Bobby Labonte’s best finish of 2012 before Sunday was a 10th place effort at Daytona in July, where he rebounded from this spin. Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR.
By: Toby Christie – Follow on Twitter @Tobalical
In what has been a season to forget for the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Bobby Labonte, Sunday at Martinsville must have seemed very sweet.
Through 32 previous races in 2012 Labonte’s best finish was a 10th-place effort at Daytona, but we all know that Daytona isn’t always a true litmus test of where a team or driver are in the sport. Labonte once not-so-long ago had his moment atop the plateau of this sport, but in recent years struggles have mounted for the Corpus Christi, Texas-native.
Labonte had a pretty good stretch of races at Martinsville Speedway between 2001 and 2003. In that five race stretch Labonte had an average finish of 5.4 at the half-mile paperclip, as well as his only career win at the racetrack. However outside of those five starts, he honestly has been quite average-to-mediocre at Martinsville.
Labonte was above-average on Sunday as he raced his way to his best finish of the season, a respectable ninth-place finish. The former champ now heads home to Texas for race No. 34 of the season — Maybe he and his No. 47 team can now build some momentum to close out the season.
– Toby Christie is the lead Motorsports writer for Sicknissified.com, and he is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly. Toby can be reached via twitter or email. Tweet him @Tobalical or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Sicknissified.com on facebook and twitter.