Bobby Labonte had a big year in 1995. In just his third full-time NASCAR Cup Series season, he switched from racing for Bill Davis to driving for coach Joe Gibbs.
In Labonte’s first two years, he had a lone top-five finish and only eight top 10s. The 1995 season, however, would prove to be a much different story.
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Paired with crew chief Jimmy Makar, Labonte scored three top-five finishes and one pole through the first 10 races of the year. Then, on Week 11, he broke through and scored his first win in the 1995 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The victory didn’t come without a bit of drama when late in the race Labonte made contact with Dale Earnhardt and upset Richard Childress, the owner of the No. 3 car, who commented on the race broadcast, “He had him sideways on the straightaway, then he turned him sideways on the backstretch. I can see a guy rubbin’ you in the corner but hitting you on the straightaway? You know, maybe he can’t see over the steering wheel, I don’t know!”
In the end, Labonte was able to secure the checkered flag, finishing 1-2 with his brother, Terry, in NASCAR’s longest race.