As the football and baseball seasons heat up so does the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entering the one-mile high-banked Dover International Speedway oval for the AAA 400, where a mere 45 points separate the top-12 championship contenders.
Whether attending a football game or a NASCAR race, the Kingsford brand encourages fans to “GET OUT & GRILL” before the big event and will be providing a reminder by holding the primary spot on 2000 champion Bobby Labonte’s No. 47 Toyota Camry in Delaware this weekend.
“Fall is here and it’s the perfect time to tailgate at any sporting event,” said Labonte, who has one win, 11 top-five finishes, 14 top-10 finishes, three pole awards and has led 148 laps in 40 starts at Dover.
“Driving into the race track each week, I see so many fans grilling out and there’s usually a bag of Kingsford Charcoal propped up across from the grill. We’re proud to have Kingsford on the car this weekend and want to have a solid weekend for them and all of our partners that give us so much support throughout the season.”
Labonte has enjoyed an illustrious career in NASCAR and his first Sprint Cup Series start came at Dover International Speedway on June 3, 1991.
“I took my own race car I built in my shop and completed about a third of the race before my engine blew up,” Labonte said. “I didn’t think I was ready to be in Cup after running two races that year. So, I stayed in the Nationwide Series (formerly Busch Series) a couple more years until I was prepared to move up.”
Since that day, he has recorded 21 victories, 115 top-five, 201 top-10 finishes and 26 pole awards and he’s not done.
“We’re working hard at JTG Daugherty Racing every week to continue to improve and we’re getting there,” said Labonte, who finished 20th in the most recent event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “We ran well at New Hampshire, but we didn’t have the track position we needed and ended the day with a top-20 finish. We are seeing small gains each week and we’re getting closer to where we need to be.”
Dover is not only a special place because Labonte had his first start there, but he also won from the pole at the Monster Mile on June 6, 1999.
“Every win is special and they are not easy to come by,” said Labonte, who finished 20th earlier this year at Dover. “I’d like to get back to victory lane.”