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Oct 10, 2012 - 06:40 AM
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2012 Charlotte II: Bobby Labonte NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Oct 10, 2012 - 06:20 AM
2012 Charlotte II: Bobby Labonte NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

In support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 47 SCOTT Products Toyota Camry will carry pink door numbers and a pink ribbon during the Bank of America 500 race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


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“We’re looking forward to bringing awareness to National Breast Cancer Awareness month,” Labonte said. “So many of us have been touched by someone that has been affected. It’s great to see NASCAR teams supporting the special cause during October.”

Labonte arrives at the 1.5-mile quad-oval owning two wins, three pole awards, 12 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. The 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has also led 807 laps. It’s a track he deems as one of his favorites since scoring his first-career victory at the site during the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28, 1995.

“I love Charlotte and it is one of my favorite places because it’s where I won my first race,” Labonte said. “It’s just a good place to race and a good confidence track for us. Our program has really improved since the last time there.”

Gradual improvements are evident in the single-car team’s race results. In the last seven races, the team has posted two top-15 finishes and five top-20 finishes. General manager Bobby Hutchens has witnessed the progress firsthand since coming on board and admits the team has turned things around.

“The positives are that our cars have improved the last few weeks and that’s a big thanks to TRD’s (Toyota Racing Development) engineering group,” Hutchens said. “They have helped us tremendously and that’s been a big part of our turnaround. We’ve had a sixth place, a seventh place or top 15 car the past few weeks. We just had some bad luck that affected our results. For example, one week we had a wheel vibration, another week we had a flat tire and in the most recent race we were collected in the big wreck on the final lap.”

“Bobby likes the feel of the car, the engines have improved and the pit stops have been good and at the same time have improved,” Hutchens continued. “We’re addressing everything and finding our weak links. The best football teams block and tackle. We’ve got to do the basics first.”

Live coverage of the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on ABC begins at 7 p.m. ET. PRN and Sirius XM radio will also air the event.

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