HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 -- The following are Daytona 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing: DAYTONA 500 PRE-RACE NOTES: *...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005 -- The following are Daytona 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing:
DAYTONA 500 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will start his 13th Daytona 500. His best finish is second in 1998, the year he won his only Bud Pole for the Daytona 500.
* In 12 starts in the Daytona 500, Labonte has one top five (second, 1998) and only one other finish in the top 10 (sixth, 2000).
* In 2004, Labotne started 13th and finished 11th in the Daytona 500. It marked his best finish, and the first time he'd completed all 200 laps, since 2000.
* On Feb. 12, 2005, Labonte started 19th and finished 10th in the Bud Shootout. Labonte was as high as fourth with four laps to go, before getting shuffled back and finishing 10th.
* In 34 NEXTEL Cup starts at Daytona (Bud Shootout, Daytona 500, Pepsi 400), Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. He finished second in the Daytona 500 and Pepsi 400 in 1998.
* The primary car for the Daytona 500 will be chassis No. 95, a new car that has not been used in a race before. The backup car will be chassis No. 72, the car Labonte drove to 10th place with at Talladega on April 25, 2004 and the car he used in the Bud Shootout last weekend.
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "We had a pretty good run in the Shootout the other night. We weren't real happy with the finish, but felt pretty good about how we ran. I think we learned some things that will help us. We want to do well in the qualifying races on the Thursday and try to get ourselves a good starting spot for Sunday. The Daytona 500 is a huge race -- it's the biggest race of the year, so to get a win and add it to my resume was be pretty cool. That said, we'd really like to start of the season right and make sure we don't struggle like we did last year."