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Labonte Riding Momentum to Brickyard

 

  • Aug 02, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 2, 2003) – As the 2003 NASCAR season rolls into its second half, Terry Labonte and Kellogg’s / got milk? Racing are riding a wave of momentum that’s lifted them to 13th place in the standings, just 69 points behind 10th-place Jeff Burton.

And if the first two return visits to tracks in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Pocono, Pa., are any indication, the second half of the year will be just as successful as the first—if not more so.

In addition to his steady pursuit of a berth in NASCAR’s Top 10, Labonte has set out to improve his race finish at each of the 13 tracks that host two events this season.

He’s off to a good start. In February, Labonte finished 30th in the season-opening Daytona 500, but returned in July to place fourth in the Pepsi 400.

Labonte finished seventh in the June 8 Pocono 500. In his return engagement in the Pocono Mountains last weekend, he placed fifth. It was the two-time champion’s sixth top 10 of the season (he had four all of last year) and his third top five (he had one all of last year).

“With Michigan and Bristol coming up later in August, we’ve left ourselves plenty of room for improvement at each of those tracks, where we had problems the first time around,” Labonte said.

A balky carburetor slowed Labonte at Michigan International Speedway in June, forcing him to settle for a 10th-place finish. Earlier this year at Bristol, Tenn., he was wrecked by a lapped car while running second and finished 39th.

But the business at hand is this weekend’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. The No. 5 team will roll out a brand new car for the event, the seventh new chassis to be introduced this season. In nine starts at Indy, Labonte’s best finish was third in 1996 and he came in 13th last year.

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