BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC Finished 2nd, giving him six top-three finishes in the past seven races. YOU'VE JUST HAD A FANTASTIC STREAK OF TOP-THREE FINISHES INTERRUPTED BY LAST WEEK AT POCONO. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ...
BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC
Finished 2nd, giving him six top-three finishes in the past seven races.
YOU'VE JUST HAD A FANTASTIC STREAK OF TOP-THREE FINISHES INTERRUPTED BY LAST WEEK AT POCONO. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ABLE TO REAFFIRM THAT WITH ANOTHER TOP-THREE FINISH?
"It obviously means a lot. We did stumble a little last week, but we qualified on the pole on Friday and yesterday in practice we had the fast lap. We didn't have the car we needed for long runs and we knew that, and we worked hard changing stuff on it this morning that we'd talked about last night and again today, we didn't have the best car throughout the day. But when it counted at the end, we had a good car on a restart, passed some guys, got some track position out of it. We were able to hold on. I'm a little disappointed we finished second, in a way, but every weekend, it's hard to know exactly what you're going to end up with at the end of the day. There are guys all over the place who are running good all the time, and there's a lot of competition out there. My guys put in a great effort, never giving up. For a while there, we were almost half a lap down. They never gave up, we never gave up together. We made a lot of changes, kept digging and digging, so to get back in the top two like we did today is a great effort by them. After last weekend, we didn't finish that good, and it's pretty humbling whenever you think you'll run good at a place, but sometimes you can't. It's great to come home with a great finish even though you don't win."
IT LOOKED LIKE YOU WERE CATCHING THE 97 UP UNTIL THAT LAST CAUTION. COULD YOU HAVE CAUGHT HIM?
"I was catching him a half-tenth [of a second] to a tenth a lap, and I kind of did that with him earlier and he just kept inching away at the same time after about five or 10 laps. I don't think the caution really made much of a difference to me. It might have helped it between Jeff and me, because Jeff was going to get better as it went and I was going to get a little worse. That was the trend throughout the day. Catching him was one thing, but passing him was going to be something else anyway. I could have gotten close, but once I got to him, I doubt I could have done anything."
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KURT BUSCH AS A DRIVER?
"Their team is really strong. We parked beside them this weekend, and you can watch them. They're intense and they work real hard. His guys are really on top of their stuff. He knows when to drive the car real hard, and it seems like he's getting better at taking care of the car if it's not quite right. He'll make sure he makes it last to the end. I think he does an excellent job of that."
WHAT ADJUSTMENTS DID YOU MAKE ON THE CAR?
"We weren't that good in the middle part of the race. We didn't start off as well as we like to. The car was too tight. Fatback did a real good job, because we were both ways. On the last stop we treated it the right way, and that really got some speed out of it. Before, I about had to stop in the middle of the corner, we were so tight."