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Bobby Labonte Interview on Dirty Mo


King237
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 looks just like his dad back then ..   i remember him hanging around his mom  helping her at the gate at time other times up in the stands about 6 or 7 years old then .. . . who was terrys worst enemy at cc through the 70s .. i know one  big one  of all  over a few others .. .. THE LATE GREAT RICK RAPP  . that later changed but then no .

Edited by HiTech
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Hi-Tech . He mentioned that a couple of crew members liked to get in fights and they basically got run off from the track in CC. Could you elaborate a story or two on what the beef was that got them kicked out? I’m just a curious old guy that likes a back story and this one sounds like it would be a good one. 

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Someone mentioned years ago  on what was going on  i was in the oil field back then and didnt get to go to the races as much . but it was a very serious someone was going to get killed before it was over with  deal . i think  frank the manager  finaly said  they had to go for everyones safety . ..  that is what i heard  long time ago .... so truth i cant say ... i think early on terry kept mace in his car and rick kept a switch blade in his .. rick wasnt afraid of terry  i think but bob sr was the one you didnt want to tango with ..i would say nick would know  something working with rick rapp  ...back in those days it didnt take much  to be on the bad side of another  team ... flanigans were racing then  and i never  thought to ask them what  really went on or the keys brothers .. .

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16 hours ago, King237 said:

Hi-Tech . He mentioned that a couple of crew members liked to get in fights and they basically got run off from the track in CC. Could you elaborate a story or two on what the beef was that got them kicked out? I’m just a curious old guy that likes a back story and this one sounds like it would be a good one. 

As far as I can recall, I don't think the deal had as much to do with Rick and Terry, but rather with Rick and Terry's dad, Bob Labonte. Bob, by all accounts, had a very short fuse and was not afraid to confront anyone and was prepared to do battle at the drop of a hat.  Bob grew up a few miles from where I grew up in Maine in a tough mill town that had a large French-Canadian population. I didn't know Bob and had never heard of him until Rick and the Labontes got together at Corpus Christi Speedway.  

I worked with Rick for several years during his successful Texas Late Model career, but I was not part of his team during the early- to mid-70s when the Labonte-Rapp brouhaha was at its height. I was busy with my Pan American Mini Stock team and working with Ed Sczech's Late Model team during that period and only made occasional trips to CC. Ed won the first Texas Race of Champions at TWS and a road course win or two at the Monterrey, Mexico, airport track. I hooked up with Rick a year or two after San Antonio Speedway (Highway 16 Raceway) opened. 

Rick didn't want to talk very much about what transpired with the Labontes, but he did confess that he felt the need to defend himself and kept a weapon handy as he raced against the Labontes - I think he said it was a knife.  But he also said he believed he was not as well armed as some of his rivals - he stopped short of claiming anyone had a gun, though.  During that era, there were many fights at CC Speedway and things routinely got out of control both on-track and in the pits.  "I went to the fights and a race broke out!" was the joke of the day... 

I'm sure there are folks around from those days who could give some better details.  Maybe some will show up and post a story or two.

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I remember one night Rapp and Labonte started on the front row of a big feature event. On the start something broke in the rear of Rapp's car, the Mickey Mouse Malibu I think. An old beat up car!. So while they worked on Rapp's car in the infield Labonte came to the line for the restart lineup.Dub Rollins  was inside second row stopped in turn four with the entire field, about 30 that night, stopped behind him. They stayed there some 20 minutes or so until Rapp pulled out of the infield with his repaired car. I do remember the Labonte team was not all that popular at CC or at SAS. Don't know why . I thought it was he always won( one year he won every feature but one ) and the old jealousy of a deep pocketed team. Funny that he got asked to leave CC and maybe SAS . That was about the time Stratograph (?) picked him up and the rest is history.

 

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 I know  some drivers were not happy speaking  out loud  while i stapled pit passes  to them   terrys first night racing stock cars .. i know terry had a temper at times or spoiled attitude i might say  it showed up in the first time cc ran the texas pursuit a  backwards race to the australian pursuit . where if you didnt pass you were out ..terry didnt understand the rules i suppose  he finished second or third  and then when he pushed mike from behind  during  a tech out on the track ...part of the  not full truth story bob sr  talked about after terry was inducted into nascar hall of fame .. ..... NICK who were you helping back then  .. surely i stappled pit passes to your shirt at one time or another  thats if you were going there then .. .i am still waiting on my neighbors son to find his dads 1971 cc speedway program and later date and years before and after, his dad loved keeping them a treasure trove from what  he said  .. ..right now he hasnt been in his dads stuff after he passed last year . once he does go through the boxes he promissed to let me  copy  some of those programs  for this sight ..he said it would be an honor to do so ..

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