HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004 -- The following are Banquet 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. BANQUET 400 PRE-RACE NOTES: * Labonte will ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004 -- The following are Banquet 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.
BANQUET 400 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will attempt to start his fourth race at Kansas Speedway. He has never finished higher than 17th. He was involved in accidents in 2001 and 2002.
* In 2003, Labonte started fourth and finished 17th. Both were career-bests for Labonte at Kansas.
* Kansas and Chicagoland Speedway are the only two 1.5-mile ovals on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit that Labonte has never scored a top-five finish.
* Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2004.
* Labonte finished 35th at Talladega after being involved in an accident with Sterling Marlin with less than 12 laps to go. Labonte fell two spots in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings moving from 13th to 15th. He has 3,425 points and is 17 behind 14th-place Kasey Kahne and 276 ahead of 16th-place Michael Waltrip.
* The primary car for the Banquet 400 is chassis 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.
* The back-up car will be No. 66, 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 Michigan International Speedway, 13th May 30 at Charlotte, 15th Aug. 8 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 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.
BANQUET 400 PRE-RACE QUOTE:
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "Kansas has not been the best of tracks for me. I really like the track and think it's a great facility, but we have had some major bad luck when it comes to getting caught up in wrecks there. In the first two races there I was caught up in a wreck. In 2002, we were able to continue and finish the event though. Heck, I even wrecked that year in practice on Saturday and had to go to a back-up car for Sunday if that tells you anything. If we could get a top 10 at Kansas, it'd be our first one there and our first top 10 in way too long this year. We're working at it. We had a good car last week in Talladega and just got caught up in an accident."