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NASCAR Winston Cup Note Book: Hanes 500

30 September 1997


NASCAR Winston Cup Series
Monday Notebook
Hanes 500
Martinsville Speedway
September 29, 1997

 - The last time a Winston Cup event was rained out at Martinsville Speedway 
was September 27, 1992. Geoff Bodine won the Goody's 500 which was held the 
following day. 

 - The Winston Cup Leader Bonus is worth $20,000 to the driver who can win 
the Hanes 500 and lead the point standings. Jeff Gordon currently holds a 
105-point advantage over Mark Martin. Gordon has won $220,000 of the $250,000 
awarded through this incentive program in 1997. He has won the bonus seven 
times this season and is also the last driver to cash in collecting $20,000 
for his win in the CMT 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway two weeks 

 - Brett Bodine used his 7th provisional of the season to make the field for 
the Hanes 500. He will not be eligible for another one until after he 
attempts to qualify for the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His 
unsponsored No. 11 Thunderbird, which is sporting a bright purple paint job 
this weekend, will start 41st in the 42-car field.

 - Winning the pole at Martinsville was particularly gratifying to Ward 
Burton considering he didn't qualify for either race at the 0.536-mile 
track last season. "I've got a lot of fans, friends, and family in this 
200-mile radius," said the South Boston, VA native, "and it's awfully 
special to do so good. It didn't have a homey feeling for me last year." 
To which car owner Bill Davis quipped, "He was on the couch on Sunday, 
that's a homey feel."

Burton will collect the Unocal Bonus which sits at $7600 if he can win the 
500-lap race from the pole. In the 87 races at Martinsville Speedway since 
1956, the driver beginning at the head of the pack has won 13 times making it 
the most productive starting position. 

 - Top Chevy qualifier Joe Nemechek will start eighth on the grid and shared 
his thoughts on what to expect when the rain-delayed Hanes 500 finally gets 
underway. "Everybody will have to have patience when we start the race," said 
the driver of the No. 42 BellSouth Mobility Monte Carlo. "The track will 
probably be slick and if you go out there and try to charge hard, you're 
either going to burn up your tires or get spun out or something is going to 
happen. Normally, when it rains, the outside groove is the place to be for 
awhile. I'm starting fourth row outside. Maybe that will be good. I was kind 
of dreading it yesterday morning because the bottom is usually the place to