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

Gordon and Labonte Look to Watkins Glen

7 August 1997


WATKINS GLEN, NY - With his fourth-place showing in the Brickyard 400 race at 
Indianapolis last week. Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont/Quaker State 
Chevrolet, padded his lead in the current Winston Cup Championship point 
standings by 15 more points over second-place Mark Martin. Gordon now has a 
79-point margin (2,834-2,755) after 19 races of the 1997 season.

Gordon, who celebrated his 26th birthday the day after the Brickyard race, 
has his sights set on increasing that points lead even more in the Bud at the 
Glen race at Watkins Glen International this weekend.

The test will be very challenging, however, since Martin is considered one of 
the better road-course drivers in the Winston Cup series and has really been 
formidable over the tough, 11-turn Watkins Glen track in recent years. Martin 
reeled off three straight victories at the Glen in 1993, 1994 and 1995. 

While Gordon has yet to score a victory on a road course among his 26 Winston 
Cup triumphs, his special race-driving talents have made him a solid 
contender on those unique layouts. Gordon started fifth and finished fourth 
at the Glen last season. Martin placed third in that race.

On the road course at Sonoma, CA, this year, Martin took the victory and 
Gordon was second, so the rivalry for supremacy at Watkins Glen this Sunday 
between these two highly-talented drivers could turn out to be quite an 
exciting battle.

Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports/Quaker State teammate Terry Labonte -- another 
driver rated among the top road-course racers in the series -- will be trying 
his best in the #5 Kellogg's machine to recover from serious setbacks the 
last two races. 

Never lower than third in the point standings and in first place four 
different times during the first 18 races this season, Labonte's finishes of 
35th at Pocono and 40th at Indianapolis in the last two weeks have dropped 
him into fourth place in the standings. He trails Gordon by 231 points 
(2,834-2,603) from Dale Jarrett, who took over third place in the standings 
following the Brickyard 400.

Labonte is the Winston Cup circuit's model of consistency, however, and given 
his road-course racing abilities -- he was third at Sonoma this year -- 
should be a factor for victory at Watkins Glen, which would propel him back 
into contention for a chance at repeating as Winston Cup Champion in 1997.

By Muhleman Marketing