Richmond: Bobby Labonte preview

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, May 11, 2004 -- The following are Chevy American Revolution 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. CHEVY AMERICAN REVOLUTION 400...

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, May 11, 2004 -- The following are Chevy American Revolution 400 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.

CHEVY AMERICAN REVOLUTION 400 PRE-RACE NOTES:

* Labonte will attempt to start his 23rd race at Richmond International Raceway. He has never won at Richmond, but finished second in 2003 (Spring) and in 1999 (fall).

* In the rain-shortened 2003 spring-race, Labonte started fourth and finished second behind winner Joe Nemechek. In the fall race he started 16th and finished sixth. He has three top-five and eight top-10 finishes in his 22 races at Richmond. All eight top-10's have come in the last 14 starts.

* Labonte has started in the top-10 in exactly 50 percent of his starts at Richmond (11 of 22), including a streak of seven consecutive top-10 starts between spring 1999 and spring 2002. He won the first pole of his NEXTEL Cup career in Sept. 1993 at RIR, driving for Bill Davis Racing.

* After finishing fifth at California, Labonte moved up one spot in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings, moving from 10th to ninth. He has 1,265 points and is 188 points behind leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 18 points behind eighth-place Tony Stewart, his JGR teammate.

* Labonte has five top-10 finishes in 2004 including three consecutive top-10's, a second-place finish at Martinsville, a tenth-place finish at Talladega and a fifth-place finish at California. The last time Labonte scored three straight top-10's was in June and July of 2003 at Michigan (second), Sanoma (ninth) and Daytona (fifth).

* The primary car for the American Revolution 400 will be No. 84, the car Labonte drove to second place with April 18 at Martinsville. Labonte also used the car in 2003 at the fall New Hampshire race and the Phoenix event. He finished 16th and New Hampshire and 36th at Phoenix after being involved in a late-race accident.

* The back-up car is No. 64, the car Labonte used to finish second with at Martinsville and Richmond in the spring of 2003.

* The North Carolina Quarter-Midget Association Speedway, which Labonte initiated with members of the NCQMA, is nearing completion. A webcam located at www.ncqma.com provides a live look at the construction taking place in Rowan County, N.C.

CHEVY AMERICAN REVOLUTION 400 PRE-RACE QUOTE:

BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion): "They've repaved Richmond, so it will be interesting to see what happens when rubber gets laid down and if a second groove will come in. We've had some success at Richmond, but haven't been able to win there yet, so it'd be nice to finally score a victory. We've qualified really well there in recent years and that's good, because track position is key on a short-track like Richmond. We've come close to wins this year and been able to string together a few top-10's, so we'd like to keep that up."

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Joe Nemechek
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing , Bill Davis Racing