Bobby Labonte Scores First Career SRX Racing Series Win Saturday At Nashville Fairgrounds

Story By: ALICIA DEAL / SRX RACING SERIES – NASHVILLE, TN – Bobby Labonte scored his first Camping World SRX Series win on Saturday night at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

Labonte finished Heat 1 in the third position followed by a fourth-place finish in Heat 2.

For the 75-lap Main Event, Labonte started from the pole position and following a late-race caution, held off a hard charging Marco Andretti and Matt Kenseth to earn the win.

Prior to Saturday night, Labonte’s best SRX finish was last season at Lucas Oil Raceway where he finished second to Ernie Francis Jr.

This season his best finish was third at South Boston Speedway.

Andretti finished second for the second week in a row followed by Kenseth who made his SRX Series debut on Saturday night at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

In his first SRX Series race, Josef Newgarden won Heat 1 and local ringer Cole Williams won Heat 2.

Post-Race Quotes:
Bobby Labonte (Winner): “I tell you what, I didn’t run that good in practice and I told Tony (Eury Jr.), ‘I think I’m running the wrong line.’ I usually try to fire off and go fast and try to feel like I have plenty of confidence and I didn’t, but I will say, I just followed Josef (Newgarden) there early and a couple of the other guys. They’re tough. First and foremost, I’ve got to thank the fans for being here tonight and then also, these guys on this SRX group, all these men and women, you won’t believe how hard they work to get these cars to the race track week in and week out. Thank you for coming and tuning in. We had a great night, a lot of fun. Can’t believe I won one because it’s like I think, ‘I just don’t think we’re ever going to win,’ and we’ll finish third or fifth, but my nephew Justin Labonte, his kid won a quarter midget race today at our quarter midget track in Salisbury, so I had a little pressure on me today. He won $385, so I might have beat him now. I’m pretty excited. We’ve got Sport Clips on our car. Camping World, can’t thank you enough and Marcus (Lemonis). I just thought I wasn’t going to win, I thought, I’m not going to win. This is so intimidating with these drivers. I’m telling you, I get nervous. I think I’m going to puke with about 10 to go, thinking no more cautions. Marco (Andretti), Paul (Tracy), all of these guys, and Josef coming in here and running so good having never done this before, they’re just so good. I’m just thinking,‘man I see Matt Kenseth coming and I’ve seen this story before. Oh my god, here he comes.’ It just so hard, it’s not easy. Maybe I made it look a little easy tonight, but it wasn’t easy.”

Marco Andretti (Finished 2nd in the Main Event): “Bobby Labonte shot out of a canon right from the start of the feature, so I knew he was a force to reckon with there. I think the fastest car won for sure. I was one step of rear grip away getting in and coming off the corner. If I can get the power down a little better, I think I would have gotten closer there at the end. Those Cup guys know just how far to pull away at the end so you can’t get to their bumper at the end. It was a fun one. I keep running steady. I want to thank Rush Trucking, FRAM and of course Camping World. We’re going to be bummed if we keep finishing second.”

Matt Kenseth (Finished 3rd in the Main Event): “I ran myself out of time a little bit there. I should have counted cars so I had some inside restarts there at the end. I felt like I saved the most tire, rear tire. My car drove a lot better in the feature. We got the stagger kind of under control and it was much better. I burned the tires off so bad and got so loose in the heat, I couldn’t do anything, so I was bound and determined not to do that. I felt I had the best tires at the end but ran myself out of time. I should have gone a little sooner.”

Paul Tracy (Finished 4th in the Main Event): “Pretty good night. I was pretty happy with how everything went. We had good heat races, started up front, ran up front. I still killed the rear tires off at the end. I was racing hard with Marco (Andretti), going back and forth with him and probably used up my tires too much. I didn’t really have anything for Bobby (Labonte). I was just trying to learn off of him, watch what he was doing. Matt (Kenseth) came at the end, and I couldn’t really do anything but let him go by and try to maintain. A good finish and good points.”

Ryan Newman (Finished 6th in the Main Event): “We were a little tight center and lacking forward drive off most of the night. No matter how I drove it, it was kind of the same way, the same lap times. I felt like I could run it harder, but that would just make my tires hotter and madder and cost myself in the long run. So, not a good points day, but we kept in one piece.”

Josef Newgarden (Finished 7th on the Main Event): “It was a lot of fun. I would love to come back. For me, it felt like a big test session. Now that I’ve done it, I want to do it again because now I know a little better what to expect. A lot of fun getting the heat win and coming back to seventh. I mean, I was getting roughed up in the beginning of the final, just these guys were just shoving me around, so I’ve just got to learn the driving style and etiquette, it’s very different. But I had a blast. Really appreciate SRX for having me out and certainly want to come back and try it again.”

Main Event Results at Nashville Fairgrounds: 

Finishing Position Driver  Car Number
1 Bobby Labonte 18
2 Marco Andretti 98
3 Matt Kenseth 5
4 Paul Tracy  3
5 Helio Castroneves  06
6 Ryan Newman  39
7 Josef Newgarden  2
8 Michael Waltrip  15
9 Greg Biffle  69
10 Ryan Hunter-Reay  1
11 Tony Stewart 14
12 Cole Williams  46
13 Tony Kanaan 6

Heat 2 Results at Nashville Fairgrounds:

Finishing Position Driver  Car Number
1 Cole Williams  46
2 Marco Andretti 98
3 Greg Biffle  69
4 Bobby Labonte 18
5 Paul Tracy 3
6 Ryan Newman 39
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay 1
8 Tony Kanaan 6
9 Helio Castroneves 06
10 Josef Newgarden 2
11 Matt Kenseth 5
12 Michael Waltrip  15
13 Tony Stewart  14

Heat 1 Results at Nashville Fairgrounds:

Finishing Position Driver  Car Number
1 Josef Newgarden  2
2 Helio Castroneves  06
3 Bobby Labonte 18
4 Paul Tracy  3
5 Marco Andretti  98
6 Tony Stewart  14
7 Ryan Newman  39
8 Matt Kenseth  5
9 Michael Waltrip 15
10 Greg Biffle  69
11 Ryan Hunter-Reay  1
12 Tony Kanaan 6
13 Cole Williams  46

Next Race: The Camping World SRX Series now heads to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missouri on Saturday, July 16, 2022. Ken Schrader will join Tony Stewart, Marco Andretti, Greg Biffle, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Paul Tracy, Michael Waltrip, Tony Kanaan, Matt Kenseth and Hailie Deegan. The action kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will stream live on Paramount+.




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