Fontana II: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte: "I can't believe it's already time to go back to Fontana. It seems like yesterday that we had that long rain delay and ended up racing on Monday. The No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge was really fast back in February before the...

Bobby Labonte:

"I can't believe it's already time to go back to Fontana. It seems like yesterday that we had that long rain delay and ended up racing on Monday. The No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge was really fast back in February before the rain came. The car just wasn't the same the next day on the green racetrack. This time you don't have to worry about rain as much as you do the heat. Plus, it's a night race so you have to adjust your setups accordingly."

"We're taking a new generation Petty Enterprises chassis to Fontana this weekend and we're excited about its potential. Chad McCumbee tested it for us at Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and everyone left pleased with the way it handled. California is a downforce and motor track. This new car has less downforce than the other car, so handling is even more important. Every team is trying something and this is one of our latest pieces to try to get the car to turn a little better without being so loose off the corners."

"I was pretty excited when I heard the new changes to the Shootout at Daytona. Now that the top-six drivers from each manufacturer are eligible to compete, I should be in the 2009 race. We're sitting comfortably inside those top-six, but it would be nice to move up a few spots. I've always enjoyed the Shootout. It allows you to get all of the kinks and butterflies out of your system before you get to the Daytona 500. It's fun for the crew guys too, so I'm sure they are as pumped about it as I am."

* Labonte nearly scored a top-10 in this race in 2007 when he came home in the 11th position

* Labonte has raced at Fontana 16 times; he has scored four top-5 and five top-10 finishes at the track.

* The driver has scored one pole at Auto Club Speedway, which came in 2001. He has started within the top-10 a total of three times at the California track.

* Of a possible 4,005 laps at Auto Club Speedway, Labonte has completed 3,930 (98.1%) including 33 laps led. His average start at the track is 21.4 and average finish is 17.9.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Chad McCumbee