Richmond: Bobby Labonte preview

Test Session at Track Helped Team Learn Richmond Test Turned Corner on Car of Tomorrow This weekend Bobby Labonte and the ...

Test Session at Track Helped Team Learn
Richmond Test Turned Corner on Car of Tomorrow

This weekend Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge prepare for Saturday night's Richmond 400 at the .75-mile Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Saturday's race is a return to the Car of Tomorrow (COT) for teams. Teams tested this car at this track just weeks ago.

Labonte now sits 20th in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings heading into Richmond. Labonte is only 121 points out of the 12th position.

Labonte is making his 29th start at Richmond this weekend. He has led 161 laps at the track, but has yet to win. He does have 10 top-10 and four top-five finishes at the track. His average finish is 17th and has one pole at Richmond.

Comments from Labonte as he prepares for this weekend's Richmond 400:

"You can't say we had a bad weekend at Talladega. We came from three laps down to finish 20th, but it wasn't a good day either. We had a really good car all weekend, but didn't get the finish we wanted. So, that was a bit frustrating, but we did hang in there all afternoon. It's not too often you come back from three laps down to make it back on the lead lap.

"I feel good about the team. I've been at Bill Davis Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and now Petty Enterprises. The whole key to success is having a group of guys that are working together towards the same goal. It doesn't matter what organization it is, that's what you need. I'm proud of the guys and their effort this season. We can have a problem, but we have done a good job of overcoming them. We just need to eliminate mistakes. I think we are doing that more and more. We are trying hard to do that more and more. We just need to keep focusing for that win.

"This can be a good weekend for us. Richmond has been a pretty good track for me. I haven't won there, but have been up front a lot. I feel good after testing there. We have a top-10 finish with the Car of Tomorrow. We think we have a better handle on it. We learned a lot about it testing at this track a few weeks back.

"We struggled a little in the test session, but really got better on the second day. We just kept trying things. I think we found some stuff that has made us better. It paid off at Phoenix and hopefully we know more this weekend. We are going in the right direction and that's good.

"The Car of Tomorrow races are tough on everyone. We don't have a lot of time to get better with it on track. The time we do have is either practice or the race itself. We just need to run more races to learn more. It's tough to learn and race at the same time. That's why testing is so important. We feel pretty good about it right now. We are going to focus hard again this weekend and hopefully come out with a good finish.

-credit: pe

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