Terry Labonte


Terry Labonte

Infobox NASCAR driver
Name = Terrance Lee Labonte


Birthdate = birth date and age|1956|11|16| Birthplace = Corpus Christi, Texas
Years_In_Cup = 31
Total_Cup_Races = 857
Best_Cup_Pos = 1st - 1984, 1996 (Winston Cup)
Cup_Wins = 22
Cup_Top_Tens = 361
Cup_Poles = 27
First_Cup_Race = 1978 Southern 500 (Darlington)
Last_Cup_Race = 2008 3M Performance 400 (Michigan)
First_Cup_Win = 1980 Southern 500 (Darlington)
Last_Cup_Win = 2003 Mountain Dew Southern 500 (Darlington)

Years_In_NBS = 11
Total_NBS_Races = 124
Best_Busch_Pos = 13th - 1996 (Busch Series)
First_Busch_Race = 1985 Miller 400 (Charlotte)
First_Busch_Win = 1985 Miller 400 (Charlotte)
Last_Busch_Win = 1999 Touchstone Energy 300 (Talladega)
Last_Busch_Race = 2000 MBNA Platinum 400 (Dover)
Busch_Wins = 11
Busch_Top_Tens = 68
Busch_Poles = 4

Years_In_Truck = 1
Total_Truck_Races = 3
Best_Truck_Pos = 37th - 1995 (Craftsman Truck Series)
First_Truck_Race = 1995 Copper World Classic (Phoenix)
First_Truck_Win = 1995 FasMart Supertruck Shootout (Richmond)
Last_Truck_Win = 1995 FasMart Supertruck Shootout (Richmond)
Last_Truck_Race = 1995 FasMart Supertruck Shootout (Richmond)
Truck_Wins = 1
Truck_Top_Tens = 3
Truck_Poles = 1
Awards = 1984 Winston Cup Champion 1993 IROC Champion

1989 IROC champion

1996 Winston Cup Champion

Named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers (1998)

inducted in the National Quarter Midget Hall of Fame in 1989 [ [http://www.quartermidgets.org/HOF/inductee.asp?ID=16 National Quarter Midget Hall of Fame] ]

Terrance Lee Labonte (born November 16, 1956, in Corpus Christi, Texas) is a NASCAR driver who now races part-time in the Sprint Cup Series. Labonte was introduced to the sport through his father, who had worked on racecars as a hobby for his friends. He is the older brother of 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte, and the father of former Nationwide Series driver Justin Labonte.

Beginnings

Terry Labonte started racing quarter-midgets when he was 7 and won a national championship at nine before moving onto the local short tracks in a stock car as a teenager. Driving on both dirt and asphalt, he won track championships in his hometown, in Houston, and in San Antonio from 1975 to 1977. During this time he also met Louisiana businessman Billy Hagan.

1978-1985

Labonte’s first NASCAR start came in 1978 at Darlington Raceway. He qualified nineteenth in the #92 Duck Industries Chevrolet and finished fourth that weekend. He ran four more races that season and had an additional two top-ten finishes. In 1979, he competed for NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year along with Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, and Joe Millikan while driving the #44 Stratagraph Chevrolet for Hagan. Although Labonte failed to win the top rookie award, he was one of three rookies to finish in the top 10 in points. He ended the season with thirteen top-ten finishes. The following year, he won his first career Winston Cup race on Labor Day weekend at Darlington. He won $222,501 in prize money for the year and finished sixth in the final points.

Labonte failed to return to victory lane over the next two years but did not finish outside the top-five in the final standings. He won his second career race in 1983 in the Budweiser Chevrolet. His team received sponsorship from Piedmont Airlines the following season, and he won races at Riverside International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway, clinching his first Winston Cup championship. He dropped to seventh in the final points in 1985. During that same season, he made his Busch Series debut at Charlotte in the #17 Pontiac owned by Darrell Waltrip and won the 400-mile race, the longest in Busch Series history. Waltrip asked Labonte to drive after deciding to focus his driving his priorities solely to Winston Cup racing during the middle of what would be Waltrip's 307-point gain over Bill Elliott in the final eight races of the 1985 season.

1986-1993

Labonte fell back to twelfth in the standings in 1986. Before season's end, he announced he was leaving Hagan's team to drive the #11 Budweiser Chevrolet for Junior Johnson's team the next year. In his first season with his new team, he earned four pole-position starts and won the Holly Farms 400, leaping up to third in the final standings. He followed that up with a fourth-place points finish in 1988. In 1989, the team switched to Ford Thunderbirds. Despite two wins during the season, he fell back to tenth in the championship.

In 1990 He signed with the #1 Skoal Classic Oldsmobile team for Precision Products Racing. He had four top-fives and nine top-tens but finished 15th in the points standings. He returned to Billy Hagan's team to drive his #94 Sunoco Oldsmobile in 1991, winning his first pole since 1988. He began 1992 with finishes inside the top 8 in each of the first eight races. He had a total of four top-five finishes and sixteen top-tens, ending the season eighth in points. The following season, the team switched to the #14 Kellogg's Chevrolet. While he had ten top-tens, for the first time in his career, Labonte failed to finish a race in the top-five and he dropped to eighteenth in points.

1994-2002

In 1994, Labonte joined Hendrick Motorsports, racing the #5 Kellogg's Chevrolet and responded by notching 3 wins in each of his first two years there. In 1996, he broke Richard Petty’s streak for consecutive races after winning at North Wilkesboro. Despite only two victories, Labonte went on to win the championship that year as well, a record-setting twelve years after his first. Driving with a broken hand during the last two races of the season, Labonte and his younger brother Bobby were able to perform a dual victory lap at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the last race of the year; Bobby won the race and Terry the championship on the final day of the season, the only time a driver and his sibling won the race and the championship at the same time.

Labonte posted twenty top-ten finishes in 1997 and notched his only win of the year at the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway. In 1998, Labonte was able to win the Pontiac Excitement 400 and finished ninth in points. Despite a win at his home track at Texas Motor Speedway and The Winston all-star race in 1999, Labonte finished 12th in the championship points, the first time he had finished outside the top-ten since 1993. The year 2000 saw Labonte's consecutive start streak broken at 655 after he suffered inner ear injuries at the Pepsi 400 and was forced to miss the Brickyard 400 and the Global Crossing @ The Glen. He began 2001 with two top-six finishes in the first seven races but finished 23rd in the final point standings. He dropped back to 24th in 2002.

2003-2008

In 2003, Labonte won his first pole since 2000 at Richmond and won the Mountain Dew Southern 500(where 23 years earlier he won his first race) at Darlington Raceway after leading the last 33 laps. That helped lead him to a tenth place spot in the final standings. Late in the 2004 season, he announced that 2004 would be his final full-time year on the circuit and would run part-time schedules for the next two years. He borrowed the number 44, his former number, from Petty Enterprises and ran Hendrick's #44 research & development car with sponsorship from Kellogg's, Pizza Hut, and GMAC. His best finish in 2005 for Hendrick Motorsports came at Pocono Raceway, where he finished 12th. He also drove a few races in the #11 Fedex Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing following the release of Jason Leffler, with a top finish of 9th at Richmond.

Labonte began the 2006 season driving the #96 Texas Instruments/DLP HDTV Chevrolet Monte Carlo car for Hall of Fame Racing, a new team started by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Labonte's past-champion's provisional guaranteed the team a starting spot in the first five races. Labonte's finishes in those races left the team in 30th place in points, sealing a spot for the team in each race as long as they remained in the top 35. Tony Raines took over the driving duties for the #96 car and ran the rest of the season's races, with the exception of the road-course races at Infineon Raceway, in Sonoma, California, and Watkins Glen International, in Watkins Glen, New York. Labonte's best finish of 2006 came at Infineon, where he finished 3rd due to a fuel mileage gamble by the crew chief of the #96 DLP/Texas Instruments Chevrolet, Philippe Lopez. Labonte also ran ten races with Hendrick Motorsports research & devolpment car in 2006.

During the 2007 season, Labonte drove three races for Michael Waltrip Racing, both road course events, and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, in the 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry. cite news| title =Terry Labonte to Drive #55 NAPA Camry for Waltrip at Road Course| publisher =Racing Milestones| url =http://www.racingmilestones.com/News.aspx?ArticleID=3911| date =2007-06-12| accessdate =2007-07-16] cite news| title =NASCAR.COM - Labonte to sub for Waltrip in No. 55 at Indianapolis| publisher =NASCAR.COM| url =http://www.nascar.com/2007/news/headlines/cup/07/18/tlabonte.mwaltrip.indianapolis/index.html| date =2007-07-19| accessdate =2007-07-19]

On May 11, 2008 it was announced that Labonte would drive the #45 car of Petty Enterprises for six races in the middle of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, replacing Kyle Petty on a temporary basis. Labonte was reunited with brother Bobby, who is the regular driver of the #43 for Petty. Labonte posted two solid top-twenty runs in the 6-race tenure, a 16th at Daytona and a 17th at Infineon, both the best finishes for the 45 car this season. It was later announced that Terry would drive for Petty again in the Brickyard 400 and would also drive in place of Patrick Carpentier in the The American Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 as well as driving in the Centurion Boats at the Glen driving for a team to be announced at Pocono, expected to be Hall of Fame Racing, a team Labonte had driven in at the road course races in 2006. Terry Labonte was back in the # 45 car for Petty Enterprises when the Sprint Cup Series went to the Michigan International Speedway for the 3M Performance 400 on August 17, 2008. Terry Labonte would be back in the # 45 car again for the AMP Energy 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway for the final time in the 2008 Sprint Cup Season.

NASCAR Official Duties

On June 12,2007, Labonte tested for Richard Childress Racing at the Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve track in an official NASCAR compatibility test for the August 4 NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge Busch Series event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuvecite news| title =Labonte, Richard Childress Racing Team Ready For NASCAR Busch Series Montreal Test| publisher =autoracingdaily.com| url =http://www.autoracingdaily.com/article/terry_labonte_richard_childress_racing_team_ready_for_nascar_busch_series_m/| date =2007-05-18| accessdate =2007-06-10] .

NASCAR wanted a driver they were assured would not race in the NAPA Auto Parts 200, and were concerned Childress drivers Jeff Burton or Kevin Harvick would race in the event.

Honors

In 1998, the senior Labonte was named as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. A park was renamed for the Labonte brothers in their hometown of Corpus Christi in 2001, and they were chosen for entry into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. Labonte supports a variety of charities and due to his efforts, the Ronald McDonald House in Corpus Christi, the Victory Junction Gang Camp near Randleman, North Carolina, and the Hendrick Marrow Program all have benefitted.

Personal life

Labonte has lived in the Thomasville, North Carolina, area for most of his career. Terry and Kim Labonte married in May 1978 during his first year with Billy Hagan's team after meeting at the car dealership where both worked while in high school in Texas. They have two children who have grown up around racing just as Labonte did years ago. Justin Labonte, born in 1981, was a late model track champion at Caraway Speedway in North Carolina in 2003 and raced a limited Busch Series schedule in 2004 (including a win at Chicagoland Speedway in July) with sponsorship from the United States Coast Guard. That sponsorship expanded to allow a full schedule in 2005. Kristy, born in 1983, graduated with a business marketing major from High Point University. Terry enjoys hunting and fishing, as he is an all out outdoorsman.

Labonte was the Sports Marshal for the 80th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Virginia from May 1 to May 8, 2007.

Other Series

In addition to his 22 wins in Sprint Cup, Labonte has won 11 races in the Nationwide Series and 1 in the Craftsman Truck Series. He has been the champion of the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring as well as three all-star races: the Busch Clash (now known as the Budweiser Shootout) in 1985 and The Winston (now the Sprint All-Star Challenge) in 1988 and 1999. He also won the IROC championship in 1989. Including his two championship seasons, he has finished in the top 10 in the year-end standings 17 times, and his top-five and top-ten totals approach 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of his total races.

Trivia

* Except for the 1989 season driving for Junior Johnson a scant few races during the 1990s, and his most recent sub roles, Terry Labonte has only driven a GM car throughout his Winston Cup career.
* He is known as The IceMan, for his cool demeanor under pressure, and his calm and collective driving style, as he would normally strike near the end of a race when the time was right.
*His daughter Kristy dated fellow driver Kasey Kahne for a period of time.
* Terry Labonte made an appearance to meet and sign autographs for fans at the 2007 Carl Casper's Custom Auto Show in at Freedom Hall Louisville, Ky. on February 25, 2007.

References

External links

* [http://www.nascar.com/drivers/dps/tlabonte00/cup/index.html NASCAR: Terry Labonte]
* [http://www.racing-reference.info/driver?id=labonte01 Terry Labonte Career Statistics]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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