Petty, Labonte In Favor of All-Star Race Petty A Fan Favorite; Labonte Always a Threat at Lowe's The all-star weekend began in 1985. It has been held at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in the city Concord, N.C, every year except 1986...
Petty, Labonte In Favor of All-Star Race
Petty A Fan Favorite; Labonte Always a Threat at Lowe's
The all-star weekend began in 1985. It has been held at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in the city Concord, N.C, every year except 1986 when Atlanta Motor Speedway was the venue.
Kyle Petty has been a part of some of the more memorable all-star race moments. In 1992, the first all-star race held under the lights, Petty finished second to the late Davey Allison in one of the most spectacular finish's to the race. In 2006 Petty, who is a fan favorite, was the recipient of the Nextel Fan Vote, where fans select the final driver to start the race. This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 team head to the track with Coke Zero on board. Petty, a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, will debut the Coke Zero Dodge this weekend in the Nextel Open and will also compete in it next weekend at the Coca-Cola 600.
Bobby Labonte has been a part of 12 All-Star Challenges. He will be one of the most experienced players on the track Saturday night. Labonte has two poles for the All-Star race and has finished runner-up in 1997 and 1998. Labonte has finished inside the top 10 seven times in this race.
Competing weekly from February to November across the country, every week the best 43 drivers and teams race. So, does NASCAR need an All-Star race?
Kyle Petty, Driver #45 Coke Zero Dodge:
"You know, with the limited testing rules in place now in NASCAR, the Open is approached in different ways. Some people use it as a test and others are dead set on trying to get into the all-star race. In the past, teams have brought one car just for the all-star weekend and another one for the Coca-Cola 600, or vice versa. People approach it in different ways and it really boils down to the team's decisions."
"But, yea, I think we need an All-Star race. The Nextel All-Star challenge is great for the fans. Just to have one week when Nextel comes in and puts on one race is entertaining, so from that perspective, yea, it's good to have a weekend like this. But does NASCAR need an all-star race? Well, as far as I am concerned every week is an all-star race. I think that is the best part of NASCAR and the Nextel Cup Series. Every week there are 43 all-star teams out on the track racing."
Bobby Labonte, Driver #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge:
"I've been a part of 12 of these things and each one has been pretty exciting. Does that mean we need one? I don't know the right answer, but probably. It's good for the fans and it gives everyone something different. The format is different, the payout is different and the driver's attitude on the track is probably different too. I've tried to take care of my stuff and get the best result possible. You can learn some things for the next week, but everyone wants to win too. It's cool to win races and this is still a race.
"It's good for a lot of people that it's in Charlotte. It's close for the teams. That's good. The track is just a good of place as any to host this race too. It's a fast track and it's always pretty exciting. The format makes the teams think about strategy and different things. It's pretty cool to have. You just have to have fun with it."