29August

Bobby Labonte out for Atlanta

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Bobby Labonte will miss Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after suffering three broken ribs in a bicycle accident Wednesday morning near his home in Trinity, N.C.

Labonte, the 2000 series champion in his 21st season of racing at NASCAR’s highest level, suffered no other injuries in the accident, according to a release from his marketing agency. He is being held in a local hospital overnight for observation, the release said.

Labonte will be replaced by Mike Bliss in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet this weekend at what has historically been the Texas native’s best track. Of Labonte’s 21 Sprint Cup wins, six have come on the 1.54-mile Georgia speedway.

Earlier this season, Labonte’s streak of consecutive Sprint Cup starts ended at 704 when he was replaced by AJ Allmendinger in the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota at Kentucky Speedway in June. Since then, he has missed one other race (Aug. 11 at Watkins Glen).

Sunday’s race was scheduled to be Labonte’s second start in the No. 51 Chevrolet. His only other start in the James Finch-owned car was a last-place finish at Michigan in June after an early crash with Jeff Gordon, the active driver with the longest current streak of consecutive Sprint Cup starts — 713.

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