Yates, Labbe part ways By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 1998) Richard Labbe, who took over crew chief duties on the No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Texaco Havoline Ford driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin after...
Yates, Labbe part ways By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 13, 1998) Richard Labbe, who took over crew chief duties on the No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Texaco Havoline Ford driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin after the third race of the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season, has parted ways with the team, according to team spokesperson Pam Colbert. Labbe had been crew chief for Irwin in four NASCAR Winston Cup races in 1997 in the No. 27 David Blair Motorsports ride, a cooperative effort with Yates Racing. When crew chief Marc Reno was released from the No. 28 team after a 36th-place finish this year, Labbe was promoted to the position on an interim basis from his previous position of mechanic and front tire changer on Dale Jarrett's No. 88 Robert Yates Racing team. With Labbe on board, Irwin found immediate success, followed by a lot of disappointment. The No. 28 Ford Taurus qualified and finished fifth in Irwin/Labbe's first joint effort - the PRIMESTAR 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. That fine showing, however, was followed by a five-race stretch that featured four finishes of 39th or worse. The team's worst weekend, though, would come at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where they would fail to qualify for the Coca-Cola World 600. There have been three top-10 finishes in the 22 races since then, but also six finishes of 37th or worse. The team ended the season on a high note in qualifying, claiming the Bud Pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the season finale NAPA 500 and taking the outside pole two races before that in the Dura-Lube/Kmart 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. According to Colbert, Yates is on vacation until early next week, and the team will not have an announcement on a possible replacement for Labbe until after Yates returns.
Source: NASCAR Online