Information and Knowledge Are Key COT To Debut on Road Course This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the ...
Information and Knowledge Are Key
COT To Debut on Road Course
This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the Infineon Raceway, located in Sonoma (Calif.), for Sunday's SaveMart 350. Infineon Raceway is a 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. It's the first of two road course races this season. Teams will be running the Car of Tomorrow this weekend.
Labonte remains 17th in NASCAR Nextel Cup points heading into Sonoma. He is only 184 points out of 12th place. There are 11 races left before the championship chase begins.
Labonte will be making career start number 490 this weekend at Sonoma. He will be making his 15th consecutive start at Infineon. Labonte has started 10th or better four different times in Sonoma. He has completed 99% of his laps. Labonte's best finish is fourth on two occasions. He has five top-10 finishes in Sonoma.
Comments from Labonte as he prepares for this weekend's SaveMart 350:
"We have had good runs with the Car of Tomorrow and our Dodge Avenger. We are relatively happy with that program. It's a lot different bringing the car to a road course than an oval. But, we think we can bring a pretty good package to California. It's going to be a guessing game for a lot of people.
"Teams went to VIR (Virginia International Raceway) and tested the road course there with the car. I think that gave a lot of teams a starting point at the very least. NASCAR is pretty strict with the testing policy. That is good and bad, but everyone is in the same boat. We are all under the same rules. I don't know if anyone has a huge head start with the new car on a road course. There are teams out there that have tested on the ovals a lot, but we haven't heard much about the road courses.
"Maybe it's an unknown for some? We hope that's the case. Obviously teams are going to be relying on notes they have about the new car, but how does that apply going left? There just isn't that much information about road courses. Information and knowledge are going to be big keys to success. The more information and knowledge you have about getting these cars around a road course is going to be a huge help. It doesn't matter who you are. We just have to work hard to stay ahead of the curve and get the most information as possible for Sunday's race.
"I guess we are all going back to more of a level playing field with this race. We have seen some teams really get a handle on the new car on the ovals. We aren't that far behind. We have had good runs with the car and feel good about it. This weekend is just a bit of a different challenge. Hopefully we have something for these guys.
"A different challenge like this might be what we need right now. We haven't performed the way we can in the past few weeks. The guys want to rebound from Michigan. We want a breath of fresh air this weekend in California. We're going there knowing the challenge, but we have confidence too."