BOBBY LABONTE NO. 47 SCOTT® PRODUCTS TOYOTA CAMRY INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PREVIEW

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Event: Crown Royal Presents The Samuel Deeds at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com
Date: Sunday, July 28
TV/Radio: ESPN / IMS Radio

BOBBY LABONTE NOTES:


2000 was a pretty good year for Bobby Labonte. He won the prestigious Brickyard 400 (8/5/00) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) along with three other races that year en route to being crowned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.

In addition to kissing the bricks, Labonte has four top-five and five top-10 finishes in 19 starts at IMS. His average start is 22.263 and his average finish is 17.474.

Last time out at IMS, Labonte finished 26th with JTG Daugherty Racing's No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry.

QUOTES:

London visit during off week: "One of the coolest things I did in London was have my son Tyler take me to where he was interning at the law office for two weeks," Bobby Labonte said. "He showed me what they were doing and that was cool. Also, we went to the Churchill Museum. I went for a run a couple mornings and ran around Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Parliament. When we went to Paris, we went up the Eiffel Tower midways and took some great pictures. We also watched the Tour de France and it was the first year done at sunset. The electricity of the crowd was amazing and people were lined up for miles four and five deep. There were probably 12 to 15 million spectators over the course of the event. Everything was in French and I was trying to figure out what they were saying. Another neat thing we did was go see the Mona Lisa. On Sunday morning, I jogged under the Eiffel Tower and back to the hotel to wrap up an incredible week there. We had a great time."

It's a small world: "We had a blast in London and I almost did not want to come home," Labonte said. "I got there Monday and I was walking down the street getting my bearings. I looked to my left and there was this guy looking at me. I was like, 'I know him.' It turned out to be Jim France. He was there with his family. What a great guy. On Tuesday night, I had dinner with Jimmy Makar. He was over there on a mission trip. Then Tyler and I had dinner with a lady and her two kids that used to live in our neighborhood. Another night we were getting tickets for a play and we ran into Norm Miller's (Interstate Batteries) son Scott that was staying at the same hotel. I also saw where Steve Letarte was there too. It's a small world."

Back to racing: "The Brickyard is such a special place," Labonte said. "I took a ride around the track in a bus when we were racing Busch (NASCAR Nationwide Series) cars at Indianapolis Raceway Park back in the day. Then to be able to go there in 1994 to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was pretty special. It is different than any other place we go to just because the history of it. History means more to me now. It is pretty special to win there and your name is etched in stone."

2000: "It is kind of funny because it seemed like during that time if you won the Brickyard, you were in line to win the championship," Labonte said. "That was a race where I had more confidence than ever going into race morning. It all came together. We won four races and the championship that year. Winning the Brickyard was a big part of our season."

Reliving winning the Brickyard: "I knew on Friday evening that I was going to win and I told the guys I don't want to be cocky, but we have a good chance at winning this thing," Labonte said. "I'm not sure that I have ever been that confident before a race that I could say I was going to win. We qualified third. I rode around the track before the race with Darrell Waltrip and had him sign my Interstate Batteries hat for me. It was also the race that my brother could not race because of injuries that he suffered a few weeks prior. I remember during practice when Gary DeHart came down to my car crying telling me that Terry couldn't drive. So, I went down there and we all cried in the trailer. After passing Rusty with a few laps to go driving away from him, I backed off so much because my car was so fast and I didn't want to get to far ahead. I remember coming down pit road after the race and Terry standing there congratulating me as I went to victory lane."

Home is where the heart is: "This race is more near and dear to my heart being from Indy," crew chief Brian Burns said. "I remember going there as fan. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most prestigious tracks on the circuit and you just feel different going there. It's something bigger than a normal race weekend. Maybe it's because there is so much history and I have a lot of respect for that track.

"I really want to run well in front of a hometown crowd," Burns continued. "A win at this place is at the top of the list for most all racers. We are putting in a lot of effort for this race and running some tests with our Indy car at the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) facility. "

First trip to IMS with a team: "I'm originally from Winslow, Indiana, but I lived in Indianapolis from 1995 to 2003 and went to college in the area (Purdue University)," Burns said. "I remember my first work trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I was an engineer at Ganassi Racing with Sterling Marlin. I guess it really hit me when the national anthem started and I looked down the grandstands on the frontstretch and it was such a surreal feeling being a part of what you idolized growing up."

Working with a driver that has kissed the bricks: "Feels great going into this weekend with a guy that knows how to win Indy and still has the desire to win," Burns said. "Last week, we didn't have the finish we wanted, but Bobby had a great run inside the top-five. If it hadn't been for fuel mileage, we would have had a better outcome."



BOBBY LABONTE STATS:

Career Starts: 708
Wins: 21
Top-five: 115
Top-10: 201
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 WEEK:


Do you want to win an all expense paid trip and be the VIP guest of JTG Daugherty Racing at the big race in Las Vegas in 2014?

If you answered yes, then get out to the track and let us know where you are tailgating! Each race weekend during the Sprint Cup season JTG Daugherty Racing will be scouting the infields and campgrounds, looking for the best tailgaters at the track. The best, most enthusiastic tailgaters each race weekend will win a custom prize pack and become eligible for our “TAILGATER OF THE YEAR” competition.

You can let us know where you are tailgating by tweeting us your location. Throughout the weekend, leading up to the green flag, our team members, owners and maybe even Bobby Labonte himself will be patrolling the infield and campsites looking for the best tailgaters. So, fire up your grills with Kingsford® Charcoal, heat up a can of Bush’s® Grillin’ Beans and clean up your messes with Clorox® and Scott® Brand Products!

Simply follow us on Twitter @NASCAR47 , send us a tweet with your tailgate location and include the hash tag #TweetYourTailgate.