Phoenix: Bobby Labonte preview

BOBBY LABONTE SUBWAY FRESH 500K NOTES AND QUOTES HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, April 18, 2005 -- The following are Subway Fresh 500k pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs...

BOBBY LABONTE SUBWAY FRESH 500K NOTES AND QUOTES

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, April 18, 2005 -- The following are Subway Fresh 500k pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.

SUBWAY FRESH 500K PRE-RACE NOTES:

* Labonte will attempt to start his 13th NEXTEL Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. He has never won at Phoenix and his best finish was third in 1999. He won the Bud Pole for the 1996 race.

* Labonte has five top-10 finishes at PIR (eighth, 1993; ninth, 1996; third, 1999; fifth, 2000; ninth, 2004).

* In November 2004, Labonte started 27th and finished ninth at PIR.

* Labonte is 37th in the 2005 NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has endured miserable luck throughout the season suffering engine problems at Daytona and Martinsville and being involved in early accidents at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bristol and Texas.

* Labonte has completed only 1,680 of 2,373 laps (70.8 percent).

* The primary car for the Subway Fresh 500k is chassis No. 64, the same car Labonte drove at Martinsville. He was in the top-five throughout most of the day until an engine problem ended his day early. Labonte finished second with the car in the spring races at Martinsville and Richmond in 2003 and finished sixth with it in the fall 2003 Richmond race. He also finished 14th in the June New Hampshire event in 2003.

* The back-up car is chassis No. 93, a new car that has not been used in a race.

SUBWAY FRESH 500K PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion): "We not happy with where we're at in points or how our year has gone. But, we're still upbeat and positive. The attitude each week when we come the track is positive, because there is no use in being negative to start the weekend. Things will turn around at some point." (About the racing at Phoenix beginning late in the day and ending at night): "Yeah, you know, Fontana was that way last fall. It started off in the afternoon and the sun was in your eyes and it ended up kind of under the lights. Turn 3 and Fontana, Turn 1 at Phoenix, and the one at Homestead now that the lights are going to be installed down there. It's going to be an issue of a blind spot for a little bit. Somebody gave me a visor last weekend that's like a tint visor. You pull it off and you can have a clear visor and you pull it down and you can have a tint. People are already coming up with stuff like that. I use the old sunglasses last year at Fontana and put them in my pocket there during the race. We'll have to just figure that out with the shading and like that. There's a couple of hours here at times where it kind of bothers you, so you have to be careful of that."

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing