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NASCAR BGN Series Kenwood Home & Car Audio 300 Preview: #18, Bobby Labonte

14 October 1997

 #18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 DieHard 500 Race Report
 Talladega Superspeedway
 October 12, 1997

TALLADEGA, AL - Terry Labonte edged brother Bobby Labonte to win Sunday's 
Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in another typical finish at the 
2.66-mile speedway. In the last 10 laps of the event, Bobby dropped from third
to sixth then rebounded to grab second. The finish was Bobby's eighth 
top-five of the season and his third in the last four races. 

"Kenny Schrader, Terry, and I stayed in line for a long time, just trying to
race," Labonte said. "Some cars got out of there and we wanted to stay as
close as we could together, single file. I was behind Terry when the Fords 
got up there and that messed our plan up. I still got behind Terry and helped 
him a little bit to get by Schrader, and John Andretti helped me to get back 
by Schrader. 

"I think I needed one more lap to get by Terry, because Andretti was coming up
awfully strong. I think he would have helped me because I helped him earlier. 
Terry and I had a plan. We had figured out what we were going to do. It 
worked out for Terry, but it didn't work out for me. I was going to help 
Terry anyway, especially when I ended up behind him after John and Ernie came
up there. 

"Our car was good all day. We got caught back a couple of times, but that's 
just a part of drafting here at Talladega. Even the guys that have been 
coming here a long time get caught in the same thing. That's the way it is 
right now with the way the cars are. We needed to get up front because I 
didn't like a couple of situations I was in, and then we got up there and that
helped out. At the end of the race there were less cars on the track racing 
for the win and that made it a little easier. 

"The car was great all day," Labonte said. "We were a little tight off the
corners early in the race but we made adjustments with air pressure and the 
chassis and we were OK for the rest of the day. All the guys on the Interstate
Batteries Racing Team did a great job in the pits. We're getting closer and 
closer to a win and I think we'll get one before the season is over." 

Labonte's weekend got off to a good start during qualifying on Friday
afternoon. His best lap of 49.755 seconds, 192.463 mph earned the seventh
starting position for the race. 

"It was a really good lap," Labonte said after his run. "The car unloaded off 
the truck quick. It's unfortunate we didn't pick up another tenth so we could 
have picked up a few more spots, but that's not a bad qualifying effort. We'll
take it. We've got a good race car, the same one we ran here last time."

Labonte remains seventh in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 634 
points behind point leader Jeff Gordon. He trails sixth place Dale Earnhardt 
by 107 and leads eighth place Bill Elliott by 151 points. 

A busy week lies ahead for the Interstate Batteries Racing Team. The team is 
at Talladega Superspeedway today participating in a test session conducted by
NASCAR. Other teams participating in the special test session are Terry
Labonte and Kyle Petty. On Wednesday, the team plans to test at North Carolina
Motor Speedway in Rockingham. The ACDelco 400 is scheduled for October 26 at
the one mile speedway.

By Camp & Associates, Inc.