Birmingham: Doran Racing qualifying report

Labonte Qualifies 16th Saturday In Doran Labonte Racing's Daytona USA Pontiac No. 44 At Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 30 - Bobby Labonte qualified 16th Saturday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park for tomorrow's Porsche 250...

Labonte Qualifies 16th Saturday In Doran Labonte Racing's Daytona USA Pontiac No. 44 At Barber Motorsports Park

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 30 - Bobby Labonte qualified 16th Saturday afternoon at Barber Motorsports Park for tomorrow's Porsche 250 Rolex series race presented by the law firm Bradley Arant.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup star was behind the wheel of the Doran Labonte Racing Daytona USA DORAN JE4 Pontiac No. 44 that he usually shares with his brother Terry. This weekend Roberto Moreno is substituting for the latter due to a scheduling conflict.

Labonte's qualifying time was 1:24.018 for an average speed of 98.550 mph for the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road course.

"We picked up a second from where I was running in practice, so that was a pretty good improvement," Labonte said after qualifying. "I wish I was a little better, but it's a starting spot. It's still understeering, but I'm learning to live with it."

Labonte added that having Moreno on board this weekend has been a big help. "He has a lot more experience with these cars and with road racing in general than I do," he said. "As far as the set-up goes, whatever Roberto wants to do, I'm fine with that."

Ironically the youngest driver in the field, 16-year-old Colin Braun, will share row eight with Labonte for the start of tomorrow's race. Both Labonte and Moreno enjoyed chatting with Braun and his teammate, 17-year-old Brad Coleman, when they were seated next to them at an autograph session Saturday morning at the track. The teens were thrilled to be mingling with such accomplished racers, and Labonte and Moreno got a kick out of the teens. Moreno even wore one of their team T-shirts in the pits while Labonte was qualifying.

In the final practice session before qualifying the No. 44 did a 1:24.067 (98.493 mph) for 14th place out of the 46 cars entered in Sunday's race.

A 15-minute warm-up is slated for 9:40 a.m. tomorrow and then the 250-mile/109-lap/two-hour-and-45-minute race is scheduled to start at noon.

The race is scheduled to be televised on SPEED beginning at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow.

-DR-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Roberto Moreno , Colin Braun , Brad Coleman
Teams Doran Racing