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NASCAR Winston Cup Series MBNA 400 Report: #6, Mark Martin

22 September 1997

 #6 Mark Martin, Valvoline Ford Thunderbird 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 MBNA 400 Race Report
 Dover Downs International Speedway
 September 21, 1997

                       MARK MARTIN RACE RECAP: MBNA 400

DOVER, DE - After a second-place finish in June, Mark Martin claimed
his first win at Dover Downs International Speedway. Martin started
the weekend by winning the pole at the one-mile oval with a speed of
152.033 mph.

"I needed to lean against something for a second because my knees were
shaking so bad," Martin said. "It was a good lap and the
Valvoline/Cummins Ford is running great. I didn't intend to make a run
for the pole, but the car was so good in turns one and two that I
figured I would reach down in the bag and see if I could come up with
something in three and four."

Martin led led the first four laps of the MBNA 400 before being passed
by Jeff Gordon. Martin returned the lead about 10 laps later and held
on until Kyle Petty got by on lap 162. The car was a little tight, so
the crew made adjustments to air pressure and wedge. The key to
Martin's victory was excellent fuel mileage. Martin was able to run at
least 100 laps on a tank of fuel as opposed to most of the other teams
which could only run about 80-90 laps. The other key was the lack of
yellow flags. There was only one caution on lap 89 which helped Martin
since his car was better on long runs, and a yellow flag late in the
race would have neutralized his fuel mileage advantage. Martin's final
pit stop was on lap 297. He was running second to Kyle Petty until
assuming the lead when Petty was forced to pit for fuel on lap
380. Martin held on the last 20 laps to take his fourth checkered flag
of the season.

"This car was awesome," Martin said. "We really hit the set-up despite
the huge change in weather after happy hour. The crew gave me great
pit stops and Jack Roush's fuel mileage won this race for us. He
always told me he would win one for us with his fuel mileage, and it
paid off today. We gained in the points, but we have to keep digging
in the last six races to have a shot at Gordon."

Martin gained 34 points on Jeff Gordon and now trails him by 105
points.  Martin was also able to put a little more distance between
himself and Dale Jarrett, who trails Martin by 79 points. He also
gained an extra $114,000 from Unocal for winning the race from the
pole. The next Winston Cup race is this Sunday at Martinsville

By Roush Racing Public Relations