TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PREVIEWTrack: Texas Motor Speedway
Event: NRA 500
Date: Saturday, April 13th
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Texas Motor Speedway
In 24 starts at Texas Motor Speedway, Bobby Labonte has two pole awards (2003 and 2004), three top-five, five top-10 finishes and has led 59 laps. His average start is 19.208 and his average finish is 24.208. The Corpus Christi, Texas-native’s best finish is third three times on 4/6/97, 3/28/99 and 4/2/00.
The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is currently 28th in the drivers points standings, 126 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. Labonte is only 67 points out of 10th place.
JTG Daugherty Racing Quotes
Labonte talks Texas: “I think every time it’s exciting for me to go back to Texas Motor Speedway,” Labonte said. “I was there when they started to build that facility and Bruton Smith had a bunch of drivers come down. I have a picture of me with the soil after the dynamite. It was cool to see the track built in the state where I was born and raised. It’s a great track to race on as far as the drivers go. There are multiple grooves and tires give up, which makes for good racing and excitement for the fans. I always look forward to going back there.”
Labonte getting a grip: “I anticipate the grip level at Texas Motor Speedway will be different than Vegas (Las Vegas Motor Speedway),” Labonte said. “It gives up more at Texas than at Vegas. NASCAR is giving us a half day to test at Texas, which is huge for us. At Vegas earlier this season, we never really got to practice much because we had brake issues. Racing at Texas in the evening will help out as far as the track temperature being cooler. There will be multiple grooves and one groove will not be a dominating factor. We’re trying to learn more about this car. Thursday will mean a lot and qualifying is key. You’re not going to be able to pass 20 cars in a run. We have a great group of people in place and we are further than where we were last year. We are just trying to see why we may have taken a step back and trying to look at things at a different angle. Thursday’s test session is going to be real important to us.
Labonte on approaching his 700th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway: “You don’t go home after every race and count them,” Labonte said. “You don’t keep track. You just don’t. Looking back, it gives you a cold chill knowing how incredible it really is. It’s just an awesome accomplishment in this sport and it’s hard to achieve in a lot of ways. I’m thankful to be able to get to that point.”
Labonte a fan favorite: “Fans are so supportive,” said Labonte, who is eligible again for the Sprint Fan Vote leading up to the All-Star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s so neat to be put in the right place at the right time to be able to start 700 races and have a fan following like we do. I guess I came about it at the right time and studied my peers racing growing up and how they treated people. I was raised to be a certain way and learned to try not to be too vocal and that sometimes privacy is the best way. I learned to try not to cause a ruckus on the track. I’m not a guy to try to make more out of me than I am. The way I grew up watching my brother (Terry Labonte) race and guys like Ricky Rudd and Richard Petty. I grew up watching what Richard did and what he did for the community and what he does for racing. The fans, I can’t say enough about them and the loyalty they have to the sport.”
Upcoming charity events Labonte has scheduled: “On May 8th, we have a celebrity golf classic at TPC Piper Glen in the Charlotte area benefiting JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation),” Labonte said. “And then on Sunday, May 19th, we are having our third annual Share the Road Memorial Ride cycling event and 5K/10K run kicking off at Wheatmore High School in Trinity, N.C. Archdale Drug is a title sponsor and this event benefits Communities in Schools of Randolph County Backpack Pals Program (providing food for children who wouldn’t have food on the weekends and also letting them know someone cares about them) and Bikes Belong Foundation promoting bike safety and sharing the road. There have been some friends of ours that have lost their lives and we want to help promote safety for cyclists on the road. Last year, we had 250 cyclists. The cycling community is an awesome crowd and I’m fortunate to be a part of it and meet people who ride bikes. It’s a great event that helps raise money and awareness.”
Bobby Labonte Stats
Career Starts: 696
First Start: 06/03/1991 Dover
First Pole: 09/11/1993 Richmond
First Win: 05/28/1995 Charlotte
Last Pole: 04/04/2004 Texas
Last Win: 11/16/2003 Homestead (329 races since)
Driver DOB: 05/08/1964
Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
Crew Chief: Brian Burns
Bush’s Beans – Family Inspired Recipes
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Tailgater of the Week
Last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Rich Haverstrom and his crew were the recognized as Tailgater of the Week.
Do you have what it takes to be the “TAILGATER OF THE WEEK”?
Are you the ultimate “Grillmaster” at the race track? Do you want to win an all expense paid trip and be the VIP guest of JTG Daugherty Racing at the big race in Las Vegas in 2014?
If you answered yes, then get out to the track and let us know where you are tailgating! Each race weekend during the Sprint Cup season JTG Daugherty Racing will be scouting the infields and campgrounds, looking for the best tailgaters at the track. The best, most enthusiastic tailgaters each race weekend will win a custom prize pack and become eligible for our “TAILGATER OF THE YEAR” competition.
You can let us know where you are tailgating by tweeting us your location.
Throughout the weekend, leading up to the green flag, our team members, owners and maybe even Bobby Labonte himself will be patrolling the infield and campsites looking for the best tailgaters. So, fire up your grills with Kingsford® Charcoal, heat up a can of Bush’s® Grillin’ Beans and clean up your messes with Clorox® and Scott® Brand Products!
Simply follow us on Twitter @NASCAR47 , send us a tweet with your tailgate location and include the hash tag #TweetYourTailgate
Visit www.RaceSavers.com for more details!
Bobby Labonte Scheduled Appearances
Thursday, April 11TH
11 AM to 12 PM Brookshire’s Store Appearance at Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, April 13TH
2:15 to 2:30 PM FREIGHTLINER APPEARANCE
2:35 to 2:50 PM BREAKING LIMITS HOSPITALITY APPEARANCE
3 to 3:15 PM TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY SUITE APPEARANCE
3:20 to 3:40PM TOYOTA SUITE APPEARANCE
4 PM MEET & GREETS AT 47 HAULER