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NASCAR Winston Cup Jiffy Lube 300 Preview -- #2, Rusty Wallace

10 July 1997

 #2 Rusty Wallace, Miller Lite Ford Thunderbird            
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Jiffy Lube 300 Advance
 New Hampshire International Speedway


LOUDON, NH - While the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup tour has dealt the
ultimate "journey of inconsistency" for Rusty Wallace and his Miller
Lite Team Penske Ford Thunderbird team, this weekend's stop on the
circuit offers a promising sojourn for change.

New Hampshire International Speedway, site of Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300,
could be described as Wallace's "Mecca" for competitive consistency
and a place for, as Wallace puts it, "putting up the big numbers on
the board."

Carrying the not-coveted distinguishing trait of being the
highest-ranked driver in the points with the most DNFs (12th in points
with 7 DNFs), Wallace and his Robin Pemberton-led crew are almost
gleeful about their return to N.H.I.S.

"After all the ups and downs we had during the first half of the
season, the New Hampshire race can give us just the finishing shot in
the arm that we need to get it all turned around for the rest of the
year," said Wallace, the inaugural race winner at N.H.I.S. who has
finished no worse than seventh in the four races held to date on the
1.058-mile race track. "Coming off the good run we had at Daytona,
it's a great place for us to be racing...I'll tell you that. (Wallace
finished sixth in last Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International
Speedway. It was his best career finish at Daytona.)

"Ever since day one when we came from the rear to win the first race
there, we go into New Hampshire with an unbelievable amount of
confidence. That's no different this time around. We go there
expecting to have a great chance of winning the thing. And, even if we
don't get to go to Victory Lane, we just know that we're going to have
a good solid run and a super finish."

Despite starting 33rd in the inaugural New Hampshire race back in
1993, Wallace was able to lead 106 laps en route to an impressive
win. "That was one of those deals where I really screwed up in
qualifying," recalled Wallace. "We had to qualify second round and
then make the best of it. As it turned out, we pitted way on down pit
road toward turn four and that proved to be a benefit for us. Anyhow,
it was really neat to have won the first race there."

Wallace started 18th and finished third in 1994; started 20th and
finished sixth in 1995; and started 17th and finished seventh in last
year's Jiffy Lube 300. Those figures equate into a 22.0 average start
and a 4.25 average finish. He is one of only two drivers (Ricky Rudd
is the other) who have posted top-10 finishes in all four New
Hampshire races. He has completed 100 percent of all possible laps.

"I've always said that I wasn't the best of qualifiers and I guess the
record there is a perfect example," said Wallace, winner of 18 career
pole positions in 409 races. "But, I've always asked everybody to not
judge our potential in the race by our qualifying effort. I guess the
New Hampshire record proves that one, too."

While Wallace and team enjoy a streak of competitive success on the
race track in New Hampshire, they also welcome the pleasures enjoyed
during the leisure hours.

"It's sort of the same deal that we have when we go to California,"
Wallace explained. "It's like a working vacation. We stay up on the
lake just north of the track. We always have a great time there...real
relaxed atmosphere and all...and I think there's some kind of positive
influence in that fact that rubs off on us while we're at the race

"We're really looking forward to this weekend's race.  We're
definitely looking at positive results at New Hampshire to get the
fire burning again for the rest of the season."

First-round qualifying to determine positions 1-25 in Sunday's
300-lap, 317.4-mile race is set for Friday at 4:00 p.m. Saturday's
final round of time trials at 11:00 a.m. will complete the potential
43-car starting field.

The Jiffy Lube 300 features live media coverage by TNN and MRN Radio
and will get the green flag at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

                Rusty Wallace Career Track Records

Date       Event           Car     St  Fn   Laps    $ Won     Status

7/14/96    Jiffy Lube 300  Ford    17   7  300/300  $30,275   Running
7/9/95     Slick 50 300    Ford    20   6  300/300   30,925   Running
7/10/94    Slick 50 300    Ford    18   3  300/300   38,975   Running
7/11/93    Slick 50  300   Pontiac 33   1  300/300   77,500   Running

               Races   Wins   Top-5   Top-10   Poles   $$$$$

Jiffy Lube 300   4       1       2       4       0   $178,125

        TOTAL    4       1       2       4       0   $178,125

Lap Completion Percentage:  1,200/1,200 = 100%

By Tom Roberts Public Relations