Bobby Labonte Snaps Drought With Kroger 250 Victory MARTINSVILLE, VA (April 9, 2005) - Bobby Labonte set all kinds of records Saturday afternoon with his victory in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville...
Bobby Labonte Snaps Drought With Kroger 250 Victory
MARTINSVILLE, VA (April 9, 2005) - Bobby Labonte set all kinds of records Saturday afternoon with his victory in the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
But records weren't that big of a deal to the 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion on this warm Saturday afternoon. Getting back to victory lane was the really big deal.
"Our Sundays haven't been that great," said Labonte, who hasn't won a NEXTEL Cup race since the final race of the 2003 season. "This helps take away from that a bit. We take it one day at a time. We can't even tell if we have great Cup cars because we haven't run long enough to tell. This definitely does help. In my mind I know we can still go out there and run competitively."
Labonte, in a Chevrolet, edged out Ricky Craven and his Ford for the win by .257 seconds. It was the closest Craftsman Truck Series finish ever at Martinsville Speedway.
Labonte's win made him the first driver in NASCAR history to win a race at the same track in all three national se ries. He joins his brother Terry to become the first set of brothers to win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Labonte led twice for 64 laps, but the final few laps of the event were the most difficult for the Texas driver. On a restart on lap 246 he had to hold off a charge from both Craven and Ron Hornaday Jr.
Hornaday wound up third after making a desperate charge to the outside followed by Todd Bodine and Chad Chaffin.
"When you come to Martinsville, it's all about moving people out of the way and stuff like that," said Hornaday. "You knew at the end of the race Bobby Labonte was going to guard the bottom of the track and so was Craven. If they were going to guard the bottom, then I'm going outside."
Pole-sitter Bobby Hamilton wound up 20th. He led the first 47 laps and never challenged again. He got caught up in a late-race wreck, but wound up on the lead lap.
There were six lead changes among six drivers and 11 caution periods for 60 laps.
Action returns to Martinsville Speedway today with the running of the Advance Auto Parts 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. Tickets remain for the Advance Auto Parts 500 and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com