Tag Archives: Terry Labonte

Did You Notice? Mayfield Burned At The Stake, Sadler’s Recurring Nightmare, And A Champ Cashing In

*Did You Notice?* … Elliott Sadler needs to get over the Daytona 500? I was thinking this over when reading up on one of the driver’s favorite pastimes: golf. Most of us were captivated Sunday by Tom Watson’s near-miracle at the British Open, where the 59-year-old nearly turned back the clock in coming one hole and one shot from winning another major. But with the trophy firmly within his grasp, Watson missed an eight-foot par putt, and in an instant his impression changed from nervous anticipation to the pain experienced by a runner-up who still had to go through the motions. Sure, there was a four-hole playoff left – Watson had fallen into a tie for the lead – but the great ones already know when they’ve lost.

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Beyond the Cockpit: Bobby Labonte on Adjusting, Winning, and… Shooting The Truck?

_At a time when veteran drivers are becoming a thing of the past in NASCAR, Bobby Labonte is the rare fortysomething who's remained a fixture in the series. Indeed, the sport has changed quite a bit since the Texan captured his lone Cup title nine years ago -- but one thing that hasn’t is how hard it is to win races and championships. In fact, Labonte says, it’s tougher than ever these days, evidenced by a slump of his own that's gone on far longer than anyone might have expected. He last visited Victory Lane at Homestead in November, 2003, and has yet to make the Chase since the playoff began one year later. This season to date has been the worst of his career statistically, as he's got just one top 10 finish and ranks 28th in the standings in his first year driving the No. 96 Ford._ _Still, Labonte's NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup titles stand as a NASCAR record -- no other driver can lay claim to both. Amy Henderson sat down with Labonte to discuss whether that mark will ever be broken, why his season has been such a struggle, and how a little fun involving two brothers and a pickup truck may have been the coolest thing that's ever happened in his life._

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Beating And Banging At Its Best: NASCAR’s Five Greatest Bristol Finishes

It’s a question us journalists hear all the time – especially after the three-week swing of racing at Fontana, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. If I had to count up all the random emails in my inbox from fans this month, hidden somewhere in between “Why don’t you treat Junior more fairly” and “you suck because of A, B, and C” is a basic complaint about NASCAR’s “cookie cutter” racing facilities, ending with, “Why can’t the sport build more tracks like the one they have in Bristol?” I hear you, guys … I hear you loud and clear.

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Mirror Driving: Daytona Disappointment, Yellow Line Disgust, And Is Kenseth A Hall of Famer?

*The Daytona 500 had several controversial moments, but the biggest was the race being shortened by over 100 miles due to rain. Did NASCAR do the right thing by starting at the scheduled time, or should the green flag have been moved up so that the entire race could be run?* Mike: “Hey, fans: the first five innings of the seventh game of the World Series ran too long. We're going to call it now.” Tom: I think there's a big issue with the green flag starting at 3:45 PM. As for the race getting restarted, the rain was ... rain, guys. You couldn't do much about it. I was there, and there was no way they were getting the track dry once it started.

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Mirror Driving: The Fallout Of No Testing At Daytona, Dueling For… What?, And Avoiding Short Fields

*Saturday's Budweiser Shootout featured several multi-car crashes that took out some top contenders -- including rookie sensation Joey Logano and Cup champions Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Was this to be expected in a non-points race, or is it an ominous result of the testing ban — and is there more to come as the ban continues?* Beth: I think it was a little bit of both, actually. Amy: I think it's a sign of things to come for the 500; but after that, not so much. Teams need the track time, but they'll get that the first few weeks.

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Side by Side: Should The Champion’s Provisional Be Dropped?

_Editor's Note : The following is a special edition of Frontstretch's Side By Side. Occasionally throughout the season, two of your favorite Frontstretch writers will duke it out in a debate concerning one of NASCAR's biggest stories. Don't let us be the only ones to speak our minds, though...be sure to read both sides and let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section below!_ *Today's Question : With the Daytona 500 the equivalent to NASCAR's "Super Bowl," should they automatically save a spot for a former champion who can't qualify into the field any other way? Or should the rule be relaxed and another, faster driver installed in their place?*.

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Six Points to Ponder: 2009 Speedweeks – Week 1 Edition

*Wait and see with Logano* et me preface this by saying that we’ve learned absolutely nothing about the upcoming season from just a few practice sessions and an exhibition race -- but can we not go ahead and crown Joey Logano the future of the sport just yet? Sure, he’s got the credentials, the team, the equipment, and the potential... but let him earn his stripes first. The premature hype surrounding this kid is unbelievable, especially when there are tons of talented young drivers out there -- including the 18-year-old who beat him in Saturday’s ARCA event.

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2008 Driver Review: Terry Labonte

*2008 Ride:* No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge (9 Races) No. 10 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge (Pocono – July) *2008 Primary Sponsors:* Marathon Oil, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wells Fargo, Richard Petty Driving Experience, Victory Junction Gang Camp (No. 45) Charter Communications (No. 10) *2008 Owners:* Richard Petty / Boston Ventures (No. 45), George Gillett (No. 10) *2008 Crew Chiefs:* Stewart Cooper (No. 45), Mike Shiplett (No. 10) *Stats:* 10 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 0 Top 10s, 46th in points. *Best Finish:* 16th – Daytona, Coke Zero 400 (July). *High Point:* After going two and a half years in between restrictor plate race starts, the Labonte nicknamed “Iceman” showed he still knew how to keep his car out of trouble and get the job done.

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Out With The Old, In With The Who?

For so many millions of us, favorite athletes become so much more. Role models for our kids, our communities, ourselves; they’re put on a pedestal of success we can only wish to achieve. Through them, we choose to live our wildest dreams, placed in a fantasy world in which a larger-than-life persona can show us the joys of perfection. Every once in awhile, we get lucky in love, and the dream never dies. Our idols leave the sport we love at the top of their game, and we’re allowed to remember the end just the way we want it – like a fairy tale. But more often, the bubble bursts and we find out the truth – that these drivers we worship are human, too, unable to fend off the inevitability of age and time. And that makes it so much harder when you see their careers come crashing down.

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Tragedy Only Fueled Hendrick’s Triumph In Their Darkest Hour

It was the first time Brian Vickers smiled all weekend. That was my first thought one Sunday afternoon, a scant four years ago when the dust had settled after the 2004 Bass Pro Shops 500. The second was that it took extraordinary courage and poise for the winning team to be there at all. Racing rarely gives much, but it can take in an instant. Tragedy is constantly a hairbreadth away, and inevitably, sometimes, that line is crossed. Perhaps not so strangely, in a sport that is fueled by danger and excitement, triumph can also be fueled by tragedy.

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