Now with COVID-19 restrictions and an expansive racing schedule on the Xfinity Series, Labbe has seen very little of his home in Quebec or the friends he has made in New England. While international border continues to remain closed, Labbe is finally getting a chance to see and race against old friends in the U.S. this coming weekend.
The inaugural Northeast Classic is at last set to take the green flag this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, with six different classes of short track racing taking on “The Magic Mile.” The Super Late Models of the Pro All Stars Series will be where Labbe will get his chance to race, running in the No. 47 normally occupied by Gabe Brown.
“We have a long relationship with Dale Shaw Racecars and I’ve known Gabe for a while. They asked a week or two ago if I wanted to drive the car, and we were off. I thought it was a good idea to go up there and have some fun.” – Alex Labbe
Labbe does have starts in Super Late Models, but it has been nearly four years, and even longer since his last PASS start. But, Labbe does have two PASS North wins in Quebec in 2014 at both Autodrome Chaudiere and Montmagny. With racing Stock Cars being priority, it is a return to roots for Labbe in the days ahead.
“I’ve done a few local races back home in an ACT car, but it has been a while since I have had a chance to race a Super Late Model. It’s always a great time in a Late Model there, in a Xfinity car it can be tough to pass at Loudon. But in a Late Model you feel a little wider and they always put on a good show.”
Naturally, Labbe is thankful for the chance to race old friends, especially with COVID-19 derailing his home track plans in the past year.
“It will be, especially with the COVID restrictions we’ve had. We had wanted to do some ACT Late Model stuff in Canada with our weekends off, but we couldn’t do that.”
Labbe will also be looking to get a monkey off his back at NHMS this weekend, with podium finishes in prior ACT and Pinty’s races, but still no winner’s trophies. After learning to tame the heavier NASCAR Stock Cars there, he is looking forward to the swift nature of PASS Super Late Model racing.
“I have been close up there. These guys have the same or similar equipment to the other best teams in the PASS series. I feel like if I can get used to running the Super Late Model at Loudon, I feel like I should be quick. I have run them in the past. Just got have to get used to running these lighter cars on a track where I run a heavier Xfinity car.”
As for Labbe’s key to winning, it is all about doing what he and the No. 47 camp have to do prior to raceday.
“Practice day is going to key to making some gains and feeling out the car as much as possible.”
The inaugural Northeast Classic at New Hampshire will be broadcast live on Speed51.TV this Saturday, April 17. Fans can watch the race by purchasing a pay-per-view ticket for $29.99.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Correspondent – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: @AlexLabbe36 Twitter