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Labonte Nabs Top-10 Finish at Pocono

 

  • Jul 29, 2002

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 29, 2002)—Terry Labonte earned his third top-10 finish of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., on Sunday.

Labonte improved upon his 38th-place finish at the 2.5-mile track earlier this season, coming from a starting position of 30th to earn ninth place in the Pennsylvania 500. It was the two-time Winston Cup champion’s 17th top 10 at Pocono, including two victories and six top-five finishes.

“We were (consistent), about all day, really,” said Labonte. “We ran pretty good. The guys did a good job on the car and this is probably our favorite car.

“I think we’re going to go home and clean it up, tune on it a little bit and take it to Indianapolis. It’s not the car we tested in Indy, but I think we’re going to go back with it, because we have some confidence with this one.”

The driver of the No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet is currently 17th in the Winston Cup driver standings, just nine points behind 16th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Jeff Gordon started a disappointing 28th at Pocono, but managed to work his way through the field, finishing 12th in the No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo. The four-time champion moved up one position to fourth in points, 188 behind leader Sterling Marlin.

Rookie Jimmie Johnson finished 15th after starting seventh in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevy on Sunday. He remains third in Winston Cup points, one spot ahead of Gordon and just 144 markers behind Marlin.

Driving the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevrolet, Joe Nemechek finished 24th, his best since finishing 18th at Infineon Raceway on June 23. After qualifying on a bad tire, the veteran started 20th and led seven laps, his first of the season. He remains 38th in Winston Cup points.

Bill Elliott started from the pole to win his first race of the 2002 season and fifth all time at Pocono.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will visit Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Brickyard 400 on Sunday. The event will be carried live on NBC (2 p.m. EDT) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network (1:30 p.m. EDT).

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