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NASCAR Busch North Sunoco 300: Preview

3 September 1997

NASCAR Busch Series North, Grand National Division
Thompson Sunoco 300
Thompson International Speedway

GARDINER, ME - The drivers and teams have had nearly an entire season to 
prepare for the longest event in the NASCAR Busch North Series, Grand 
National Division, stand-along schedule. On Sunday, September 7 the Thompson 
Sunoco 300 will determine which team has prepared best for the 187.5-mile 

Even though this will be the second year that the NASCAR Busch North Series 
is featured in this historic race, there is still an element of uncertainty 
surrounding preparation and race strategy. Last year's event was ended just 
213 laps into the scheduled 300 when the skies opened up, and a number of 
teams had not had the chance to unfold their entire race strategy. 

Jeff Fuller of Auburn, Mass., taking a weekend off from his NASCAR Busch 
Series activity, went into the record books as the only driver to have won 
the Thompson Sunoco 300 as both a NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour driver and 
a NASCAR Busch North Series driver.

Fuller was chased across the line, however, by Mike Stefanik of Coventry, 
R.I., Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, N.H., Dave Dion of Hudson, N.H., and 
Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, Conn. - all winners on the 1997 NASCAR Busch 
North Series schedule.

Dion, Stefanik and Marquis are locked in a championship battle, and each is 
looking at the Thompson Sunoco 300 for a boost in his efforts to lock up the 
1997 title. 

Marquis won this year's June event at Thompson, while Stefanik is no stranger 
to Thompson's victory lane in the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour. Current 
fourth-place runner Andy Santerre of Cherryfield, Me. has had a good deal of 
success on Thompson's high-banks and is looking forward to using the Thompson 
Sunoco 300 to add his name to the Championship possibles list with a good run 
at Thompson. 

But, points battle aside, there isn't a driver on the NASCAR Busch North 
Series who would not like to add a victory in the prestigious Thompson Sunoco 
300 to their resume, and predicting a winner in this year's event is just too 
difficult to even consider.

An expanded field of entries is expected for this event which is one of the 
best-paying events on the 1997 schedule. Drivers and teams alike all 
understand that it takes something extra to win this event, and they will all 
be looking for the key which will unlock the gate to victory lane. 

By NASCAR Public Relations