When he’s not taking turns at 200 mph, NASCAR’s Bobby Labonte, driver of the #96 Ask.com Ford, can usually be found with a fishing rod or hunting rifle in his hands. As the chase for NASCAR’s Sprint Championship was revving up, Outdoor Life got the chance to wind down with the 16-year veteran.
OL: Do you find time to hunt or fish during the long racing season ?
Labonte: I definitely try to find the time. It’s a great way to relieve stress. Heck, I managed to catch a 6-pounder in the pond behind my house the other night. I was hoping to catch a big crappie when the largemouth hit–great fish.
OL: Have you traveled much for destination fishing?
Labonte: Yes, I’ve fished a bunch of places: Alaska for salmon and halibut; Colorado for trout; Texas for offshore fishing; and Brazil.
OL: Which was your favorite?
Labonte: The Rio Negro in Brazil was great.We fished for peacock bass, and I caught a piranha, too. Man, those peacocks can fight.
OL: Do you do much hunting?
Labonte: Quite a bit. I hunted elk in Montana last fall and got one. The plan is to get back there between races with [Kevin] Harvick and some other guys.
OL: It seems as though a lot of drivers hunt and fish.
Labonte: Yes, that’s true–Harvick, Martin Truex, Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart, to name a few.