The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR Winston Cup Series Notes (Week of July 21, 1997)

22 July 1997

 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Notes of Interest
 Week of July 21, 1997

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The results are in and it is confirmed, Jeff Gordon's 
$56,745 payday for his second-place run in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 pushed
him past the $2 million mark for the season - faster than any other driver has
reached that point in NASCAR history. His winnings include first-place checks
for the Busch Clash and The Winston.
 - Dale Jarrett's win Sunday (his third of the season) marked his second in
the last three runnings of the Pennsylvania 500 and his third straight
top-five in this event.
 - Jarrett dominated the event, leading 108 of the 200 laps. It's the sixth
time this season Jarrett has led the most laps.
 - Bill Elliott's efforts as owner/driver are coming around. His 10th-place
finish Sunday marked his second straight top-10. In fact, five of his seven
top-10s this season have come in the last eight races.
 - Mike Skinner's sixth-place finish was the best of his career, topping a
ninth at Dover in June of this year.
 - Jimmy Spencer's strong run in front of the home crowd (being from just down
the road in Berwick) was his fourth top-15 in the last five races. Spencer has
moved from 36th to a season-high of 17th in the standings since Texas.
 - Kyle Petty's eighth-place finish was his fifth top-15 in the last six races
and his second top-10 in the last three. He now has five top-10s on the
season, his first as a car owner. That's just two shy of his total for 1995
and '96 combined.
 - The 14 different leaders in Sunday's race was just one short of the high
for this season of 15 set last month at Pocono.
TOP 10
 - TENTH -- Ted Musgrave is putting together one of the most consistent
stretches of his career. He has six top-12 finishes in the last seven races,
four of which are top-10s. It took him six races to move from 22nd to 10th
with finishes like that and he has stayed there for three weeks.
 - NINTH -- Like Musgrave, Jeremy Mayfield has put together what already has
become the best season of his career. Mayfield has posted six top-15 finishes
in the last seven races. He has six top-10 finishes this season, doubling his
career total before this season.
 - EIGHTH -- Ricky Rudd's spot in the point standings may have stabilized as
eighth (for the past nine weeks), but his season hasn't. Since his win at
Dover in June, Rudd has finished 21st, 13th, third, 34th, ninth and 36th.
 - SEVENTH -- Bobby Labonte's 11th-place finish Sunday was his fourth top-15
and third top-10 in the last five races.
 - SIXTH -- Dale Earnhardt's quest for his third straight top-five finish
ended with a spin on lap 127 and a 12th-place finish. He has, however, posted
five top-12 finishes in the last six races.
 - FIFTH -- Jeff Burton's third-place finish was his eighth top-10 and his
fifth top-five in the last 10 races.
 - FOURTH -- It appears as if Dale Jarrett has pulled things back together. In
the eight races previous to Sunday, Jarrett had four top-eight finishes and
four finishes of 27th or worse. But in the last six races, Jarrett has five
top-10, three top-fives and a win.
 - THIRD -- Terry Labonte leads the tour with 14 top-10 finishes in the 18
races so far this season. But combined with the two runner-up finishes he has
in the last five races, he also has finishes of 35th (Sunday) and 38th
 - SECOND -- Mark Martin is a driver on a tear. In the last 12 races he has 10
top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
 - FIRST -- Jeff Gordon now has 13 top-five finishes this season. Broken down,
that's seven wins, two seconds, a third, a fourth and two fifths.
 - Jeff Gordon has one win the (first) Brickyard 400 and two Busch Poles. But
none have come on the same weekend. Gordon qualified third in 1994 and won. He
earned the pole in 1995 and '96, but finished sixth and 37th, respectively.
 - In fact, no winner has come from the Busch Pole in the Brickyard.
 - In fact, not only has the winner not even come from the front row in the
Brickyard, the winner has come from deeper in the field every year. After
Gordon won from inside the second row the first year, Dale Earnhardt won from
13th and Dale Jarrett from 24th the two following seasons.
 - Gordon has not finished in the top five in this race since winning the
first one in 1994.
 - Despite that, Gordon has won more than $1 million in just three races at
the Brickyard with $1,049,791. That includes the highest single-day payout in
NASCAR history with a winner's check of $613,000 in 1994. That's a $349,993.33
per race average.
 - Five drivers have two top-five finishes in the previous three runnings of
the Brickyard 400: Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Jarrett, Mark Martin and Rusty
 - While no drivers have recorded top-five finishes in all three of the
previous Brickyard 400s, three drivers have posted top-10 finishes in all
three. Who? Well, Elliott and Wallace. The third? Morgan Shepherd.

By NASCAR Public Relations