The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Report: #18, Bobby Labonte

22 September 1997

 #18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 MBNA 400 Race Report
 Dover Downs International Speedway
 September 21, 1997 


DOVER, DE - Bobby Labonte didn't win Sunday's MBNA 400 at Dover Downs
International Speedway, but the driver of the Interstate Batteries
Pontiac was all smiles after the checkered flag. Labonte finished
fourth, the last driver to complete all 400 miles and collected his
sixth top-five finish of the 1997 season.

"We're excited we got a top-five because we've struggled the past two
weeks," Labonte said. "Jimmy Makar did a great job in the pits and the
guys were great on pit road all day. We calculated our fuel mileage to
where we could make one less stop than some of the other guys. We
didn't have to make an extra stop at the end of the race and that
gained us a couple of spots at the end of the race. I told everybody
after the Michigan race I didn't like fuel mileage races but today was
pretty good for us.

"The Interstate Batteries Pontiac was comfortable to drive all
day. The car wasn't as good as I wanted it to be yesterday
afternoon. I couldn't figure out how to make it better, so we had to
live with it and try to work with it throughout the race. The car
wasn't bad; just a couple of other cars were better."

The Interstate Batteries Racing Team had its best performance on pit
road all season at Dover Downs Sunday. The crew had its fastest pit
stop of the year, 17.40 seconds for four tires and fuel on lap 92.

Labonte remains seventh in the Winston Cup Series championship
standings, 688 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. He trails sixth place
Dale Earnhardt by 123 and leads eighth place Bill Elliott by 139

The Interstate Batteries team has a busy week planned. A two day tire
test at the reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for
Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will be a travel day to Martinsville,
Virginia, site of next weekend's Hanes 500. Winston Cup teams check
into the Martinsville Speedway Friday morning, with practice and
qualifying scheduled later that same day.

By Camp & Associates, Inc.