Bristol: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500: "I always look forward to Bristol. It's such a different track with such high banking and it really makes for good racing. I think the folks there have done a good job ...

Bobby Labonte on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500:

"I always look forward to Bristol. It's such a different track with such high banking and it really makes for good racing. I think the folks there have done a good job making it what it is and continuing the uniqueness that makes up racing at Bristol. I've had some success there and this weekend we're really looking to bounce back from our engine trouble in Atlanta. We tested at Darlington during the off week and I think we're looking pretty good going into this weekend. It was the first chance to test with the No. 96 guys since joining Hall of Fame Racing and Yates Racing. We worked out some kinks that were minimal and we're ready to go racing again.

"It was nice to be at home last week and spend some time with Donna, Tyler and Madison; but I'm ready to go racing again. I'm really looking forward to Bristol and getting in the No. 96 Academy Sports + Outdoors Ford for the first time this season. Yates Racing has a great short track program which gives us some extra confidence heading into this weekend.

"We've had a few races to get used to the new surface there (Bristol) and I think we're going to see teams with more data and knowledge on tire wear and the new surface. The Ford Racing group has been working together a lot and I think we're going to be really strong this weekend."

Bobby Labonte on the season so far:

"So far we've had our ups and we've had our downs. As a team we came together and accomplished a top-five in Vegas. That really got some momentum started. But after our disappointing finish last week in Atlanta, we've got to get back to racing. During the off week we got to test in Darlington. Doing that added to our already growing chemistry with the No. 96 team. I got some solid time in the same car we ran in Fontana. I think this is the beginning of a great relationship with Hall of Fame Racing, Yates Racing, Ask.com, Academy Sports + Outdoors and Texas Instruments. I believe in my heart that we're a solid contender this year and we'll find Victory Lane before it's said and done.

"There's a lot going on right now too. We test again in Rockingham in the next few weeks and we'll get some time on a short track this weekend in Bristol. I think so far we've gotten through the bumps and bruises with no major mistakes and that's definitely a good thing. I think right now we need to focus on winning and building upon the foundation we set in Vegas. Being in the top-12 is where we need to be and I believe Todd and the guys will get us there."

Crew chief Todd Parrott on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 500:

"I'm ready to get back to the track. The guys worked hard during the off week and after testing in Darlington, I think we're all ready to get back to the track and get another solid finish on the books. I think Bobby and the Academy Sports + Outdoors team are focused and ready to race this weekend in Bristol. We've got a good set up on the Ford Fusion and I think it's time to get a top-five or a win in Bristol."

"Bobby's never won at Bristol in Sprint Cup; I'd like to change that this weekend. We've got the resources and knowledge to get it done and I'm confident we can change that fact for Bobby and the No. 96 team."

Bobby Labonte -- Fast Facts

* The No. 96 Ford Fusion will make its debut this weekend with an Academy Sports + Outdoors paint scheme; the first of five races with one of the nation's largest sporting goods retailers as primary sponsor.

* On April 1st Labonte's career achievements will be honored by an induction into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. Previously inducted individuals include Terry Labonte, A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and Mark Martin. Each year the award is presented to an outstanding individual in Texas motorsports, active or retired.

* Labonte has three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 32 starts at the .533-mile, high-banked oval.

* The veteran driven has completed 94.3 percent of possible laps in Bristol, Tenn. while leading 60 of those laps.

* Labonte has a noteworthy record at short tracks like Bristol Motor Speedway. He has 104 starts, one win, 13 top-fives, 34 top-10s and two pole awards at similar tracks.

Chassis: RK-466
Backup: RK-574

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , A.J. Foyt , Mark Martin , Johnny Rutherford
Teams Hall of Fame Racing , Yates Racing