Labonte Races TaxSlayer.com Chevy to 33rd Place at MIS Brooklyn, Mich., (Aug. 15, 2010) - Bobby Labonte drove the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS to a 33rd place finish in today's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CarFax 400 at...
Labonte Races TaxSlayer.com Chevy to 33rd Place at MIS
Brooklyn, Mich., (Aug. 15, 2010) - Bobby Labonte drove the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS to a 33rd place finish in today's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CarFax 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS).
71 TaxSlayer.com MIS Labonte had an uncharacteristic 40th place qualifying run on Friday. The team, headed by crew chief Dan Stillman, made a big change for the one lap qualifying run that didn't work out as planned. In the race Labonte and the red TaxSlayer.com crew were able to adjust on the TRG Motorsports prepared Chevy to run consistently in the top 30, with brushes in the top 20. The team chased a changing track that witnessed cloud cover as well as extreme sun in 93-plus degree heat.
"The car was not really much better in the race than qualifying," Labonte said. "It was really loose today. The right rear air pressure kept building up and we were fighting for grip. The track was the hottest it has been all weekend. We needed rear grip. The car was a little better with the cloud cover. We made one adjustment and that was ok, and then we were going to make two adjustments on one stop and we were only able to make the one. We then had a long green run, which set us back in the running. We were basically a stop behind. We just kept getting loose. The rear sway bar was a miserable thing for us today."
The team thought that they had built in enough adjustability into the car for the race.
"We thought we left enough adjustability in the car after qualifying, but we really didn't. At the beginning of a run for about five laps I would run with the pack I was in, but ten laps in it would really start to drop off, by nearly two seconds. The rear bar was killing the right rear tire all day. We just couldn't make that rear bar work today."
Kevin Buckler, team principal, had his team chasing the track and the set-up during the race today.
"We didn't have the best qualifying run," Buckler said. "The guys tried a big change and it just didn't work on the time sheet. We thought we had built in enough adjustability for the race, but it turns out we just missed it with the rear bar. Dan and the guys kept throwing adjustments at it, but we just couldn't get it to run fast over a long run. I like the way the team persevered during the race to try and get it better, but we will add this to our notebook and move on to Bristol next week."
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Irwin Tools Night Race on Saturday, August 21.
-source: trg motorsports