Labonte looking for improvement in Texas - NOTES by Lugnut - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

NASCAR NOTES: Labonte looking for improvement in Texas

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Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
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FORT WORTH, TX (RNN) -

Bobby Labonte is one of my favorite drivers to interview. He has such an easygoing, down home style that you can't help but like about the guy. As he returns to his home state of Texas this week, the former champion is hoping to turn his season around.

"Always looking forward to going back there," said Labonte of his return to his home state. "I see a few people that I know that are still around that area that I've known for a long time, so it's always a lot of fun to go back there."

Labonte and his older brother, Terri, always seem to have things under control. They tend to keep their emotions in place and take the high road whenever possible.

"I was raised is to be a certain way," said the younger Labonte brother. "I try not to be too vocal and if you're going to be vocal about things, privacy sometimes is the best place to have it."

It's that type of persona that has made them fan favorites over the years regardless of their performance on the racetrack.

With the 2013 season barely underway, Bobby Labonte finds himself in 28th place in the point standings, which is not where he hoped to be after such a strong end to last season.

"We're a lot further ahead than we were last year at this time," said Bobby Labonte on his season so far. "We're just not applying it like we should. We've just got to figure out where we're missing some things."

Bobby Labonte has always done well on the fast tracks and is hoping a return to his old stomping grounds will start things in the right direction.

"It's a fast, fast racetrack with a lot of grip," continued Bobby Labonte on his chances this week. "I think it's cool to go to a fast racetrack, and it's one of the fastest ones we go to."

So what does the former champion have to do in Texas to get his team running up front?

"Qualifying good is going to be key," said Bobby Labonte. "You're not going to be able to pass 20 cars in a run probably, so qualifying is going to be essential, and track position is going to mean a lot."

Regardless of whether he wins or finishes 43rd, you will always get the same reaction from the fan favorite.

"I guess I came about at the right time and maybe studied my peers that I was racing against when I came up," said Bobby Labonte on his approach to the sport. "I don't claim to be a guy that's going to go around and try to figure things out or make more out of me than I am."

It's that type of attitude that keeps Bobby Labonte at the top of the fan favorite chart. It will also be that type of attitude that will lead his team to new heights as the season progresses.

All I can say is thanks, Bobby Labonte, for being true to your roots.

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