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NASCAR Winston Cup Pepsi 400 Race Report -- #18, Bobby Labonte

8 July 1997

 #18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Pepsi 400 Race Report
 Daytona International Speedway
 July 5, 1997

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Bobby Labonte avoided a multiple car accident in
the closing laps of Saturday's Pepsi 400 at Daytona International
Speedway to collect his best career Daytona finish. Labonte finished
tenth in the wild scramble to the checkered flag, his tenth top-10
effort of the season and his best finish at Daytona since the 1996
Daytona 500.

"We struggled for the entire 400 miles," Labonte said. "I don't know
how in the world we finished tenth. The car was sliding around
entering the corners and had a killer push from the center of the
corner on out. We tried everything we knew to try and nothing
worked. We finally took a spring rubber out of the right front and
made a major chassis adjustment but the car was still sliding and
pushing. The car was so bad I couldn't help anybody draft because I
couldn't get to the bottom of the track. But we did salvage a good
finish and that's very positive."

"I tried to think what I needed to do to make the car better," crew
chief Jimmy Makar said. "I didn't know what to do to make the car
better and neither did Bobby. The car didn't act that way at all in
practice on Friday afternoon, not even on 50 lap tires. We were

Labonte remains seventh in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship
standings, 371 points behind point leader Jeff Gordon. He trails sixth
place Dale Earnhardt by 84 and leads eighth place Ricky Rudd by 93

The Interstate Batteries Racing Team will be at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway Monday through Wednesday testing for the August 2 Brickyard
400. The team plans to leave Indianapolis and travel directly to
Loudon, New Hampshire for the July 13 Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire
International Speedway. Labonte's Busch Series team transporter will
be bring the New Hampshire Winston Cup cars to Indianapolis so the
Interstate team can leave directly from the speedway.

By Camp & Associates, Inc.