Atlanta: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte: "I'm pleased with the way the season has started for this No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team. We've probably let some chances for better finishes slip through our fingers. A couple of positions here and there would be nice...

Bobby Labonte:

"I'm pleased with the way the season has started for this No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team. We've probably let some chances for better finishes slip through our fingers. A couple of positions here and there would be nice to have back. But we're top-15 in points and we're coming to a part of the schedule where we can make up a lot of ground. Atlanta is this weekend and there isn't a better place for us to get back inside the top-12. We had a good car at Las Vegas last week and I think we will have an even better race on Sunday."

"It's no secret that Atlanta is one of my favorite racetracks. It fits my driving style well and I'm fortunate that I've been in some great racecars there over the years. Atlanta is an 'edge' racetrack where you are constantly up on the wheel. I like that because that puts the racing in the hands of the drivers. My favorite feature, though, would have to be the multiple grooves. You can always find an area of the track where your car will work. I think that's the main reason why the racing at Atlanta is at the top of the list for drivers and fans."

"One of the keys to the early success of our team has to be the work of the "Helping Hands" pit crew. We didn't have much turnover from last year and that's what you need to build a successful crew. If you look at the top teams on pit road, they have been together for several years now. That model is starting to pay off for us. It's nice to come down pit road and know that your pit crew will keep your track position. This sport is so competitive that races can be won and lost by what goes on during pit stops."

* Labonte leads all active drivers in wins at Atlanta with six. He had back-to-back wins there in the fall of 1997 and spring of 1998. The track also tops the driver's list for most top-5s with 12.

* Labonte participated in a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta in early December.

* Along with being the active wins leader at AMS, Labonte also holds the track's Sprint Cup race record of 159.904, set in 1997

* The driver has started from the pole on two occasions at the track, in 1996 when he won and in 1999 when he finished second.

* Labonte has raced at Atlanta 30 times and has scored a top-10 finish in 43.3% of his visits to the track. His average start at AMS is 16.7 and average finish is 16.4.

* Of a possible 9,601 laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Labonte has completed 8,861 (92.3%) including 958 laps led

-credit: pe

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte