Talladega II: Bobby Labonte preview

Team Prepares Car of Tomorrow for Talladega This weekend Bobby Labonte heads to the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with the Pillsbury brand on the hood and sides of the famed ...

Team Prepares Car of Tomorrow for Talladega

This weekend Bobby Labonte heads to the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with the Pillsbury brand on the hood and sides of the famed #43 Dodge. Labonte and the rest of the teams are competing with the Car of Tomorrow for the first time at the superspeedway. All teams have participated in a two-day test session prior to this weekend's event.

Labonte and the team are looking to get back on a positive roll after being involved in accidents the past two weekends. Labonte is 18th in championship points.

Anything can happen at Talladega, and the team has prepared extensively for this weekends race of "unknowns". Labonte is hoping his 29 previous starts at the track will help them. He has one win, six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes at Talladega. He has led 150 laps at the track.

Comments from Labonte as he prepares for this weekend's Talladega 500:

"Well, baseball and Uno aren't the only sports with a wild card. You hear so many times that Talladega is a 'wild card' race. That has probably never been closer to the truth than this weekend. The debut of the Car of Tomorrow at Talladega is something new for everyone. We've tested the car only once at Talladega and we're coming in with a new package already. There isn't a guarantee that what we begin with on Friday will be what we race on Sunday either. That makes this race up for grabs for any team.

"Friday will be a pretty big day. We're going to draft since it's an impound weekend. It's going to give us the first and only chance to see how the new changes will affect the cars in a draft session. I'm sure NASCAR will have their eye on that and we'll just have to go with what happens. If there is a change at least we know that everyone will be in the same situation. It's going to be fair for everyone.

"Saying that, we can only prepare with what we know. We can't guess on what might or might not happen. We have to go to the track prepared with what we have on the car right now. We had a pretty good test and I think we learned some things. The car is good in the draft. That's important and it's good to know that we were strong in that area. We have felt pretty good about all our races with the new car. Every team will be learning as they go, but it's good to have some confidence walking through the gate.

"You can't get beat under the hood. The car is new and it's different. You know handling will be really different, but it's still a superspeedway. We're going to need a big motor. We're going to have enough worries and you don't want to think about the motor. We've had a good program this year. We're feeling good about that too.

"We can easily come out of Talladega with a good finish. It can easily go the other way too, but the stuff we can control we're pretty happy with right now. If there are changes we'll have to work hard to figure it out. Anything can happen. We'll just have to wait and see.

-credit: pr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte