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Labontes hope to find TMS victory lane again


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CONTACT: Sarona Winfrey

Gary Guehler

-- For Immediate Release

 

LABONTE READY FOR RETURN TO TEXAS VICTORY LANE, TESTING CONCLUDES

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 24, 2004) - Terry Labonte's victory in the 1999 NASCAR

NEXTEL Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway was one of his career highlights. The

former Corpus Christi native will try to become the first repeat Nextel Cup

winner at "The Great American Speedway" April 4 in the Samsung/RadioShack 500

NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.

NASCAR testing in preparation for the April 1-4 race week at the speedway

concluded Wednesday with Labonte and 13 other NASCAR teams participating on the

1.5-mile superspeedway. Labonte was satisfied with the test results for his

Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet.

"I think we're in pretty good shape," said Labonte. "We actually had the

opportunity to try some things that we normally don't try during a regular

weekend. We had a list of things to go through and try. We had a good

opportunity to do that.

"We are really close to the setup we had a year ago. We made little changes on

it. The tires are a little different and I think they have made our setups not

work as good this year at some tracks. This seems to be a good car, the speeds

stay there on long runs."

Labonte was also monitoring the test progress of son Justin who was getting the

Coast Guard Dodge ready for the Labonte family team's debut April 3 in the

O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.

"Actually, Justin ran good in the Busch car," continued Labonte. "They are

going to come back with a little better engine than they have in there right

now. He was pretty good in practice. They got off to a good start testing with

the new team. Things are going well for them."

Nextel Cup Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Scott Wimmer also took

advantage of two days of Texas testing in the Caterpillar Dodge.

"We brought a brand new car down to Texas along with one of our old ones," said

Wimmer. "We bounced ideas between the two. The first day we worked on

qualifying stuff, trying to get our qualifying a little better.

"We got comfortable with that and went to race trim today. We're fairly

comfortable, not as quick as we want to be, but we are creeping up on it."

Wimmer has noticed quite a difference between the Busch Series machines he

drove last year and the Nextel Cup cars he is driving this season.

"It has been a lot different everywhere," continued Wimmer. "I was pretty

surprised. The difference in horsepower and wheelbase of the cars are quite a

bit to learn. It is like trying to learn all over again."

David Starr was involved in the day's only incident when he spun and backed

into the wall coming off the second corner. Starr was not injured.

Season tickets featuring the same frontstretch grandstand seat for six major

races at Texas, including the Samsung/RadioShack 500, are on sale daily at the

speedway, by calling (817) 215-8500 and online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com

<http://www.texasmotorspeedway.com>.

The teams participating in Wednesday's Texas test were:

NASCAR NEXTEL CUP

 

Rusty Wallace, Miller Lite Dodge; Terry Labonte, Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet;

Michael Waltrip, NAPA Chevrolet; Scott Wimmer, Caterpillar Dodge; Kevin Harvick,

GM Goodwrench Chevrolet; Elliott Sadler, M&M Ford; Brendan Gaughan, Kodak Dodge;

Kyle Busch, Carquest Chevrolet; Jeff Burton, Roush Racing Ford.

 

NASCAR BUSCH SERIES

 

Johnny Benson, Yellow Freight Dodge; Bobby Labonte, ESRG Chevrolet; Justin

Labonte, Coast Guard Dodge; David Starr, Enzyte Chevrolet; Billy Parker,

Duraflame Dodge.

 

# # #

 

LABONTE:gg:cjd

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