Labonte, Andretti - team interview 2009-03-03

Eight Different Teams in Top 12; Labonte and Andretti Discuss Current Parity in Sport Huntersville, N.C. (March 3, 2009): The 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season may only be three races old, but already some different story lines have developed. The...

Eight Different Teams in Top 12; Labonte and Andretti Discuss Current Parity in Sport

Huntersville, N.C. (March 3, 2009): The 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season may only be three races old, but already some different story lines have developed. The strong races by Michael Waltrip Racing, Hall of Fame Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing have helped place a total of eight different teams in the current points championship chase. Drivers such as David Reutimann, Bobby Labonte and Michael Waltrip are currently in the chase hunt. Others, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin and Ryan Newman, have had bad luck and now must climb to the front.

Bobby Labonte and John Andretti comment on the new season:

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Bobby Labonte, Sprint Cup Driver and President of Breaking Limits:

"Yeah, I think you are always happy to get a good start to the season. It doesn't hurt, but a lot of guys know it's a long season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team understand they are better than where they are in points right now. There are also a few other drivers who are going to come back to the front, too. It just helps when you're already there. If you have a strong base it makes it easier to move forward or help catch you if you have a bad weekend.

"It's good to see a lot of diversity at the front right now. Our sport needs this and it's great. There are a lot of Michael Waltrip fans who are happy, Tony Stewart has to have a lot of relief and confidence now and look at a young driver like David Reutimann. It's all about building confidence."

John Andretti, Driver of the No. 34 Window World/Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet:

"Trust me, guys like Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman will not be there long. These teams know they aren't bad teams, but it shows that everyone can have some bad luck. Right now, it's like a lottery. The points are going to bounce all around and you're going to see some guys jump up big and fall down big.

"A team like Front Row Motorsports, we are being smart. We are keeping in the top-35 and doing that by being smart on the track. We run hard, finish all the laps and get a good points day. That is really helping us. I look behind us and know there are some guys coming in the points. We just have to keep building and getting better. We've proven a lot already.

"I'm sure the fans have to love this. You see more teams up front and it's great. You never want to see someone stink up the show. It's early, but it's a good sign to see a lot of different guys running up front."

-credit: rrm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , John Andretti , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Ryan Newman , David Reutimann , Mark Martin
Teams Stewart-Haas Racing , Front Row Motorsports , Michael Waltrip Racing