Indy ORP: Justin Labonte race report

LABONTE FINISHED 29th IN THE NO. 00 AARON'S LUCKY DOG TOYOTA TUNDRA AT ORP INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 28, 2007) -- During a green-white-checker finish, Justin Labonte drove the No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra to a 29th-place finish after ...

LABONTE FINISHED 29th IN THE NO. 00 AARON'S LUCKY DOG TOYOTA TUNDRA AT ORP

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 28, 2007) -- During a green-white-checker finish, Justin Labonte drove the No. 00 Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra to a 29th-place finish after starting 25th for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at O'Reilly Raceway (ORP) Friday night.

Earlier Friday, practice was shortened and qualifying was cancelled due to rain in the area. NASCAR set the field by the owners' point standing, placing Labonte and the Aaron's Lucky Dog 25th on the starting grid.

"Jason (Overstreet, Crew Chief) and the guys brought a good truck this weekend," Labonte said. "Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not on our side for practice and qualifying, which meant we had to start mid-pack. Track position is key at this short track. I would have loved to have had the chance to qualify the truck, potentially starting us higher up the grid."

Thunderstorms rolled in just before the scheduled green flag start, delaying the start of the race by two hour and a half. When the green flag flew at nearly 10 p.m., the Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra maintained their starting position for the first 20 laps.

Ten laps later, Labonte fought to stay in contention for the Aaron's Lucky Dog Free Pass at the .686-mile oval. He received that pass when the caution flag waved on Lap 32. Labonte restarted at the tail end of the lead lap in 29th-place with the Aaron's Lucky Dog Toyota Tundra.

"The truck was loose early on in the race," said Labonte. "During our pit stop, the guys made a few adjustments to improve the handling of the truck."

The 26-year-old ran in the top-25 for the next 80 laps. On Lap 120, Labonte's Tundra became loose off another truck and spun out, bringing out the fifth caution of the night. When the green-flag waved, Labonte restarted 29th and would go on to finish the Power Stroke Diesel 200 in the same position.

"I had a great time racing in the Aaron's Lucky Dog truck," said Labonte. "I am thankful to everyone at Aaron's and Darrell Waltrip Motorsports for giving me the chance to get back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Numerous Aaron's representatives from local Aaron's stores attended this race. I wanted to give them a good show but luck and weather weren't on my side."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns at Nashville Superspeedway on August 11th for the Toyota Tundra 200. Live coverage on begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT on SPEED and MRN Radio.

-credit: mwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Justin Labonte