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Gordon Seeks Brickyard Win, Labonte Looks for Return to Top 10

24 July 1997


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The fortunes reversed for Hendrick Motorsports/Quaker 
State drivers Terry Labonte and Jeff Gordon last week at Pocono. Labonte had 
entered the Pennsylvania 500 in first place in the Winston Cup point 
standings by a scant three points over teammate Gordon, but a flat tire and a 
later accidents in the 200-lap race relegated the "Iceman" to a 35th place 

Meanwhile, Gordon was again a challenger for victory at Pocono, leading five 
different times for 53 laps, and although his eighth win of 1997 did not 
come, the young phenomenon posted a second-place finish to winner Dale 
Jarrett. It was Gordon's second runner-up finish of the season and earned him 
180 valuable points.

Gordon, chasing after his second Winston Cup Championship, thus vaulted back 
into the points lead after 18 races, a spot he had yielded to Labonte the 
previous week at New Hampshire. Gordon now has a 64-point (2,669-2,605) lead 
over Mark Martin, who took over second-place in the standings Labonte fell to 
third place, 114 points behind Gordon.

Gordon returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway intent on capturing his second 
victory in the prestigious Brickyard 400 race. He and his DuPont/Quaker State 
Rainbow Warriors Team won the inaugural running of the Brickyard 400 in 1994. 
Gordon's many supporters in Indiana would like to see him take the checkered 
flag again, too. As a youngster, he grew up outside Indianapolis, and raced 
extensively around the area, mostly in open wheel cars and Sprint cars, 
fine-tuning his tremendous racing skills.

Gordon knows, however, that his challengers for the Brickyard win are many, 
and it will take a grand effort by his Ray Evernham-led crew and all the 
right circumstances during the race for him to achieve yet another victory at 
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

No doubt, Labonte, with all his experience, quiet pursuit, renowned 
consistency, and the determination of his powerful #5 Kellogg's/Quaker State 
Team, also has his sights on grabbing the checkered flag in the Brickyard 400.

Labonte, the reigning Winston Cup Champion, has designs on winning his second 
straight title and his third overall, and nothing will deter him or his crew 
from returning to their usual form. Though wigless so far in 1997, Labonte 
has recorded seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10s in the 18 races, and 
expects to be right back in contention at Indianapolis.

By Muhleman Marketing