Richmond: Bobby Labonte race report

LABONTE FINISHES 31ST IN RACE 10 OF SPRINT CUP SERIES RICHMOND, VA. (May 2, 2009) -- Bobby Labonte and the No. 96 Ask.com team finished 31st in the Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

LABONTE FINISHES 31ST IN RACE 10 OF SPRINT CUP SERIES

RICHMOND, VA. (May 2, 2009) -- Bobby Labonte and the No. 96 Ask.com team finished 31st in the Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The effort marked the team's 10th start together in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Challenging qualifying laps on Friday left Labonte 41st for the start of Saturday night's race. Labonte took the green flag amongst a crowd of an estimated 100,000 fans and immediately began to climb positions. However, by lap 56 Labonte radioed to crew chief Ben Leslie that he was fighting a tight race car. Leslie brought the No. 96 down pit road for the first round of adjustments on lap 91.

Throughout the 400-lap race Leslie and the Ask.com team concentrated on making adjustments to the car in an effort to improve the handling of the car. Labonte's veteran-style skills kept the No. 96 out of harms way until a late-race spin at lap 344 brought Labonte down pit road for tires and additional adjustments. They would complete a 31st-place finish for the day, climbing 10 positions.

"The car was hard to turn in the center and really loose off," said Labonte. "We worked on it all night and just didn't get it where it needed to be. With the track changing throughout the night, it was just hard for Ben and the guys to help it. We've got some work to do before Darlington but I feel confident we'll unload a better car there then we did here in Richmond."

Labonte and the No. 96 Ask.com team will take the green flag once again at Darlington Raceway next weekend for the Southern 500.

-credit: hofr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte