Bobby Labonte Looking to Turn Chevy Trucks Pole Day Success into DHL 400 Win at MIS BROOKLYN, Mich. -- In 2003, there was no driver that got around Michigan International Speedway better on pole day than Bobby Labonte. The driver of the...
Bobby Labonte Looking to Turn Chevy Trucks Pole Day Success into DHL 400 Win at MIS
BROOKLYN, Mich. -- In 2003, there was no driver that got around Michigan International Speedway better on pole day than Bobby Labonte. The driver of the Interstate Batteries Chevrolet captured both NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pole positions at MIS, but couldn't quite translate both poles into wins.
When Labonte and the rest of his fellow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitors strap into their machines on Chevy Trucks Pole Day this Friday at 3 P.M., he would like nothing more than to capture the Chevy Trucks Pole Award, then go on to win Sunday's DHL 400.
"We were on a roll there at that part of the year and we were able to win both poles there last year and ran really good in those races," said Labonte. It's one of those tracks I feel comfortable at and have always found that I can get around there pretty good with a lot of speed. But, I would trade those two poles for two victories."
Over the years, starting position has proved to be critical in the outcome of several NEXTEL Cup Series races, including both races in 2003. Kurt Busch won last June's race from the fourth starting position, while Ryan Newman won last August's GFS Marketplace 400 after starting second. Forty-one of the 69 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races at MIS have been won from the first four starting positions (59 percent).
Only 11 races at MIS have been won from outside the top-10 starting positions (16 percent) and all have occurred in the last 25 races at MIS. Also, 14 MIS race winners have won from the pole, more than any other starting position.
Looking at the numbers, Labonte would like to parlay his pole day success into a DHL 400 win at a track that he's been quite fond of over the years.
"Michigan has always been my favorite track. It just has everything going for it," said Labonte. "All tracks have things someone might like more than another track, but to me as whole Michigan has just got everything as far as placement, location, the track itself, the fans. A little bit of everything just seems like it goes a long way there. Always a treat to go to Michigan and when you run good there it helps."
Tickets are still available for Friday's Chevy Trucks Pole Day, Saturday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Flagstar 200 and Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series DHL 400 at MIS. To purchase tickets, log on to www.MISpeedway.com 24 hours a day seven days a week, or call the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010. The MIS ticket hotline will be open from 9 A.M. -- 9 P.M all week.