Labonte Likes Martinsville

Martinsville Speedway has always been a favorite of Bobby Labonte and the Petty Enterprises driver looks for a good finish in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Tums QuickPak 500.

“I’m excited to get to Martinsville this weekend because I’ve liked that place since the first time I got on the track," Labonte said. "That’s just the way some racetracks are. It’s not one thing about them that you can really put your finger on. You just have a good feel for them right out of the box."

Labonte's record at the tight, half-mile Virginia short track is no doubt part of the reason why the veteran looks forward to racing there.

Labonte has scored six top-5 finishes at Martinsville; all six have been in his last 14 visits to the track. His most recent top-5 came in 2006 when he finished third.

Labonte is the only driver to win in all three NASCAR series at Martinsville Speedway (Truck – 2005, Nationwide – 1992, Sprint Cup – 2002).

"One of the real highlights of my career would have to be winning a race in all three series at Martinsville," Labonte said. "That has to rank right up there with my championship and my Brickyard trophy."

Labonte has had some recent strong finishes in the PE No. 43 Dodge and when the series visited Martinsville in March, he ran with the leaders a good part of the day.

“We’ve had a few races this year where we feel like a good finish either slipped away or was taken away," he said. "Martinsville was definitely one of those. We had worked our way up to third place and had the track position game in our favor, but we got caught up in a wreck that was the product of hard, short track racing."

"It didn’t end our day, but it took away any shot we had at winning. One thing about racing is that redemption can be a motivator. We want redemption this weekend and hopefully that translates into a win.”

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2008

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