Bobby Labonte returns to the No. 47 SCOTT® Products Toyota Camry at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500 Saturday night.
In 41 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bobby Labonte has two wins, three pole awards, 12 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes and has led 807 laps. His average start is 16.122 and his average finish is 15.707.
The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's best finish of the season is 15th, which occurred at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Charlotte: “From the first time I went to Charlotte, I loved it and that was in a NASCAR Nationwide Series car,” Labonte said. “That played over into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It is just a good place for me to go to. I was really competitive in the new body style from a few years ago, but haven’t been as quite in the Gen-6. However, Charlotte is a place where you can be successful. I have great ambition to do well this weekend in the No. 47 SCOTT® Products Toyota.”
Takes time to heal broken ribs: “It does take time to heal,” Labonte said. “But, honestly I have been mountain biking and road biking. Basically, I have been doing a bunch of things trying to stay busy to get ready for the weekend. Everything has been good. Time has taken care of it. I have moments where I’m like ‘Oh that hurts’, but it’s only for a second. I mean I wouldn’t go 12 rounds with anybody right now, but it will get better.”
Picking up where he left off: “It is good to be back,” Labonte said. “I know that there were some things that the team learned when they tested at Atlanta Motor Speedway that will help us at Charlotte. There are some good things they have been doing to get the right pieces together. I feel good about that and every week the team takes the lessons they have learned to improve.”
Time away from the track: “I’ve been doing a lot of different things,” Labonte said. “We had a family outing where Tyler goes to college at Appalachian State a couple weeks ago. It was a nice family weekend for a home football game and along with all kinds of activities. We had a lot of fun. Now, it’s time to get back to business as usual and get ready to race the No. 47 SCOTT® Products Toyota.”
Glad to have Bobby back: “It’s good to have Bobby back behind the wheel of the No. 47 SCOTT® Products Toyota,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “He’s in great shape considering what happened to him in a cycling incident. He’s up to par and we are equally excited to have him back as he is to get back behind the wheel.”
Chassis 704: “We raced this car at Chicagoland Speedway where we qualified 13th and finished 21st with AJ Allmendinger,” Burns said. “Before that, AJ had it at Kentucky Speedway. We qualified 17th and finished 22nd. It’s a pretty good car for us to bring to Charlotte Motor Speedway with Bobby.”
Track similarities: “We feel like Charlotte Motor Speedway is very similar to Atlanta Motor Speedway, where we learned a lot that we can apply going into this weekend with Bobby behind the wheel,” Burns said. “We are going into Charlotte with the same goal in mind hoping for a strong weekend. Bobby has proved to be very successful at Charlotte and has a couple of wins along with a few poles.”
Charlotte prep: “We did some testing at the TRD facility on the shaker rig with this track in mind,” Burns said. “With what we learned there and at Atlanta, we’re hoping to have a strong finish with Bobby.”
Good to be home: “It is nice to be able to enjoy a weekend at home and not have to board a plane and leave town,” Burns said. “It is good for our crew members to have some time at home. It is a little more relaxing than a typical race weekend where you have to fly out to another city. Also, your friends and family have the opportunity to come out and watch the race.”
BOBBY LABONTE STATS:
Career Starts: 713
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
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TAILGATER OF THE YEAR:
Throughout the 2013 NASCAR race season, JTG Daugherty Racing and our drivers, Bobby Labonte and AJ Allmendinger have searched the campgrounds at each race track looking for the best tailgaters. Now that the regular NASCAR season has ended, we have chosen our 24 weekly winners and are launching the “Tailgater of the Year” fan-vote today (and every subsequent Tuesday) at 10am EST.
It is YOUR turn to decide who wins our “Tailgater of the Year” contest and the grand prize of an all-expense paid trip to the 2014 Las Vegas Race as a guest of JTG Daugherty Racing!
The quarter-finalists were determined over the last 26 races as we scoured the camp grounds looking for our favorite weekly tailgater. Visit our contest page and help vote your favorite tailgater into the next round!
Our round-four winner and our third semi-finalists is Jim Burnett who had a tropical tailgate setup at the Spring race in Dover. Congratulations Jim!
Be sure to vote for your favorite once per week to help them win a trip to Las Vegas! http://a.pgtb.me/dJS1Cv
Saturday, October 12th
4 PM Freightliner meet and greets at hospitality
5 PM Sponsor meet and greets at 47 hauler