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Pepsi 400 -- The Start

5 July 1997

DAYTONA BEACH, FL -- Forty-two engines roar to life and we're ready to get
the 1997 running of the Pepsi 400 underway.

The pace car pulls off the track and Mike Skinner leads the field to the

Green Flag and they're off!

Skinner gets a HUGE jump and takes the point immediately. Andretti takes
second and Earnhardt falls in line third. Gordon remains in fourth.
RWallace gets around Spencer for fifth.

Earnhardt looks underneath Andretti and they're side-by-side down into turn

Skinner has a two car-length lead.

Deeper in the pack they're three wide for position.

Lap 2: Andretti gets the advantage over Earnhardt and he flies on by
Skinner for the lead.

Grissom is off the pace.

Lap 3: Andretti, Skinner, JGordon, Earnhardt, RWallace, MWaltrip

JGordon makes a move on Andretti with drafting help from Skinner. Earnhardt
is lined up behind Andretti.

Side-by-side for the lead. Gordon gets it by a nose as they cross the
start/finish line but Andretti rallies back and takes the lead in turns one
and two.

Lap 4: Andretti, Gordon & Earnhardt in a dead heat for second.

RWallace gets around Skinner for fourth.

Grissom is in the garage.

Lap 6: Andretti, JGordon, Earnhardt, RWallace, MWaltrip, Skinner

JGordon snakes behind Andretti and decides to try the high side but can't
make a pass for the lead.

Earnhardt has drafting help from RWallace and Dale moves into second.

Marlin's Kodak Gold Chevrolet is off the pace.

UPDATE ON GRISSOM: They had to switch ignitions.

Smoke is pouring out of Marlin's car. He has a flat left, front tire.

Back of front it's: Andretti, Earnhardt, RWallace, MWaltrip and JGordon has
faded to fifth. Jarrett is sixth with Skinner running seventh.

Marlin is back in the race.

Lap 11: No change in the top 7. Spencer, Speed, and Trickle round out the
top ten.

Earnhardt gets shuffled back to fifth in the trioval. Now he loses two more
positions to Jarrett and Skinner.

Lap 13: Andretti, RWallace, MWaltrip, JGordon, Jarrett, Skinner, Earnhardt,
Spencer, Schrader, Martin