Texas Pontiac Racing Saturday Notes & Quotes

THOUGHTS FROM BOBBY LABONTE, NO. 18 INTERSTATE BATTERIES PONTIAC GRAND PRIX (HOW WOULD IT FEEL TO WIN HERE) "It would be exciting. I think it would be great. Terry (Labonte) won the race last year. I don't know what he felt but have a...


(HOW WOULD IT FEEL TO WIN HERE) "It would be exciting. I think it would be great. Terry (Labonte) won the race last year. I don't know what he felt but have a feeling he felt pretty good about it. The fans were definitely cheering that day just like yesterday when he won the pole. If I have the same thing happen, it would be great."

(THE FANS AT TEXAS) "It's a situation where we only come here once a year. Some of the tracks we go to once a year, it is definitely a little different than (places we go) twice a year maybe just for the fact that they are not as easily accessible to the racing as what fans are at Charlotte, Rockingham, New Hampshire and Michigan. They look forward to this race just because they've only got one shot at it if they can't got anywhere else. There were a lot of people here yesterday for qualifying. The stands were pretty well full. It's exciting to know that they can come out for one race a year and they are really excited about it. We enjoy it because like yesterday when the grandstands were that full, it's exciting."

(DOES A LARGE CROWD MAKE IT MORE OF AN EVENT) "I definitely makes it an event. It's neat. It's great for us because we're from Texas. That makes it special for us, too. It really does make it more of a an event because we do come here once. If we came here twice, I don't think it would fall off, as far as the crowds go, but it would definitely be different because you would have two races instead of one."

He's got one.  I've got one.  He just doesn't know it."

(ON SIMILARITIES TO HIS BROTHER) "We're different. But we do a lot of things the same, kind of like scary, carbon-copy type things. If our parents could see us sometimes they are like, 'You all do the same things-talk the same, act the same, whatever.' But he does hunt a lot and I don't. I've got some guns. I'm going to shoot something. I just don't know what yet. I've got to put them together. My kids are six and two. His are 18 and 16, so there is a gap there where he is freer as far as some things go. Not that I couldn't do the same things, but some of my duties are a little different than his. Now I'll go fishing more so than he will. He does that, too. But I'll go more. We'll take Tyler and Madison. Maybe when I'm his age, eight years from now - I'm not saying I'll have a ranch and go hunting - but who knows?"


(ON HE AND TERRY SHARING MANY THINGS WITHIN THE SPORT) "It's kind of true. We'll travel together sometimes. We have never not parked beside each other for five years at the racetrack in our motorhomes. He's not a teammate as far as how teams go. They've got different chassis, different motors. But we'll sit there and talk about it. We'll talk about the racetrack and how his car worked and my car worked. It didn't matter if I said, 'This is what I've got,' and he said, 'Well this is what I've got.' It really doesn't matter because it probably won't work because we do drive a little differently. But we do talk about things. We talk about race stuff and we talk about non-race stuff."

(WHEN HE WENT FROM BEING A LITTLE BROTHER TO BEING A PEER) "I haven't done that yet. I'm still a little brother. Somebody said yesterday, 'Are you trying to get out of your brother's shadow?' I said, 'Not really. It's a pretty good shadow to be in.' It doesn't bother me any."

(BEING ON EQUAL FOOTING WITH TERRY) "You can call it that. I don't. The age is still the same. It will always be the same. It feels different at time - yes. Once you get older I'm sure. I know it happens. Not when you're nine (years old) and one (year old). But it's still respect."

(RACING EARLY IN HIS CAREER FOR BILL DAVIS) "Starting off as a new team in Winston Cup, even seven years ago, was pretty tough. He has come a long ways. I go by the shop every day when I take Tyler to school when I'm at home. The additions they have going on, from where we were seven years ago when I was there to where they are at today, it's just steady progress. It's the same thing on the racetrack as it is when I go by their facility. He has done everything he could to do the best he could. He has put the money in the right places. He didn't take it home and he has really worked hard at it. He deserves a lot more than what he has gotten, but yet he works hard for it. He is definitely accomplishing everything you can get right now."

(ON BEING A PARENT AND A DRIVER) "It's tough. It's hard. It's hard being here and they are at home right now. It's the greatest thing in the world. Those kids are the greatest thing in the world. I guess you just grow up a little more when you have kids maybe. I'm not saying you don't grow up when you don't have kids, but some things are different. When I found out my wife was pregnant my life changed. My though process changed. What would happen to her if I got hurt? All of a sudden I'm driving safer on the road and things like that happen. It's just a deal where we're blessed with two healthy children. That's what we wanted. Day-to-day with them is definitely an adventure.

"My parents gave us more time than I'll be able to give Tyler and Madison until I don't do this anymore. But we try to spend every moment together that we can. And whatever they want to do - other than just spoiling them plum-rotten - we'll do it. You just try to spend as much time with them as you can. As everybody has told me -- and it's hard to realize until you experience it - they will be grown up and gone before you know it. Everybody says that and at first you're like, 'Oh that won't happen to me,' but I can see it happening if you're not careful. You've got to really do the best you can to spend all the time with them that you can."


(ON HOW NASCAR HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS) "Since the days of Batesville, Arkansas, it has changed a ton. I just can't imagine how much NASCAR is going to change compared to how much it has changed in the last few years. Last week I made some comments about how much our team has grown in everything that we do - from the number of people and the financial structure and the specialized people that we have. When we started Winston Cup racing we only had 14 people and now we have 24 just in the motor room. It's grown a tremendous amount and is just getting better and better all the time."

(ON TEAM CHEMISTRY) "I think the team chemistry has been clearly demonstrated by the 22 car in the last three years. We really have a lot of the same people, the same equipment and the same facilities in place. The biggest change that we've made is we brought in Tommy Baldwin. He and Ward have developed a relationship that it takes to win these races and consistently run up front. Absolutely their chemistry and the chemistry Tommy brings to the team keeps everybody working in the same direction and with a clear understanding of what they need to do. At one point in time, I'll be honest, I thought team chemistry was probably overrated. But it's not. We all have access to the same equipment, and basically, for the most part the same funding, and what makes the difference is the people, and their attitudes and how they get along."

(ON THE 2000 SEASON) I don't know how we keep it up. That is going to be our big challenge. I don't know that we expected to come out running this well. We finished last season with an awful lot of momentum and a lot of things going our way. We came into the season with a great car - a Pontiac that hadn't changed. We knew where our body was at and what to expect with it and I think that has helped us a great deal. The main thing that we've done is we've carried that chemistry and that momentum we had going last year into this year. Things have clicked. The guys are working real hard together and getting along real well, and that's really important. Our stuff has been real reliable, and with the exception of Vegas, we've had real fast, top five cars everywhere we have been. I really don't know what we could do any different. I don't really think that we have anything to do different. We're just going to continue preparing the cars the same way that we have, working at the same speed and the same pace that we have, and stay focused like we have to get us here, and I think we'll be fine. I think we're going to have a great season. I believe we'll be in a position to win some more races and hopefully stay in the points race."

(ON DAVE BLANEY) "I was very reluctant to go to a two-car team. I should have done it before we did, but it has worked out very well for us. (Dave) Blaney is a very, very smart race car driver and understands the car very well. He is in the shop every day working on the cars. I think that his test feedback helps Tommy as well as (Blaney's crew chief) Gil Martin when they are working on the cars. It's just more laps. When we went to Daytona earlier this year, it was just amazing. We had so much data at the end of the day to sit and review and work with because we had run twice as many laps. I think as the season goes along and as Dave gets more and more comfortable in these cars and gets closer to the kind of success he is capable of having it will further strengthen the 22 car."

(WHAT DOES HE ENVISION FOR NASCAR) "I can't imagine. The growth of our sport is just phenomenal. Obviously the television package is going to be huge. It's going to bring a lot of new people to our sport. The new tracks and new markets that we are going to are very exciting for our sponsors. It makes our job easier as we try to sell our programs to the sponsors because we have these new markets, and of course the television package helps that. It's amazing to me - the growth of our sport and how popular it is and the things that are going on. I personally am just real excited to be a part of it."

(ON TOMMY BALDWIN) "It was real important to us that Tommy chose to stay. We had a lot of things going and I think he believed in our team. Obviously he had a very attractive offer that got his attention. I think we could understand that - anyone could. But he realized the potential that was there and the things we had going. Obviously it has been huge to our team. We didn't have to regroup. We could continue building with Tommy and go forward."

(ON RACING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP) "I've told several people that it's way too early to start talking about a championship, particularly for our team. But you go to Daytona thinking about points the first race of the year. I don't really honestly know what we could do any differently. I think we have worked just as hard in the past for 15th in points as we did last year to finish in the top 10, which was our goal. If we can bump that up to the top five this year, I don't know that we would do anything any differently. I don't know how we could work any harder or any more hours or be any more focused. I really think that we'll just continue doing the same things that we've done the last couple years and if we keep getting the good breaks like we have, we'll see how the points go."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tommy Baldwin