O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (October 20, 2015) – Terry Labonte may be a two-time NASCAR Cup champion and member of the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class, but he will encounter two novel driving experiences for him when he returns to Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 8.

>Labonte, a Corpus Christi, Texas native, will be driven to extremes as he will serve as the honorary pace car driver for the AAA Texas 500 and also pace the field for a parade lap of solar cars during pre-race activities. His day will start behind the wheel of a two-seater solar car built by high school students and then ramp up to the horsepower of a Chevrolet SS for the AAA Texas 500 pace laps.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Labonte said of his dual roles. “I’ve never driven a pace car. That will be the first time to have the opportunity to do that. And then the solar car is kind of a neat deal that the kids are working on.”

Labonte will pilot a two-seater solar car built by Greenville (TX) High School, one of seven Texas schools that competed this summer in the Solar Car Challenge annually held at Texas Motor Speedway. Greenville High, along with Byron Nelson High of Trophy Club, Coppell High, Ben Barber Academy of Mansfield, All Saints Episcopal of Fort Worth, Wylie East High and Stony Point High of Round Rock, will take part in a parade lap led by Labonte on the 1.5-mile oval prior to the AAA Texas 500 at 10:45 a.m. CT.

The AAA Texas 500 weekend will mark Labonte’s first trip to Texas Motor Speedway since receiving word in May that he was one of five individuals selected for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January of 2016. Labonte joins founder of Texas Motor Speedway and parent company Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Bruton Smith, 17-time race winner Curtis Turner, 1970 premier series champion Bobby Isaac and Modified champion Jerry Cook.

Labonte collected the 21st of his 22 career Cup victories in the 1999 Primestar 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte led 124 of 334 laps en route to the victory of runner-up Dale Jarrett in one of the fastest Sprint Cup Series races ever held at Texas Motor Speedway. Given the victory came in his home state in just the speedway’s third year of existence, it remains at the forefront of his long list of Hall of Fame accomplishments.

“I love this race track here,” Labonte said. “They always have a great turnout here and all the people in Texas really come out and support it. It was really a cool place to race at and have had the chance to win here before – that was probably one of my biggest wins that I’ve ever had. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”

As part of the build-up to Labonte’s return to Texas Motor Speedway, he and the unique AAA Texas 500 hat trophy will visit regional markets to get fans ready for the upcoming NASCAR tripleheader race weekend. Labonte opened the tour Monday with visits to Dallas/Fort Worth media outlets and will continue Tuesday, Oct. 28 with a visit to Oklahoma City. 

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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