Atlanta II: Bobby Labonte preview

BOBBY LABONTE ATLANTA NOTES AND QUOTES HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005 -- The following are Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 and EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Asthma...


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005 -- The following are Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 and EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Asthma Control Test (ACT) Chevrolet (NEXTEL Cup) for Joe Gibbs Racing, and the No. 47 Econo Lodge/Roadway Inn/Julie Roberts Chevrolet Silverado (Craftsman Truck Series) for Morgan-Dollar Motorsports.


* GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will display a unique message paint scheme on the No. 18 Chevrolet at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms.

* Labonte will attempt to start his 26th NEXTEL CUP race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He has won at Atlanta six times in his career: (Fall 1996, Fall 1997, Spring 1998, Fall 1999, Fall 2001, Spring 2003).

* Labonte has 12 top-five finishes and has won the Bud pole twice at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Fall 1996, Spring 1999).

* In the spring race at Atlanta, Labonte started 19th and finished 37th. He was involved in a Lap 1 accident, which caused him to go several laps down after the team had to make repairs. Then, he experienced mechanical problems with less than 10 laps remaining.

* In 2004 at Atlanta, Labonte started 10th and finished 18th in the spring and started 19th and finished 20th in the fall.

* After finishing fourth last week in Martinsville, Labonte gained one spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points standings moving from 25th to 24th. He has 3,117 points and trails 23rd-place Michael Waltrip by 20 points.

* The primary car for the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 is chassis No. 91, which Labonte used at Charlotte, where he started fifth and finished 18th, at Chicago when he started 26th and finished 13th and at Michigan where he started 18th and finished 16th. The car was involved in an accident in May during practice for the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.

* The back-up car will be No. 74, the car Labonte used to win the pole and finish fourth with in 2003 at Las Vegas. Labonte also drove the car in 2003 at California, where he finished second and at Pocono 2, where he finished 30th (engine). The car was driven in 2004 at Dover where Labonte started 18th and finished 25th in the spring and started sixth and finished 14th in the fall. Labonte also used the car in August at Bristol where he started 19th and finished 16th and in November at Darlington when he started 15th and finished ninth. The car was used in 2005 at both Bristol races, where Labonte finished 22nd (accident) and 21st. He also used the car in the fall race at Dover where is started 28th and finished 32nd.


* Labonte will attempt to start his second Craftsman Truck Series event at Atlanta and the eighth truck race of his career. He finished second in the spring truck race at AMS losing to Ron Hornaday by just .008 of a second, the closest superspeedway finish in series history and the third-closest overall.

* Labonte scored his first career Craftsman Truck Series win in April at Martinsville, becoming the 12th driver to win in all three of NASCAR's top divisions. Fifteen drivers have now accomplished that feat.

* Labonte has four Craftsman Truck Series starts in 2005. In addition to his win at Martinsville, and his second-place at Atlanta, he was in the top-10 with less 10 laps to go in the June truck race at historic Michigan International Speedway, but was involved in a multi-truck accident and finished 32nd. All three of those races were in the No. 47 Chevrolet for Morgan Dollar Motorsports. He finished 22nd in the fall race at Martinsville driving the No. 16 Chevrolet for Xpress Motorsports.

* In 2004, Labonte finished third in the fall race at Martinsville and finished 29th in the season-finale at Homestead after suffering a mechanical problem. His only other Truck Series start came in 1996 at Phoenix when he finished 34th after mechanical problems ended is day early.


BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Asthma Control Test (ACT) Chevrolet, 2000 NASCAR Champion, 1991 Busch Series Champion): "Hopefully we can capitalize on a good week last week at Martinsville. We're going to try to finish out the year strong. We had a great run in the truck race at Atlanta back in the spring, so hopefully we can be a few inches ahead this time. We've had a lot of success at Atlanta, but struggled in the Cup car since the last win in 2003. We just haven't had the finishes we've wanted."


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Michael Waltrip , Ron Hornaday Jr.
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing