Talladega: Bobby Labonte race report

Labonte Drives TaxSlayer.com Chevy to Crash Filled 23rd at Talladega Talladega, AL, (April 25, 2010) - Bobby Labonte finished the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com/TRG Motorsports/Chevrolet Impala SS in 23rd position in today's running of the Aaron's 499 at...

Labonte Drives TaxSlayer.com Chevy to Crash Filled 23rd at Talladega

Talladega, AL, (April 25, 2010) - Bobby Labonte finished the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com/TRG Motorsports/Chevrolet Impala SS in 23rd position in today's running of the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. The race witnessed eight caution periods and finished after three attempts at a green-white-checker.

TaxSlayer.com Chevy at Dega Labonte wasted no time in motoring to the front from his 32nd starting position. The grid was set based on owner points as inclement weather on Saturday had the speedway closed. From the start the Texan was able to run in the front drafting pack. As the team cycled through pit stops, using neighboring teams to pit with, Labonte ran as high as second place. With the race coming into the final laps Labonte was forced to play catch-up after falling slightly back due to lack of drafting help. On lap 175 of what became a 200 lap race, Labonte was spun off of Turn Two by an over aggressive drafting partner. The team was able to get the No. 71 TaxSlayer.com Chevy out on the lead lap with another realistic shot at a top finish. On the first attempt of the green-white-checker finish Labonte was caught-up in a wreck between Turns Three and Four. Once again the TaxSlayer.com crew was able to keep the car on the lead lap after several pit stops to tape up the damage.

"The car was good at the beginning of the race," Labonte said. "I was able to keep it in the draft and had guys that I could run with to stay up with the front pack. The car was fast up until three to go. Toward the middle of the race the 24 and 48 pulled up beside me and that just bogged the car down a lot and really slowed me up. I got spun out after I lost the draft when the car behind just tried to help too much. When you fell back you just couldn't get a run without the right help. I passed the 19 car going into One and Two and then he a had a heck of a head of steam coming up the back stretch, I tried to block him by staying in the middle and then the 59 went to the outside and all of a sudden the 39 came down in front of me and we were in the wreck. We didn't need that to happen.

There really wasn't much difference from the beginning of the race to the end as far as the car. At the beginning we were in the front and I think some guys were laying back. At the end everyone starts to come and that is when you need to go. It is tough to say what happened. Why was the No. 1 car so bad at the beginning and ended up second. The answer is that is Talladega. We have a long week in front us. We don't have a sponsor for Richmond, so we need some help for next week."

Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, hoped for a better result.

"We had our best finish of tenth here in the fall," Buckler said. "In that race we were able to run clean and take advantage of the wrecks at the end. Today was the opposite. Bobby was really doing well the first three-quarters of the race. The team was performing great pit stops, we had cars that would pit with us to get back up to speed and we looked good. Just when it was go time we got into some trouble with the first spin and then involved in that last big wreck. I really liked the team work today and running upfront, but not the result. We don't have Richmond sponsored for next weekend so we are working hard on that right now. We got some really incredible results for our sponsors the last few weeks so we hope we can continue that onto next weekend."

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Richmond International Raceway for the Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400 to be run Saturday, May 1.

-source: trg motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kevin Buckler
Teams TRG Motorsports