Charlotte II: Bobby Labonte preview

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005 -- The following are UAW-GM Quality 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. UAW-GM QUALITY 500 PRE-RACE ...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2005 -- The following are UAW-GM Quality 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.

UAW-GM QUALITY 500 PRE-RACE NOTES:

Labonte will attempt to start his 38th NEXTEL Cup event at Charlotte (NEXTEL All-Star and Open events included). In 36 NEXTEL Cup races at Charlotte, Labonte has finished in the top five 15 times (42 percent).

Labonte has two wins at Charlotte. His first career victory came in the 1995 Coca-Cola 600, and he won the fall race in 2000 on his way to the NEXTEL Cup Championship.

In May, Labonte started 34th and finished second in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. He was passed by Jimmie Johnson at the exit of Turn 4 on the final lap and finished just .027 of a second behind Johnson.

In the 2004 fall race, Labonte started 34th and finished 17th, two laps down.

Labonte is 25th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has 2,848 points and trails 24th-place Casey Mears by 15 points.

The primary car for the UAW-GM Qualify 500 is chassis No. 91, which Labonte used at Chicago when he started 26th and finished 13th and at Michigan where he started 18th and finished 16th. The car was involved in an accident in May during practice for the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

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.

UAW-GM QUALITY 500 PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, 2000 NASCAR Champion, 1991 Busch Series Champion): "We obviously came pretty close to a win the last time we were at Charlotte. The tracks changed a little bit and they've ground down some more parts of it. We'll see what happens when we get there. We tested there a couple of weeks ago, and we had a decent test. Right now we're just trying to finish out as strong as we can and try to get a win. It's been a frustrating season for sure, but we go into each weekend with a positive attitude and this week will be no different."

-jgr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing