Bobby Labonte's stint behind the wheel of the #47 Toyota for JTG Daugherty Racing comes to a close Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, and in anticipation of that race. Labonte said he feels both he and the team overcame great odds together.
“The last two years, the team went out on their own,” said Labonte this week. “Without support from a big organization, that has been tough. I supported the choice they made to go out on their own. They needed to go in that direction, (but) the battle was to get the team in position to go forward. We went through the trenches together to get there. At the end of the day, I was a part of the puzzle. I got to help put the pieces together where the puzzle did not fall apart. I always woke up everyday and put my best foot forward.”
“It has been a pleasure to have Bobby in our car the past few seasons,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty. “He is a true champion and a Hall of Famer. He is a tremendous race car driver and person. We have leaned on him heavily, as well as TRD (Toyota Racing Development) in testing parts and pieces. He has been a constant professional and we appreciate him and everything he has done for us.”
The #47 Toyota will carry a special Clorox/Wounded Warrior Project scheme at Phoenix.
“I think Wounded Warrior Project is a great organization and we are grateful to have them on our Toyota and help raise more awareness,” Labonte said. “It is a great program to help out young men and women that fight for our freedom in a battle where things happen and their lives are changed forever. It is good to have someone to help them through the tough times.”
In 29 career starts at the desert oval, the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has earned one pole, three Top-five and nine Top-10 finishes, while leading 68 laps. His average start is 23.034 and his average finish is 18.448.