Atlanta II: Bobby Labonte race report

Labonte Drives TaxSlayer.com Chevy to 31st in Atlanta Hampton, Georgia, (Sept. 5, 2010) - Bobby Labonte drove the TRG Motorsports No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS to a 31st place finish in tonight's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup...

Labonte Drives TaxSlayer.com Chevy to 31st in Atlanta

Hampton, Georgia, (Sept. 5, 2010) - Bobby Labonte drove the TRG Motorsports No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevrolet Impala SS to a 31st place finish in tonight's running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bobby Labonte Labonte started the 500-mile race from his 12th row qualifying position. The TRG Motorsports boys had continued to work on the set-up of the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy after qualifying. With a strong qualifying effort Labonte still thought the red Chevy was too tight in the turns.

"We were too tight all day Saturday, even in qualifying," Labonte said. "Dan (Stillman, crew chief) and I decided to loosen the car up for the race, maybe we went too far. The car was really loose from the drop of the green flag. I was able to maybe get five good laps and then the handling would drop-off."

As the evening wore on the track temperatures were as much as 20-degrees cooler compared to what the team witnessed during practice and qualifying on Saturday.

"The guys were ready. We knew we had to build in a lot of adjustability into the car to make sure we could chase the track. I think we put in two spring rubbers, took the track bar all the way down and even made a heavy sway-bar adjustment at the end just to try something. The car was real free on the bottom and I was doing a lot of sliding all night. I think we should have left the set-up pretty much where we ended practice on Saturday. That was really the best the car handled all weekend."

TaxSlayer Chevy ATL night Kevin Buckler, team principal, had the team working every pit stop.

"Dan had the guys making multiple adjustments each pit stop," Buckler said. "We were making air pressure adjustments, wedge in, wedge out, we even took a big swing at it at the end to try and learn something. After practice and in qualifying we thought we were headed in the right direction with the set-up. We had much cooler race temperatures than practice. We are doing exactly what we need to be doing - making exponential gains on our learning curve. Even though the finishing position wasn't what we wanted, I like the way the team performed this weekend."

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will move onto Richmond International Raceway for the Air Guard 400 to be run on Saturday, September 11.

-source: trg motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kevin Buckler
Teams TRG Motorsports