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The Callahan Report: Bobby Hamilton Gets Second Career Win

28 October 1997

ROCKINGHAM, NC: After a drenching on Sunday, it was finally time to dock the boats and go NASCAR racing. Bobby Hamilton pulled into victory lane at the end of the AC Delco 400 this afternoon. Hamilton likes racing on October 27. The victory was the second of his career. His first Winston Cup win came exactly one year ago at Phoenix, AZ., which was also the last win for Pontiac.

[ Bobby Hamilton ]Bobby Hamilton

Hamilton is heading into his last two races with Petty Enterprises. He will be leaving the team next season to replace Sterling Marlin in the Morgan McClure ride. Hamilton commented, "I'm happy for these guys. They get bonuses for this stuff and I didn't want to be labeled as a guy who would just give up."

Today's victory cost car owner Richard Petty more than he made. In a side bet from a couple of months ago, Petty bet Hamilton he would not win another race before he left the team. Hamilton won $89,150 for his victory. Petty's bet with Hamilton was $100,000.

It looked like Dale Jarrett was on his way to his seventh win of the season. Jarrett was the leader with 22 laps remaining. Ricky Craven was in second and Hamilton in third. Craven went around Jarrett on a late race restart. Hamilton passed Jarrett a lap later. Two more laps passed when Hamilton put his move on Craven. Hamilton led the rest of the way.

[ Ricky
Craven ]Ricky Craven

Jarrett said, "Bobby and Ricky were a little better than us on the short runs. We were better on the long runs. When that yellow came out, I knew we were in trouble. Those guys were better on new tires."

The race saw a revived Hendrick Motorsports Team. Ricky Craven led the most laps in the race and finished third. Jeff Gordon was right behind him in fourth. The final member of the Hendrick Team, Terry Labonte, finished in seventh place.

Dick Trickle, who finished second on Saturday in the Busch Grand National race, celebrated his 56th birthday with a fifth place finish.

Jeff Gordon escaped disaster. He was forced to make a double pit stop on one of the yellow flags. An end cap came loose on his left rear hub, causing the second stop. Gordon fell to 14th (the last car on the lead lap). He fought his way back to a fourth place finish. He said, "It looked for a while like it was going to be better than fourth. Luckily, that happened (the hub incident) under caution or we might have been in real trouble."

[ Jeff Gordon ]Jeff Gordon, Winston Cup Points Leader

In the championship points race, Gordon increased his lead over second place Mark Martin. Entering the event, Gordon led Martin by 110 points. Gordon is now leading Martin by 125. Gordon picked up five bonus points for leading the race. Martin was unable to lead today. Dale Jarrett, who is third in the points was only able to gain ten points on Gordon. If Gordon can place 15th or better in each of the next two races, he will win his second Winston Cup Championship.

NASCAR heads west next weekend to run in Phoenix, AZ. The final race of the season will be November 16th in Atlanta.

Race results with finishing position, (starting position), driver:

1. (28) Bobby Hamilton
2. (2) Dale Jarrett
3. (9) Ricky Craven
4. (6) Jeff Gordon
5. (12) Dick Trickle
6. (3) Mark Martin
7. (33) Terry Labonte
8. (26) Dale Earnhardt
9. (35) Sterling Marlin
10. (19) Joe Nemechek
11. (1) Bobby Labonte
12. (8) Bill Elliott
13. (27) Robert Pressley
14. (17) Michael Waltrip
15. (24) Jeremy Mayfield
16. (16) Chad Little
17. (30) Lake Speed
18. (18) Rusty Wallace
19. (7) Geoff Bodine
20. (14) Derrike Cope
21. (29) Jeff Green
22. (5) Kyle Petty
23. (10) Mike Skinner
24. (37) Steve Grissom
25. (23) Hut Stricklin
26. (4) Ward Burton
27. (15) David Green
28. (39) Ernie Irvan
29. (43) Darrell Waltrip
30. (38) Ken Schrader
31. (41) John Andretti
32. (34) Ted Musgrave
33. (32) Steve Park
34. (31) Morgan Shepherd
35. (21) Wally Dallenbach
36. (20) Johnny Benson
37. (25) Kenny Wallace
38. (11) Jeff Burton
39. (42) Greg Sacks
40. (13) Ricky Rudd
41. (36) Gary Bradberry
42. (22) Rick Mast
43. (40) Jimmy Spencer

Terry Callahan -- The Auto Channel

Editor's Note: The photos displayed in this article can be viewed in the NASCAR Image Gallery. The drawing (plus many more) can be viewed in the Visions Of Speed Art Gallery.