2006 Ride: No. 44 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet/No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Chevrolet
2006 Primary Sponsors: Kellogg’s, Texas Instruments DLP Products
2006 Owners: Rick Hendrick, Bill Saunders
2006 Crew Chiefs: Peter Sospenzo, Philippe Lopez
2006 Stats: 17 starts, 0 wins, 1 top five, 1 top 10, 41st in points
High Point: By stretching his fuel mileage and not making a final pit stop with his competitors, Labonte took the lead in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 on lap 72 in the No. 96 DLP car. When the rest of the cars made their stops he used an 18-second advantage over Jeff Gordon to lead the next 17 laps of the event, finally getting overtaken by the Rainbow Warrior after a series of late caution flags. Still, Labonte was able to finish the race in the third position, posting his best result since winning the Southern 500 back in 2003.
Low Point: After starting his No. 44 Kellogg’s/Terry Labonte Tribute Chevrolet 43rd in his final race, the Dickies 500, Texas Terry finished the final race of his career 23 laps down in 36th after handling problems left the car a pile of junk. Labonte spent the last 13 seasons of his 29-year career driving for Hendrick Motorsports; for his selflessness and dedication to their organization, couldn’t they have given him a competitive car for one final ride?
Summary: In 29 years of racing, Texas Terry amassed 848 starts, two championships, 22 victories, 27 pole positions, 182 top fives and 361 top-10 finishes. Saying goodbye at Texas was tough, but Labonte’s legacy will live on forever.
2007 Outlook: Fishing, hunting, tackling the “honey-do” list and lots of relaxing.
2006 Frontstretch Grade: A for Terry, F for Hendrick Motorsports
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The Frontstretch Staff is made up of a group of talented men and women spread out all over the United States and Canada. Residing in 15 states throughout the country, plus Ontario, and widely ranging in age, the staff showcases a wide variety of diverse opinions that will keep you coming back for more week in and week out.