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Gordon Aims for 3rd Straight Win at Martinsville

22 September 1997


MARTINSVILLE, VA - Jeff Gordon has the chance to do what few others
have done before at Martinsville Speedway.

Gordon can make an addition to Martinsville Speedway's record books,
during the track's 50th anniversary season, if he can win his third
consecutive race at Martinsville with a victory in the Hanes 500 on
Sunday, September 28.

Only a few other drivers have accomplished that feat and the list is
like a who's who of racing. Fred Lorenzen, Richard Petty, Cale
Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace are the only drivers to
win three consecutive events.

Lorenzen has gone one step further as he won four consecutive races
from the fall event in 1963 to the spring race in 1965. Drivers who
finished in the top five behind Lorenzen during that run included
Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Fireball Roberts, Marvin Panch, Joe
Weatherly, David Pearson, and Richard Petty. It was no easy task for
the man the media called the "Golden Boy" and "Fearless Freddie".

Petty followed up Lorenzen's steak with his own by winning the fall
race in 1968 and sweeping both 1969 races in a Ford. Cale Yarborough
did the same from the fall race in 1976 through 1977. Waltrip won in
1988 and both races in 1989. Wallace's streak included both races in
1994 and the Goody's Headache Powder 500 in 1995.

Now Gordon can join the elite group with a win in the Hanes
500. Gordon put on a driving demonstration in the Goody's Headache
Powder 500 this past April by passing on the inside, outside and
seemly at will. Gordon's day included a 360 degree spin that only
dropped him from first to third place.

Gordon's performance was reminiscent of the likes of Richard Petty,
(15 Martinsville wins) Darrell Waltrip (11) and Lorenzen (5). Gordon
led 432 of the 500 laps in his DuPont Chevrolet in April before
finishing just ahead of Bobby Hamilton in the STP Pontiac owned by
Petty. No one had dominated the Goody's Headache Powder 500 like that
since Cale Yarborough led 427 laps in taking the 1974 event.

Petty and Yarborough now are car owners and will be in the parade of
stars prior to the race with such other standouts as Ned Jarrett,
Grand Marshal Junior Johnson, Bobby Allison, Glen Wood, Donnie
Allison, Jack Smith, Raymond Parks, Herb Thomas, Benny Parsons, Buddy
Baker, Junie Donlavey and speedway founder H. Clay Earles.

Winston Cup cars time trial at 3 p.m. Friday to decide the Busch Pole
position and first 25 starting spots while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck
Series will qualify immediately after with all 36 starting positions
up for grabs. The speedway is offering a commemorative 50th
anniversary time trial ticket, sure to be a collector's item.

Following second round Winston Cup time trials at 11:30 a.m. Saturday,
the $313,319 Hanes 250 for the Craftsman Truck Series will be run at 1
p.m.  Tickets for the Hanes 250 are $25 for adults and children ages
6-12 get in for $5.

The $1,242,331, 42nd annual Hanes 500 takes the green flag at 12:30
p.m.  Sunday. The track still has $35 reserved seats and 8,000
unreserved seats go on sale at 7:30 race morning.

By Martinsville Speedway Public Relations