Texas to honor Labonte in final Cup start

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Terry Labonte will retire from the Nextel Cup Series career following the Nov. 5 Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. To salute his long and successful career, Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR are planning a special celebration in honor of “Texas Terry” during the Nov. 2-5 Dickies 500 race weekend. “Terry Labonte is one of the great champions of our sport,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “He has made a lifetime of memories for race fans, and we are planning a number of special ways to say ‘thanks’ to one of Texas’ great sports legends. Also, fans attending the Dickies 500 race weekend will be able to participate in this tribute to Terry.” The two-time Cup series champion (1984, ’96) is one of only 14 drivers in NASCAR history to win multiple Cup series titles. His career features 22 wins, including a trip to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway in 1999. In 11 starts at TMS, Labonte has five top-10 finishes as well as a pole position in 2000. Texas Motor Speedway and NASCAR have “Texas-sized” plans to honor Labonte leading up to and throughout the Dickies 500 race weekend. One of those special honors for Labonte will directly involve the fans, who will have an opportunity to sign a giant greeting card designed especially for “Texas Terry.” It will be located in the “10 Years Strong Experience” exhibit, located in the midway area near Gate 4, throughout the race weekend. On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 2, the “All-Star Tribute to Terry Labonte” will be held in the Texas Grand Ballroom on the ninth floor of The Speedway Club. The special dinner gala will honor the career of Labonte and benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, Texas Chapter. The evening will also include a live auction featuring items from Terry’s career courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports. To reserve a table or seats, contact Speedway Children’s Charities at (817) 215-8421.
On Sunday, Nov. 5, prior to the start for the Dickies 500, Texas Motor Speedway, in association with NASCAR, will present a special pre-race salute to Labonte. NASCAR and key sponsors through the years will present special gifts to Terry and his family on stage at the start/finish line. Fans will enjoy an exciting video tribute to Labonte on the NEXTELVision screens.
During driver introductions prior to the Dickies 500, Labonte will be the final driver introduced, regardless of his qualifying position. He and his wife, Kim, will be given a parade lap around the track in a Chevrolet Corvette so fans can have a chance to show their appreciation. All other drivers will receive a parade lap in the bed of Chevy Silverado trucks. Following the command for “Gentleman, Start Your Engines,” Terry will lead the field on the parade lap before falling back to his qualifying position for the pace laps. In addition to the pre-race festivities honoring Labonte, the official Texas Motor Speedway Collector’s Edition Souvenir Program will highlight his career. An eight-page special section will be included in the Dickies 500 edition focusing on the life and accomplishments of “Texas Terry.” Fans also will receive a special Terry Labonte poster that will be inserted in each program. For ticket information regarding the Nov. 3 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Silverado 350k, Nov. 4 Busch Series O’Reilly Challenge and Nov. 5 NEXTEL Cup Series Dickies 500, contact the speedway ticket hotline at 817-215-8500 or go online to www.texasmotorspeedway.com.(TMS PR)