NASCAR Winston Cup Bud at Watkins Glen Report: #18, Bobby Labonte
11 August 1997
#18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR Winston Cup Series The Bud at the Glen Race Report Watkins Glen International INTERSTATE TEAM SUFFERS FIRST DNF IN 22 RACES AT WATKINS GLEN WATKINS GLEN, NY - Bobby Labonte and the Interstate Batteries Racing Team saw a streak of 22 consecutive finishes end with a broken transmission on lap 65 of Sunday's Bud at The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. Labonte's problems started as he was shifting through the esses on the backside of the 2.45 mile road course. Labonte's car coasted back to the front of the course 50 yards shy of the entrance to pit road. Labonte's stalled car brought out a yellow flag on lap 67 and the crew was finally able to push the car to the garage area. He was credited with 37th in the final rundown. "I was going through the esses and shifted into fourth gear and nothing was there," said Labonte. "After I did that something happened to the motor. We struggled all weekend but we were going to get a decent finish. We'll have to bounce back next week at Michigan." The team was forced to pit 10 laps before its first scheduled pit stop due to a fuel pick up problem. "Bobby said to us over the radio that he thought he was running out of gas," crew chief Jimmy Makar said. "After we came in, we found out we had plenty of gas in the car. I don't know exactly what the problem is, but we'll find out when we get the car back to the shop. It's frustrating because we were trying to win at the fuel mileage game again this weekend." Labonte remains seventh in the Winston Cup Series championship standings, 556 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. He trails sixth place Dale Earnhardt by 143 and leads eighth place Jeremy Mayfield by 90 points. Labonte will be doing double duty next weekend at Michigan Speedway. In addition to driving the Interstate Batteries Pontiac in next Sunday's Winston Cup event, he will also compete in the Busch Series race on Saturday afternoon. By Camp & Associates, Inc.