1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series


1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

The 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Season began on Sunday February 9 and ended on Sunday November 16. Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon was crowned champion at season's end. It was Gordon's second championship in three years.

1997 Team Chart

Busch Clash

The Busch Clash, a race for polewinners from the previous season, and drivers who have won the event before, was run on February 9 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Terry Labonte drew the pole. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

# Jeff Gordon
# Rusty Wallace
# Dale Earnhardt
# Ward Burton
# Ernie Irvan
# Mark Martin
# Dale Jarrett
# Ricky Craven
# Johnny Benson


=Gatorade 125s=

The Gatorade Twin 125s were run on February 13 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mike Skinner and Steve Grissom were the polesitters for races one and two, respectively. The races were broadcast tape-delayed on CBS just prior to the Daytona 500.

Race One Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 31-Mike Skinner
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 4-Sterling Marlin
# 6-Mark Martin
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 22-Ward Burton
# 29-Robert Pressley

Race Two Results

# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 30-Johnny Benson
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 40-Robby Gordon
# 17-Darrell Waltrip

Daytona 500

Goodwrench Service 400

The Goodwrench Service 400 was run on February 23 at North Carolina Speedway. The #6 of Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 1-Morgan Shepherd

Pontiac Excitement 400

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held March 2 at Richmond International Raceway. Terry Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 30-Johnny Benson
# 44-Kyle Petty

*This was the last Winston Cup race at Richmond International Raceway scheduled for the daytime (excluding two races that were rain-delayed from Saturday night), and the last time that the first Richmond race of the season was held in March, due to the cold, wet weather that is often seen at Richmond in late winter.

Primestar 500

The Primestar 500 was run on March 9 in Hampton, Georgia. The #40 of Robby Gordon won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 1-Morgan Shepherd
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 6-Mark Martin
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 43-Bobby Hamilton

Failed to qualify: 36-Derrike Cope, 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr., 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 95-Ed Berrier, 08-Mike Miller

*This was the final race held on the 1.522 mile configuration of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Renovations had already started that would turn the racetrack into a 1.54 mile quad-oval.

*This race was red flagged on lap 282 due to a crash involving the #41 of Steve Grissom. The #23 of Jimmy Spencer had spun out off Turn 2 and was hit by the #31 of Mike Skinner. Grissom spun to avoid this wreck and hit the inside wall near where there was a gate allowing infield access for motorhomes. Because of this, the car hit the wall tail first, breaking the wall, shearing the fuel cell out of the car and putting Grissom on his roof. The #91 of Mike Wallace then ran over the fuel cell (which was sitting along the outside wall at the end of the backstretch). This caused a significant fire. Grissom was not seriously injured.

TranSouth Financial 400

The TranSouth Financial 400 was held March 23 at Darlington Raceway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 41-Steve Grissom, 78-Billy Standridge, 90-Dick Trickle

Interstate Batteries 500

The Interstate Batteries 500 was held April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. This was the first race held at the track. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

# 99-Jeff Burton*
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 22-Ward Burton
# 4-Sterling Marlin
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 41-Steve Grissom

Failed to Qualify: 19-Gary Bradberry, 27-Rick Wilson, 29-Robert Pressley, 46-Wally Dallenbach Jr., 66-H. B. Bailey, 74-Randy LaJoie, 95-Ed Berrier, 96-David Green, 02-Mike Bliss

*This was Jeff Burton's first career Winston Cup victory.

*Ricky Craven suffered a concussion in a practice crash and was forced to sit out. This was the beginning of a series of injuries that adversely affected Craven's career over the next 4 years. Todd Bodine subbed for Craven in this race and ran very well until he crashed out of the lead.

Food City 500

The Food City 500 was held April 13 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rusty Wallace won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 6-Mark Martin
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 97-Chad Little
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 11-Brett Bodine

Failed to qualify: 20-Greg Sacks, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 78-Billy Standridge, 91-Mike Wallace

*This race had 20 cautions for 132 laps. The 20 cautions at the time tied a record for most cautions with the 1989 spring event at Bristol. However, this race had an additional 34 laps run under caution compared to the 1989 event.

*On the last lap, Jeff Gordon rooted Rusty Wallace out of the way in Turn 4 to win the race. Wallace barely was able to hold off Terry Labonte for 2nd.

Goody's Headache Powder 500

The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was held April 20 at Martinsville Speedway. Kenny Wallace won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 6-Mark Martin
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 81-Kenny Wallace
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 17-Darrell Waltrip
# 33-Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: 19-Gary Bradberry, 20-Lance Hooper, 78-Billy Standridge, 79-Randy MacDonald, 96-David Green

*Winner Jeff Gordon was spun out at one point of the race by Jimmy Spencer, but was able to recover from the spin to win the race.
*Ricky Craven returned to the #25 Budweiser Chevrolet after missing 2 races due to the concussion he suffered at Texas. He finished 22nd, 2 laps down.

Save Mart Supermarkets 300

The Save Mart Supermarkets 300 was held May 5 at Sears Point International Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 6-Mark Martin
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 17-Darrell Waltrip
# 11-Brett Bodine
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 22-Ward Burton

Failed to Qualify:

42-Joe Nemechek, 75-Rick Mast, 78w-Chuck Pruitt, 90-Dick Trickle, 96-David Green, 09-R.K. Smith

*The Melling Racing #9 team technically did not make the trip to Sears Point due to a lack of funding. However, they allowed Jeff Davis' Winston West Series team to use their number on their Ultra Shield-sponsored Ford so that the Melling team could get the owners' points. Davis ended up crashing out of the race, finishing 37th.

*This was the last race for the Winston Cup Series on the 2.52 mile configuration at Sears Point Raceway. After this event, a purpose-built section was added for the NASCAR weekend.

*After David Green failed to qualify, Caterpillar put their logos on the #35 Ford driven by Larry Gunselman, one of the Winston West teams. Gunselman started the race, but Green did get in the car and drive at one point.

*The #19 Child Support Recovery Ford for Tri-Star Motorsports that was driven by Gary Bradberry in the race was actually qualified by Ken Pedersen, a driver in Winston West at the time.

*The #78 Hanes/Diamond Rio-sponsored Ford for Triad Motorsports tapped Tom Hubert, a crew member for Bahari Racing, to qualify the #78 in 2nd round qualifying. When Hubert (who had some road racing experience in other classes) qualified fast enough to earn the 27th starting spot in the race, Hubert was put in the car for the race to temporarily replace the team's regular driver, Billy Standridge.

Winston 500

The Winston 500 was originally set for April 27, rain-delayed until April 28, then held on May 10 at Talladega Superspeedway. John Andretti won the pole. It was caution-free, the first time that happened at Talladega, and also the fastest 500-mile race in NASCAR history (at 188.354 mph, a record that still stands). The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 6-Mark Martin
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 98-John Andretti
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 30-Johnny Benson
# 28-Ernie Irvan

Failed to Qualify:

19-Gary Bradberry, 42-Joe Nemechek*, 91-Mike Wallace
*Joe Nemechek drove the #40 Coors Chevrolet in place of Robby Gordon during this race since Gordon was attempting to do the Indy-Charlotte double in 1997. As a result of the rescheduled race, it conflicted with Pole Day at Indianapolis. As part of the contract that Gordon signed with SABCO Racing, owner Felix Sabates provided a team for Gordon to attempt Indianapolis with. As for Nemechek, he finished 19th, 1 lap down in Gordon's car.

*This was the last race for the Hardees-sponsored #20 Ford for Ranier-Walsh Racing. The acquisition of Hardees by CKE Restaurants resulted in the company pulling sponsorship of the team. Without sponsorship, the team shut its doors.

*The #9 of Lake Speed was running ACE Hardware decals on the car during this race. However, it was not a sponsorship. At the time, a made-for TV movie called Steel Chariots was being filmed and the #9 was the car driven by one of the movie's characters. Ironically, the movie's main character (D.J. Tucker) drove the #20 Hardees Ford. Steel Chariots was broadcast on September 23, 1997 on FOX.

Winston Open

The Winston Open was held before the The Winston All Star Race on May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a last chance qualifier race for the cars that hadn't won a race yet in 1997 or late 1996 and wasn't a past champion. Chad Little won the pole. The winner of this race would qualify to be in The Winston All Star Race.

Top Ten Results

# 25-Ricky Craven
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 9-Lake Speed
# 97-Chad Little
# 8-Hut Stricklin
# 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
# 30-Johnny Benson
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 98-John Andretti
# 31-Mike Skinner

The Winston

The Winston is the All Star Race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17 after the Winston Open Race. Drivers have to qualify; Win a race since last years The Winston race, Win the Winston Open qualifier race, or Win one of The Winston All Star Races from the past 5 years. [cite web|title = Wikipedia The Winston page |accessyear = 2006|url = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winston ] This race was run in 3 segments with 2 30 segments and a 10 lap shootout segment for a total of 70 laps. Bill Elliott won the pole. Dale Jarrett won the first segment and Bobby Labonte won the second segment. The final segment results are post in the top ten below. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Final Segment Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 6-Mark Martin
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 94-Bill Elliott

Coca-Cola 600

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. The race was shortened to 333 laps due to time issues after a long rain delay; it was after 1:00 am EDT when the race was completed. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 6-Mark Martin
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 1-Morgan Shepherd
# 10-Ricky Rudd

Failed to Qualify:

71-Dave Marcis, 77-Bobby Hillin Jr.*, 91-Mike Wallace, 95-Ed Berrier, 97-Chad Little

*After failing to qualify for the race, Bobby Hillin Jr. was fired from the Jasper Racing #77 Ford.

*Geoff Bodine suffered a concussion in a practice crash on the Wednesday before the race in Turn 1. As a result, Geoff tapped his younger brother Todd Bodine to drive his #7 QVC Ford in the race. However, the engine blew after Todd had made a run up through the field, leaving him with a 42nd place finish.

Miller 500

The Miller 500 was held June 1 at Dover International Speedway. The #18 of Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 6-Mark Martin
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 31-Mike Skinner
# 4-Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: 78-Billy Standridge, 95-Ed Berrier

*This was the last 500 mile race held at Dover.

*Robby Gordon, in a rather freak incident during the Indianapolis 500, suffered significant burns to his legs early on when an invisible fire started in the cockpit of his #42 Coors Light Oldsmobile-powered G-Force. This forced him to sit out for a couple of weeks. Wally Dallenbach Jr. subbed for Gordon at Dover, finishing 36th after suffering electrical problems. He was credited with completing 364 laps of the 500 lap distance.

Pocono 500

The Pocono 500 was held June 8 at Pocono Raceway. The #43 of Bobby Hamilton won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 6-Mark Martin
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 17-Darrell Waltrip
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 3-Dale Earnhardt

*Greg Sacks was tapped to sub for Robby Gordon in the #40 starting here at Pocono. He qualified 4th, but got put in the wall coming out of Turn 1 on lap 9 by Jeff Gordon.

Miller 400

The Miller 400 was held June 15 at Michigan International Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

# 28-Ernie Irvan*
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 6-Mark Martin
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 36-Derrike Cope
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 30-Johnny Benson

*This was Ernie Irvan's final Winston Cup victory, and it came at the very same track where he had almost lost his life three years earlier. He had tears in his eyes as he brought the 28 car into Victory Lane. The win also came in his last year with Robert Yates Racing.

*This was the 1st career Winston Cup start for Jerry Nadeau in the #1 R&L Carriers Pontiac for Precision Products Racing. He replaced Morgan Shepherd in the car.

California 500 Presented by NAPA

The inaugural California 500 Presented by NAPA was held June 22 at California Speedway. The #42 of Joe Nemechek won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 29-Jeff Green
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 6-Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: 78-Billy Standridge, 81-Kenny Wallace, 91-Mike Wallace*

*After Mike Wallace failed to qualify for the race, his team hastily entered the 200 mile Winston West race which was run the day before the Winston Cup race. He finished 3rd to Ken Schrader in that race.

*Mark Martin ran out of gas with 10 laps to go and was forced to the pits for additional fuel. However, they did not get enough fuel in the car. This resulted in Martin running out of gas again on the last lap and having to coast to the line.

Pepsi 400

The Pepsi 400 was held July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. The #31 of Mike Skinner won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 98-John Andretti
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 4-Sterling Marlin
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 18-Bobby Labonte

Failed to qualify: 7-Geoff Bodine, 29-Jeff Green, 91-Loy Allen

*This was the last July race at Daytona run during the day.

*The race ended with a 1 lap shootout, likely the last such shootout in the Winston Cup Series. As a result of the cars going 4 wide into Turn 3, there was a multi-car wreck, with profane radio commentary from one of the spotters.

*It was also Cale Yarborough's first and only victory as a car owner.

Jiffy Lube 300

The Jiffy Lube 300 was held July 13 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The #33 of Ken Schrader won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 99-Jeff Burton
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 6-Mark Martin
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 7-Geoff Bodine

Kmart 500

The Pennsylvania 500 was held July 20 at Pocono Raceway. The #42 of Joe Nemechek won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 6-Mark Martin
# 31-Mike Skinner
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 94-Bill Elliott

Brickyard 400

The Brickyard 400 was held August 3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield
# 6-Mark Martin
# 30-Johnny Benson
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 31-Mike Skinner
# 28-Ernie Irvan

Failed to qualify: 1-Mike Wallace, 7-Geoff Bodine, 8-Hut Stricklin, 61-Tim Steele, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd, 78-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 90-Dick Trickle

The Bud At The Glen

The Bud At The Glen was held August 10 at Watkins Glen International Raceway. The #34 of Todd Bodine (in a one-off Winston Cup race for Team 34 Racing, his Busch Series team at the time) won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 40-Robby Gordon
# 6-Mark Martin
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.

*This was Jeff Gordon's 1st career victory on a road course, beginning a streak of 6 consecutive road course wins that lasted until 2000.

*This race was the 1st career Winston Cup start for Steve Park, driving the #14 Burger King Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. He qualified well, but ended up finishing 33rd, 2 laps down.

DeVilbiss 400

The DeVilbiss 400 was held August 17 at Michigan International Speedway. The #30 of Johnny Benson won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 6-Mark Martin
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 5-Terry Labonte

Goody's Headache Powder 500

The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was held August 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The #81 of Kenny Wallace won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 6-Mark Martin
# 90-Dick Trickle
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 4-Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: 40-Robby Gordon, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd

*Jeff Gordon was spun out of the lead by Jeremy Mayfield around the halfway point of the race.

*David Green got on his side during a crash around lap 260. He grinded along on his driver's side after getting bounced off the #36 of Derrike Cope into the wall coming off Turn 4. After sliding about 450 feet with other cars spinning around him, the car flipped over once and got back on all 4 wheels. Green was ok.

Mountain Dew Southern 500

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held August 31 at Darlington Raceway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon*
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 6-Mark Martin
# 21-Michael Waltrip
# 33-Ken Schrader

Failed to Qualify:

71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd, 91-Greg Sacks

*Jeff Gordon's victory made him the 2nd and final driver to win the Winston Million. The program was replaced after 1997 with the No Bull 5 program, which offered five drivers (that finished in the Top 5 of the last No Bull 5 race) the chance to win 1 million dollars.

*Dale Earnhardt mysteriously passed out during the pace laps for the race and hit the wall. Nobody is really sure what caused this, but Earnhardt had to step out of the car for the day. Once the car was repaired, Busch Series driver Mike Dillon was tapped to sub in the #3. Dillon drove the car to a 30th place finish, 85 laps down.

Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400

The Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 was held September 6 at Richmond International Raceway. The #94 of Bill Elliott won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 42-Joe Nemechek
# 22-Ward Burton
# 27-Kenny Irwin, Jr.*
# 16-Ted Musgrave
# 37-Jeremy Mayfield

*This was Kenny Irwin, Jr.'s 1st career Winston Cup start.

CMT 300

The CMT 300 was held September 14 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The #33 of Ken Schrader won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 23-Jimmy Spencer
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 6-Mark Martin
# 8-Hut Stricklin

*This was the 1st September race held at New Hampshire International Speedway. The race date was acquired as part of the purchase of North Wilkesboro Speedway in 1996 that resulted in its dates being split.

*Jeff Burton had an inner ear problem and required relief from Todd Bodine.

MBNA 400

The MBNA 400 was held September 21 at Dover International Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 6-Mark Martin
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 10-Ricky Rudd
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 75-Rick Mast

Failed to qualify: 14-Steve Park

*This was the first 400 mile race at Dover.

Hanes 500

The Hanes 500 was held September 29 at Martinsville Speedway. Ward Burton won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 99-Jeff Burton
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 81-Kenny Wallace
# 22-Ward Burton
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 28-Ernie Irvan

*Jeff Burton inherited the lead after leader Rusty Wallace jumped a restart and was black flagged as a result.

*Steve Park drove the #40 Coors Chevrolet in place of Robby Gordon, who was subbing for Dario Franchitti at the Marlboro 500 CART race at California Speedway. Park blew an engine early and finished 41st.

UAW-GM Quality 500

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held October 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #7 of Geoff Bodine won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 6-Mark Martin
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 99-Jeff Burton
# 94-Bill Elliott
# 22-Ward Burton
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 14-Steve Park, 15-Greg Sacks, 17-Darrell Waltrip, 31-Mike Skinner, 40-Elliott Sadler*, 71-Dave Marcis, 75-Rick Mast

*This was the first career start for Kevin Lepage in the #91 Pionite Chevrolet. He finished 40th after wrecking.

*Early in the race, there was an unusual water seapage problem on the backstretch. This resulted in the track near the outside wall in the middle of the backstretch being wet to the point where cars were kicking up spray. This did not cause any problems, however.

*This was the first race for ISM Racing's #35 Tabasco Pontiac with Todd Bodine as the driver. The car qualified well, then sank to the rear of the field and eventually finished 26th, 4 laps down.

DieHard 500

The DieHard 500 was held October 12 at Talladega Superspeedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole. Like many Talladega races, the story was "the Big One" - collecting 23 cars on lap 140 after Jeff Gordon cut a tire and turned into traffic. Mark Martin was furious after the wreck, and made an infamous quote. "I hate restrictor plate racing" he said while being interviewed by a pit reporter. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

# 5-Terry Labonte
# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 98-John Andretti
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 28-Ernie Irvan
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 7-Geoff Bodine
# 75-Rick Mast
# 2-Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: 8-Hut Stricklin, 22-Ward Burton, 29-Jeff Green, 78-Gary Bradberry, 95-Ed Berrier

AC Delco 400

The AC Delco 400 was held October 27 at North Carolina Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 25-Ricky Craven
# 24-Jeff Gordon
# 90-Dick Trickle
# 6-Mark Martin
# 5-Terry Labonte
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 4-Sterling Marlin
# 42-Joe Nemechek

Failed to qualify: 11-Brett Bodine, 71-Dave Marcis

Dura Lube 500 Presented by Kmart

The Dura Lube 500 Presented by Kmart was held November 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. Bobby Hamilton won the pole. Dale Jarrett's victory in this race marked the final victory for the Ford Thunderbird. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 2-Rusty Wallace
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 33-Ken Schrader
# 3-Dale Earnhardt
# 6-Mark Martin
# 41-Steve Grissom
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 7-Geoff Bodine

Failed to qualify: 1-Morgan Shepherd

NAPA 500

The NAPA 500 was held November 16 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #7 of Geoff Bodine won the pole at a speed of 197.478 mph, which (as of February 24, 2008) is the fastest qualifying lap ever run outside of Daytona and Talladega. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

# 18-Bobby Labonte
# 88-Dale Jarrett
# 6-Mark Martin
# 29-Jeff Green
# 36-Derrike Cope
# 44-Kyle Petty
# 43-Bobby Hamilton
# 42-Joe Nemechek
# 22-Ward Burton
# 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 8-Hut Stricklin, 35-Todd Bodine, 40-Greg Sacks, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Robert Pressley, 95-Ed Berrier, 96-David Green

NASCAR Thunder Special - Suzuka

The NASCAR Thunder Special - Suzuka was a non points exhibition race held November 23rd on the Suzuka Circuit - East Circuit in Japan. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

#Mike Skinner
#Mark Martin
#Randy LaJoie
#David Green
#Michael Waltrip
#Jim Richards
#Kenny Wallace
#Butch Gilliland
#Jack Sprague
#Geoff Bodine

Final Points Standings

#Jeff Gordon - 4710
#Dale Jarrett - 4696
#Mark Martin - 4681
#Jeff Burton - 4285
#Dale Earnhardt - 4216
#Terry Labonte - 4177
#Bobby Labonte - 4101
#Bill Elliott - 3836
#Rusty Wallace - 3598
#Ken Schrader - 3576
#Johnny Benson - 3575
#Ted Musgrave - 3556
#Jeremy Mayfield - 3547
#Ernie Irvan - 3534
#Kyle Petty - 3455
#Bobby Hamilton - 3450
#Ricky Rudd - 3330
#Michael Waltrip - 3173
#Ricky Craven - 3108
#Jimmy Spencer - 3079
#Steve Grissom - 3061
#Geoff Bodine - 3046
#John Andretti - 3019
#Ward Burton - 2987
#Sterling Marlin - 2954
#Darrell Waltrip - 2942
#Derrike Cope - 2901
#Joe Nemechek - 2754
#Brett Bodine - 2716
#Mike Skinner - 2669
#Dick Trickle - 2629
#Rick Mast - 2569
#Kenny Wallace - 2462
#Hut Stricklin - 2423
#Lake Speed - 2301
#Chad Little - 2081
#David Green - 2038
#Morgan Shepherd - 2033
#Jeff Green - 1624
#Robby Gordon - 1495
#Wally Dallenbach, Jr. - 1475
#Dave Marcis - 1405
#Robert Pressley - 984
#Gary Bradberry - 868
#Greg Sacks - 778
#Mike Wallace - 541
#Bobby Hillin, Jr. - 511
#Lance Hooper - 402
#Kenny Irwin, Jr. - 390
#Billy Standridge - 366

NASCAR Rookie of the Year

After running the Cup series part-time for a decade, Mike Skinner finally ran a full-time schedule, and walked away with three top-tens and the Rookie of the Year title. His closest runner-up was David Green, despite the fact Green did not finish any higher than sixteenth. Third place was Green's brother Jeff, who came into the season midway with Diamond Ridge Motorsports. The last place finisher was Robby Gordon, who suffered through a tumultuous season with Team SABCO, dealing with injuries and personal disputes.

External links

* [http://racing-reference.info/raceyear?yr=1997&series=W Winston Cup Standings and Statistics for 1997]

References


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