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Geoff Bodine on Pole for NASCAR Winston Cup Series UAW-GM Quality 500

2 October 1997

CONCORD, NC -- It's been a while since Geoff Bodine has done what he
was able to do tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Geoff Bodine has
put together an effort that got him the Busch Pole for Sunday's UAW-GM
Quality 500.

Bodine, who's last Busch pole came in September of 1994, cruised the 1.5 mile Charlotte Motor Speedway with a lap timed 29.307 seconds at 184.256 miles per hour.

"Yeah, we expected that," said the exited 48 year old Chemung New York Native. "We knew we had a good car. I had run like a (29).69 in morning practice but I had missed turns 1 & 2. I told 'em if I could run down in the groove and keep it down there I'd run in the (29).20s. And we did that.

"I won my first race with this team right here at Charlotte; The Winston. I will never forget it. It was a great night. Tonight almost feels the same. It never will, because that was in memory of Alan Kulwicki that night. But this is a new era for this team and I'm real happy about that. It is a great way to start the week here at Charlotte."

The driver that'll roll out on the outside pole is Bobby Labonte. Labonte toured the circuit with a 29.389 second - 183.742 mph lap. "We ran well earlier today in practice, and we're excited because we're running a new Pontiac here," said Labonte after climbing from his Interstate Grand Prix. "It was a great lap for us and that's good because we need a good run here at Charlotte."

The drivers that will round out the top-five are Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Dale Jarrett.

Second round qualifying is set for tomorrow at 1:30 PM for positions 25 to 38. The field will then swell to 42 with the four provisionals with a possible 45th entry via a former champions provisional.

Mike Snow -- The Auto Channel