Indianapolis: Bobby Labonte preview

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004 -- The following are Brickyard 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. BRICKYARD 400 PRE-RACE NOTES: Labonte will ...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004 -- The following are Brickyard 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.

BRICKYARD 400 PRE-RACE NOTES:

Labonte will attempt to start his 11th race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He won the 2000 Brickyard 400 on his way to the 2000 Winston Cup Championship.

In 10 starts at Indianapolis, Labonte has one win and three other top-five finishes (2nd, 1997 and 1999; third 1998). He also finished ninth in 1995. His best finish since his victory in 2000 was 11th in 2002.

Labonte has completed 1,598 of 1,600 laps contested in the 10 previous Brickyard 400-mile races. He finished a lap down in 1996 and 2003. He has never finished lower than 24th (1996).

Indianapolis is one of only four tracks on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series where Labonte has at least 10 starts, yet has failed to win a Bud Pole. The others are Bristol (23 starts), Infineon (12), Pocono (24).

In the 2003 at Indianapolis, Labonte started 8th and finished 22nd, one lap down.

After finishing 29th Aug. 1 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., Labonte fell two spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, moving from seventh to ninth his lowest position since he was ninth after the race at California Speedway on May 2. He has 2,466 points and his 574 behind leader Jimmie Johnson and six points behind eighth-place Ryan Newman.

Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2004.

The primary car for the Brickyard 400 is No. 87, the car Labonte drove to second place with March 21 at Darlington and the car he won the Bud Pole with April 2 at Texas. He finished fifth with the car May 2 at California, eighth June 20 at historic Michigan International Speedway, 13th May 30 at Charlotte and 18th July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway. Labonte also used the car at the fall race at Atlanta in 2003, where he started second and finished fifth.

The back-up car will be No. 62, the car Labonte drove in All-Star events at Charlotte in 2003 (third-place finish) and 2004 (13th-place finish). The car was also used at the first Pocono event in 2003 when Labonte finished 16th.

BRICKYARD 400 PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion): "I've always enjoyed racing at Indy because of all the history there. I was born in Texas, where A.J. Foyt was from, and he won there four times in the Indy 500. My win there in 2000 is really special and, obviously, one of the biggest wins of my career. We need a win this year, and Indy would be a great place to get it for sure. We've had a bad couple of races recently and need to put together a good couple of runs so we're in the chase at the end. (What would a second win at the Brickyard mean?): "It'd be a big accomplishment for sure. Only a couple of guys have won the Brickyard more than once, so to put our name on that list would be a pretty special."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Jimmie Johnson , A.J. Foyt
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing