Bobby Labonte Looking for Another Strong Finish in No. 47 Chevrolet All Star Silverado
2000 NASCAR Cup Champion Teams with Rodeway Inn/Econo Lodge and Trick Pony for Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway Statesville, NC - For the second time in 2005, 2000 NASCAR Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be the "All Star" driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet Silverado fielded by Morgan Dollar Motorsports. The April 9th Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway will mark Labonte's second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the famed Southern Virginia short track.
In his first 2005 NCTS start, Labonte finished second by a mere eight thousandths of a second to fellow Team Silverado driver Ron Hornaday at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 18, 2005. The fender-rubbing, crowd-pleasing finish was the third closest in series' history. As he crawled out of the No. 47 Chevrolet All Star Silverado at Atlanta Motor Speedway after finishing second by just eight thousandths of a second to fellow Team Silverado driver Ron Hornaday, he told Randy Goss (Crew Chief) he could hardly wait until Martinsville,
"We had a ball at Atlanta," said Labonte. "I am really getting the hang of driving this Silverado. We finished third last fall at Martinsville and I would say we have a solid shot at a better run this race.
"David Dollar (team owner), Randy Goss (crew chief) and the entire crew at Morgan Dollar Motorsports have put together a winning effort for this No. 47 Silverado. We are going to give it all we have to get them to victory lane this time."
Teaming with Labonte at Martinsville will be the Econo Lodge ® and Rodeway Inn® hotel brands, part of Choice Hotels International's family of hotels. Rodeway Inn hotels offer attractive rooms at a great savings at over 150 locations. Complimentary Always Fresh. Rodeway ® breakfast, plus free local calls and free local weekday newspapers or USA TODAY provide added value to guests. Econo Lodge hotels offer guests good clean comfort. With almost 800 convenient locations, Econo Lodge® and Econo Lodge Inn & Suites® feature affordable rates and its breakfast by Econo Lodge complimentary continental breakfast.
The "Celebrity" part of the special paint scheme will feature the country music star trio, Trick Pony. The top-selling vocal group will be on hand at Martinsville to kick off the race with their rendition of the National Anthem and cheer Labonte and the team to victory lane.
As one of America's most energetic, hard working and orneriest barroom-rockin', butt-kickin', hard-core honky-tonk band, Trick Pony has done all that.and they're still doing it. With two albums under their belt they have earned Awards from both Academy of Country Music and the American Music Awards.
Drawn together in ways that only the tightest of bands can understand, nobody puts on a show like these three -- Ira Dean, Keith Burns, and Heidi Newfield. Certainly no "one" woman put on a show like Heidi before she crashed onto the scene -- from her head-first stage dives, to body-surfing into the audience, to hitting the bar for one fast shot before returning in time to hit the next verse.
"It is a testimony to the strength of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the entire Chevrolet Silverado effort when you are able to get support from an organization the caliber of Rodeway Inn/Econo Lodge," Labonte concluded. "Having a high-energy, no-holes-barred group like Trick Pony on the side of our truck couldn't be more perfect for the Martinsville race."
"We know our guests love NASCAR and country music, so we're very excited at having the Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands work with great partners like the Chevy Silverado All-Stars," said Jim Dominey, director of programs and promotions for Choice Hotels.
"NASCAR reaches folks across America, just like the Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands. It's all about experiences, and I can't think of a better experience for a Saturday afternoon in April than a NASCAR race at Martinsville," added Dominey.
Choice Hotels International is the world's second largest lodging franchisor, marketing more than 5,000 hotels open or under development in over 40 countries and territories under the Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn brand names. For more information on Choice, visit the company's Web site at www.choicehotels.com
Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, MainStay Suites, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Always Fresh.Rodeway and choicehotels.com are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International, Inc.
Practice for the Kroger 250 is scheduled for Friday morning, April 8, 2005. Qualifying will begin at approximately 4:45 PM with the trucks starting the race impounded until race time on Saturday.
The green flag is schedule to fly at 1:15 PM EDT with live television coverage provided by SPEED Channel. Both MRN Radio and XM Satellite Radio will bring the action live to fans over the airwaves.
Chevrolet Silverado and Morgan-Dollar Motorsports teamed to bring the All Star program to fans at seven NCTS events during the 2004 season-with several more to follow in 2005. At each event, the No. 47 featured a special paint scheme showcasing a prominent musical artist and was driven by a Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver. The 2004 driver lineup included: Michael Waltrip/Sheryl Crow, Charlotte; Robby Gordon/George Thorogood, Bristol; Tony Stewart/Sara Evans, Richmond; Ricky Craven/LeAnn Rimes, New Hampshire; Bobby Labonte/Josh Turner, Martinsville; Ron Hornaday/Big and Rich, Phoenix and Jason Leffler/Joe Nichols, Darlington.