TRG MOTORSPORTS IS TOP-FINISHING SINGLE-CAR TEAM IN THE 2010 DAYTONA 500 Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Bobby Labonte and the No.71 TaxSlayer.com team secured the top finish for any single-car team in TRG's first appearance in the Daytona 500 after ...
TRG MOTORSPORTS IS TOP-FINISHING SINGLE-CAR TEAM IN THE 2010 DAYTONA 500
Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Bobby Labonte and the No.71 TaxSlayer.com team secured the top finish for any single-car team in TRG's first appearance in the Daytona 500 after crossing the finish line in 21st-place.
The "Great American Race" turned into a marathon after two lengthy red flags that caused the entire field to stop for nearly two and a half hours due to a hole in the asphalt at Daytona International Speedway. But the breaks in the action couldn't stop the determination of Labonte and his crew to bring home a solid finish in the opening race of the season.
"We were battling tight conditions all night and the only place I felt strong was on the bottom of the track," Labonte said. "Sometimes you just have cars like that and you do what you can to adapt to them. Doug (Randolph) and the guys worked hard and threw tons of adjustments at it all night to keep us fast."
TRG team owner Kevin Buckler was proud of his young team's effort in his first Daytona 500.
"At this time a year ago, we didn't make this race. We finished it tonight with a good, clean solid run with a great driver, crew, and sponsor," Buckler said. "I am proud of what we've accomplished as a team so far. To finish as the top independent, single-car team is a great start for us and for our fantastic sponsor TaxSlayer, but we've got a lot more work to do."
TRG's solid run in a sport filled with multi-car teams proves Buckler's theory of having the right people with a focused goal makes all of the difference when it comes to contending for strong finishes each week.
"We're here to be a contender and have now begun to clearly distanced ourselves from the other new teams in the sport. We have built a solid foundation and we're going to continue to build on it and improve every single week. The exciting part to me, is that we probably have the biggest potential 'up-side' of ANY team on the grid. We are new, tight, efficient, all the components are in place and we are learning and improving at an exponential rate," Buckler said. "At this point, one of our biggest challenges is continuing to add to our sponsorship base. Sunday, we have proven again that we have a lot to offer to a sponsor and partner and we ARE the team to bet on in 2010. I can't wait to get to Fontana."
The TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet began the race at the back of the line-up and, through positions gained on pit road and a skillful effort by Labonte, worked its way up through the field.
After the second attempt at a green-white checkered finish, Labonte was involved in an on-track incident that caused minor damage and required him to pit for four fresh tires.
"Those re-starts at the end of the race were just crazy," Labonte said. "I'm still not sure exactly how the incident happened, but that's just part of the Daytona 500 -- it's a race that everyone wants to win and you drive as hard as you can to try to make it to Victory Lane."
The TaxSlayer.com team will make its west coast debut on Sunday, Feb. 21st when NASCAR visits Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The race will be broadcast live on FOX with coverage beginning at 3:00 Eastern time.