Pepsi 400 -- The Finish
5 July 1997
DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- Lap 136: Andretti puts his left side tires in the infield grass and moves up alongside Martin. Andretti gets some drafting help from the lapped car of Elliott. Andretti makes the pass at the stripe on lap 137. Martin fades back to fourth. Lap 141: Andretti, Earnhardt, Jarrett, Martin, Mwaltrip, WBurton, Trickle, Petty, Lap 142: Marlin has worked his way ALL the way back to seventh. Trickle, MWaltrip, and Elliott are three wide. Folks there's racing all over place. It's hard to pick any particular battle to watch. MWaltrip shoots out of the pack into the infield grass. He mows a few yards and comes back onto the track in front of Hamilton, who somehow avoids the #21 CITGO Ford. Lap 148: Andretti is still up front with Earnhardt right behind him. Jarrett is in third, Martin is fourth. Trickle rounds out the top five. 6th-10th: Marlin, TLabonte, WBurton, Petty, Irvan Andretti has a two car length advantage over Earnhardt. Lap 149: Irvan moves into ninth. JBurton is up to tenth. Irvan challenges WBurton for 8th....they're side-by-side with ten to go. Irvan completes the pass in one but Ward retakes the spot on the backstretch. Marlin dives to the inside of Trickle to take fifth....nope Trickle takes it back. Martin gets out of line and goes back to 7th. Lap 152: Andretti, Earnhardt, Jarrett, Trickle, Marlin, TLabonte, Martin, WBurton, JBurton, Irvan Lap 153: Earnhardt goes high to attempt a pass but can't get the job done. Meanwhile Marlin makes the move on Trickle to take fourth...but Trickle comes right back after him and completes the pass. Lap 154: Marlin gets underneath Trickle and again moves into fourth. Lap 156: Earnhardt tries to block Jarrett and there's trouble in turn two! Rudd, and MWaltrip are involved. Rudd spun and hit the outside wall then collects MWaltrip. Stricklin and Shepherd crash also. The yellow flag waves and the leaders thunder across the start finish line. Earnhardt gives it all he's got but Andretti retains the lead. We're going to have a green/white restart. It's a 2.5-mile shootout for all the marbles. Andretti is seeking his first career victory and Earnhardt is looking to break a way-too-long winless streak. Under caution: Andretti, Earnhardt, Jarrett, Marlin, TLabonte, Trickle The pace car pulls down pit road and Andretti brings them to the line slowly. Green Flag!! Andretti gets a good jump. Jarrett looks inside Earnhardt but drifts back. TLabonte goes high around Earnhardt. Marlin passes the #3 car on the inside. Behind them WBurton goes *way* low on the track between turns three and four, trying to pass Jarrett. He gets around and comes back up to the middle of the track...TROUBLE...Martin and Trickle are right there side-by-side....Burton collects them both and all three cars go into the outside wall. Cars continue to pile in including those of Speed, Cope, Hamilton, Nemechek, and Nadeau. The turn four area is littered with damaged race cars. As the carnage continues, Andretti wins the Pepsi 400!! TLabonte comes home second. Marlin, Earnhardt and Jarrett round out the top five.