Labonte Scores Historic And Much-Needed Win At Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, Va., Saturday, April 9, 2005 -- Bobby Labonte scored a much-needed and historic win in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event April 9 at Martinsville Speedway...
Labonte Scores Historic And Much-Needed Win At Martinsville
MARTINSVILLE, Va., Saturday, April 9, 2005 -- Bobby Labonte scored a much-needed and historic win in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event April 9 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
Labonte, who defeated Ricky Craven by .257 of a second, became the 12th driver to win in all three of NASCAR's top divisions and the first driver to win a race at the same track in all three divisions. He won a Busch Series race at Martinsville in Oct. 1992 and a NEXTEL Cup event at the half-mile track in April 2002.
"I had a great truck," Labonte said. "Randy Goss (crew chief) and the entire Morgan Dollar crew worked so hard. I can't thank Chevrolet enough for the chance to run these truck races. They are a ton of fun."
Labonte started fifth and led laps 61-94, before making his first pit stop in the No. 47 Rodeway Inn/Econo Lodge/Trick Pony Chevrolet Silverado. He remained in contention throughout the day and, after his second and final pit stop under caution on lap 138, he restarted in 13th on lap 143. He steadily worked his way through the field and on lap 221 of the 250-lap event, he passed Chad Chaffin for the lead in Turn 3. Two more cautions came out while he was in the lead, but Labonte managed to hold of Craven and Ron Hornaday Jr. in route to victory.
"I knew Hornaday would make a hard run on that last restart, so I knew I had to have a good restart to try and get away," Labonte said. "He and Ricky (Craven) were beating and banging behind me, and it gave me just enough to get away."
Labonte won in his just his fifth start in the Craftsman Truck Series and scored his third top-five. He finished third in the fall 2004 race at Martinsville and finished second to Hornaday by just .008 of a second in March 2005 at Atlanta. Each race was with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports.
"We've come close a couple of times, but we finally got it," Labonte said. "This is a great track, I love to race here and I am proud of finally getting this trophy."
Labonte became the 50th different driver to win the truck series and, he and brother, Terry, became the first set of brothers to win in the series. Terry Labonte won at Richmond in Sept. 1995. The Labonte brothers have a combined eight starts in the Craftsman Truck Series (Bobby with five and Terry with three, all in 1995) and have two victories and six top-three victories.
Bobby Labonte will start fifth in Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville. The race starts at 12:30 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on FOX on MRN.