JTG Daugherty Racing press release
SIX-TIME ATLANTA WINNER LABONTE GLAD TO BE BACK AT ONE OF HIS FAVORITE TRACKS
GRIFFIN, Ga. (September 1, 2011) - - Six of Bobby Labonte’s 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins have taking place at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he will race the No. 47 Bush’s Beans Toyota Camry for JTG Daugherty Racing in the AdvoCare 500 this Labor Day weekend. Labonte leads all active drivers in wins at Atlanta.
Atlanta Motor Speedway was the site for one of Labonte’s most memorable NASCAR moments. In 1996, it was his second full-time season with Joe Gibbs Racing and he had won three races the year prior. He was hungry for a win and it was his final chance as the curtain was closing on the season at Atlanta. Labonte was able to keep guys like Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon at bay to claim the victory while his older brother Terry clinched his second championship.
“We were still trying to win our first race of the year,” Bobby Labonte said about his Joe Gibbs Racing team that was on the pole for the NAPA 500. “Terry and I talked the night before about a playbook and letting him lead a lap to get bonus points. We thought how cool would it be for me to win the race and Terry win the championship. We did and it was quite a day. To have Joe (Gibbs), Rick (Hendrick), Terry, myself, mom and dad in victory lane, well, that’s about as good as it gets.”
“Terry’s first championship in 1984, I went to the banquet as a crew member (catch-can man),” Labonte continued. “So, when we went back to New York for the banquet in 1996, it was a moment of recollection for me. I was just excited to be a part of it all.”
The younger Labonte has enjoyed his fare share of success winning the championship in 2000 thanks to core values and family of origin impacting his career.
“Over the years, Terry helped me out a ton and he was a person I could talk to when we raced together in Cup - - there was never a rivalry,” Labonte said. “My family taught me a lot. Terry, mom and dad showed me how to handle myself in situations. They taught me how to present and stand up for myself and be dedicated. All of us have dedicated our lives to racing.”
Labonte has 115 top-five and 201 top-10 finishes and 26 poles in his career in addition to his wins. At Atlanta, his accolades include the six wins, along with two pole awards, 12 top-five and 13 top-10s in 36 attempts at the track.
“I love Atlanta and that’s no secret,” Labonte said. “It suits my driving style well and I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of races there. It’s good to be back.”