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Ill Labonte extends Texas streak before bowing out
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) - Bobby Labonte stayed on a short list of NASCAR drivers who have started every Sprint Cup race in Texas _ barely.
Labonte, who grew up in South Texas, was battling a stomach virus and planned to start Saturday night before giving way to a backup driver.
He made it through 40 laps, but planned replacement Mike Bliss was still on the track in his own car. Labonte took his No. 47 Toyota to the garage and went to the infield care center while his team waited for a backup.
Eventually, Labonte’s crew had to scramble to fit the seat for Michael McDowell after he parked his ride. The crew had already worked on fitting the car for Bliss.
By making the start, Labonte joined Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon as the only drivers to start all 25 Cup races in Texas.
Labonte, the 2000 series champion, has finished third three times in Texas, most recently in his title season. He has started on the pole twice.
By John R. Bolton
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