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NASCAR BGN Series MBNA 200 Preview: #44, Bobby Labonte

18 September 1997

 #44 Bobby Labonte, Shell Pontiac Grand Prix 
 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division
 MBNA 200 Advance
 Dover Downs International Speedway

DOVER, DE - Bobby Labonte and the Shell Oil Racing Team are packed and
ready for this weekend's MBNA 200 at Dover Downs International
Speedway. Labonte and the team are on a mission to make a clean sweep
of the Busch Series events at the one mile Delaware speedway. Crew
chief Bryant Frazier says he and the team are ready for the task.

"We've got the broom in the truck with us for the sweep," said
Frazier. "We will have the identical package we had at Dover back in
June. Same car, same motor, same everything. I've always loved coming
to Dover and my cars always run good there. It's just that we would
always have some kind of trouble that would prevent us from winning
the race. I'll be very surprised if we're not in the hunt for the
victory on Saturday."

Three other drivers (Robert Pressley, Todd Bodine, and Randy LaJoie)
have won both Dover Busch races in a single season, the most recent
being LaJoie in 1996. A win by Labonte on Saturday would be a first,
however, since no full time Winston Cup competitor has ever
accomplished a sweep.

Labonte's chances for the Dover double are good, considering his
recent record at track. In his past two Busch Series starts at the
Monster Mile, he has recorded one pole and one race victory. Add to
that the fact Labonte has two poles and two top-five finishes in his
two most recent Winston Cup starts, one can easily understand if
Labonte has great affection for Dover Downs.

"I've had a lot of success recently at Dover, but I honestly can't put
my finger on the reason why," Labonte said. "I guess the main reason
is because I've been in good race cars. My Shell car was awesome in
May, and the team did a great job in the pits all day long. We had a
perfect day and won the race.

"I haven't always liked Dover. It took me a couple of times to figure
out what I needed to do to make the car go fast. It's not a forgiving
race track.  You've always got to be a little on the tight side, the
comfortable side. By the time you realize you're on the other side,
it's already too late."

By Camp & Associates, Inc.