FONTANA, Calif. _ A not-so-funny thing happened to Bobby Labonte on Friday.
He won the pole for the NAPA 500 at California Speedway, but that wasn't it. That didn't come until much later in a very long day for himself and his family back in North Carolina.
Labonte, who ran a lap at 182.635 mph to win his first pole since September, spent much of the day trying to quash a rumor that he had been hurt or killed in an accident.
"It's crazy how a wildfire like that can just take off," Labonte said. "We just could not stop it."
Sometime around midday in the East, a report got out that Labonte had been hurt or killed in a wreck _ or, depending on …