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NASCAR legend Bob Labonte has died

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Bob Labonte, father of NASCAR Cup Series champions Bobby and Terry Labonte, died earlier this week.

He was 91.

“This week Terry and I left our father,” Bobby Labonte said Tuesday on X. “Many of you who knew him in the garage knew he was larger than life. For us, he was our father and also a crew chief, a mentor, our biggest fan, at times our motivation and our hero.”

“He and our mother dedicated their lives to our racing career and our family. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our father, although we know he is doing much better. We thank everyone for their support during this difficult time.”

Born in Texas in 1933, the elder Labonte introduced his sons to motorsports as children and turned them both into quarter-midgets. Terry won a car championship at age 9 and both children were thrilled.

Terry reached the Cup Series in 1978 and won 22 times in 890 starts with championships in 1984 and 1996. Bobby reached the Cup Series debut in 1991 at Dover and won 21 times in 729 starts, taking the championship in 2000 secured.

In addition to leading his sons into the industry's elite, Bob Labonte also campaigned Busch Grand National Series cars for over a decade, winning series championships with Bobby Labonte and David Green behind the wheel.

Matt Weaver is a motorsports insider for Sportsnaut. Keep following him Twitter.