NASHVILLE– Since joining the Superstar Racing Experience in 2021, Bobby Labonte has racked up top five finishes and podium finishes like clockwork. But for all that, the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion was missing an SRX checkered flag — until now.
After leading every lap of the main event, Bobby Labonte aggressively held off his most serious challenge from Marco Andretti and pulled away in the final laps to win at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Labonte’s win is his first in the Camping World SRX Series, and it’s his first win at Nashville Fairgrounds since winning a NASCAR Busch Series race at the track in March 1996.
SRX Results at Nashville Fairgrounds
- #18 – Bobby Labonte
- #98 – Marco Andretti
- #5 – Matt Kenseth
- #3 – Paul Tracy
- #06 – Helio Castroneves
- 39-Ryan Newman
- #2 – Joseph Newgarden
- #15 – Michael Waltrip
- 69 – Greg Biffle
- #1 – Ryan Hunter Reay
- #14 – Tony Stuart
- #46 – Cole Williams
- 6 – Tony Kanan
In a heavy race in trail position, the front end proved to be the place to be all night long. Josef Newgarden and Cole Williams led all rounds of the first two rounds, and Labonte led the way throughout the 75-lap main event. But it wasn’t without a challenge from Paul Tracy, or Marco Andretti.
On a late restart, Andretti was able to fire enough to get a bead on Labonte for the lead, and he looked like he had the chance he needed to take the lead into Turn 3. But Labonte used the open space under Andretti’s car to muscle his way to the lead, which he never gave up.
Although he’s been the model of consistency throughout SRX’s history, Labonte admitted on Victory Lane that he doesn’t think he’ll ever win on the show – but a bit of family pressure after nephew’s son Justin Labonte won a quarterback midget race earlier today helped him take the lead.
“It’s so intimidating with these drivers. I’m telling you, I’m getting nervous. I’m going to throw up with about 10 to go like, ‘Oh my God, no more precautions,'” Labonte told CBS Sports. “Marco and Paul and all those guys… It’s so hard. It’s not easy. Maybe I made it look a little easy tonight, but it wasn’t easy.”
Labonte’s win more than validated his consistency throughout SRX’s existence; It also gave him the SRX points lead with two races remaining. Labonte now leads Marco Andretti by three points, followed by Ryan Newman (-5), Tony Stewart (-31) and Greg Biffle (-37).
Nashville Fairgrounds marked the final asphalt race of the 2022 season, as the final two races of the season will be on dirt. The first of these will take place at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo. next Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.