Fontana: Bobby Labonte preview

BOBBY LABONTE AUTO CLUB 500 NOTES AND QUOTES HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 -- The following are Auto Club 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs ...

BOBBY LABONTE AUTO CLUB 500 NOTES AND QUOTES

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, Feb. 21, 2005 -- The following are Auto Club 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing:

AUTO CLUB 500 PRE-RACE NOTES:

^ÕLabonte will attempt to start his 10th NEXTEL Cup race at California Speedway. He finished second at Fontana in 2000 and 2003, third in 1999 and fifth in the 2004 spring race. He won the Bud Pole for the 2001 event at California.

^ÕIn the May 2004 event at California Speedway, Labonte started 27th and finished fifth. Labonte was in second place on the final lap when he ran out of fuel. He coasted to the finish line in fifth-place. In the September race, he started 37th and finished 20th.

^ÕLabonte suffered engine failure on Lap 14 of the season-opening Daytona 500. He finished 43rd, his worst NEXTEL Cup finish since the NAPA 500 on Nov. 8, 1998.

^ÕThe primary chassis for the Auto Club 500 will be chassis No. 87. In 2004, Labonte drove the car to second place at Darlington (spring) and won the Bud Pole with the car April 2 at Texas. He finished fifth with the car May 2 at California, eighth June 20 at Michigan International Speedway, 13th May 30 at Charlotte, 15th Aug. 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and 18th July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. On Oct. 14, Labonte crashed the car during practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In the fall Atlanta race, Labonte used the car to start 19th and finish 20th. He also used the car at the fall race at Atlanta in 2003, where he started second and finished fifth.

^ÕThe back-up car will be chassis No. 91, a new car that has not been used in a race before.

***

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "Obviously, we want to get back on track after what happened at Daytona. We had a productive test out at California last month and, hopefully, we can rebound from last week. We've had some success at Fontana, but have never won there. It's a lot like Michigan, which is a track I really like, but the banking is a little less at California. I like the racetrack and, hopefully, we'll have some success there this week."

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing