Bobby Labonte Breaks Ribs, Will Miss Atlanta Race

Bobby Labonte broke three ribs in a motorcycle accident on Wednesday morning. The injury will keep the former NASCAR champion from racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

Labonte isn’t the first NASCAR driver to suffer an injury this season. Denny Hamlin suffered a crushed vertebrae in an on-track accident earlier this year, but was cleared to race again a few weeks later.

Tony Stewart also suffered a season-ending injury after a horrific accident in a USAC sprint car. Stewart, also a former NASCAR champion, broke his leg in two places and underwent two surgeries to stabilize the bones and repair the damage.

An avid cyclist, Labonte was cruising the roads around his home in Trinity, North Carolina, when he got in the accident, reports USA Today.

The former champion was transported to the hospital in an ambulance and is being held overnight for observation. Other than breaking three ribs, Bobby Labonte’s spokesman Jeff Dennison explained that the driver has no other injuries.

the veteran race car driver, who won the championship in 2000, is currently sitting in 31st place in the points, notes ESPN. Even if he were to race this weekend at Atlanta, it is highly unlikely he would have made the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

However, it would have been a chance for Labonte to break his almost 10-year-long no-win streak. His last victory came in 2003 and of 712 starts, Labonte has 21 Cup victories.

The driver has also seen 22 starts this season without a top 10 finish. Phoenix Racing, which owns the No. 51 NASCAR Sprint Cup car, announced that Mike Bliss, another NASCAR veteran, will take the wheel instead of Labonte.

Details of the accident were not released by Labonte’s firm, Bobby Labonte Enterprises. Because of this, it is unclear whether or not anyone else was involved in the crash. It is also unknown when the NASCAR driver will be able to return to the driver’s seat.

[Image via Doug James / Shutterstock.com]