NASCAR Winston Cup Series NAPA 500: Fact Sheet
10 November 1997
1997 NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES FACT SHEET WHAT: NAPA 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Race #32 of 32 WHERE: Atlanta Motor Speedway Hampton, GA 1.54-Mile Banked Paved Speedway WHEN: Sunday, November 16, 1997 DISTANCE: 500.5 Miles/325 Laps POSTED AWARDS: $2,006,788 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: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Inc. TV: ESPN (Live) Airtime: 12:30 pm (EST) Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Benny Parsons and Ned Jarrett Pit Reporters: Bill Weber, Dr. Jerry Punch and John Kernan RADIO: PRN (Live) Airtime: 12:00 pm (EST) Announcers: Doug Rice and Mark Garrow SCHEDULE: (All Times Local) Friday, November 14 6:00 am : Team Haulers Enter 7:00 am : NASCAR Garage Opens 9:30 am : Rookie Drivers' Meeting 10:00 am : Qualifying Draw 10:30 am - 2:00 pm : Practice 3:00 pm : Qualifying (Positions 1-25) Saturday, November 15 7:00 am : NASCAR Garage Opens 9:00 - 10:30 am : Practice 11:00 am : Qualifying (Positions 26-38) TBD : Final practice following ARCA event 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: Robby Gordon; Chevrolet; 186.507 mph; 29.378 seconds; 3/9/97 Race: Dale Earnhardt; Chevrolet; 163.633 mph; 11/12/95 THE TRACK: Degree of Banking in Turns - 24 degrees Degree of Banking on Straights - 5 degrees 1996 REVIEW: The racing Labontes did not get to where they are by getting weep-eyed and emotional. But they had never, between them, achieved anything as remarkable as their performances in the season-ending NAPA 500. Even they -- 39-year-old Terry and 32-year-old Bobby -- had to let down their guards when the younger Labonte won the race and the older won the NASCAR Winston Cup championship on the same day. By finishing first, 0.41 of a second ahead of a fast-closing Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte managed to win his only race of 1996, fending off what otherwise would have been a disappointing year. By also winning the pole, he earned a huge $136,800 bonus from Unocal for sweeping both. That boosted his total earnings for the day to $274,900. Terry's fifth-place finish -- as usual, smooth as silk and just as faultless -- gave him the championship by 37 points over Jeff Gordon, who finished third. Rick Hendrick became the first modern-era team owner to win consecutive titles with different drivers.