In the spotlight: Bobby Labonte

Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2001

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

Lives: Trinity, N.C.

Drives: No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing.

2002 record: Two victories, nine top-fives and $4,786,779 in earnings to finish sixth in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings.

Career highlight: Winning the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Championship

Other accomplishments: The only driver to win both the NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch series championships, he has 18 career victories and nearly $25.6 million in career earnings.

Personal notes: Along with Terry Labonte, he became part of the only brother tandem to win a Winston Cup Series championship. ... He has been involved in two dramatic photo-finishes in the past two years, and he lost them both.

He lost by 6 inches to Dale Earnhardt at Atlanta in 2000 and by 5 inches to Steve Park at Rockingham, N.C., this season. ... Labonte moved from Texas to North Carolina to watch his older brother Terry race. His first job was as a crewman for his brother at Billy Hagan Racing. ... One of his biggest thrills was meeting and getting an autograph from singer Jimmy Buffett. He considers himself a ''Parrot Head,'' the nickname for Buffett's die-hard fans.

Hobbies: Tinkering with electronics, especially anything digital

Don Coble

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