Conspiracy Theory-Did Hendrick cheat ...

Conspiracy Theory-Did Hendrick cheat Terry Labonte?

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Grady

AOL

#1 May 12, 2006
I want to get you guys opion on this consipracy i've had for many years....I keep up with driver statistics and i noticed that after 1996 terry labonte's success was miminal at best 4 wins from 1997-2003 from 8 from 1994-1996....from 1997-1999 the consistency that we all know him for kept him in the point races...but he went from 1st in 1996..to 6th.in 1997.9th in 1999.17th in 2000.23rd in 2001 also add no laps led.24th in 2002...by this time his average finish is from a 9th in 1996 down to 24-26th average finish also his qualifying was really poor during this time but he was way far behind his teammates jeff gordon and the 25 car..which was having stronger runs than labonte and had a great feel for atlanta where they beat mr.earnhardt in 2000..we seen him come back in 2003 probaly due to jimmie johnson being there.but he slipped in 2004 to a career low of 26th in 2004 his poorest showing ever in points..what sent this 2-time champion and the classiest driver in nascar towards a downfall when he was just coming back..Was it because he wasn't keeping up in technology or was it that he was getting that same syndrome that darrell waltrip and richard petty had during their final years theyy were scared to go all out i mean that in terms of how hard they tried to win...kinda like a burnout.or could it have been that during the late 90s hendrick wanted to miminalize the competition against his driver for the 24 jeff gordon...i'm not trying to start anything but this has been in my mind for a long time and i have anayazed it many times...but haven't you all thought that too..don't think i hate terry labonte he's one of my all-time fav drivers but i just believed he had a few more championships in him and he wasn't given the equipment and the tools he needed that could have been shared with him to get him there...just tell me what you think about it....
Steve Taylor

New Port Richey, FL

#2 May 16, 2006
Grady;
I remember going through these same arguments, wondering why my favorite driver was struggling with all those resources available to his team. I don't have any answers. It's been a frustrating last few years. It could be a little burnout, a little "investment protection" on behalf of Rick Hendrick towards his more productive teams. I don't think anything has been done blatantly to sabotage Terry's career. I personally feel Terry has been caught in a little bit of Limbo at the tail end of it all just like all the other veterans, and I think now he's just enjoying his last ride into the sunset. I personally wish he would have just retired in 2003 and gone out on a good note after the Darlington win, but he knows best. Everything that happened in the past, struggles, etc. we can't know why or change.
Thanks for all the memories, Terry.
Randy

Kingsport, TN

#3 May 25, 2006
I think the wreck at daytona when bodine sent him into the wall affected terry's performance from that point on.
Rob

Mount Vernon, MO

#4 Jun 13, 2006
Regardless of any exscuses, or conspiracy theories. I do think Terry and his team were left out of the technology loop by Hendrick after they're "Golden Boy", Jeff Gordon came to fame. At the least Hendrick could get Terry set up in a descent ride for one of his final races, to help him go out with some class. After years of being with Hendrick, its the least he could do for one of the classiest drivers he's ever had on his race team!
jennifer barnett

Greenville, SC

#5 Jul 1, 2006
i think terry was completely screwed, you would think after all these years he could get the same treatment as his fellow team mates
mike simon

United States

#6 Jul 3, 2006
i am 14 and terry labonte is my favorite driver. i have liked him for 12 years. seeing him retire made me sad, but it happens to every driver. however, i have noticed terry never runs good in his old 44 car. his average finish in the 96 is way higher than his 44. i dont know exactly, but how could the performance of a championship team be lower than a team that has just started. i like hofr, but i would like to see terry get another couple of top 15's or top 10's. seeing terry do great at sonoma was the greatest.
LTC GS Hunter

Deville, LA

#7 Jul 5, 2006
I fully agree with all of you. Hendrick can't share the cost and technology with his entire team! Look at Mark Martin, he has the same equal car as his teammates, what gives? Terry desires much better. Take this and run with it, I bet you Terry will get Justin established in a ride again and drive for either DLP racing or Yates?
Jeremy Capps

Gastonia, NC

#8 Jul 24, 2006
Steve Taylor wrote:
Grady;
I remember going through these same arguments, wondering why my favorite driver was struggling with all those resources available to his team. I don't have any answers. It's been a frustrating last few years. It could be a little burnout, a little "investment protection" on behalf of Rick Hendrick towards his more productive teams. I don't think anything has been done blatantly to sabotage Terry's career. I personally feel Terry has been caught in a little bit of Limbo at the tail end of it all just like all the other veterans, and I think now he's just enjoying his last ride into the sunset. I personally wish he would have just retired in 2003 and gone out on a good note after the Darlington win, but he knows best. Everything that happened in the past, struggles, etc. we can't know why or change.
Thanks for all the memories, Terry.
I agree, I think he is just out there to enjoy his last times around and to injoy his love of racing.
Grady

AOL

#9 Sep 5, 2006
at infineon it was proven that if Terry Labonte is still at his game but unfortunately i believe the days at hendrick has destroyed his confidence....
DAN

Greenville, SC

#10 Sep 12, 2006
I totally agree with all of yall, Hendrick basically screwed Terry out of what could had been some of his best years, he never gave Terry what he gave Jeff, Terry should go drive for another team in 2007 just to show it to Hendrick that he can still drive, and kick Jeff's ass in the point standings, and win the championship, lets hear it "TERRY LABONTE the 2007 CHAMP" HEllz Yeah
JON

Newton Highlands, MA

#11 Nov 3, 2006
Thank god I'm not crazy! I too have alwas thought Terry was not given the best equipment & chance to win. Almost like he was a test driver. One thing is true, we will never see another driver like him. I wish him all the best.
Yairi

Chesterfield, MO

#12 Nov 3, 2006
As a fan of Terry Labonte since the mid '90s, I had many discussions with fellow TL fans who have all said the same thing: HMS appeared to brush Terry aside for the sake of new "talent." Rather than push the conspiracy theories to the limit though, consider what Terry himself said a few years ago. He was interviewed about his future plans and he said he wanted to retire with HMS. Only he and the Hendrick organization really know why the #5 team struggled after 1999. One other thing to stoke the fire: look at the #5 team today as compared to when Terry drove for them. I believe a number of personnel changes were made to that team when Kyle Busch came along.
mike simon

Atlanta, GA

#13 Nov 4, 2006
i agree
AARON

United States

#14 Feb 27, 2007
I am surprised nobody mentioned the fact that Terry was scuffing tires for the other Hendrick drivers in 2005 and 2006 in the 44 car. I don't know who to get mad at.I thought that was a jip for us Terry fans. I expected him to run well. He did in a few ( Pocono for one). Also, after a few weeks in the Fed Ex #11 he started to qualify and record top 15's several times. So yes, to me something was up at HMS. Sad to see Terry go out in A bad way with them. I was glad he was in the #11 and 96. I knew then he would do well. However, this shows Terry's a "team" player and unselfish.

“Always Proud Of Sterling”

Since: Jan 07

Brockton,Ma

#15 Mar 3, 2007
When I heard that Terry was relegated to 'scuffing tires' at Homestead in 2005, I could almost see the guys in the booth looking at each other with bared teeth. One of them,I don't remember which one now, sounded like he couldn't believe his eyes. I was floored.
Terry was always a team player,a concept that's going the way of the "stock" car,and no doubt it didn't bother him...at least I hope it didn't. It sure botherd me.
And we really don't know for sure what transpired between him and HMS when he decided to run a partial schedule. I like to think that Terry was pleased with the chance to run that final two years like he did,rather than go out cold turkey. He had a good relationship with Rick Hendrick,and I think it was more of a favor to Hendrick than a choice of his own. Terry had nothing left to prove to himself. He was ready to go.
That being said,it only made sense that a part-time team wouldn't be given top-notch equipment. But Terry never had the luxury of working full time with a crew he never really got to know. He said that, himself.
Terry went out the way he wanted to. There will always be those who question that. Terry was a champion. He was a proud man with strong convictions. He'd never have allowed himself to be used and taken advantage of.
He had a wonderful career and he's healthy & happy. He has a terrific family and a bright future,and although I miss him with all my heart,I'm happy for him.
There never will be another Terry Labonte,and that's as it should be. He was special.
Terry, thank you for giving us so much. You left us a legacy to be proud of.
ryan

Chesapeake, VA

#16 Mar 16, 2007
Hendrick never gave terry another shot, 20 bucks says terry will run top 10 in his race in main, and anotehr 10 bucks says he'll be driving in this years race at sears point
big

AOL

#17 Jun 15, 2007
i beleive the downfall after the championship run was taking Andy Graves away from the team. that Gary DeHart led crew had the chemistry and confidence that every team looks for. one of the many best moments from that 96 season was seeing Andy dive in the window to rig the clutch pedal late in the race at martinsville. terry had the fastest car that day by far coming from a lap down the old way and passing everyone under green to lead again. performances like that make all other teams jealous. if anyone had split my team up , i probably would've had a sway bar incident also.
rick

Howes Cave, NY

#18 Jun 18, 2007
Grady wrote:
I want to get you guys opion on this consipracy i've had for many years....I keep up with driver statistics and i noticed that after 1996 terry labonte's success was miminal at best 4 wins from 1997-2003 from 8 from 1994-1996....from 1997-1999 the consistency that we all know him for kept him in the point races...but he went from 1st in 1996..to 6th.in 1997.9th in 1999.17th in 2000.23rd in 2001 also add no laps led.24th in 2002...by this time his average finish is from a 9th in 1996 down to 24-26th average finish also his qualifying was really poor during this time but he was way far behind his teammates jeff gordon and the 25 car..which was having stronger runs than labonte and had a great feel for atlanta where they beat mr.earnhardt in 2000..we seen him come back in 2003 probaly due to jimmie johnson being there.but he slipped in 2004 to a career low of 26th in 2004 his poorest showing ever in points..what sent this 2-time champion and the classiest driver in nascar towards a downfall when he was just coming back..Was it because he wasn't keeping up in technology or was it that he was getting that same syndrome that darrell waltrip and richard petty had during their final years theyy were scared to go all out i mean that in terms of how hard they tried to win...kinda like a burnout.or could it have been that during the late 90s hendrick wanted to miminalize the competition against his driver for the 24 jeff gordon...i'm not trying to start anything but this has been in my mind for a long time and i have anayazed it many times...but haven't you all thought that too..don't think i hate terry labonte he's one of my all-time fav drivers but i just believed he had a few more championships in him and he wasn't given the equipment and the tools he needed that could have been shared with him to get him there...just tell me what you think about it....
i agree to a point with you. i myself is a diehard
labonte fan, i am hoping this 2 race run will spark
some desire i am sure he still has to race and come
back fulltime next year. i am sure there are teams
who would pick him up in a hard beat.. i know his
friend tryo aikmen are talking about a second team...
let's all hope
mike simon

Buffalo, NY

#19 Jun 20, 2007
now hes back, in a toyota too
Marijan

AOL

#20 Jul 8, 2007
what i think happened was this: in 1996 jeff gordon won 10 races and terry labonte won 2 races but won the championship by only 37 points over jeff gordon. rick hendrick saw this and decided to give terry inferior equipment to make sure this didnt happen again because hendrick has a lifetime contract with gordon and rick wanted to make sure it had better pay off. i am a huge terry labonte fan and i love the fact that he is the classiest nascar driver of all time but if he had driven a little bit rougher he would have like 50 wins and 4 championships.

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