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NASCAR Winston Cup Jiffy Lube 300 Race Report -- #18, Bobby Labonte

16 July 1997

By Camp & Associates, Inc.
 #18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Jiffy Lube 300 Race Report
 New Hampshire International Speedway

LOUDON, NH - Bobby Labonte endured a sluggish performance in Sunday's Jiffy 
Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Labonte started 17th and 
was not a factor in the 300 lap race. He finished 27th, 2 laps down to race 
winner Jeff Burton.

"We were loose all day," Labonte said. "We ran terrible in the race. We tried 
everything we knew to make the car better Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and 
nothing worked. I was surprised when we qualified as good as we did because 
we didn't pick up any from our practice times. Today could have been a good 
points day for us because Jeff Gordon had a bad day. But you can't gain any 
points when you're running at the back of the pack. We need to capitalize on 
every opportunity we have to gain points on the leaders because those days 
don't come along often."

"Bobby said the car was loose and we made several adjustments to tighten the 
car up," crew chief Jimmy Makar said. "But nothing worked. We played with the 
air pressure, track bar, and even took a rubber out of the right rear and 
nothing helped. This race puts the finishing touches on a frustrating week 
because we had a frustrating test at Indianapolis earlier this week."

Sunday's race was another frustrating day for Labonte at New Hampshire 
International Speedway. Labonte has only one top-10 finish in five career 
starts at the flat, 1.058 mile speedway. He has finished on the lead lap only 
once, in 1994, when he finished 15th. His best finish in his last three Jiffy 
Lube 300 starts was 15th in 1995.

Labonte remains seventh in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship 
standings, 386 point behind point leader Terry Labonte. Bobby Labonte trails 
sixth place Dale Earnhardt by 172 and leads eighth place Ricky Rudd by 37