Terrance Lee Labonte, a former NASCAR driver, was born on November 16, 1956, in Corpus Christi, Texas. As a youngster Labonte was surrounded by the sport through his father, who would work on his friends racecars as a hobby. Terry is the older brother of Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR and Winston Cup champion, and father of Justin Labonte, Busch Series driver.
At the age of seven, Terry Labonte began racing quarter-midgets and when he was nine he won the national championships. Later as a teenager he moved to local short tracks in a stock car. Terry won track championships on both dirt and asphalt in his hometown, in San Antonio and Houston from 1975 to 1977.
Terry Labonte took part in his first NASCAR race in 1978 at Darlington Raceway. Then in 1979 he competed against Dale Earnhardt, Joe Millikan and Harry Gant for the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year. Although he did not win he did finish as one of the top three rookies to get into the top ten in points. His season ended with thirteen top-ten finishes. The following year he took part in the Winston Cup race on Labor Day and won it.
In 1986 Terry announced that he would be leaving the Hagan’s team for the Junior Johnson and Associates. This move proved successful and he earned four pole-position starts as well as winning the Holly Farms 400. Again he moved teams, and this time he joined the #1 Skoal Classic Oldsmobile team under Precision Products Racing.
Labonte joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1994, and in 1996 he broke Richard Petty’s streak for consecutive races. Although he only had two wins that year he won the championship as well. In 2000 his consecutive race wins were broken at 655 due to an inner ear injury at the Pepsi 400, forcing him to miss the Global Crossing @ The Glen and the Brickyard 400.
The year 2003 was Labonte’s first pole win since 2000 and he also made his second career major. Terry Labonte then announced that 2004 would be his last full year on the circuit and that for the next two years he would instead participate on a part-time basis. The last race Labonte took part in, in 2006, was the Dickies 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.