Saturday, October 18, 2014

How NASCAR veteran Terry Labonte learned what not to do

   Two-time NASCAR Cup series champion Terry Labonte is making what he said will be the final start of his career on Sunday. 

   On Saturday, Labonte was asked about his first series start at Darlington, S.C, and he recounted an interesting story on how he learned 'what not to do' at the track to be successful.

   "The good thing about it for me to run my first race there is being from Texas I really wasn’t that familiar with Darlington. If I would have been, I probably wouldn’t have picked that one as my first race. But we went to Darlington and I never will forget doing down there. They had a rookie meeting and they showed a video that they played of all the things not to do. I was sitting there watching that thing and the guy that starred in that video was the guy that drove the car I was driving the year before. So everything he did wrong they pointed out in that video," Labonte said.

   "So I sat there and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, the car is identical. It’s the same paint scheme, same number, everything.’ So I sat right there and thought, ‘The thing to do is not make next year’s video. Don’t make all the highlights of the things not to do.’ So they had a rookie test and we had to go run around the track and you missed qualifying the first day. You had to qualify the second day, so I qualified and the longest race I think I’d ever run was a 200-lapper around a half-mile track, so I started that race and I just ran and ran and thought, ‘My gosh these guys could wreck down here. Holy smoke.’ They tore up a bunch of cars and it was typical Darlington. It was wild.

   "The race lasted forever.  hat was the longest race I ever ran in my life, so we ran the race and I finally looked up to see how many laps were left. I was trying to figure out how many laps were left and finally the thing ended and I never thought to look at the scoreboard and I finished fourth. I’m going to the garage and Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison came over and congratulated me and I thought that was the coolest thing."

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