Hall of Fame Racing Announces 2006 Driver Lineup Terry Labonte and Tony Raines to Co-Drive ...
Hall of Fame Racing Announces 2006 Driver Lineup
Terry Labonte and Tony Raines to Co-Drive #96 DLP® HDTV Chevrolet
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 3, 2005) - In a press conference today at Texas Motor Speedway, Hall of Fame Racing announced that Terry Labonte and Tony Raines will co-drive the #96 DLP® HDTV Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2006.
Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion and 22-time Nextel Cup race winner, will campaign the #96 DLP HDTV car in seven races, while Raines, the 1996 champion of the American Speed Association (ASA) and 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year, will drive the #96 DLP HDTV machine in 29 races.
"This is a milestone day for Hall of Fame Racing," said Bill Saunders, managing partner of Hall of Fame Racing. "Terry and Tony bring a wealth of experience to our race team, and on behalf of the team's partners - Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman - we couldn't be happier with the selection.
"As part of our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing, we were able to use their expertise in selecting our drivers. Terry's and Tony's names were at the top of the list, and it's a privilege to have both of them in our race cars representing DLP HDTV and Hall of Fame Racing."
"Terry is a veteran racer and a champion and Tony is an excellent driver who has done more with less in the equipment he's been in," added Philippe Lopez, crew chief for Hall of Fame Racing.
"Terry brings three things to the table. He brings leadership, credibility and familiarity. Our cars will come from Joe Gibbs Racing, and Terry drove for them in five races this year. There's a comfort level already built into our program, which will make the transition from Terry being behind the wheel to Tony that much smoother.
"Tony gives excellent feedback with common sense suggestions," continued Lopez. "I had a chance to work with him a few years ago and the chemistry was there. We know he can drive when he has good equipment. He's been able to take cars that some people probably questioned how he even made the race with and knocked down some top-20s. He's done a lot with a little, but now he has the equipment to match his capabilities."
Labonte will compete in the season-opening Daytona 500 and the four following races at Fontana (Calif.), Las Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol (Tenn.), as well as the two road course races at Sonoma (Calif.) and Watkins Glen (N.Y.). Raines will be the driver at all of the remaining Nextel Cup point races, including the non-point Nextel Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
"My focus is on driving the car," said Labonte, who is essentially on loan to Hall of Fame Racing from Hendrick Motorsports, for whom Labonte will compete in 10 other races. "I know how the car should feel as far as getting it set-up. That's something that's tough for someone without a lot of Nextel Cup experience, because it's hard to know what your car needs to feel like for 500 miles.
"I've known Tony for several years and this is a great opportunity for him because I think this will honestly be the first time that he's ever been with a top-notch team. With me running some of the races, he can come in there and have a lot of confidence and be a real part of the team even while I'm driving the car.
"There's a lot that goes into a team and what makes it work," said Labonte. "Sometimes it's good to be standing on the edge taking everything in. It will be beneficial for him to see how I interact with the crew when it's his turn to get in the car. This is a really good situation."
"I'm a big Terry Labonte fan," said Tony Raines, who in addition to his ASA and Busch Series accolades has four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins. "To have someone to lean on is going to help me and it's going to help the team.
"I've worked really hard at making it to this level and I feel very fortunate that I've stuck with it and now have an opportunity to run in the Cup Series with an association with Joe Gibbs Racing. Running their engines, their equipment and being able to use their people is something a lot of drivers wish they had.
"I'm very thankful that Roger, Bill, Troy and Philippe saw what I've known all along - that I can compete and succeed at this level given the right equipment and the right people," added Raines. "I know Texas Instruments is excited and the team is excited, but I'm really excited. I'm back in contention to win races. As a race car driver, that's all you want to do. Success in this sport is about the relationships you make and the relationships you keep. This team has some of the best relationships in the business, and I'm proud to be a part of Hall of Fame Racing."
Relationships are why Texas Instruments signed on with Hall of Fame Racing to represent the DLP HDTV brand.
"Between strong ownership in Roger Staubach, Bill Saunders and Troy Aikman, along with the team's strategic alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and smart drivers in Terry Labonte and Tony Raines, we feel that this partnership allows us to make DLP HDTV a recognized brand for the motorsports enthusiast, and for the sports enthusiast in general," said John Van Scoter, senior vice-president of Texas Instruments and general manager of DLP products. "DLP HDTVs will let NASCAR fans see the races with incredible color and speed precision, which is why we're here today and in the years to come with Hall of Fame Racing.
"We're extremely proud to have Terry Labonte and Tony Raines representing DLP HDTV and Texas Instruments. They'll ensure that our on-track product is as good as our own DLP HDTV product."
About Texas Instruments DLP Products
Texas Instruments DLP display technology offers clarity down to the most minute detail, delivering pictures rich with color and brightness to large-screen HDTVs and projectors for business, home, professional venue and digital cinema (DLP Cinema®). Seventy-five of the world's top projection and display manufacturers design, manufacture and market products based on DLP technology. At the heart of every DLP chip is an array of up to 2 million microscopic mirrors which switch incredibly fast to create a high resolution, highly reliable, full-color image. DLP technology's chip architecture and inherent speed advantage provides razor-sharp images and excellent reproduction of fast-motion video. Since early 1996, more than 7 million DLP subsystems have been shipped. For more information, please visit www.dlp.com. DLP is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments.
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