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Feb 14, 2013 - 06:30 PM
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2013 Daytona 500 Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Bobby Labonte
Posted by: newsla on Feb 14, 2013 - 06:28 PM
2013 Daytona 500 Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Bobby Labonte

BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Kroger Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing

What areas would you like to see your race team improve this year?

"Last year was a building year, for our race team to start off virtually brand new again. We just think we can improve in all areas. We looked at the end of the year, the amount of top-20s, top-15s -- you just want to bump them up five spots. A 20th-place you want to have as a 15th-place. Those are hard to do, we just want to improve in all areas. Track-wise, probably mile-and-a-half tracks we want to improve at. When it comes down to the overall scope of it, just improve as a race team. We have a lot of areas to improve on and I think we can do it and accomplish more top-fives, top-10s, top-15s."


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Why have you said you need to improve at mile-and-a-half tracks?

"Last year we spent a lot of time struggling at those tracks. Hopefully the new car might fit our style, we might have improved in areas that I know we have improved in. When we get to the race track, we'll know more. I think all the things we've done in the off-season are really going to be geared towards improving our performance."

How did your team improve at the end of the 2012 season?

"From the middle of last year until today, it's just gotten better and better with organization and people. It keeps improving and we're able to take our small team and create a better nucleus for us."

How do you expect the new car to perform?

"Until we get in race conditions, it's going to be hard to tell some of it. I feel like we have a lot of -- the car is neat looking first of all. The fans can relate to it -- that's going to be huge for us, for our sport. To me, it seems like they drive pretty good the times that we tested it. Hopefully we'll get some understanding and clarity on it pretty soon and make it where it's more competitive and closer racing -- that's going to be good."

How do you balance the Daytona 500 compared to the remainder of the season?

"As the biggest race of the year, a lot of emphasis is put on it. It's also one of 36 races. We have to concentrate on all of them as well. You can't put all the focus on this one and leave those behind, but we can't forget about this one either. When next week rolls around, this week for me is kind of running around a couple laps to qualify -- not much you can do about it. Everywhere else it's not that way. We talked about it some, but you build up to this weekend and then you get to next weekend and you start building up towards the Daytona 500."

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