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Bobby Labonte: "It was really important for the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team, and everyone at Petty Enterprises, to get off to a strong start to the 2008 season. Everyone knows we had a busy winter. We had to move our entire...

Bobby Labonte:

"It was really important for the No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team, and everyone at Petty Enterprises, to get off to a strong start to the 2008 season. Everyone knows we had a busy winter. We had to move our entire shop. We had to get the new car ready for a full season. We brought in a talented, young crew chief. That's a lot to take on over a couple of months. To finish well at Daytona was just what we needed. We can use that as a shot in the arm. Obviously you can't win the championship or qualify for 'The Chase' in the first month. But you can gradually gain momentum and that can sometimes be the most important factor in achieving those goals."

"During Preseason Thunder testing at California, we weren't too happy with how our car was driving. So, after the Sunday qualifying session at Daytona, we loaded up and went to test at the Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway. We really hit on some front-end geometry stuff to get the car to turn. That's one of the keys to this new car. We hope that information will transfer to California this week."

"Everyone puts a ton of effort and preparation into the Daytona 500. It is our biggest race of the season. But if you poll the garage area you'll find that everyone points to California as the real starting point to the season. These downforce tracks make up most of our schedule, so this will be an important race for the new car. We saw at Daytona that this could be one of the most competitive seasons in the history of our sport. It will be critical to your championship hopes to get these tracks figured out pretty quickly."

-credit: pe

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte