Robby Gordon Motorsports and Bobby Labonte Finish a Hard-Fought 30th in New Hampshire Loudon, NH. (June 27, 2010) -- Bobby Labonte, starting his first race for Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM), helped wheel the No. 7 SpeedFactoy.TV Toyota Camry...
Robby Gordon Motorsports and Bobby Labonte Finish a Hard-Fought 30th in New Hampshire
Loudon, NH. (June 27, 2010) -- Bobby Labonte, starting his first race for Robby Gordon Motorsports (RGM), helped wheel the No. 7 SpeedFactoy.TV Toyota Camry to a 30th-place finish at the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
RGM was forced to a back-up car Friday afternoon following an accident in the first practice session. Unfortunately, with only 30 minutes remaining in practice when the accident occurred, the team was unable to pass through inspection in time for a qualifying lap. Since RGM is locked into the top-35 in owner's points, the team was given the 42nd starting position. However, the team changed their transmission before the race and had to start at the back of the field, in the 43rd position.
Labonte had no problem moving forward at the start of the race and had the No. 7 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Camry up six positions by Lap 20 -- one of the biggest movers of the race. Debris then brought out the first caution flag of the race on Lap 36. Labonte reported being too tight in the center and loose off the gas with no rear grip. He came down pit road in 34th position for a fresh set of tires, fuel and adjustments.
The team gained one position on pit road and restarted the race at Lap 39 in 33rd position. Through the first hundred laps of action, Labonte was running consistent and had moved himself up to 30th position. The first set of green-flag pit stops started and Labonte came down pit road on Lap 104. The team made another slight adjustment to help with the forward drive and took four tires and fuel.
At the halfway mark and still without another caution, the No. 7 Camry was in the 33rd position. Another green-flag pit-stop was made on Lap 172 where the team just took tires and fuel. Labonte posted his fastest lap on Lap 176.
With a little less than 100 laps remaining, and the race just setting a record for the most green-flag laps, the car was loose in, tight in the middle and loose off. Finally, the second caution came out on Lap 240 for oil on the track in Turn 3. At this point, the team came down for a new set of tires and to fill up on fuel. They restarted the race in 31st position and did not have to race for position as they were the only car three laps down.
Reed Sorenson and Juan Pablo Montoya were the reason for the third caution with 28 laps to go. Labonte entered pit road for the last time taking a fresh set of tires and enough fuel to go the distance.
On Lap 290, leaders Jeff Burton and Kyle Busch were racing for the win when the final caution came out for the two of them getting into each other. Bobby Labonte restarted Lap 293 in the 30th position and that was the position that he brought the No. 7 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Camry home in.
Driver Bobby Labonte Comments on the Lenox Industrial Tools 301:
"First, I want to thank Robby Gordon and his team for giving me the opportunity to race their No. 7 SpeedFactory.TV Toyota Camry this weekend", said Labonte. "We didn't start off like we hoped on Friday, but we had a solid race and learned a lot about each other.
"Our goal was to learn as much as possible for Robby Gordon Motorsports and for me to be able to give them the best feedback I could. We wanted to keep the car in one piece and not race too hard where we would put ourselves in a bad position. We were able to maintain the No. 7 in owner's points and keep them locked into the top-35.
"We did give ourselves a 'Darlington Stripe' but no big damage was done to the car. All-in-all, it was a good day for the team and I hope that they were able to learn from me being in the seat."
Team Owner Robby Gordon comments on the weekend results:
"To be able to put Bobby, a past champion, in our car at Loudon was a great opportunity for our organization. I want to thank him for his help and giving us this opportunity. I think the information that we learned this weekend will be very valuable to our race team and will help make Robby Gordon Motorsports even better."