Kansas: Petty Enterprises race report

Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team finished 24th on Sunday. Labonte, who has competed in every Sprint Cup race at the Kansas Speedway, began the day from the 21st position. To compensate for a car that was 'tight' at...

Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team finished 24th on Sunday. Labonte, who has competed in every Sprint Cup race at the Kansas Speedway, began the day from the 21st position. To compensate for a car that was 'tight' at the start of the race, Labonte moved to the 'high' side of the track and began to pick off the cars in front of him. When he brought his No. 43 Dodge down pit road for a green flag stop on lap 51 he was running inside the top-15. Crew chief Jeff Meendering made several air pressure and track bar adjustments to help the handling of the car, but the chassis didn't respond in a way that would allow Labonte to hold that track position. He was able to race around the top-20 cars before finishing 24th. Labonte made 87 green flag passes, which placed him 11th in the 43 car field.

"We threw a lot of adjustments at the car today, but nothing really seemed to get it to a 'neutral' condition," said Labonte. "The guys fought hard all day, the pit crew had some fast stops and we were able to salvage a decent day out of it. I think we learned a lot today about the adjustments this car needs, and doesn't need, on these intermediate tracks."

Kyle Petty and the No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge team finished 41st in Sunday's race. Petty began the race from the 22nd position, one of his better qualifying efforts of the season, and the team was confident heading into the race. When the race began, Petty radioed that he was happy with the car, but the balance needed a little help. Crew chief Stewart Cooper made air pressure adjustments, but the handling continued to deteriorate as the race progressed and relegated Petty to the 41st place finish.J

"The air pressure adjustments that we made were small, but, man, they had a huge affect on the chassis," said Petty. "That's a little strange because it has usually taken big changes to get a response out of this new chassis. We were definitely looking for a better finish after our qualifying run on Friday."

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for this weekend's 500-mile event.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kyle Petty