UPDATE: Bobby Labonte’s NASCAR start streak will end

2 Comments

UPDATE, 6:00 p.m. ET: This weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be the first without a Labonte since 1978. Bobby Labonte confirmed on the JTG Daugherty Racing website that he won’t race in Kentucky this Saturday night.

The younger Labonte to Corpus Christi’s “Texas Terry,” the two-time Cup champion, began racing in Cup full-time in 1993. JTG Daugherty has sought Allmendinger’s input and opinion on its car and is providing him another start in that car.

1:00 p.m. ET: One streak came to an end in a good way on Sunday when Martin Truex Jr. snapped a 200-plus race winless streak. One other streak appears set to end this Saturday night in Kentucky: Bobby Labonte’s consecutive starts streak.

The 2000 NASCAR Cup champion isn’t listed in either of the cars he’s driven this year. AJ Allmendinger makes his second start in Labonte’s normal No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota, with Austin Dillon taking the reins of the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet.

Labonte’s streak of 704 consecutive starts began with the 1993 Daytona 500. He sits only 30th in the points standings this year, without a top-10 finish.

Ricky Rudd holds the all-time consecutive start streak record at 788. Jeff Gordon has one more consecutive start than does Labonte, with 705 entering this weekend’s Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts.

‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.