NASCAR Winston Cup Series DieHard 500: Fact Sheet
6 October 1997
1997 NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES FACT SHEET WHAT: DieHard 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race #29 of 32 WHERE: Talladega Superspeedway Talladega, AL 2.66-Mile Banked Paved Speedway WHEN: Sunday, October 12, 1997 12:00 pm CDT DISTANCE: 500 Miles/188 Laps POSTED AWARDS: $1,894,817 FIELD: 43 cars possible. Fastest 38 cars through time trials. Four provisional starting positions based on 1997 NWC owner points and one past champion provisional. SANCTION: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. PROMOTER: International Speedway Corporation TV: CBS (Live) Airtime: 1:00 pm (EDT) Announcers: Ken Squier, Mike Joy, Ned Jarrett and Buddy Baker Pit Reporters: Dick Berggren, Ralph Sheheen and Bill Stephens RADIO: MRN (Live) Airtime: 12:45 pm (EDT) Announcers: Allen Bestwick and Barney Hall SCHEDULE: Friday, October 10 6:00 am : Team Haulers Enter 6:30 am : NASCAR Garage Opens 10:00 am : Rookie Drivers' Meeting 10:30 am : Qualifying Draw 11:00 am - 1:30 pm : Practice 3:00 pm : Qualifying (Positions 1-25) Saturday, October 11 7:00 am : NASCAR Garage Opens 8:30 - 9:45 am : Practice 10:45 am : Qualifying (Positions 26-38) TBD : Final practice following the ARCA event Sunday, October 12 10:00 am : Drivers' & Crew Chiefs' Meeting PARTICIPATING AWARDS SPONSORS: Winston, AE Clevite Engine Parts, Aeroquip, Auto Meter Products, Bowman Distribution, Busch Beer, Champion Spark Plugs, Competition Cams, Craftsman Tools, Crane Cams, DuPont Automotive Finishes, Edelbrock Manifolds, Fram Fuel Filters, Gatorade Sports Beverage, Goodyear Tires, Goody's Headache Powders, Holley Carburetors, Hurst Shifters, JE Pistons, Jesel Rocker Arms, Longacre Computerscales, MCI, Mac Tools, Mechanix Wear, Moog Chassis Parts, Motorcraft Batteries, Opryland, Plasti-Kote Spray Paint, RCA, Raybestos Brakes, Simpson Helmets, Spicer Drive Shafts, Stant Radiator Caps, STP Oil Treatment & Oil Filters, 3M Automotive Products, True Value Hardware, Unocal Gasoline, 76/NASCAR High Performance Motor Oil, Western Auto Stores, Wiseco Pistons, Wix Air Filters RECORDS: Qualifying: Bill Elliott; Ford; 212.809 mph; 44.998 seconds; 4/30/87 Race: Mark Martin; Ford; 188.354 mph, 2 hours, 39 minutes, 18 seconds; 5/10/97 (Record) THE TRACK: Degree of Banking in Corners - 33 degrees Degree of Banking on Front Straight - 18 degrees Degree of Banking on Back Straight - 2 degrees Length of Front Straight - 4,300 feet Length of Back Straight - 4,000 feet 1996 REVIEW: Dale Earnhardt dominated, but a late-race accident (12 laps from the weather-shortened finish) while he was leading eliminated him from both the DieHard 500 race and the championship point race, for which he was fighting at the time of the accident. Jeff Gordon, who started the race on the outside of the front row, won the event, 0.145-second ahead of Dale Jarrett, who finished second in both Talladega NASCAR Winston Cup events in 1996 by just over three-tenths of a second. Mark Martin, Ernie Irvan and Jimmy Spencer rounded out the top five in a race that saw 24 lead changes among 10 drivers.