New champion vows to win some more

Newly-crowned NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bobby Labonte has said his title victory won't stop him pushing for more success in the future

New champion vows to win some more

The 36-year-old Texan is determined to end his title year on a high at Atlanta this weekend in his Joe Gibbs Racing Pontiac Grand Prix - especially now the pressure of the points race is off.

"It's going to be business as usual, I hope," he said. "We've worked really hard at this, and we don't want to just knock her up in neutral and let her coast for a while. One of these days we will, but it ain't going to be today."

Labonte is proud to have joined the Winston Cup elite, which includes older brother Terry who has twice won the championship.

"Looking back on all the previous champions, it's very exciting to be part of that crowd, no doubt," he added. " I know that to be a part of all the great champions of the past is just pretty cool. I hope they can say that, at the end of the day, I was a good champion for the series. To do the things that I did, to come up the way that I did was just satisfying for me. I wouldn't want it any other way.

"This is bigger than everything else, but the goals that you set out to do - whether it's to win this championship or the Daytona 500 or whatever - I think it just goes back to satisfaction. Just total satisfaction of how my life has gone. From racing quarter-midgets to watching races to racing a little bit, racing against Dale Earnhardt in 1980 at Caraway in a late model sportsman car, to working on cars, to racing late models again, to Busch cars, to Winston Cup...I think that's just a neat trend. I could have gone many different ways, but I was very fortunate that people gave me great opportunities. It's definitely a cool path to take. There is no doubt about it."

Labonte's crew chief Jimmy Makar is equally adamant that this Sunday's NAPA 500 season finale at Atlanta will be a fitting climax to the season.

"We're going to Atlanta and race hard like we've been wanting to do for the past few months," he said. "We've got some things that we've been wanting to do that we haven't been able to do because it's been a little bit on the edge. We've just been afraid to do it until now. We're going to have a little bit of fun in Atlanta and let our hair down and go race hard and see what happens."

For a full Q&A with Bobby Labonte's team boss Joe Gibbs, click HERE.

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