HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004 -- The following are Sylvania 300 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. SYLVANIA 300 PRE-RACE NOTES: * Labonte will...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2004 -- The following are Sylvania 300 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.
SYLVANIA 300 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will attempt to start his 20th NEXTEL Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. He has never scored a victory in NEXTEL Cup competition at NHIS, but finished second in 2000 (fall race) on his way to the championship.
* In 20 races at NHIS, Labonte has started in the top five nine times (45 percent), including winning the Bud Pole in 2000 (fall race). He has finished in the top five four times, most recently in the 2002 fall race.
* Labonte started 20th and finished 17th in the Siemens 300 July 25 at NHIS.
* In the 2003 at NHIS, Labonte started fourth and finished 14th in the first race and started 37th (provisional) and finished 16th in the second race.
* Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2004. He has not finished in the top 10 since a seventh-place finish July 3 at Daytona International Speedway.
* After finishing 16th at Richmond, Labonte fell from 12th to 13th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings and failed to make the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup." The best Labonte can now finish is 11th in points. He has 3,137 points and trails 11th-place Jamie McMurray by 34 points and 12th-place Kasey Kahne by 21 points.
* The primary car for the Sylvania 300 is chassis No. 78, the car Labonte used June 13 and Aug. 1 at Pocono when he finished third and 29th (accident), respectively. He also used the car March 7 at Las Vegas, where he started seventh and finished eighth and March 14 at Atlanta where he started 10th and finished 18th. In 2003, the car was used the in the second Atlanta race where Labonte finished fifth. Chassis No. 78 was also used at both Michigan races and the Kansas race. Labonte won the pole at both Michigan races and finished second in the car in the first Michigan race. He started fourth in the car at Kansas.
* The back-up car is No. 64, the car Labonte used to finish second with at Martinsville and Richmond in the spring of 2003.
SYLVANIA 300 PRE-RACE QUOTE:
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "We're out of the chase, but there are still 10 races to go and that means we're going to try and finish 11th and win races. It's disappointing, but that's the way it is right now. We'll go out, work hard, and try to win as many races as we can in the final 10. New Hampshire wouldn't be a bad place to get a victory, because we haven't won there before. We tested a few weeks ago at Milwaukee, which is similar to New Hampshire, one-mile and flat. Hopefully, the test will pay off."