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NASCAR Winston Cup Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 Report: #27, K. Irwin

8 September 1997

 #27 Kenny Irwin, Tonka Ford Thunderbird 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 Race Report
 Richmond International Raceway
 September 6, 1997

STATESVILLE, NC - David Blair MotorSports partnered with Robert Yates Racing 
to give Yates' newly-hired rookie driver, Kenny Irwin, a running jump on the
1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season. After qualifying for the outside pole in his
first Winston Cup event, the #27 Ford Thunderbird led a portion of the race
and finished eighth in the Exide 400 stock car race at Richmond, Va., 
Saturday night.

The top-10 was the first for a team not running a full schedule in recent 
memory, and has been virtually unheard of in the 1990's.

Irwin, who will drive Yates' Texaco Ford full time in 1998, is cutting his 
teeth in a limited number of 1997 Winston Cup races at the wheel of David
Blair's #27. With the up and coming Irwin behind the wheel, the team utilized
its sponsorship from Action Performance/Hasbro Toy Group to its fullest
extent. Some observers wondered if Irwin's outside pole was a fluke after
Friday evening's qualifying session. Following Saturday night's race, they no 
longer questioned anything.

"This team showed what it can do with good financial backing. We've been 
telling potential corporate sponsors all along that this is a top-10 team with
the right support," said Blair. "This proved we've been telling them the truth
all along."

Blair purchased the winning team from the legendary Junior Johnson in late 
1995 and has kept the team together with a limited schedule while building the
foundation for a full schedule in 1998. Action Performance/Hasbro Toy Group is
sponsoring the five-race Robert Yates/David Blair effort.

"David Blair MotorSports is still looking for 1998 sponsorship. Even though 
we have a lot of irons in the fire right now, it's not too late for somebody
to come along and be a part of this," Blair said. "With the experience of my
team personnel and Robert Yates' engines, all that is needed is some 
corporate backing to make things go."

The team's next event will be the Goody's 500, Sunday, September 28, at 
Martinsville, Va.

By Williams Company of America