HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, Oct. 26, 2004 -- The following are Checker Auto Parts 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing: CHECKER AUTO PARTS 500 PRE-RACE ...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Monday, Oct. 26, 2004 -- The following are Checker Auto Parts 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing:
CHECKER AUTO PARTS 500 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will attempt to start his 12th 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 four top-10 finishes at PIR (eighth, 1993; ninth, 1996; third, 1999; fifth, 2000).
* In 2003, Labonte started 24th and finished 36th, completing only 267 of the 312 laps. He was involved in an multi-car accident in Turn 2 on Lap 228.
* Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2004.
* Labonte finished 20th Oct. 31 at Atlanta and fell to 15th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings with 3,864 points. He is three points behind 14th-place Kevin Harvick and 251 points ahead of 16th-place Jeff Burton.
* The primary car for the Checker Auto Parts 500 is chassis No. 85, the car Labonte drove in 2003 at Indianapolis when he started eighth and finished 22nd.
* The back-up car is No. 64, the car Labonte used to finish second with at Martinsville and Richmond in the spring of 2003.
CHECKER AUTO PARTS 500 PRE-RACE QUOTE
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "I have always enjoyed going out to Phoenix and racing. I don't have the best finishing average out there, but I do enjoy racing there. We have had some mechanical problems and such that have prevented us from having better finishes. It's a unique racetrack, the way the backstretch is laid out and the fact that Turns 1 and 2 are banked just a little bit more than (Turns) 3 and 4."