Justin Labonte has had big racing shoes to fill -- those of his father, Terry Labonte and his uncle, Bobby Labonte -- but today the kid stepped into the shoes quite nicely with victory at Chicagoland. Justin Labonte. Photo by Michael C.
Justin Labonte has had big racing shoes to fill -- those of his father, Terry Labonte and his uncle, Bobby Labonte -- but today the kid stepped into the shoes quite nicely with victory at Chicagoland.
The young man drove his Dodge to his first NASCAR Busch career win in the windy city: quite the accomplishment for the young man who was making his eighth career start and had yet to finish in the top-ten.
Race leader Mike Wallace did run out of fuel, handing the win to Labonte who was in the right place as he kept running while the other nine leaders had problems. Labonte edged Jason Keller by a mere 0.419-seconds.
"I couldn't believe when he ran out of gas," Justin said. "I just about ran into him. I am very happy to be here today and the Dodge was perfect. I still cannot believe I am the winner."
Like father, like son. Labonte did not do a victory burnout which has become a tradition, "My dad said nobody should do a burnout." Racing Cup star and two-time Cup champion has always maintained a quiet dignity when he wins. Toady, he was celebrating his son's first victory.
"This is bigger than any win I have had," said Terry Labonte. "It's very special, it really is."
Jeff Burton finished third and commented about Labonte's win, "He didn't have the fastest car, but something good happened to a good person and a good family, and that's pretty cool to see,.
"He earned the race, nobody gave it to him. People will say he got lucky. They made the right call. They made the right calls to win the race."