Elder Labonte to be honored at Caraway Speedway

Bob Labonte, rear, poses with his sons Bobby Labonte, left, and Terry Labonte, right. (Courtesy photo)

SOPHIA — Bob Labonte will be inducted into Caraway Speedway’s Wall of Fame on Saturday during the speedway’s 57th anniversary night.

He’ll join Wayne “Speedy” Thomas, Ronald Fox, Banner Shelton and Archie Adams, Sr. in the Wall of Fame’s Class of 2022.

Bob Labonte is the father of NASCAR Cup champions Terry Labonte and Bobby Labonte and grandfather of Justin Labonte.

Bob Labonte was born in 1933 in Rumford, Maine and turned 89 this year. He became interested in racing when he was 16 or 17 years old when he began racing at Oxford, Maine. He raced for a bit then began working on other people’s cars. When he turned 18, he joined the Navy and was stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas, as a helicopter mechanic.

Bob Labonte moved the family to North Carolina in 1979 and went to work for Billy Hagen. He was an integral part in shaping the careers of both sons and his grandson.

Bobby Labonte followed in Terry Labonte’s footsteps graduating to go-karts and then Late Models, winning the Caraway Speedway championship in 1987 while working for Jay Hedgecock Racing before moving on to the Busch Grand National series and then on to the NASCAR Cup series.

Bob Labonte still tinkers on his great grandson’s quarter midget and attended a SMART Modified event this spring at Caraway to watch Bobby Labonte compete in the Cook Out Modified.

The Wall of Fame ceremony is set for 7 p.m. with racing beginning at 8 p.m.

Saturday’s on-track schedule includes double points in the feature races. There will be a 57-lap Late Models race, 57-lap 602 Modifieds race, 35-lap Challenger feature, 20-lap Mini Stocks race and 15-lap UCARs.

In last Saturday’s results on an abbreviated card of points divisions, the winners were Rudy Hartley (Mini Stocks), Brian Rose (Challengers with four entrants) and Daniel Hughes (UCARs)

Hughes is the points leader in UCARS. Among the other points contenders in the division, two of the drivers – Josh Phillips and Stephen Trotter — were disqualified in the race.

By Randolph Record