Labonte Looking Up

22724Jpg
Share:
Slowly, but surely, Bobby Labonte's season is starting to look up.

Labonte came all the way from the 39th-starting spot to finish eighth.

The finish was Labonte's second top 10 in the last four races and the third time in the last four that he has completed every lap. Those stats are impressive considering the miserable luck Labonte endured in the early part of the season.

"I think we're finally getting somewhere," Labonte said. "Finishing races is the big thing."

After starting 39th, Labonte methodically worked his way through the field and Steve Addington and the pit crew made minor track bar and tire pressure adjustments throughout the first 150 laps. Labonte was up to 12th on Lap 164 when he made slight contact with Rusty Wallace, which sent Wallace into a spin. Unfortunately, when Labonte pitted, he went too far forward in the pit box and was boxed in by Carl Edwards.

Labonte restarted the race in 22nd on Lap 170, worked his way up through the field and cracked the top 10 on Lap 320. On Lap 375, Hermie Sadler blew an engine and Mike Bliss crashed in Turn 1, bringing out a caution. Addington decided to have Labonte pit, a decision that would prove to be wise.

After getting four tires, fuel and a tire-pressure adjustment, Labonte restarted 11th on Lap 385. He managed to gain three positions on the fresh tires and finished eighth.

"The guys did a good job," Labonte said. "The pit stops were good, the car handled great. It was a good night for us."

Labonte moved from 33rd to 31st in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He has and has 968 points and is 594 behind leader Jimmie Johnson and 10 behind 30th-place Kyle Petty. Positions 27 through 33 are separated by just 54 points.

Next week, the NEXTEL Cup Series races under the lights at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the non-points NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. Labonte, because he is a past NEXTEL Cup champion automatically qualifies for the All-Star event and does not have to compete in the NEXTEL Open.

The NEXTEL All-Star Challenge begins at 9 p.m. (EDT), Saturday May 21. The event will be broadcast live on FX and MRN.

Photos

  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Chicagoland Testing
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race - Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • From the Archives: Bristol
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Watkins Glen
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
  • Pennsylvania 400
Click to View More

Advertisement

You may unsubscribe at any time.
Motor Racing Network
555 MRN Drive
Concord, NC 28027
www.mrn.com/Footer/Contact-Us.aspx
(704)262-6700
feedback@mrn.com
  • © 2016 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites