Seasons Best For Labonte

It wasn't pretty, but in the end Bobby Labonte had his best finish of the season.

Labonte drove his Petty Enterprises Dodge to his first top ten of the season Saturday night in the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. It was also the first for the team in 2007.

After starting 26th, Labonte and crew chief Paul Andrews had to adjust on a tight handling car all night. The adjustments and some well-timed caution flags resulted in the No. 43 finishing eighth.

"It wasn’t’ a bad run," said Labonte. "Obviously we got lucky when we caught that caution and some guys had already pitted. That helped us out a few positions. That was a gift that sometimes you get and sometimes you don’t. We were lucky to miss that wreck, but our car worked pretty good all night."

Andrews was pleased with the way his crew stayed with things Saturday night and battled back from a dismal start.

"We didn’t make any bad calls," said Andrews. "Our car was good. It wasn’t great. It was right there all night long. We were about a tenth off the leader all night. We didn’t pit early at all and that’s what the other guys did and that’s what got us a top 10 quite honestly. We had about a 12th-place car and we ended up eighth, so that’s awesome."

It was Labonte and company's best showing in the "Car of Tomorrow" as well, after two disappointing races at Bristol and Martinsville.

"That was kind of our first real run in the COT," he said. "We didn’t get to run Martinsville and Bristol was just kind of Bristol. Our guys did a great job and Paul did a great job yesterday making some changes. Things were OK. To come home with a top-10 finish is good. We’re only eight races in, so it’s good to get it. We’ve got a few other things to try with the COT, but look at who’s winning and who’s in the top five. They’re all good teams."

Labonte is now 19th in the NEXTEL Cup point standings as the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, where he finished 29th and 10th a year ago.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2007

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