HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004 -- The following are EA Sports 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. EA SPORTS 500 PRE-RACE NOTES: * Labonte...
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004 -- The following are EA Sports 500 pre-race notes and quotes for Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing.
EA SPORTS 500 PRE-RACE NOTES:
* Labonte will attempt to start his 23rd race at Talladega Sueprspeedway. He has one win and one Bud Pole at Talladega, both coming in the spring race of 1998.
* Labonte has six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at Talladega. He has struggled recently, however, finishing in the top 10 only once since 2000. He finished fifth in the 2001 spring race.
* In the seven races between the fall1996 to fall 1999, Labonte never finished lower than eighth and scored four top-five finishes.
* Labonte started 19th and finished 10th in the Aaron's 499 April 25 at Talladega.
* In 2003, Labonte started 22nd in the spring race at Talladega, completing only 118 of the 188 laps after being involved in a 26-car accident on the fourth lap of the race. In the fall race, he started 10th and finished 11th.
* The No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet will have the name of Camus Auto, an Interstate Batteries dealer from Derby, N.Y., on the hood of the car for the EA Sports 500. IBS of Greater Buffalo, the Interstate Batteries distributorship that services Camus Auto, will also be on the special hood at Talladega. Both were winners of Interstate Batteries' unique "500 Miles of Fame" promotion, an effort by Interstate officials to increase sales and give their dealers and distributors a chance to have their name on the Interstate Batteries hood for a race weekend. Mike Camus, of Camus Auto and Todd Winder of IBS of Greater Buffalo will receive a paid trip to the EA Sports 500 and will meet Labonte on race morning.
* Labonte has five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 2004.
* After finishing 14th at Dover, Labonte moved from 14th to 13th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has 3,367 points and is seven behind 12th-place Kevin Harvick and seven points ahead of 14th-place Kasey Kahne.
* The primary car for the EA Sports 500 is chassis No. 82. Labonte started 16th and finished seventh with the car in the Pepsi 400 July 3 at Daytona. In July 2003, JGR driver Mike Bliss started 32nd and finished 26th in the car at Daytona.
* The back-up car will be No. 89, the car Labonte started 12th and finished 11th with in the Budweiser Shootout Feb. 7 at Daytona.
EA SPORTS PRE-RACE QUOTE:
BOBBY LABONTE (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet; 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion): "We've made progress in the last few weeks and are coming together as a team. We had a fast race car last week, we just had the spin on pit road, which cost us a lap. Talladega should be interesting as usual. I've won there before and also been involved in a 20-car wreck, so I've been on both ends of the spectrum. Hopefully, we'll end up on the right side this week. We need a win and Talladega wouldn't be a bad place to get it."