Daytona II: Petty Enterprises race report

Kyle Busch continued his dominant 2008 season as he picked up his sixth victory in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, which ended under a caution period. After spinning early in the race, Busch and Carl Edwards...

Kyle Busch continued his dominant 2008 season as he picked up his sixth victory in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the Daytona International Speedway, which ended under a caution period. After spinning early in the race, Busch and Carl Edwards were side-by-side when the final caution came out. Busch was awarded the victory after several reviews.

Daytona has produced some of the closest finishes in NASCAR history and Saturday night was no different. Several late-race caution periods forced the race into a "green-white-checkered" finish. When yet another caution came out in "overtime", the race was over and Busch was awarded the victory after a video review showed that he was ahead of Edwards at the moment the caution light was illuminated.

Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Cheerios Racing Dodge team came home 13th in Saturday's event. B. Labonte started the race from the 20th position. He radioed to crew chief Jeff Meendering early in the race that his car was "tight," especially coming off turn two. After several air pressure adjustments B. Labonte radioed that his car could run just about any line on the track and he began to show the rest of the field that he had a fast car. As the track surface began to "tighten" up the No. 43 Dodge did as well. More aggressive adjustments were made and the car went from the "tight" side to the "loose" side. Meendering gradually brought the car back to a "neutral" condition and B. Labonte was able to pass a lot of cars in the lower line to finish with a solid top-20.

"Well, we missed all the wrecks and that's something in itself," said B. Labonte. "Those last 15-20 laps was about the wildest I have been a part of. We were pretty good at the start of the race but the track just tightened up on us. We made some adjustments and the car just swung the other way. We've seen that a lot this year. You make fairly easy adjustments and the car just goes from tight to loose. It's hard to find a neutral. But Jeff and everyone did a great job and it was a good point's night for us.

Terry Labonte and the No. 45 Richard Petty Driving Experience Dodge team finished the race in a very respectable 16th position. T. Labonte's race mirrored his brother Bobby's in several ways. He could get through the corners of the 2.5-mile speedway as good as anyone early in the race. However, his No. 45 Dodge also "tightened" up when the racing surface itself began to do the same. Crew chief Stewart Cooper made several wedge and track bar adjustments and the car turned quickly to a "loose" condition. T. Labonte had to use pit road and the infield grass to dodge several of the late race wrecks, but he kept his car fairly clean and gave the team a solid point's day.

"I had a great view for most of that late-race excitement because it seemed like everything was happening right in front of me," said T. Labonte. "It got pretty crazy out there. I had to use up about every square inch of this place to get around some of those wrecks. But we had a good car and everyone on pit road did great. I would have liked to have had more green flag laps than yellow there at the end because I think we could have challenged for a top-10."

-credit: pe

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Richard Petty , Carl Edwards , Kyle Busch