Bristol II: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: "The night race at Bristol is always one of the most exciting races of the year. There's just something really unique about that race. It's not like any other night race or any other track --...

Bobby Labonte on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:

"The night race at Bristol is always one of the most exciting races of the year. There's just something really unique about that race. It's not like any other night race or any other track -- you get a different feeling at Bristol and it is pretty cool.

"It's pretty important for us to qualify up front at Bristol. Hopefully we can have a strong qualifying run because you want a pit stall in the front stretch. 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.

"Since they repaved the track, the racing at Bristol has become a bit more tricky. There's more side-by-side racing because there are two grooves. So, now you hear "inside", "outside" from your spotter instead of just what's coming up or behind you. Spotters are really important at Bristol. Hopefully mine can keep me out of trouble and the Ask.com team can have a good night and bring home a solid finish."

Crew chief Ben Leslie on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway:

"I'm ready for the race at Bristol -- it is one of my favorite races of the year and I am hoping the Ask.com team can pull off a solid finish. The guys have worked hard this year and I think we're all ready to get to the track and get another solid finish on the books. I think Bobby and the guys are focused and ready to race this weekend in Bristol. We've got a good set up on our Ford Fusion and I think it's time for our luck to change and for our results to reflect our efforts."

FAST FACTS

* Bobby Labonte will make his 34th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night in the Sharpie 500.

* FOR THE RECORD... Labonte has notched three top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at Bristol. The driver of the No. 96 has led a total of 60 laps there.

* Labonte's best qualifying effort at the .533-mile oval is third position, accomplished twice, once in 1999 and again in 2006. His best finish at Thunder Valley is also third, achieved in 2003. He led 26 laps of that particular race.

* LAPS... Labonte has completed 15,442 of 16,355 (94.4%) of the laps he has attempted at Bristol.

* ON THE TRACK...The No. 96 will carry the colors of Ask.com this weekend at Bristol.

* REWIND, BRISTOL -- March 2009... Labonte and the No. 96 team came from a 36th-place starting position to finish the Food City 500 22nd.

-credit: yr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte