Richmond II: Bobby Labonte race report

LABONTE FINISHES 31ST WITH NO. 96 DLP TEAM AT RICHMOND Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion qualified 37th for Saturday night's Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. For much of the 400-lap event Labonte reported ...

LABONTE FINISHES 31ST WITH NO. 96 DLP TEAM AT RICHMOND

Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 96 DLP Ford Fusion qualified 37th for Saturday night's Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway. For much of the 400-lap event Labonte reported struggling with "tight in the center, loose off" handling problems. Throughout the night, the DLP team made numerous attempts to improve the handling of the DLP Ford, but despite their best efforts, Labonte continued to report an ill-handling No. 96. When the checkers waved Labonte was scored in 31st place, two laps down to the leaders.

From the drop of the green flag Labonte reported that his DLP Ford was "tight in the center and loose off". Four cautions stalled the first 100 laps of the race and each time Labonte brought his No. 96 to pit road for four tires and fuel as well as numerous adjustments in hopes of resolving the ill-handling problems Labonte reported. By lap 160 Labonte had worked his way up to 29th place, but still complained that his No. 96 was "loose."

A series of scheduled pit stops were made throughout the race and numerous adjustments including: track bar, wedge, spring rubbers and air pressure were thrown at the No. 96. Nothing seemed to help and Labonte struggled to maintain track position. When the checkers waved Labonte crossed the finish line in 31st position.

"The car was hard to turn in the center and really loose off," said Labonte. "We worked on it all night and just didn't get it where it needed to be. With the track changing throughout the night, it was just hard for the guys to help it."

Denny Hamlin won the Rock & Roll 400. Kurt Busch was second, followed by Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin -- all secured spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Despite his fifth-place finish, Kyle Busch was nudged out of the Chase by Brian Vickers, who came home seventh.

The rest of the Chase field includes: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Juan Pablo Montoya and Greg Biffle.

-credit: hofr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya