BUSCH: Charlotte Shell Pontiac Preview

BOBBY LABONTE AND SHELL TEAM LOOK TO KEEP STREAK GOING LABONTE/SHELL ONE FOR ONE IN 1998 NASCAR BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL COMPETITION CHARLOTTE, NC - Bobby Labonte and the ...

BOBBY LABONTE AND SHELL TEAM LOOK TO KEEP STREAK GOING LABONTE/SHELL ONE FOR ONE IN 1998 NASCAR BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL COMPETITION

CHARLOTTE, NC - Bobby Labonte and the #44 Shell Pontiac team have a perfect record in 1998 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Competition. They are one win for one entry at Darlington in March. Labonte looks to keep the streak going when he substitutes for teammate Tony Stewart in the May 23 Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Stewart is unable to drive the Shell Pontiac at Charlotte due to the contractual commitment he has with Menard Racing to compete in the Indianapolis 500.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of driving the Shell Pontiac in the Busch race at Charlotte,” said Labonte. “It’s one of my favorite tracks. We have had some great runs there over the past few years. I want to wish Tony the best of luck at Indy. He’s really in position to win the Indianapolis 500. It would be tremendous for both of us to bring home a victory this weekend.

“So far this year we are one for one in the Busch Series with the win at Darlington. We’ve had a couple of second place finishes at Charlotte, but haven’t won here in the Busch race. It would be a strong statement about the capability of the Shell crew to win this race. They just had a solid second place finish with Tony in New Hampshire. Our goal is to continue that momentum with a good run at Charlotte.”

“It’s an easy transition for us to have Bobby drive the Shell Pontiac,” said Bryant Frazier, Shell team crew chief. “We were fortunate to win the Darlington Busch race and would like to add Charlotte to our list of wins. Bobby has won the Charlotte Winston Cup race so it is clear he knows the track. Last fall, he and Tony had a great race there with good finishes. We feel we are in position for another strong run and have the potential to bring home the victory for Shell, Pontiac and Joe Gibbs Racing. We will all be pulling for Tony at Indy and wish him the best of luck. If we can win the Charlotte Busch race, that could be a good omen for him on Sunday in the Indianapolis 500.”

Prior to this season, Labonte was the owner/driver of the Shell-sponsored team running a limited BGN schedule. Following the sale of the team to Joe Gibbs Racing, Shell Oil Company made the decision to continue as the primary sponsor for 1998.

Labonte has nine NASCAR BGN victories to his credit. He has garnered 47 top- five and 86 top-ten finishes and was crowned the series champion in 1991. In previous Charlotte Motor Speedway competition, Labonte has four top-five finishes, his best being two second place finishes.

Shell is an associate sponsor of Labonte’s #18 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Winston Cup car. Currently ranked ninth in the Winston Cup point standings, Labonte has captured two victories in 1998, Atlanta and Talladega.

        The Carquest Auto Parts 300 is scheduled for Saturday, May 23 beginning at
1:00 p.m. (EDT).  The race will be broadcast live by TBS and PRN radio.

SHELL OIL PRE-RACE FACT SHEET AND DRIVER QUOTES

WHO:                        Joe Gibbs Racing/Shell Oil Products Company Pontiac
                             Driver:  Bobby Labonte - Crew Chief:  Bryant Frazier

WHAT: CARQUEST AUTO PARTS 300 200 Laps/300 Miles Race 12 of 31 - NASCAR Busch Grand National Series WHEN: May 20 -23, 1998

WHERE: Charlotte Motor Speedway - 1.5 Mile Speedway Concord, NC

SHELL DRIVER QUOTES: Bobby Labonte “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of driving the Shell Pontiac in the Busch race at Charlotte,” said Labonte. “It’s one of my favorite tracks. We have had some great runs there over the past few years. I want to wish Tony the best of luck at Indy. He’s really in position to win the Indianapolis 500. It would be tremendous for both of us to bring home a victory this weekend.

“So far this year we are one for one in the Busch Series with the win at Darlington. We’ve had a couple of second place finishes at Charlotte, but haven’t won here in the Busch race. It would be a strong statement about the capability of the Shell crew to win this race. They just had a solid second place finish with Tony in New Hampshire. Our goal is to continue that momentum with a good run at Charlotte.” SHELL CREW CHIEF QUOTES: Bryant Frazier: “It’s an easy transition for us to have Bobby drive the Shell Pontiac. We were fortunate to win the Darlington Busch race and would like to add Charlotte to our list of wins. Bobby has won the Charlotte Winston Cup race so it is clear he knows the track. Last fall, he and Tony had a great race there with good finishes. We feel we are in position for another strong run and have the potential to bring home the victory for Shell, Pontiac and Joe Gibbs Racing. We will all be pulling for Tony at Indy and wish him the best of luck. If we can win the Charlotte Busch race, that could be a good omen for him on Sunday in the Indianapolis 500.”

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing