Every Race is Important
Cheerios/Betty Crocker Team in Middle of ‘Chase’ Hunt
LEVEL CROSS, NC (June 12, 2007) - This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway for Sunday’s Michigan 400.
The team currently sits 17th in driver points, but only 140 points out of 12th place- the final points position to make the championship chase. There are 12 races, including Sunday’s, before the championship run begins.
Approaching career start 500, Labonte will make his 489th career start on Sunday. He will be making his 30th start at the track he considers his favorite on the circuit. Labonte has three wins at the track and has put together 15 finishes in the top 10. He has nine top-five finishes. Labonte swept poles in 2003 and has four total at the track.
Comments from Labonte as he prepares for this weekend’s Michigan 400:
“We are looking for a lot out of Michigan this weekend. It’s a track that I really enjoy. I’ve been able to have good finishes there. It’s time to have good finishes and make that climb to the 12th position. We have a goal, and our eyes are set on it. It’s not out of reach by any stretch of the imagination, but we need to work hard to get there.
“Obviously, I think you want to be there sooner than later, but that’s everyone. You always want to move faster and faster. We are building this organization back. We want to win races and be in the championship. We know it’s there, and that it’s very attainable right now. The team is going about their business and doing what it takes. There is a lot of heart at Petty Enterprises. These guys want to win and they are pushing to get better.
“Michigan is a good track. It’s so wide that you can run a lot of different lines. I like that. You can put the car where you need to. It’s easy to pass, and you just don’t have to worry about some things that you do at other tracks. Like I said, we are looking for a good run this Sunday.
“There is still time left in the season too. We are in the middle of June and still early in the summer stretch. There are a lot of races left in the season. It’s just not the time to have any mistakes. You have to come out of each race with a good finish. You can only control what you do. You can’t count on what others are going to do or what happens to them. Our guys are taking care of themselves and doing what they need to do. I know they are working hard.
“This summer stretch is a long haul. There are a lot of things can happen. Michigan can be a tricky race. It can come down to fuel mileage a lot of times. You can get caught in the pits when a caution comes out. There are a lot of different scenarios that can happen at this track. You just want to concentrate on the car and have a good race. If we can come out of Michigan with a good finish we’ll be in a better position. That’s our goal.