Joliet: Terry Labonte preview

'Got Milk?' Kellogg's Labonte Hopes to Quench Thirst For Success With Win at Chicago JOLIET, Ill., July 10 -- In 1993, Terry Labonte(R) was driving a black and white Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier series, adorned with the number 14 and the...

'Got Milk?' Kellogg's Labonte Hopes to Quench Thirst For Success With Win at Chicago

JOLIET, Ill., July 10 -- In 1993, Terry Labonte(R) was driving a black and white Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier series, adorned with the number 14 and the familiar red Kellogg's script on the sides of the racecar.

Now in the 10th year of his partnership with the Michigan-based cereal maker, Labonte will once again be driving a black and white Chevrolet. The number has changed from 14 to 5. And with the Kellogg's(TM) Racing Team set to unveil its special "got milk?" #5 Chevrolet at Chicagoland Speedway, Labonte's sleek black Monte Carlo has been splashed with a certain cool, white liquid well-suited for building energy before a race and quenching his thirst afterwards.

The July 14 Tropicana 400 will mark the halfway point of the 2002 NASCAR schedule and is the second of 20 straight weekends of competition that will carry Labonte and his rivals through to the conclusion of the season.

"We're excited about this partnership with America's dairy farmers and we expect to have plenty of their favorite beverage to drink in Victory Lane," said Jeff Montie, president, Kellogg Morning Foods Division.

America's dairy farmers and the got milk? advertising campaign have been featured on Labonte's racecars throughout the current season. The rear bumper and television panel have been asking that now-famous question since the year opened in Daytona Beach, Fla. The logo has moved to the hood and sides of the #5 Kellogg's(TM) Chevrolet for the Chicago race only.

It's Labonte's second visit to this 1.5-mile oval located some 30 miles southwest of the Windy City.

Labonte struggled in last year's inaugural race here, finishing 25th -- one lap down to rookie winner Kevin Harvick.

"We'll be a lot better this time," he said. "We've built a lot of new cars this year and the chassis we have entered in Chicago has been one of the best pieces in that inventory. It's run well in Atlanta, Texas and Charlotte; tracks that all have some of the same characteristics as Chicago."

Indeed, Chassis #225 has yielded some of Labonte's most solid finishes this season ... 14th in Atlanta, 10th at Texas and 12th in Charlotte, N.C.

"We're this close," he points out, holding his thumb and index finger slightly apart, "to making a good racecar a great racecar. We learned a lot about this chassis in Charlotte (late May) and that's going to make us even stronger in Chicago."

As the two-time champion motors toward the mid-point of the 2002 schedule, Labonte is working his way back to a spot among the Top 10 in the point standings. After sinking to 26th place following the Las Vegas, Nev., race March 3, he's rallied back to 17th -- nine spots higher than he was at this point a year ago. Labonte trails 15th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. by only 78 points and is 270 behind 10th-place Kurt Busch.

Labonte reached another career milestone by passing the $28 million mark in winnings with his third-place finish June 23 in Sonoma, Calif.

The second running of the Tropicana 400 is scheduled to start shortly after 2:30 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, July 14 and will be televised live by NBC, with the radio broadcast on the Motor Racing Network.

Now in his 10th year behind the wheel of the Kellogg's Chevrolet, Labonte stands seventh on the all-time money-winning list and is a two-time series champion with 21 career victories.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Terry Labonte , Kevin Harvick