Daytona II: Bobby Labonte preview

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, June 28, 2004 -- The following are Pepsi 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Wellbutrin XL (bupropion HCl) Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. PEPSI 400 PRE-RACE NOTES: ^ÕWellbutrin...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, June 28, 2004 -- The following are Pepsi 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Wellbutrin XL (bupropion HCl) Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.

PEPSI 400 PRE-RACE NOTES:

^ÕWellbutrin XL, a medicine indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder in patients 18 years and older, will serve as the primary sponsor for the No. 18 Chevrolet this weekend at Daytona. Wellbutrin XL served as primary sponsor March 28 at Bristol and April 25 at Talladega and will serve as the main sponsor at Chicagoland (July 11), Michigan (Aug. 22), California (Sept. 5), Richmond (Sept. 11) and Atlanta (Oct. 31).

*Labonte will attempt to start his 24th points-paying race at Daytona International Speedway. He has never scored a victory in NEXTEL Cup competition at Daytona, but finished second in both races at the track in 1998. In addition to the 24 points-paying races, Labonte has also competed in numerous Twin 125-qualifying races and Bud Shootouts.

*In his 24 points-paying starts at Daytona, Labonte has won two Bud Poles (both 1998 races) and finished in the top-five in five races.

*In the 2003 Pepsi 400, Labonte started 15th and finished fifth. With one lap remaining, Labonte was in second-place behind eventual winner Greg Biffle, when Labonte's car ran out of gas. He coasted to a fifth-place finish.

*Labonte started 13th and finished 11th in the Daytona 500 in February. The 11th-place finish was his best Daytona 500 finish since a sixth-place finish in 2000.

*In the last seven Pepsi 400's, Labonte has finished outside of the top 10 only twice: 2000 (12th) and 2002 (32nd). He finished second in 1998, fifth in 1999, 2001 and 2003 and 10th in 1997.

*Labonte finished 33rd June 27 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. While in the top-five, Labonte's car suffered a punctured tire early in the race and a hole in the right-rear brake line after that. Repairs to the brake line caused Labonte to lose six laps.

*After the poor finish at Infineon, Labonte fell three spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, moving from fourth to seventh. He has 2,018 points and is 357 behind leader Jimmie Johnson and 49 points behind sixth-place Elliott Sadler.

*Labonte has five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2004.

*The primary car for Daytona is No. 89, the car Labonte drove in the Bud Shootout in February. Labonte started 12th and finished 11th.

*The back-up car will be No. 82, the car Mike Bliss drove at the Pepsi 400 last year. Bliss started 32nd and finished 26th.

PEPSI 400 PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Wellbutrin XL Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion): "We need a good finish at Daytona after what happened at Sonoma. We just had one of those days, and that hurt us in the points going from fourth to seventh. Daytona is usually pretty wild, and I'm sure this time will be no different. We finished 13th in the '500' this year, which is the best we've done in that race in a while. Hopefully, we can improve on that this week and get our first win of the season."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Mike Bliss , Elliott Sadler
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing