Labonte Lineage: a look at one of NASCAR’s many racing families

Terry Labonte on his Championship winning car with Championship trophy, 1996

Terry Labonte on his Championship winning car with Championship trophy, 1996

The Labonte name in NASCAR is not the most well-known of racing lineages. The Labonte brothers, Bobby and Terry, are from Texas. Both brothers started their racing careers in quarter midgets. The older of the two, Terry, made his NASCAR debut in 1978 for Hagen Racing. Terry won his first NASCAR race at Darlington in 1980 and his first championship in 1984. His younger brother followed him out to North Carolina to help on the car. Terry would spend the following years being a regular Cup series driver but rotated around a few different teams before finding a home at Hendrick Motorsports in 1994. 

Meanwhile, Bobby paid his dues and climbed the ladder. Finally pulling enough money together for a full season ride, Bobby roared onto the NASCAR scene in 1993. Both brothers duked it out on the track but it was Terry who would go on to win the 1996 championship. Bobby would  win his first and only championship in 2000. Terry retired from full season racing in 2004, 26 years after his first NASCAR start. He would continue racing occasionally until 2014. Bobby, on the other hand, races in the title series today, a full 22 years and counting for his career. The Labonte brothers are often overlooked in NASCAR history. Neither won a Daytona 500, but they have a few championships between them and a combined 43 Sprint Cup wins and counting (22 for Terry and 21 for Bobby). Here at the World of Speed we have Terry’s 1996 Championship trophy proudly on display, in honor of the Labonte lineage. 

The Terry Labonte 1996 NASCAR Championship trophy

The Terry Labonte 1996 NASCAR Championship trophy