Streak Ends for Bobby Labonte

Bobby Labonte

With Bobby Labonte not racing at Kentucky, it will mark the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race without a Labonte since the 1978 season finale in Ontario, Calif. (Photo: Getty Images)


Bobby Labonte will not race this weekend at Kentucky Speedway he confirmed Tuesday in a chat with fans on JTG Daugherty’s website, ending his streak of 704 consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup starts, .

Labonte’s streak is the third longest in series history behind Ricky Rudd (788) and Jeff Gordon (705).

Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is not racing this weekend because AJ Allmendinger is in the No. 47 car - the second of five races Allmendinger will drive for the team. Allmendinger also will drive for team at Watkins Glen in August and two other races to be determined. Car owner Tad Geschickter says that the team is using Allmendinger to help diagnose its struggles this season. Geschickter also said that Labonte would drive for the team in the three Cup races in July: Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis.

Allmendinger drove for JTG Daugherty two weeks ago at Michigan, finishing 19th. Labonte drove for Phoenix Racing that weekend but will not be in any ride this weekend.

“I will not be racing this week,’’ Labonte wrote on the chat, adding that he would not be at the track this weekend.

“The Streak: It is disappointing the way it is happening. I have had a couple of offers this morning, but I have declined them because I don’t want anybody else that has an opportunity to do what I do, what they love, to have to sit on the sideline for my sake.’’

Labonte’s consecutive start streak dates to the 1993 Daytona 500 when he finished 20th in the season-opening race for car owner Bill Davis.

With Labonte not in the lineup, it marks the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race without either Bobby or older brother Terry Labonte in the field since the 1978 season finale in Ontario, Calif.


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