Bobby Labonte - 2006 News

Labonte’s Strong Performance Allowing Kids To Read
Spoonfuls of Stories® Paint Scheme Calls Attention To Special Cause

LEVEL CROSS, NC (November 7, 2006) - This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Dodge team head to the flat one-mile Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Checker Auto Parts 500.

Labonte will be showcasing the Spoonfuls of Stories® logos this weekend on the famous 43 Dodge. Labonte and the team are currently involved in Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories® “Race for BOOKS!” Throughout the final 10 races of the season for every lap Labonte completes Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories® will donate 43 books to kinds in need across the country through nonprofit partner First Book®. Through the first eight races Labonte has earned over 100,000 books heading into this weekend’s event.

The total number of books earned has been a direct result of the team’s strong performance of late. Labonte has scored over 1,000 points in the last eight races. He has finished in the top 10 in four of those races and twice in the top five. Labonte was wrecked out of the first ‘Chase’ race in Loudon and since then has finished no worse than 17th.

Comments from Labonte as he prepares for Sunday’s 500-mile race:

How has the team’s performance affected the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program?

“Obviously, it has been a direct affect and we’ve been able to earn a pretty big number of books so far. The team’s performance has been a big part of that. It’s not just the driver or just one person. We are a team and it’s great to see what this team has accomplished over the last few weeks.

“You look at the results, and everything we’ve accomplished on the track, and it gets everyone excited. You then think about all the kids that we’re helping out because of Cheerios and their Spoonfuls of Stories program and it goes a little deeper. It’s just pretty cool to know that we’re making a difference for someone. I’m a father, and to think that there are kids without books in their homes is alarming. We’re hoping to continue our momentum and earn even more books before the season ends.”

What does it mean to have momentum right now?

“It means that we are just that closer to winning. That’s a goal of ours, and that’s what we’ve been trying to attain the last few weeks. I have a lot of confidence in the team right now. The guys are all working hard and Paul (crew chief Paul Andrews) has been great to work with. I feel that the changes we make are making us better. That’s why we have momentum. It’s really going to help us go into next season.

“We may not be contending for the championship this season, but we want to be in that position. The decisions we are making now are allowing us to get closer. We are getting there too. It’s good to see that happening. It’s cool to be a part of.”

What are your thoughts on Phoenix?

“It’s a flat track and we are going to have to be on top of our game. It’s a bit technical and it’s not really like any other track. It is sort of its own animal. I think that’s why a lot of guys like it. It’s a track that is pretty different. It’s just pretty flat and you need a good handling car.

“The communication that Paul and I have made over the past month will help this weekend. We are going to have to communicate and make sure we have what we want. We’ve done a good job of preparing our cars for the races. We have had some pretty good practice sessions and the changes have made for good cars during the race. We will need to make sure we have a good car for Sunday. Phoenix doesn’t allow for a bad setup on a car. I think we’re pretty confident. We want to keep that momentum rolling this weekend. The Spoonfuls of Stories Dodge is also reminding us that we’re doing this for a good cause too.”

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