Labonte's start streak to end at 704
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Bobby Labonte's consecutive start streak will end at 704 races.
Labonte's streak was the third-longest in history, shy of Ricky Rudd's 788 starts. Jeff Gordon has started 705 straight races, which stands as the longest active NASCAR run.
"It is disappointing the way it is happening," Labonte said via online chat on the JTG Daugherty Racing website. "I have had a couple offers this morning, but I have declined them because I don't want anybody else that has an opportunity to do what I do, what they love, to have to sit on the sideline for my sake."
Labonte hasn't missed a start since 1993, but he won't be in his No. 47 car for Saturday night's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Instead, AJ Allmendinger will take over in Labonte's No. 47 car, just as he did at Michigan earlier this month.
Labonte used Phoenix Racing's No. 51 car for the event in Brooklyn, Michigan to keep his streak intact.
"I asked the two car question for this weekend. We really can't afford to do that. One car is the limit of our capacity at this time," Labonte said during the online chat.
"I am a huge Bobby Labonte fan, have been for a long time. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his character. We are very luck to have Bobby as our driver," team co-owner Brad Daugherty wrote in the chat.
06/26 00:50:09 ET