"A lot of research went into this, and we think we went about things the right way. I'm excited," Gibbs, the former Washington Redskins' head coach, said. "We would not have done this if we didn't think we could win."

GM officials are hoping some of the touch Gibbs has demonstrated in two sports will rub off on the Grand Prix, which has been unable to stay competitive with the Chevrolets and Ford Thunderbirds.

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