Start ‘N’ Park Blog is taking a look back at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver by driver. This recap will take a look at the driver’s stats, the season’s highlights, the season’s lowlights, what a quick look at next year. This installment takes a look back at Bobby Labonte who finished in the 23rd place in the final standings.
Preseason Pick: 26th
Top 5s: 0
Top 10s: 2
What Was Said Prior To The Season:
“I want to pull for Labonte to have a good year, but the facts are he’s been in a steady decline since he left Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously they knew when it was time to pull the plug on him. I have two fantasy career finishing paths for Labonte to take, one would be go to the Camping World Truck Series and win the title there to be the first and only champion of all three top divisions of NASCAR. The second involves reuniting with Tony Stewart to run a partial schedule out of the Stewart-Haas Racing. I just feel with all that Joe Gibbs Racing leftovers there, Labonte could pick up some good finishes.”
What Happened In 2012:
Labonte and his team fought the good fight in 2012 and came out a few spots higher than I expected out of them. He was able to ruined a couple drivers races in back to back weeks in August, his engine expiring led to the oil on the track at Watkins Glen and at Michigan he played a part in Mark Martin getting spun and crashing. Beyond that we talked about him when he finished 10th at Daytona in July and ninth at Martinsville in October. He started strong with a 14th at Daytona and 16th at Phoenix, then his points position evened out about middle of the season and that’s where he stayed, between 23rd and 24th.
On To 2013:
Everyone is back for 2013, Labonte will have a new crew chief, but I’m sure it’ll be more of the same. A few good runs here and there, but mostly sub-par efforts for the team.