EXCLUSIVE: Labonte on Earnhardt

NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Bobby Labonte has paid tribute to title rival Dale Earnhardt as the championship heads towards a thrilling conclusion

EXCLUSIVE: Labonte on Earnhardt

Speaking exclusively to Autosport.com on the eve of the crucial race at Phoenix, Labonte has said Earnhardt is one of the greatest drivers of all time.

"He will be listed in the Hall of Fame as one of the best drivers of any kind on the face of this planet to ever get behind the wheel of a car," he praised.

"To be able to battle him like we have the second half of the season is awesome. It is something I would have dreamed up as a kid and played over and over in my mind. It shows that he is far from being done as a driver. If anything, he is getting better with age."

Labonte also said he would jump at the chance to race in Europe if the Winston Cup ventured across the Pond to Britain's new Rockingham Speedway or Germany's Lausitzring.

"I think it would be a wonderful opportunity not only for myself and my family to be a part of that, but it would be great for NASCAR in general," he said.

The expanding Winston Cup calendar could mitigate against this, however. NASCAR has added another two races on to next year's dates, increasing the total rounds to 36.

"I'm not sure when we would be able to race there as the NASCAR schedule is not getting any shorter, but if there is a way to work it out, I hope I get invited," added Labonte.

For full Bobby Labonte Q&A, click HERE.

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Bobby Labonte Q&A

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