In 41 starts at Talladega Superspeedway, Bobby Labonte has one win (4/26/98), one pole award, six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and has led 159 laps. His average start is 21.805 and his average finish is 18.878.
The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion's best finish of the season is 15th, which occurred at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Make it to the end: “We are taking back the same car to Talladega Superspeedway that we had at Daytona International Speedway, so it is a pretty new car and I am excited about it,” Labonte said. “The biggest challenge for us this weekend is just staying out of trouble until the end.”
Mental challenge: “Talladega Superspeedway is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge,” Labonte said. “It is all about being at the right place at the right time and hoping you make it to the end for that big rush to the start-finish line.”
Fans: “NASCAR has done a good job of listening to the fans and giving the fans what they want,” Labonte said. “The fans wanted pack racing and that is what they have got. Sunday is going to be a good show no matter what happens.”
Easy like Sunday morning: “Leading up to Sunday is a fairly simple couple days because we are only going to make a few runs like we have done in the past,” Labonte said. “Basically, when you load the car on the transporter and it leaves the shop, you already kind of know what you have got. When we get to the track, we are going to be smart, take good care of the car and not put ourselves in jeopardy during practice sessions.”
Strength: “Racing superspeedways is one of several strengths Bobby Labonte possesses as a driver,” crew chief Brian Burns said. “He is great at avoiding wrecks and knows the right time to push the envelope to be there at the end going towards the front. Talladega Superspeedway is a place where it does not matter if you are a small team or a big team. We have just a good enough shot as anyone to win on Sunday.”
Respect: “Another good thing about Bobby is that he is well-respected in the industry and there is just a higher level of respect for him racing at these superspeedways,” Burns said. “It is not going to be hard for him to find a group of cars to ride with to the front."
No disadvantages: “You used to have to worry about having a dancing partner with the tandem deal and now that is not the case,” Burns said. “If you were a single-car team, you were the odd man out. Now, it is bigger pack racing and thankfully it takes away a disadvantage from us and opens a window of opportunity.”
Chassis 706: “We are bringing chassis number 706,” Burns said. “It is only our second race with this car. We raced it in the second Daytona race.”
Pleased with progress: “Bobby came in the shop yesterday and was happy with the way the car drove at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Burns said. "It is just unfortunate the things that happened on pit road that put us back. Because the way we ran makes him have some excitement about going to Texas Motor Speedway. Even though it was a disappointing finish for us at Charlotte, it was a very productive weekend. We are making some gains. The cars are getting better and we are still heading in the right direction. We just need for everything to line up for us during the races and not have bad luck. It seems like the way the Charlotte race played out, it was impossible to rebound from our bad luck.”
Being comfortable: “Leading into this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway will not be as stressful during practice sessions because all the teams will not make a lot of runs,” Burns said. “No one wants to wreck their primary. We plan to make a few single-car runs to test some things aerodynamically that will be better for the car. After a couple single car runs, we will make some drafting runs and then pack up. There’s not too much to learn there. Basically, we want to make sure Bobby is comfortable.”
BOBBY LABONTE STATS:
Career Starts: 714
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-five winner and our fifth semi-finalists is John DeStefano who had a eye-catching tailgate display at the summer race in Daytona. Congratulations John!
This is our final Quarter-Final round so be sure to vote for your favorite tailgater and help them advance to the Semi-Finals which begin next week. The Grand Prize winner will win a trip to Las Vegas! https://a.pgtb.me/3Sw1hT