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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Notebook (9/29/97)

1 October 1997

 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Notes of Interest
 Week of September 29, 1997

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Bobby Hamilton's third-place finish Monday was his second 
such finish in the last three races. The other was at New Hampshire 
International Speedway, practically a one-mile replica of Martinsville. 

 - In fact, Hamilton has three consecutive third-place finishes at 
Martinsville and four top-fives in the last five races there. 

 - Monday's 32nd-place finish was the fourth straight finish lower than 30th 
for Michael Waltrip (the same spot in which his brother Darrell had finished 
the three previous races). 

 - The sixth-place run posted by Kenny Wallace was his best finish since, 
well, finishing sixth at Martinsville in April, 19 races ago. 

 - Ricky Craven's eighth-place finish was his second top-10 in the last three 

 - Busch Pole sitter Ward Burton equaled his best finish f the year with a 
seventh place run. Burton has finished seventh three times this year. 

 - Ken Schrader's ninth-place finish was his sixth top-10 of the year and his 
11th top-15 in the last 12 races.

TOP 10

 - TENTH: Monday's 13th-place finish was just the third top-15 for Ricky Rudd 
in the last eight races. But it kept him in the top 10 in the standings.

 - NINTH: Ted Musgrave's 21st-place run on Monday was his fourth finish 
outside the top 20 in the last five races. 

 - EIGHTH: The fifth-place finish posted by Bill Elliott Monday was his 
eighth top-10 in the last 11 races. 

 - SEVENTH: The up-and-down season for Bobby Labonte continues. His last 
eight races show four top-10 finishes and three of 27th or worse (the other 
was a 16th-place finish at Loudon, NH).

 - SIXTH: Defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte continues to 
have a season he probably would just as soon forget. After four consecutive 
top-10 finishes in the month of August, Labonte now has four consecutive 
finishes outside the top-15 and three straight outside the top 20. 

 - FIFTH: After 16 weeks in the No. 6 spot, Dale Earnhardt moves into fifth 
after his second consecutive second-place finish (his fourth of the season) 
and his third straight top-10. He still has just four top-10s in the last 10 

 - FOURTH: After two weeks of fighting an inner ear infection, using 
substitute drivers and other such methods to maintain his position in the 
points, Jeff Burton gained points on the position behind him for the fifth 
straight week. He now has five top-10 finishes in the last seven races. 

 - THIRD: Dale Jarrett's 12th-place finish was just his third run outside the 
top 10 in the last 15 races. 

 - SECOND: Mark Martin's 11th-place finish was just his second run outside 
the top 10 in the last 11 races.     

 - FIRST: Jeff Gordon now has nine top-10 and eight top-five finishes in the 
last 10 races. 


 - How competitive do things get when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series gets to 
Charlotte Motor Speedway in the fall? Well, there have been 25 different 
winners in 37 runnings of the UAW-GM Quality 500. 

 - Only two drivers, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, have won this race 
more than twice (three each). 

 - Only three active drivers, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott and Mark Martin 
have won this race more than once. 

 - Ten active drivers have won this race at least once. Current NASCAR 
Winston Cup point leader Jeff Gordon is not among that group, however. 

 - In fact, Gordon has not had a top-five finish in this race since running 
fifth in 1993. 

 - Defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion. Terry Labonte is also the defending 
champ of this race. But odds of him winning his first race of this season 
aren't with him here. No driver has won this race in consecutive years since 
Bobby Allison did so in 1971 and '72. 

 - Dale Earnhardt has three top-five finishes in the last four runnings of 
this race. 

 - Mark Martin, making a bid for his first NASCAR Winston Cup title, 
certainly has had his success at Charlotte. He has finished in the top five 
in four of the last five UAW-GM Quality 500s (including two wins). 

 - Dale Jarrett has three consecutive top-five finishes in this race 
(including a win in 1994). 


Although Dale Earnhardt has not won a race since last March, he leads the 
NASCAR Winston Cup tour this season with runner-up finishes with four. While 
that may seem like a large number, Earnhardt is averaging nearly four 
second-place finishes (3.692) a year over the last 13 seasons. His high was 
seven in 1994 (the year he also won his last championship) and his low was 
none in 1985 -- the only time during that period he didn't have at least two 
in a season. 

By NASCAR Public Relations