BUSCH: Kansas: Bobby Labonte preview

Labonte will attempt to start his fifth race at Kansas Speedway. He has never finished higher than 16th. He was involved in accidents in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, Labonte started fifth and finished 16th, his highest finish at Kansas ...

Labonte will attempt to start his fifth race at Kansas Speedway. He has never finished higher than 16th. He was involved in accidents in 2001 and 2002.

In 2004, Labonte started fifth and finished 16th, his highest finish at Kansas Speedway.

Labonte's best start at Kansas was fourth in 2003.

Kansas and Chicagoland Speedway are the only two 1.5-mile ovals on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit that Labonte has never scored a top-five finish.

Labonte is 24th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.

He has 2,802 points and trails 23rd-place Ricky Rudd by 58 points.

The primary car for the Banquet 400 presented by ConAgra Foods is chassis No. 114, new car that has not been raced before.

The back-up car will be No. 78, the car Labonte used in the spring at Dover, where he finished 38th after engine problems ended his day after just 51 laps. The chassis was also used in 2004 at both Pocono races where he finished third and 29th (accident). Also in 2004, Labonte used the car to finish eighth at Las Vegas, 18th at Atlanta (spring), 18th at New Hampshire (fall) and 17th at Charlotte (fall). In 2003, the car was used in the second Atlanta race, where Labonte finished fifth. Chassis No. 78 was also used at both Michigan races and the Kansas race. Labonte won the pole for both races at Michigan and finished second in the car in the first Michigan race. He started fourth in the car at Kansas.

UNITED WAY 300 PRE-RACE NOTES:

The United Way 300 is the sixth of eight Busch Series races the Labonte will compete in for Joe Gibbs Racing and ConAgra Foods. Labonte finished sixth at Charlotte, 16th at Chicagoland, seventh at Michigan, 10th at Bristol and eighth at Richmond. In addition to Kansas, Labonte will compete at: Texas, Nov. 6 (Slim Jim), and Phoenix, Nov. 12 (Slim Jim).

Labonte has 169 starts in Busch Series competition and has scored nine wins, 48 top-fives and 93 top-10 finishes. He has finished in the top-10 in 55 percent of his Busch Series starts.

Labonte won the 1991 Busch Series championship on the strength of two wins and 21 top-five finishes. He lost the 1992 title by just three points to Joe Nemechek. The three-point margin is the closest points finish in the history of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series competition.

Labonte made his Busch Series debut in 1982 at Martinsville Speedway. He finished 30th and won $220. He then competed in the two races in 1985, six in 1988 and seven in 1989 before competing full-time for the first time in 1990.

Labonte's last Busch Series victory came in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 March 21, 1998 at Darlington Raceway in the No. 44 Shell Pontiac.

The primary car for the United Way 300 is Chassis No. 1959, which used earlier this year at Charlotte (sixth), Chicagoland (16th) and Michigan (seventh).

The back-up car is chassis No. 1958, which Labonte used at Bristol to finish 10th.

KANSAS PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, No. 19 Banquet Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion, 1991 Busch Series Champion): "Kansas has not been the best of tracks for me. I really like the track and think it's a great facility, but we've never really finished well there. Hopefully we can turn that around. We're running the Busch race in the Banquet car which is a pretty neat deal since Banquet and ConAgra Foods also are the title sponsor of the Cup race. Hopefully, we can put on a good show for them."

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Joe Nemechek
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing