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‘Professor Labonte’ Taking Cowboys to ‘Camp’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 21, 2004) – Throughout his NASCAR career, Terry Labonte has acquired nicknames such as “Ice Man,” for his cool demeanor around the garage area, and “Iron Man,” for his streak of 655 consecutive starts.

Now, the two-time Cup Series champion may soon come to be known as “Professor Labonte” after he conducts an evening of class work at Texas Motor Speedway on March 23.

Labonte and Kellogg’s Racing will be testing at the Dallas-Fort Worth facility March 23-24.  After the first day’s test runs are completed, Labonte will be one of the instructors at the track’s Team Texas Driving School.

His students?  A group of former Dallas Cowboys football players.

“We get asked to do a lot of things and we never seem to have time to work everything in,” Labonte said.  “But representatives of the Cowboys and the folks at the speedway didn’t even have to think about asking me twice for this.

“In fact, they barely got the words out and my response was ‘Yes, I will.’”

Team Texas has added a freshly painted Chevrolet to its fleet of school cars, an exact reproduction of the No. 5 Kellogg’s Monte Carlo that Labonte drives regularly in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

The March 23 session has been dubbed “Texas Terry’s Training Camp,” out of deference to Labonte’s Texas roots (having grown up in Corpus Christi) and his love for the Dallas Cowboys.

Among the former Cowboy standouts expected to benefit from Labonte’s “coaching” are Walt Garrison, Cliff Harris, Chad Hennings, Darryl Johnston and Charlie Waters.

The purpose of the team’s test session at Texas is to prepare for the eighth running of the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 on Sunday, April 5.

In seven years of competition at TMS, Labonte is the only Hendrick Motorsports driver with a pole position and a victory on the lightning-fast 1.5-mile oval.  He won the race in 1999 and claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot in 2000.


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