BOBBY LABONTE RICHMOND NOTES AND QUOTES HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005 -- The following are Chevy Rock and Roll 400/Emerson Radio 250 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet...
BOBBY LABONTE RICHMOND NOTES AND QUOTES
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005 -- The following are Chevy Rock and Roll 400/Emerson Radio 250 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet (NEXTEL Cup) and the No. 19 Banquet Chevrolet (Busch Series) for Joe Gibbs Racing.
CHEVY ROCK AND ROLL 400 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will attempt to start his 26th NEXTEL Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. He has never won a NEXTEL Cup race at the 75-of-a-mile track. .
* Labonte has four top-five and nine top-10 finishes at RIR. He has finished in the top-10 in four of the last five events at the track.
* In the May race at RIR, Labonte started 39th and finished eighth.
* In the spring of 2004, Labonte started 27th and finished third at RIR. In the fall he started 18th and finished 16th, one lap done.
* During Bud Pole Qualifying at Richmond on Sept. 9, 1993, Labonte won his first career Bud Pole in the NEXTEL Cup Series. This year's Bud Pole Qualifying is on Sept. 9, exactly 12 years to the day of Labonte's first Bud Pole. While it is his only NEXTEL Cup pole at RIR, he has started in the top 10 in 12 of the 25 events.
* Bad luck has plagued Labonte throughout the 2005 season. He has failed to finish in nine of the 24 races due to accidents or engine problems.
* Labonte is 24th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has 2,417 points and trails 23rd-place Ricky Rudd by 50 points.
* The primary car for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 is chassis No. 93, a new car that has not been raced before. It was available, but not used, as a back up car earlier this season at Martinsville, Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire
* The back-up car is chassis No. 85, which was used in 2004 at Phoenix where Labonte started 27th and finished ninth. The only other time the car has been used was in 2003 at Indianapolis when Labonte started eighth and finished 22nd.
EMERSON RADIO 250 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* The Emerson Radio 250 is the fifth of eight Busch Series races the Labonte will compete in for Joe Gibbs Racing and ConAgra Foods. Labonte finished sixth at Charlotte, 16th at Chicagoland, seventh at Michigan and 10th at Bristol. In addition to Richmond, Labonte will compete at: Kansas, Oct. 10 (Banquet), Texas, Nov. 6 (Slim Jim), and Phoenix, Nov. 12 (Slim Jim).
* Labonte will attempt to start his 12th Busch Series race at RIR. He has never won a Busch race at Richmond, but has three top five and seven top 10 finishes. He won the Busch pole for the 1991 fall race and has started in the top five six times.
* Labonte has 168 starts in Busch Series competition and has scored nine wins, 48 top-fives and 92 top-10 finishes. He has finished in the top-10 in 55 percent of his Busch Series starts.
* Labonte won the 1991 Busch Series championship on the strength of two wins and 21 top-five finishes. He lost the 1992 title by just three points to Joe Nemechek. The three-point margin is the closest points finish in the history of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, Busch Series or Craftsman Truck Series competition.
* Labonte made his Busch Series debut in 1982 at Martinsville Speedway. He finished 30th and won $220. He then competed in the two races in 1985, six in 1988 and seven in 1989 before competing full-time for the first time in 1990.
* Labonte's last Busch Series victory came in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 March 21, 1998 at Darlington Raceway in the No. 44 Shell Pontiac.
* The primary car for the Emerson Radio 250 is Chassis No. 1961, a new car that has not been used in a race.
* The back-up car is chassis No. 1840, which was used in seven races in 2003 by Coy Gibbs.
RICHMOND 250 PRE-RACE QUOTE:
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR Champion, 1991 Busch Series Champion): "I'm looking forward to heading to Richmond this week. We've had some good runs on the short tracks this year. Qualifying is important everywhere we go, but no where more important than at the short-tracks. The cars can get strung out so quickly and a if the leader is setting a torrid pace right from the drop of the green-flag, then it's not hard to lose a lap early. Being able to start up front is a huge plus at places like Richmond, Bristol and Martinsville. It's going to be another busy weekend since we're running the No. 19 Banquet Chevrolet on Friday night. We've done pretty well in the Busch races this year, but we'd like to get a victory, obviously."