The number 09 Komatsu America-Tractor & Equipment Company car that will be driven by Bobby Labonte in the Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in the Oct. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup race sits beside the number 1 Komatsu car that was driven by Ryan Ne
Phoenix Racing has had luck on its side in the last three visits to the 2.66-mi. Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, including two top-10 finishes and a memorable victory with Brad Keselowski. This weekend, Bobby Labonte is looking to claim his 200th top-10 finish with the team and to continue its streak of strong performances.
The primary sponsorship for this weekend’s AMP Energy Juice 500 will be Komatsu America Corp. Tractor & Equipment Company (TEC) of Birmingham, Ala. will be the associate sponsor and on the hood of the No. 09 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. Together, TEC and Komatsu strive to help promote the best in heavy equipment.
Bobby Labonte has 35 starts, one win, six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes at the track.
“Obviously, this is a great opportunity to be here at Talladega with Phoenix Racing. This is a team that has proven they can win here. I’ve been fortunate to have some good luck at Talladega too. I am really looking forward to getting into this car this weekend, said Labonte.
“Luck really needs to be on your side at this type of track. Staying out of ’the big one’ is imperative to your finish. These wrecks at the end of these races have just become so critical. It’s the difference between a top 10 result or a really bad finish. You just really need some good luck and hopefully we can get some this weekend.
“Talladega is really different than most races. This is a great organization. We’ve got a good engine program from Hendrick, good cars, but need to get some better luck to put the whole package together. But, like I said, Talladega is a bit different. You just get in line and draft. You just hope you’re in the right draft at the end. Either way, something usually big happens on the last lap. You’re either going for the win or have a torn up car.
“We have a great sponsorship package this weekend too. Komatsu is the primary and the Tractor and Equipment Company will be on the hood this weekend. This is a great chance for TEC to help promote the Komatsu brand. For me, this has been a great team to partner with. I think Komatsu and the Tractor and Equipment Company will feel the same,” Labonte added.
“Komatsu America and TEC are excited to be able to partner with a team the caliber of Phoenix Racing and a championship winning driver like Bobby Labonte. We know from experience how well Jim Finch runs his construction business and we fully expect Phoenix Racing to be just as successful. You put Labonte behind the wheel and great things can happen,” said Erik Wilde, vice president, product marketing, Komatsu America Corp.
James Finch, owner of Phoenix Racing, is equally as excited. “I am really excited to have Komatsu America Corp. and TEC of Birmingham on board this No. 09 this weekend. We at Phoenix Construction utilize Komatsu equipment and can vow for their superior equipment. Everyone is thrilled about this opportunity. Komatsu and TEC are excited to be involved in the NASCAR community and we look forward to putting on a great show for them,” he said.