Watkins Glen: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte on racing at Watkins Glen: "This week was pretty tough, everybody's got a schedule for the week and everybody's got plans, and they were all changed because of the extra day in Pocono. We can't get those days back, but in a sport...

Bobby Labonte on racing at Watkins Glen:

"This week was pretty tough, everybody's got a schedule for the week and everybody's got plans, and they were all changed because of the extra day in Pocono. We can't get those days back, but in a sport where we can't race in the rain, there's nothing you can do about it -- you just make the best of it and move on. We didn't get the finish we'd hoped for at Pocono. We had an up-and-down day, and it was just one of those things where you could be running 30th and have the same speed as the 12th-place car sometimes. Unfortunately our day ended early, but we have to put that behind us.

"Watkins Glen is a really fast road course, where Sonoma is more of a technical course. The Glen is like the 'Daytona of road courses.' You're in the gas for a majority of your lap. You need to be able to pick up the gas as soon as you can to get down the long straights. There are a lot of passing zones and a lot of areas to make up time. The coolest part is the start of the race when we all head down into turn 1 side-by-side because that is one of the tighter corners on the whole course. I've never won on a road course, but the racing is fun and I'm certainly looking forward to this weekend. The guys have really been putting a lot of work into getting our Ford Fusion where it needs to be and I think we're getting close."

Crew chief Ben Leslie on racing at Watkins Glen:

"I think Bobby genuinely enjoys racing at road courses and it's something different for all of us. Hopefully, the weather will be nice this weekend and we'll get to qualify the DLP Ford. If we can manage a good starting position and get the No. 96 handling well for Bobby, there is no reason we won't be able to pull off a top-10 finish."

FAST FACTS

* Bobby Labonte will make his 568th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and 34th career road course start in Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen.

* ROAD COURSE STATS... In 33 Cup Series road course starts, Labonte has scored four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led 27 laps of competition in NASCAR road course races, all of which were at Watkins Glen.

* AT THE GLEN...In Labonte's 16 starts at Watkins Glen, he has achieved one pole, two top-five and six top-10 finishes. His average start at the Glen is 18.1, his average finish is 18.4.

* LAPS... Labonte has completed 1401 of 1442 (97.2%) of the laps he has attempted at Watkins Glen. He has led 27 laps there.

* ON THE TRACK...The No. 96 will again sport the black DLP paint scheme this weekend. The No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion team will bring chassis RK-662, the same Ford Fusion that Labonte raced at Sonoma earlier this season.

-credit: yr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte