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Bobby Labonte Ain't Close to Being Done

The 2000 Cup Series champion is the current SRX points leader.


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Welcome to the third act of the fantastic and immortal career of Bobby Labonte.

Or is this the fourth or fifth?

It’s hard to keep track these days, but the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series is as active as a competitor as he ever was with an impressive win over the weekend in the Superstar Racing Experience at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

It’s not a 36 race Cup Series schedule, and it certainly doesn’t have the same hospitality requirements as the highest level, but the 58-year-old is racing from March to November these days just like he has for decades.

He spends the spring driving the No. 25 Tour Type Modified owned by Mike “Andretti” Smith in the SMART Series and NASCAR Modified Tour, before swapping over to SRX during the summer and finishing the year in the Tour Type Modified.

Labonte is having the time of his life, driving his RV across the country and racing against friends old and new, and certainly isn’t even thinking about retirement yet.

"I don't know that I have an answer but what I do know is that I feel like my reflexes and reaction times are good, the feel and smell, the vision of what I want all of this to look like are there," Labonte said. "There will be a point in time where I get tired of that, but I don't know when or where that will be. Right now, I'm really enjoying it. I'm not racing like (Kenny) Schrader has but I'm getting my fill.

"I'm so proud to be part of this SRX field and excited to be so competitive. Really excited to be a part of its growth and want to keep it going and keep it growing. As long as I'm happy doing it, that's the main thing and I'm excited to keep it going until I no longer have that choice, I guess."

Winning at Nashville on Saturday shows that Labonte has a lot of choice, as does his SMART Tour wins last summer at Dillon and Carteret County.

But Saturday was especially rewarding coming at a venue he won at in Busch Series competition in 1996 and against some legendary names in Marco Andretti, Matt Kenseth, Helio Castroneves, Tony Stewart and that cast of characters.

"Overall, it means a lot and I'm excited about the next two races to see where we land," Labonte said.

Andretti told him he was the points leader during the podium celebration and though the IndyCar veteran was pulling his leg. But it’s true, and Ryan Newman has spoken very strongly about wanting to win this championship, too.

"I really want to win this championship too so if I have a target on my back, those guys do too," Labonte said. "We'll figure out it out in a couple of weeks after these two dirt races."