Darlington: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte on racing at Darlington Raceway: "Darlington is pretty cool. It's definitely different since they changed the surface, it's faster and smoother but is still Darlington and it's one of those places where you don't really know how...

Bobby Labonte on racing at Darlington Raceway:

"Darlington is pretty cool. It's definitely different since they changed the surface, it's faster and smoother but is still Darlington and it's one of those places where you don't really know how your setup is going to handle the different turns until you're in the car at practice. We were part of a Goodyear tire test about a month ago that should help us this weekend. Besides it being a night race and that bringing along some differences, I'd say we're ready to go this weekend in Darlington. I'm looking forward to climbing back into the Academy car for the first time since Bristol.

"I'd really rather just let last week be last week and look forward to racing in Darlington. I know this car will be better than what we unloaded last week and really I'm excited to have a shot at a decent finish this week. We've really lost some ground in the point standings and it's time to get it together a little bit and go have some fun. But, with testing in a Ford Fusion with the 96 guys already this year, I think we're going to start out better than we have in a few weeks. Every time we go to a track for the first time as a team we kind of start over. This week will be like our second start in Darlington."

Crew chief Ben Leslie on racing at Darlington Raceway:

"We had a rough week last week and I think we've got a lot to concentrate on right now. We've got to get this team back to climbing positions in the points and generally racing better both on the track and in the pits. I know every one of us is ready to see things come together. We've got a good setup on the Ford Fusion that I believe will handle Darlington's unique track well."

Bobby Labonte -- Fast Facts

Chassis:    RK-540

Backup: RK-574

* Friday, May 8th will be Labonte 45th birthday.

* Labonte has one win (2000), one pole award (1997), five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes at the 1.366-mile oval.

* Labonte has 28 starts at Darlington Raceway and has completed 8,683 of 9,184 possible laps, a 94.5 percent consistency.

* In his 28 starts, Labonte has started in the top-10 10 times.

* The last time Labonte did not finish a race at the "Lady in Black" was in 1995 -- 14 years ago.

* This veteran driver has a history of starting and finishing well at Darlington with a 15th-position average start and finish.

* This weekend will be Labonte's second start with Academy on the No. 96 Ford Fusion in 2009.

Yates Racing -- Fast Facts

* On Friday, May 22nd Yates Racing will open its doors for the Inaugural Yates Racing Fan Day. Fans are encouraged to come out and see the Yates campus and receive a VIP view of the Yates shop. Special autograph appearances from Bobby Labonte, Paul Menard and Doug Yates will begin at 10 a.m. Vendors will also be onsite with free give-aways.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Paul Menard
Teams Yates Racing