Bristol II: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte ...

Bobby Labonte #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge

"We could never beat the track position game at Michigan. Our qualifying draw hurt us because we went out first for our lap and the sun was beating down. Cloud cover rolled in allowed a lot of guys to lay down laps faster than ours. We were happy with our car, but that put us back in the pack and these new cars do not like 'dirty' air. Jeff (Meendering, crew chief) did another great job with the in-race adjustments to get the car comfortable in 'dirty' air. He does that as well as anyone."

"It's pretty important for us to qualify up front at Bristol. Hopefully we can have another strong qualifying run because you want a pit stall in the frontstretch. It's a pretty big advantage to pit on the front. You can still have a good finish if you pit on the back, but it's easier to pit on the front. It's something that is unique to Bristol, pit road is pretty different, but that just means qualifying means a whole lot more. The pressure will be on us to get a good qualifying run on Friday."

"The changes to the schedule for 2009 will be a 'win-win' for everyone involved. The presidents of all three tracks, as well as NASCAR, need to be commended because it took them working together to get this done. The Labor Day race had been a staple of NASCAR going back to the 50's, when it was a southern sport. The fans in the south really embrace that date, so Atlanta makes perfect sense. We get an extra off-weekend in between Bristol and Atlanta. That gives us three weekends where we are very close to home. When you get to the end of our long season little things like that make a huge difference."

Bobby Labonte at Bristol Motor Speedway

* In this race last year Labonte scored his highest finish of the season, which was eighth. *

* Labonte has raced at BMS 31 times; he has scored three top-5 and ten top-10 finishes at the track.

* Seven of Labonte's ten top-10s at Bristol have been recorded in the last eight years and all three of his top-5 finishes there have been recorded in the past six years.

* The driver has also started the race within the top-10 on ten occasions. His best qualifying position at the track is third which he has achieved twice, in 1999 and 2006.

* Of a possible 15,352 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway, Labonte has completed 14,443 (94.1%) including 60 laps led. His average start at the track is 18.8 and average finish is 19.2.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte