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Terry “Texas” Labonte
(born November 16, 1956) is an American former stock car driver who raced from 1978 to 2014 in the former NASCAR Winston Cup and Sprint Cup Series (now called the NASCAR Cup Series). A two-time Cup Series champion and 1989 IROC champion, he is the older brother of 2000 Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte, and the father of former Nationwide Series driver Justin Labonte. He also co-owns a Chevrolet dealership in Greensboro, North Carolina with Rick Hendrick. He appeared on the CBS series The Dukes of Hazzard in 1984, where he played an unnamed pit crew member.
Labonte’s first NASCAR race came in 1978 at Darlington Raceway. He qualified 19th in the No. 92 Duck Industries-sponsored Chevrolet and finished fourth that weekend. He ran four more races that season and had an additional two Top 10 finishes. In 1979, he competed for NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors along with Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, and Joe Millikan while driving the No. 44 Stratagraph-sponsored Chevrolet for Hagan. Although Labonte failed to win the top rookie award, he was one of three rookies to finish in the Top 10 in points. He ended the season with 13 Top 10 finishes. The following year, he won his first career Winston Cup race on Labor Day weekend at Darlington. He won $222,501 in prize money for the year and finished eighth in the final points standings.
Labonte failed to return to victory lane over the next two years but didn't finish outside the Top 5 in the final standings. He won his second career race in 1983 in the Budweiser-sponsored Chevrolet. In 1984, his team received a sponsorship from Piedmont Airlines and he won races at Riverside International Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway as well as clinching his first Winston Cup championship. He dropped to seventh in the final points in 1985. During that season, he made his Busch Series debut at Charlotte in the No. 17 Pontiac owned by Darrell Waltrip and won the 400 miles (640 km) race. Waltrip asked Labonte to drive after deciding to focus his driving priorities solely on Winston Cup racing during what would be Waltrip's 307-point gain over Bill Elliott in the final eight races of the 1985 season.
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