Bobby Labonte to have special scheme at Daytona

Interstate Batteries Chevy To Carry "Passion" Scheme At Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Friday, Feb. 6, 2004 -- A special paint scheme featuring the movie "The Passion of the Christ" will be displayed on the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet...

Interstate Batteries Chevy To Carry "Passion" Scheme At Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Friday, Feb. 6, 2004 -- A special paint scheme featuring the movie "The Passion of the Christ" will be displayed on the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for the 2004 Daytona 500 officials from Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing and Icon Productions announced Feb. 6.

Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR champion, is the driver of the car.

The movie, which tells the story of last 12 hours of Jesus Christ's life, opens in theaters on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25. Mel Gibson produced and directed the film, which features Jim Caviezel in the lead role as Jesus Christ.

"This outstanding movie factually portrays the most important 12 hours in history," said Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries. "We are privileged to be a part of its promotion to the world. Besides that, it may well be the number one box office attraction of the year. I certainly hope so."

Gibson has starred in movies such as "Lethal Weapon" and "The Patriot," He also won two Academy Awards® for producing, directing and starring in "Braveheart," the best picture of year for 1995.

Caviezel is no stranger to automobile racing. In 2002, he drove the 50th Anniversary Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car at the beginning of the 86th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

"I look forward to meeting Bobby Labonte and his team in the pits," Caviezel said. "As a driver and lead actor, we have a lot in common -- while the focus may be on us as individuals, we work for visionary owners and are backed by a tremendous cast and crew."

Labonte will be competing in his 12th Daytona 500 and scored a career-best second-place finish in 1998 behind Dale Earnhardt.

"I know Norm Miller is a big supporter of the film, so it's very exciting for him to have the "Passion" paint scheme on the Interstate Batteries car," Labonte said. "Jim Caviezel will be in our pit on race day, so, hopefully, we can bring him a win in the Daytona 500."

The paint scheme featuring "The Passion of the Christ" will help kick off the 13th year that Interstate Batteries has served as primary sponsor on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car. JGR won the 1993 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett as the driver and team has scored 40 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup wins.

"We are excited to partner with Norm Miller and Interstate Batteries in having "The Passion of the Christ" on our race car for the Daytona 500," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We have a great amount of appreciation and respect for Mel Gibson and all the work he and Jim Caviezel have done to bring this powerful story of Jesus to theaters."

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing