IMS Brickyard 400 Report: Green Fastest 2nd Round Qualifier
1 August 1997
GREEN FASTEST SECOND-ROUND QUALIFIER FOR BRICKYARD 400 For Immediate Release INDIANAPOLIS, August 1, 1997 -- Rookie Jeff Green, the last driver to attempt during Friday s second-round qualifying, was the fastest of the final time-trial session for Saturday s Brickyard 400 with a lap at 176.153 and the field will roll away with a record-tying 43 starters. Green s lap came at the conclusion of a flurry in which the final five drivers in line bumped their way into the field. He starts 26th in the field. Lake Speed was second fastest at 175.210 to make his fourth straight Brickyard lineup. Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte is in the 38th and final spot attained through qualifying. Rusty Wallace, the 1989 series titlist, was bumped and joined the field through a champions provisional. Kyle Petty, Jimmy Spencer, Ricky Craven and Brett Bodine also joined the field through provisional. The 43-car field ties the number to compete in the inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994. The difference in time from pole winner Ernie Irvan and 38th-place starter Terry Labonte is .899 of a second, the closest spread in Brickyard 400 history. The previous mark was 1.3 seconds from first to 38th in 1996. Mike Wallace posted the fastest qualifying time ever for a car to miss the Brickyard 400 field. His time of 51.567 seconds around the 2 1/2-mile oval was just .031 of a second behind Labonte. Saturday s lineup has all three former Brickyard 400 winners -- Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt and Dale Jarrett, plus eight first-time Brickyard 400 starters -- Mike Skinner, David Green, Robby Gordon, Chad Little, Ron Barfield Jr., Jeff Green, Ed Berrier and Rick Wilson. The 38-car field average is a record 175.663 miles an hour, breaking the mark of 174.435 set a year go. In all, 27 drivers are starting their fourth straight stock-car event at the Speedway. The race is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. (EST) Saturday and will be aired live by ABC Sports and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network. ..97BY-13..