Bobby Labonte - Biography

Bobby Labonte's Bio

NASCAR Champion. Outdoor Enthusiast. Entrepreneur.

As a professional athlete of more than 20 years, Bobby is one of only three drivers to win a championship in NASCAR's two premier divisions (Sprint Cup Series and Xfinity Series). In addition to his NASCAR success, Bobby is also the 2001 IROC Champion.

Bobby has parlayed his superior leadership skills as a champion driver into business as well. He is the founder and/or owner of several diverse businesses including:

  • Breaking Limits, LLC, a full-service marketing and public relations agency
  • Longhorn Chassis, LLC, a dirt late model chassis and fabrication company
  • The Bobby Labonte Foundation, a non-profit venture supporting various North Carolina area charities
  • Bobby Labonte Racing, a championship-winning XFINITY Series and later a championship-winning dirt late model team
  • The North Carolina Quarter Midget Association and Track

The younger brother of two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte, Bobby is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He grew up watching his older brother race quarter-midgets to grand success. At the age of five, Bobby wanted to be a winner too and strapped himself into his first quarter-midget racecar. His racing career was born and so began his path to success.  Bobby moved with his family to North Carolina in 1979, first racing go-carts and quickly graduating into the ranks of stock car racing. Through the racing circuit, he was introduced to NASCAR and the Sprint Cup Series and in 1982, Bobby went to work for the NASCAR team of Hagan Enterprises as a mechanic and fabricator. He was part of the team that worked on the car that Terry raced to a third-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 1984, Terry won the Championship and Bobby got his first taste of NASCAR success.

During this same time, Bobby's desire to drive racecars grew. He raced and won in late model stock cars throughout North Carolina and also began building his own NASCAR Xfinity Series program. In 1990, he raced his first full XFINITY Series season as owner/driver and in 1991, Bobby took home the Series Championship.

In 1993, Bobby got his first call up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by Bill Davis Racing. In his rookie season, he won his first pole at Richmond International Raceway, collected six Top-10s and finished 19th in the points. Bobby also continued and led his XFINITY team to the 1994 Series Championship with driver David Green.

The 1995 season marked the first of eleven years for Bobby in the driver's seat for Joe Gibbs Racing and with Interstate Batteries as his primary partner. The team achieved the ultimate success in 2000, posting four race wins and taking home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship trophy. With this title, Bobby, along with brother Terry (1984 and 1996), made history in becoming the first brothers to win the Sprint Cup Championship. This achievement also brought Bobby a coveted IROC invitation and in 2001, Bobby won the IROC XXV Championship. In Bobby's tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing he finished in victory lane twenty-one times, including a prestigious win at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway, and finished in the Top-10 in championship points seven out of eleven seasons.

In 2005, Bobby tested the waters in NASCAR's Truck Series, bringing home a win at Martinsville. With this victory, he joined yet another elite class of race winners, with those of all three NASCAR divisions. These accomplishments put Bobby among all of racing's most elite drivers and secured his place in NASCAR history forever.

In 2006, Bobby then took the reins of the famed Petty Enterprises #43 car. In three seasons with Petty, Bobby accumulated thirteen Top-10 and three Top-5 finishes.  As a part of his partnership with Petty Enterprises, Bobby appeared in the first commercial for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which provides life- changing camping experiences to children with serious illnesses.

In 2011, Bobby drove for JTG/Daugherty Racing, giving that team it's best-ever fourth place finish in the Daytona 500, and he continued with JTG for the next three seasons. This year Bobby will drive the #32 C&J Energy Services car in the four restrictor plate races (Daytona and Talladega), marking his 29th consecutive year as a professional race car driver.

Off the track, Bobby stays active in community, sport and fitness. A passion for cycling has taken on an expanding role in his life. The fifth annual Bobby Labonte Foundation bicycle ride will be staged in August in Randolph County, N.C. This event raises awareness for cycling safety along with thousands of dollars for North Carolina area charities.  The Bobby Labonte Foundation has also supported countless groups in his local community and organizations nationally.

Bobby is an avid outdoorsman; he enjoys hunting, fishing, golf and outdoor adventure sports. Hunting and fishing trips are a regular occurrence as his schedule allows and he has often appeared on national outdoor television programming with Realtree and other NASCAR celebrities.

In 2014 Bobby began working with NASCAR America on NBCSN, appearing frequently as a guest analyst. He looks forward to continuing this role throughout the 2015 season.

Today, as throughout his lifetime, Bobby's passion for success as a racecar driver, an outdoorsman, a television personality and in helping others is the driving force behind his aspirations.

AWARDS:

IROC Champion, 2001

NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, 2000

NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Runner-Up, 1993

NASCAR Nationwide Champion, 1991

NASCAR Nationwide Most Popular Driver, 1990

NASCAR Late Model Champion, 1987

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