Michigan II: Bobby Labonte preview

Bobby Labonte on racing at Michigan: "The first race at Michigan was a big learning experience for us. The 'high' line was definitely the place to be so we'll work towards getting our car comfortable up there this weekend. That race came down to...

Bobby Labonte on racing at Michigan:

"The first race at Michigan was a big learning experience for us. The 'high' line was definitely the place to be so we'll work towards getting our car comfortable up there this weekend. That race came down to fuel mileage, so we'll have to keep our eye on that too. Michigan has always been my favorite racetrack, so a solid finish this weekend would be really good.

"There are certain tracks that you circle on the schedule as places where you want to do well, places that have a different meaning. Daytona and Lowe's always come to mind. But Michigan is one too. Since the track is so close to Detroit and there are usually a lot of manufacturer folks there, you want to perform well in front of them. A win at Michigan is like winning the homecoming football game -- it's a bragging rights race. The support that we get from Ford is huge. We couldn't do this without them."

Crew chief Ben Leslie on racing at Michigan:

"When your driver likes a track and typically performs well there, it usually ends up being a pretty good weekend. Bobby is good at Michigan and has had a lot of success there, so I think we'll have a solid race. I think we've got a great package for the car and we're going to do everything we can do get a top-10 finish. It's time for the 96 team to have a good weekend -- start to finish."

FAST FACTS

* Bobby Labonte will make his 35th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Michigan International Speedway in this weekend's Carfax 400.

* FOR THE RECORD... Labonte has scored three wins at MIS; he swept the D-shaped oval in 1995 and won again at the track in 1999.

* Labonte has scored four poles, nine top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at Michigan.

* MICHIGAN RANKS AMONG BEST... The two-mile track ranks second on Labonte's career list for most top-10 finishes with 16. The driver of the No. 96 has 17 top-10 finishes at Charlotte. MIS is fourth on Labonte's list for most top fives with nine (Atlanta, Charlotte and Dover rank higher).

* Labonte has scored more poles at Michigan than at any other track. He has a total of four (1995, 2000 and twice in 2003), which ranks him third on the list of most career poles at MIS of all active drivers.

* LAPS... Labonte has completed 6363 of 6691 (95.1%) of Cup series laps he has attempted at Michigan.

* ON THE TRACK...The No. 96 will again sport the black DLP paint scheme this weekend. The No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion team will bring chassis RK-530, the same Ford Fusion that Labonte raced at Michigan in June of this year.

* REWIND, MICHIGAN, June 2009... Labonte and the No. 96 team fought a tight race car and finished 28th in the LifeLock 400 at Labonte's favorite track, Michigan International Speedway. Fuel gambling from other teams kept the crowd of 90,000 fans on the edge of their seats as Mark Martin unexpectedly took the checkered flag on the final lap.

-credit: yr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Mark Martin