1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series

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1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season
Previous: 1996 Next: 1998

The 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season began on February 9 and ended on November 16. Jeff Gordon of Hendrick Motorsports was crowned champion at season's end. It was Gordon's second championship.

The 1997 Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon
Dale Jarrett finished second behind Gordon by only 14 points
Mark Martin finished third in the championship

Teams and Drivers[edit]

Complete schedule[edit]

Manufacturer Team No. Race Driver Crew Chief
Chevrolet American Equipment Racing 96 David Green (R) Sammy Johns
Andy Petree Racing 33 Ken Schrader Andy Petree
Darrell Waltrip Motorsports 17 Darrell Waltrip Jeff Hammond
Diamond Ridge Motorsports 29 Robert Pressley 10 Wes Ward
Jeff Green 22
Hendrick Motorsports 5 Terry Labonte Gary DeHart
24 Jeff Gordon Ray Evernham
25 Ricky Craven 30 Phil Hammer 1
Andy Graves 31
Todd Bodine 1
Jack Sprague 1
Larry Hedrick Motorsports 41 Steve Grissom Charley Pressley
Marcis Auto Racing 71 Dave Marcis Bob Marcis
Morgan-McClure Motorsports 4 Sterling Marlin Robert Larkins
Richard Childress Racing 3 Dale Earnhardt Larry McReynolds
31 Mike Skinner (R) Kevin Hamlin
Team SABCO 40 Robby Gordon (R) 21 Mike Hillman
Wally Dallenbach, Jr. 1
Greg Sacks 7
Steve Park 1
Elliott Sadler 1
Joe Nemechek 31
42 Tony Glover
Phil Parsons 1
Ford Bill Elliott Racing 94 Bill Elliott Mike Beam
Brett Bodine Racing 11 Brett Bodine Donnie Richeson
Butch Mock Motorsports 75 Rick Mast Dave Charpentier
Cale Yarborough Motorsports 98 John Andretti Tony Furr
Donlavey Racing 90 Dick Trickle 31 Bob Johnson 4
Tommy Baldwin, Jr. 21
Dorsey Schroeder 1
FILMAR Racing 81 Kenny Wallace Newt Moore
Geoff Bodine Racing 7 Geoff Bodine 31 Pat Tryson
Todd Bodine 1
Jasper Motorsports 77 Bobby Hillin, Jr. 13 Terry Whooten
Morgan Shepherd 11
Robert Pressley 8
Kranefuss-Haas Racing 37 Jeremy Mayfield Paul Andrews
Penske Racing South 2 Rusty Wallace Robin Pemberton
Robert Yates Racing 28 Ernie Irvan Marc Reno
88 Dale Jarrett Todd Parrott
Rudd Performance Motorsports 10 Ricky Rudd Jim Long
Stavola Brothers Racing 8 Hut Stricklin Bill Ingle
Travis Carter Enterprises 23 Jimmy Spencer Donnie Wingo
Triad Motorsports 78 Billy Standridge 16 Bill Hayes 7
Bob Johnson 20
Tom Hubert 1
Bobby Hillin, Jr. 3
Gary Bradberry 12
Wood Brothers Racing 21 Michael Waltrip Leonard Wood
Roush Racing 6 Mark Martin Jimmy Fennig
16 Ted Musgrave James Ince
99 Jeff Burton Buddy Parrott
Pontiac 97 Chad LittleAll Harold Holly
Mark Rypien Motorsports
Bahari Racing 30 Johnny Benson, Jr. Doug Hewitt
Bill Davis Racing 22 Ward Burton Chris Hussey
Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Bobby Labonte Jimmy Makar
MB2 Motorsports 36 Derrike Cope Ryan Pemberton
Petty Enterprises 43 Bobby Hamilton Robbie Loomis
PE2 44 Kyle Petty Bobby Kennedy
Precision Products Racing 1 Morgan Shepherd 20 Michael McSwain
Jerry Nadeau 5
Mike Wallace 1
Lance Hooper 6

Limited schedule[edit]

Manufacturer Team No. Race Driver Crew Chief Round(s)
Chevrolet BACE Motorsports 74 Randy LaJoie 1
Barkdoll Racing 73 Phil Barkdoll 2
Joe Nemechek 1
Dale Earnhardt, Inc. 14 Steve Park Philippe Lopez 8
Darrell Waltrip Motorsports 26 Rich Bickle Dave McCarty 1
Ken Schrader Racing 52 Jack Sprague 1
LAR Motorsports 12 Jeff Purvis Philippe Lopez 3
LJ Racing 91 Mike Wallace Doug Richert ? 15
Loy Allen, Jr. 1
Greg Sacks 2
Ron Hornaday, Jr. 1
Kevin Lepage 4
Miller Racing 08 Mike Miller 1
Norm Benning Racing 84 Norm Benning 1
Team SABCO 46 Wally Dallenbach, Jr. Terry Shirley 24
T.R.I.X. Racing 79 Randy MacDonald 3
Ford A. J. Foyt Enterprises 50 A. J. Foyt 1
Bill Elliott Racing 92 Ron Barfield, Jr. 1
Bud Moore Engineering 15 Larry Pearson 2
Greg Sacks 12
David Blair Motorsports 27 Rick Wilson Slugger Labbe 4
Kenny Irwin, Jr. 5
H.L. Waters Racing 0 Delma Cowart 1
H.S. Die Racing Team 61 Tim Steele 1
Melling Racing 9 Lake Speed Jeff Buice 25
Jeff Davis 1
Ranier-Walsh Racing 20 Greg Sacks Tommy Baldwin, Jr. 25
Lance Hooper 2
Sadler Brothers Racing 95 Gary Bradberry Lee Leslie 2
Ed Berrier 12
Standridge Motorsports 47 Billy Standridge 1
TriStar Motorsports 19 Loy Allen, Jr. Peter Sospenzo 2
Gary Bradberry 12
Ultra Motorsports 02 Mike Bliss 2
Pontiac Bailey Racing 66 H. B. Bailey 1
Buckshot Racing 00 Buckshot Jones Ricky Pearson 1
ISM Racing 35 Todd Bodine 2

Busch Clash[edit]

The Busch Clash, a race for polewinners from the previous season, and drivers who have won the event before, was run on February 9 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Terry Labonte drew the pole. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Rusty Wallace
  3. Dale Earnhardt
  4. Ward Burton
  5. Ernie Irvan
  6. Mark Martin
  7. Dale Jarrett
  8. Ricky Craven
  9. Johnny Benson

Gatorade 125s[edit]

The Gatorade Twin 125s were run on February 13 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mike Skinner and Steve Grissom were the polesitters for races one and two, respectively. The races were broadcast tape-delayed on CBS just prior to the Daytona 500.

Race One Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 31-Mike Skinner
  3. 28-Ernie Irvan
  4. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  5. 4-Sterling Marlin
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 10-Ricky Rudd
  8. 18-Bobby Labonte
  9. 22-Ward Burton
  10. 29-Robert Pressley

Race Two Results

  1. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  2. 24-Jeff Gordon
  3. 94-Bill Elliott
  4. 33-Ken Schrader
  5. 21-Michael Waltrip
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 30-Johnny Benson
  8. 5-Terry Labonte
  9. 40-Robby Gordon
  10. 17-Darrell Waltrip

Daytona 500[edit]

Main article: 1997 Daytona 500

The 1997 Daytona 500 was run on February 16 at Daytona International Speedway. The #31 of Mike Skinner won the pole. The race ended under caution after a big crash with 5 laps remaining involved several cars. The race was broadcast on CBS.

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 5-Terry Labonte
  3. 25-Ricky Craven
  4. 94-Bill Elliott
  5. 4-Sterling Marlin
  6. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  7. 6-Mark Martin
  8. 22-Ward Burton
  9. 10-Ricky Rudd
  10. 17-Darrell Waltrip

Failed to qualify: 91-Mike Wallace, 95-Gary Bradberry, 78-Billy Standridge, 15-Larry Pearson, 42-Joe Nemechek, 97-Chad Little, 75-Rick Mast, 96-David Green*, 0-Delma Cowart, and 84-Norm Benning.

  • Robert Pressley's car caught air after he spun on Lap 10. The rear of the car lifted so much, the car was temporarily sliding across the track on its nose. The landing was quite hard, so after the crew repaired the car, Busch Series compeitor Todd Bodine hopped in to complete more laps.
  • Dale Earnhardt rolled his #3 Goodwrench Chevrolet in a crash with the #28 Texaco-Havoline Ford of Ernie Irvan while in a four-way battle for the lead with 12 laps to go. During the crash, the hood of Irvan's car flew into the backstretch grandstand, injuring some fans. Earnhardt famously noticed that his tires were still on the car after the roll, had his car taken off the hook, and drove it back to pit road. The car was repaired and Earnhardt finished the race, 5 laps down in 31st. The car can be found in diecast form in 1:64 and 1:24 scale and is known to collectors as the "crash car" and the only diecast car to be replicated of a crash.

Goodwrench Service 400[edit]

The Goodwrench Service 400 was run on February 23 at North Carolina Speedway. The #6 of Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 88-Dale Jarrett
  3. 99-Jeff Burton
  4. 10-Ricky Rudd
  5. 25-Ricky Craven
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 5-Terry Labonte
  8. 7-Geoff Bodine
  9. 28-Ernie Irvan
  10. 1-Morgan Shepherd
  • With this victory, Jeff Gordon became the fourth driver to win the Daytona 500 and the second race of the season.

Pontiac Excitement 400[edit]

The Pontiac Excitement 400 was held March 2 at Richmond International Raceway. Terry Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 2-Rusty Wallace
  2. 7-Geoff Bodine
  3. 88-Dale Jarrett
  4. 24-Jeff Gordon
  5. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  6. 10-Ricky Rudd
  7. 5-Terry Labonte
  8. 18-Bobby Labonte
  9. 30-Johnny Benson
  10. 44-Kyle Petty
  • This was the last Winston Cup race at Richmond International Raceway scheduled for the daytime (excluding two races that were rain-delayed from Saturday night), and the last time that the first Richmond race of the season was held in March, due to the cold, wet weather that is often seen at Richmond in late winter.

Primestar 500[edit]

The Primestar 500 was run on March 9 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The #40 of Robby Gordon won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 28-Ernie Irvan
  3. 1-Morgan Shepherd
  4. 18-Bobby Labonte
  5. 99-Jeff Burton
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 21-Michael Waltrip
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  9. 5-Terry Labonte
  10. 43-Bobby Hamilton

Failed to qualify: 29-Robert Pressley, 36-Derrike Cope, 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr., 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 95-Ed Berrier, 08-Mike Miller

  • This was the final race held on the 1.522-mile (2.449 km) configuration of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Renovations had already started that would turn the racetrack into a 1.54-mile (2.48 km) quad-oval.
  • This race was red flagged on lap 282 due to a crash involving the #41 of Steve Grissom. The #23 of Jimmy Spencer had spun out off Turn 2 and was hit by the #31 of Mike Skinner. Grissom spun to avoid this wreck and hit the inside wall near where there was a gate allowing infield access for motorhomes. Because of this, the car hit the wall tail first, breaking the wall, shearing the fuel cell out of the car and putting Grissom on his roof. The #91 of Mike Wallace backed off the throttle upon seeing the accident, which caused his exhaust to throw flames right over the fuel cell (which was sitting along the outside wall at the end of the backstretch). This caused a significant fire. Grissom was not seriously injured.

TranSouth Financial 400[edit]

The TranSouth Financial 400 was held March 23 at Darlington Raceway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Until Kevin Harvick's win in this event on April 12, 2014, this would be the last Darlington race to be won by a polesitter.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 16-Ted Musgrave
  3. 24-Jeff Gordon
  4. 99-Jeff Burton
  5. 18-Bobby Labonte
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 21-Michael Waltrip
  8. 33-Ken Schrader
  9. 7-Geoff Bodine
  10. 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 41-Steve Grissom, 78-Billy Standridge, 90-Dick Trickle

Interstate Batteries 500[edit]

The inaugural Interstate Batteries 500 was held April 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. This was the first race held at the track, and the first NASCAR race in the state of Texas since 1981. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99-Jeff Burton*
  2. 88-Dale Jarrett
  3. 18-Bobby Labonte
  4. 5-Terry Labonte
  5. 10-Ricky Rudd
  6. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  7. 22-Ward Burton
  8. 4-Sterling Marlin
  9. 21-Michael Waltrip
  10. 41-Steve Grissom

Failed to Qualify: 19-Gary Bradberry, 27-Rick Wilson, 29-Robert Pressley, 46-Wally Dallenbach Jr., 66-H. B. Bailey, 74-Randy LaJoie, 95-Ed Berrier, 96-David Green, 02-Mike Bliss

  • This race was marred by two huge crashes. The first occurred just after the start between turns 1 and 2, which involved at least 15 cars, including Dale Earnhardt, who was able to continue. Near the halfway point of the race, Rusty Wallace struck the wall off turn 4 and dropped oil on the track near the tri-oval, into which Mike Skinner, Brett Bodine and Sterling Marlin spun. Ernie Irvan, who was catching up to race leader Terry Labonte to try to get a lap back ahead of the caution, got into the oil and slammed into the back of slower-moving #20 Ford of Greg Sacks. Irvan hit the outside wall of the tri-oval and was then hit from behind by Jeff Gordon.
  • Ricky Craven suffered a concussion in a practice crash and was forced to sit out. This was the beginning of a series of injuries that adversely affected Craven's career over the next 4 years. Todd Bodine subbed for Craven in this race and ran very well until he crashed out of the lead.

Food City 500[edit]

The Food City 500 was held April 13 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rusty Wallace won the pole. the race had 20 cautions for 132 laps to set a Bristol record for the first time since 1989. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 2-Rusty Wallace
  3. 5-Terry Labonte
  4. 88-Dale Jarrett
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  7. 94-Bill Elliott
  8. 97-Chad Little
  9. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 11-Brett Bodine

Failed to qualify: 20-Greg Sacks, 77-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 78-Billy Standridge, 91-Mike Wallace

  • This race had 20 cautions for 132 laps. The 20 cautions at the time tied a record for most cautions with the 1989 spring event at Bristol. However, this race had an additional 34 laps run under caution compared to the 1989 event.
  • On the last lap, Jeff Gordon rooted Rusty Wallace out of the way in Turn 4 to win the race. Wallace barely was able to hold off Terry Labonte for 2nd. Jack Sprague subbed for Ricky craven in this race due to craven's injury at Texas last weekend

Goody's Headache Powder 500[edit]

The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was held April 20 at Martinsville Speedway. Kenny Wallace won the pole. It was FILMAR Racing's first career pole of the season. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 5-Terry Labonte
  5. 2-Rusty Wallace
  6. 81-Kenny Wallace
  7. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  8. 18-Bobby Labonte
  9. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  10. 33-Ken Schrader

Failed to qualify: 19-Gary Bradberry, 20-Lance Hooper, 78-Billy Standridge, 79-Randy MacDonald, 96-David Green

  • Winner Jeff Gordon was spun out at one point of the race by Jimmy Spencer, but was able to recover from the spin to win the race.
  • Ricky Craven returned to the #25 Budweiser Chevrolet after missing 2 races due to the concussion he suffered at Texas. He finished 22nd, 2 laps down.
  • Jeff Gordon led 431 of the 500 laps in this race, the most laps he has led in a single race in his career.

Save Mart Supermarkets 300[edit]

The Save Mart Supermarkets 300 was held May 4 at Sears Point International Raceway. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 24-Jeff Gordon
  3. 5-Terry Labonte
  4. 88-Dale Jarrett
  5. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  6. 11-Brett Bodine
  7. 21-Michael Waltrip
  8. 28-Ernie Irvan
  9. 99-Jeff Burton
  10. 22-Ward Burton

Failed to Qualify:

42-Joe Nemechek, 75-Rick Mast, 78w-Chuck Pruitt, 90-Dick Trickle, 96-David Green, 09-R.K. Smith

  • The Melling Racing #9 team technically did not make the trip to Sears Point due to a lack of funding. However, they allowed Jeff Davis' Winston West Series team to use their number on their Ultra Shield-sponsored Ford so that the Melling team could get the owners' points. Davis ended up crashing out of the race, finishing 37th.
  • This was the last race for the Winston Cup Series on the 2.52-mile (4.06 km) configuration at Sears Point Raceway. After this event, a purpose-built section was added for the NASCAR weekend.
  • The #78 Hanes/Diamond Rio-sponsored Ford for Triad Motorsports tapped Tom Hubert, a crew member for Bahari Racing, to qualify the #78 in 2nd round qualifying. When Hubert (who had some road racing experience in other classes) qualified fast enough to earn the 27th starting spot in the race, Hubert was put in the car for the race to temporarily replace the team's regular driver, Billy Standridge.

Winston 500[edit]

Main article: 1997 Winston 500

The Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was originally scheduled for Sunday April 27, but rain forced the race to be postponed. Teams returned on Saturday May 10 (Mother's Day weekend), and the race was held under sunny skies.

John Andretti started from the pole position. The race was run caution-free, the first time in Talladega history. It also stands as the fastest 500-mile (800 km) race in NASCAR history (at 188.354 mph (303.126 km/h), a record that still stands). The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 18-Bobby Labonte
  4. 98-John Andretti
  5. 24-Jeff Gordon
  6. 5-Terry Labonte
  7. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  8. 99-Jeff Burton
  9. 30-Johnny Benson
  10. 28-Ernie Irvan

Failed to Qualify:

19-Gary Bradberry, 42-Joe Nemechek*, 91-Mike Wallace

  • Joe Nemechek drove the #40 Coors Chevrolet in place of Robby Gordon during this race since Gordon was attempting to do the Indy-Charlotte double in 1997. As a result of the rescheduled race, it conflicted with Pole Day at Indianapolis. As part of the contract that Gordon signed with SABCO Racing, owner Felix Sabates provided a team for Gordon to attempt Indianapolis with. As for Nemechek, he finished 19th, 1 lap down in Gordon's car.
  • The #9 of Lake Speed was running ACE Hardware decals on the car during this race. However, it was not a sponsorship. At the time, a made-for TV movie called Steel Chariots was being filmed and the #9 was the car driven by one of the movie's characters. Ironically, the movie's main character (D.J. Tucker) drove the #20 Hardees Ford. Steel Chariots was broadcast on September 23, 1997 on Fox.

Winston Open[edit]

The Winston Open was held before The Winston All Star Race on May 17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a last chance qualifier race for the cars that had not won a race yet in 1997 or late 1996 and was not a past champion. Chad Little won the pole. The winner of this race would qualify to be in The Winston All Star Race.

Top Ten Results

  1. 25-Ricky Craven
  2. 41-Steve Grissom
  3. 9-Lake Speed
  4. 97-Chad Little
  5. 8-Hut Stricklin
  6. 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
  7. 30-Johnny Benson
  8. 33-Ken Schrader
  9. 98-John Andretti
  10. 31-Mike Skinner

The Winston[edit]

The Winston is the All Star Race for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 17 after the Winston Open Race. Drivers have to qualify; Win a race since last years The Winston race, Win the Winston Open qualifier race, or Win one of The Winston All Star Races from the past 5 years. This race was run in 3 segments with 2 30 segments and a 10 lap shootout segment for a total of 70 laps. Bill Elliott won the pole. Dale Jarrett won the first segment and Bobby Labonte won the second segment. The final segment results are post in the top ten below. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Final Segment Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 18-Bobby Labonte
  3. 5-Terry Labonte
  4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  5. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 88-Dale Jarrett
  8. 25-Ricky Craven
  9. 10-Ricky Rudd
  10. 94-Bill Elliott
  • The Winston Open ran free of caution. The only caution flag in The Winston came on lap 4 of the first segment, when Bobby Labonte spun coming off turn 4.

Coca-Cola 600[edit]

The Coca-Cola 600 was held May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jeff Gordon won the pole. The race was shortened to 333 laps due to time issues after a long rain delay; it was after 1:00 am EDT when the race was completed. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 2-Rusty Wallace
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 94-Bill Elliott
  5. 99-Jeff Burton
  6. 18-Bobby Labonte
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  8. 5-Terry Labonte
  9. 1-Morgan Shepherd
  10. 10-Ricky Rudd

Failed to Qualify:

71-Dave Marcis, 77-Bobby Hillin Jr., 91-Mike Wallace, 95-Ed Berrier, 97-Chad Little

  • Race shortened to 333 laps (499.5 Miles) due to rain.
  • Geoff Bodine suffered a concussion in a practice crash on the Wednesday before the race in Turn 1. As a result, Geoff tapped his younger brother Todd to drive his #7 QVC Ford in the race. However, the engine blew after Todd had made a run up through the field, leaving him with a 42nd place finish.

Miller 500[edit]

The Miller 500 was held June 1 at Dover Downs International Speedway. The #18 of Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 10-Ricky Rudd
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 99-Jeff Burton
  4. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  5. 44-Kyle Petty
  6. 33-Ken Schrader
  7. 21-Michael Waltrip
  8. 94-Bill Elliott
  9. 31-Mike Skinner
  10. 4-Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: 78-Billy Standridge, 95-Ed Berrier

  • This was the last 500-mile (800 km) race held at Dover.
  • Robby Gordon, in a rather freak incident during the Indianapolis 500, suffered significant burns to his legs early on when an invisible fire started in the cockpit of his #42 Coors Light Chevy-powered G-Force. This forced him to sit out for a couple of weeks. Wally Dallenbach Jr. subbed for Gordon at Dover, finishing 36th after suffering electrical problems. He was credited with completing 364 laps of the 500 lap distance.

Pocono 500[edit]

The Pocono 500 was held June 8 at Pocono Raceway. The #43 of Bobby Hamilton won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 99-Jeff Burton
  3. 88-Dale Jarrett
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 16-Ted Musgrave
  7. 17-Darrell Waltrip
  8. 7-Geoff Bodine
  9. 5-Terry Labonte
  10. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  • Greg Sacks was tapped to sub for Robby Gordon in the #40 starting here at Pocono. He qualified 4th, but spun into the wall coming out of Turn 1 on Lap 9 immediately in front of Jeff Gordon.

Miller 400[edit]

The Miller 400 was held June 15 at Michigan Speedway. Dale Jarrett won the pole. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 28-Ernie Irvan*
  2. 94-Bill Elliott
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 16-Ted Musgrave
  5. 24-Jeff Gordon
  6. 88-Dale Jarrett
  7. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  8. 36-Derrike Cope
  9. 18-Bobby Labonte
  10. 30-Johnny Benson
  • This was Ernie Irvan's final Winston Cup victory, and it came at the very same track where he had almost lost his life three years earlier. He had tears in his eyes as he brought the 28 car into Victory Lane. The win also came in his last year with Robert Yates Racing.

California 500 Presented by NAPA[edit]

Main article: 1997 California 500

The inaugural California 500 Presented by NAPA was held June 22 at California Speedway. The #42 of Joe Nemechek won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 5-Terry Labonte
  3. 10-Ricky Rudd
  4. 16-Ted Musgrave
  5. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  6. 18-Bobby Labonte
  7. 29-Jeff Green
  8. 88-Dale Jarrett
  9. 25-Ricky Craven
  10. 6-Mark Martin

Failed to qualify: 78-Billy Standridge, 81-Kenny Wallace, 91-Mike Wallace*

  • Mark Martin ran out of gas with 10 laps to go and was forced to the pits for additional fuel. However, they did not get enough fuel in the car. This resulted in Martin running out of gas again on the last lap and having to coast to the line.

Pepsi 400[edit]

The Pepsi 400 was held July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. The #31 of Mike Skinner won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN, for the last time.

Top Ten Results

  1. 98-John Andretti
  2. 5-Terry Labonte
  3. 4-Sterling Marlin
  4. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  5. 88-Dale Jarrett
  6. 2-Rusty Wallace
  7. 44-Kyle Petty
  8. 99-Jeff Burton
  9. 28-Ernie Irvan
  10. 18-Bobby Labonte

Failed to qualify: 7-Geoff Bodine, 29-Jeff Green, 91-Loy Allen

  • This was the last July race at Daytona scheduled to run during the day. The 2014 Coke Zero 400 was run during the day, but only after being postponed due to rain the previous night.
  • The race ended with a 1 lap shootout, likely the last such shootout in the Winston Cup Series. As a result of the cars going 4 wide into Turn 3, there was a multi-car wreck, with profane radio commentary from one of the spotters.

Jiffy Lube 300[edit]

The Jiffy Lube 300 was held July 13 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The #33 of Ken Schrader won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99-Jeff Burton
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 41-Steve Grissom
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 94-Bill Elliott
  7. 5-Terry Labonte
  8. 28-Ernie Irvan
  9. 10-Ricky Rudd
  10. 7-Geoff Bodine

Pennsylvania 500[edit]

The Pennsylvania 500 was held July 20 at Pocono Raceway. The #42 of Joe Nemechek won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 24-Jeff Gordon
  3. 99-Jeff Burton
  4. 16-Ted Musgrave
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 31-Mike Skinner
  7. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  8. 44-Kyle Petty
  9. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  10. 94-Bill Elliott

Brickyard 400[edit]

The Brickyard 400 was held August 3 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole. The race was broadcast on ABC.

Top Ten Results

  1. 10-Ricky Rudd
  2. 18-Bobby Labonte
  3. 88-Dale Jarrett
  4. 24-Jeff Gordon
  5. 37-Jeremy Mayfield
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 30-Johnny Benson
  8. 94-Bill Elliott
  9. 31-Mike Skinner
  10. 28-Ernie Irvan

Failed to qualify: 1-Mike Wallace, 7-Geoff Bodine, 8-Hut Stricklin, 61-Tim Steele, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd, 78-Bobby Hillin, Jr., 90-Dick Trickle

The Bud At The Glen[edit]

The Bud At The Glen was held August 10 at Watkins Glen International. The #34 of Todd Bodine (in a one-off Winston Cup race for Team 34 Racing, his Busch Series team at the time) won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 7-Geoff Bodine
  3. 2-Rusty Wallace
  4. 40-Robby Gordon
  5. 6-Mark Martin
  6. 16-Ted Musgrave
  7. 94-Bill Elliott
  8. 5-Terry Labonte
  9. 41-Steve Grissom
  10. 46-Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
  • This was Jeff Gordon's 1st career victory on a road course, beginning a streak of 6 consecutive road course wins that lasted until 2000.

DeVilbiss 400[edit]

The DeVilbiss 400 was held August 17 at Michigan Speedway. The #30 of Johnny Benson won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 24-Jeff Gordon
  3. 16-Ted Musgrave
  4. 28-Ernie Irvan
  5. 88-Dale Jarrett
  6. 18-Bobby Labonte
  7. 94-Bill Elliott
  8. 99-Jeff Burton
  9. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  10. 5-Terry Labonte

Goody's Headache Powder 500[edit]

The Goody's Headache Powder 500 was held August 23 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The #81 of Kenny Wallace won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 90-Dick Trickle
  4. 99-Jeff Burton
  5. 41-Steve Grissom
  6. 33-Ken Schrader
  7. 5-Terry Labonte
  8. 18-Bobby Labonte
  9. 7-Geoff Bodine*
  10. 4-Sterling Marlin

Failed to qualify: 40-Robby Gordon, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd

  • David Green got on his side during a crash around lap 260. He grinded along on his driver's side after getting bounced off the #36 of Derrike Cope into the wall coming off Turn 4. After sliding about 450 feet (140 m) with other cars spinning around him, the car flipped over once and got back on all 4 wheels. Green was ok.
  • Shortly after the halfway point, Geoff Bodine's crew chief Pat Tryson quit the team, apparently unhappy with the way the team was (or wasn't) being managed.

Mountain Dew Southern 500[edit]

The Mountain Dew Southern 500 was held August 31 at Darlington Raceway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon*
  2. 99-Jeff Burton
  3. 88-Dale Jarrett
  4. 94-Bill Elliott
  5. 10-Ricky Rudd
  6. 5-Terry Labonte
  7. 18-Bobby Labonte
  8. 6-Mark Martin
  9. 21-Michael Waltrip
  10. 33-Ken Schrader

Failed to Qualify:

71-Dave Marcis, 77-Morgan Shepherd, 91-Greg Sacks

  • Jeff Gordon's victory made him the 2nd and final driver to win the Winston Million. The program was replaced after 1997 with the No Bull 5 program, which offered five drivers (that finished in the Top 5 of the last No Bull 5 race) the chance to win 1 million dollars.
  • Dale Earnhardt mysteriously passed out during the pace laps for the race and hit the wall. Nobody is really sure what caused this, but Earnhardt had to step out of the car for the day. Once the car was repaired, Busch Series driver Mike Dillon (the son-in-law of car owner Richard Childress) was tapped to sub in the #3. Dillon drove the car to a 30th place finish, 85 laps down.
  • "Jeff Burton will make a challenge off the corner, onto the straightaway...but Jeff Gordon wins it!"-Bob Jenkins as Jeff Burton tried to challenge Gordon for the victory in the last corners.

Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400[edit]

The Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 was held September 6 at Richmond International Raceway. The #94 of Bill Elliott won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 99-Jeff Burton
  3. 24-Jeff Gordon
  4. 7-Geoff Bodine
  5. 2-Rusty Wallace
  6. 42-Joe Nemechek
  7. 22-Ward Burton
  8. 27-Kenny Irwin, Jr.*
  9. 16-Ted Musgrave
  10. 37-Jeremy Mayfield

CMT 300[edit]

The CMT 300 was held September 14 at New Hampshire International Speedway. The #33 of Ken Schrader won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 24-Jeff Gordon
  2. 28-Ernie Irvan
  3. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  4. 41-Steve Grissom
  5. 25-Ricky Craven
  6. 88-Dale Jarrett
  7. 23-Jimmy Spencer
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  9. 6-Mark Martin
  10. 8-Hut Stricklin

MBNA 400[edit]

The MBNA 400 was held September 21 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 6-Mark Martin
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 44-Kyle Petty
  4. 18-Bobby Labonte
  5. 88-Dale Jarrett
  6. 10-Ricky Rudd
  7. 24-Jeff Gordon
  8. 94-Bill Elliott
  9. 28-Ernie Irvan
  10. 75-Rick Mast

Failed to qualify: 14-Steve Park

  • This was the first 400-mile (640 km) race at Dover.

Hanes 500[edit]

The Hanes 500 was held September 29 at Martinsville Speedway. Ward Burton won the pole. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 99-Jeff Burton
  2. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  3. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  4. 24-Jeff Gordon
  5. 94-Bill Elliott
  6. 81-Kenny Wallace
  7. 22-Ward Burton
  8. 25-Ricky Craven
  9. 33-Ken Schrader
  10. 28-Ernie Irvan

UAW-GM Quality 500[edit]

The UAW-GM Quality 500 was held October 5 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The #7 of Geoff Bodine won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 18-Bobby Labonte
  3. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  4. 6-Mark Martin
  5. 24-Jeff Gordon
  6. 99-Jeff Burton
  7. 94-Bill Elliott
  8. 22-Ward Burton
  9. 44-Kyle Petty
  10. 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 14-Steve Park, 15-Greg Sacks, 17-Darrell Waltrip, 31-Mike Skinner, 40-Elliott Sadler*, 71-Dave Marcis, 75-Rick Mast

  • Early in the race, there was an unusual water seapage problem on the backstretch. This resulted in the track near the outside wall in the middle of the backstretch being wet to the point where cars were kicking up spray. This did not cause any problems, however.
  • This was the first race for ISM Racing's #35 Tabasco Pontiac with Todd Bodine as the driver. The car qualified well, then sank to the rear of the field and eventually finished 26th, 4 laps down.

DieHard 500[edit]

The DieHard 500 was held October 12 at Talladega Superspeedway. Ernie Irvan won the pole. Like many Talladega races, the story was "the Big One" - collecting 23 cars on lap 140 after Jeff Gordon cut a tire and turned into traffic. Mark Martin was furious after the wreck, and made an infamous quote. "I hate restrictor plate racing" he said while being interviewed by a pit reporter. The race was broadcast on CBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 5-Terry Labonte
  2. 18-Bobby Labonte
  3. 98-John Andretti
  4. 33-Ken Schrader
  5. 28-Ernie Irvan
  6. 25-Ricky Craven
  7. 44-Kyle Petty
  8. 7-Geoff Bodine
  9. 75-Rick Mast
  10. 2-Rusty Wallace

Failed to qualify: 8-Hut Stricklin, 22-Ward Burton, 29-Jeff Green, 78-Gary Bradberry, 95-Ed Berrier

  • The top 5 (T. Labonte, B. Labonte, Andretti, Schrader, Irvan) became the first drivers eligible for the Winston No Bull 5 million-dollar bonus for next season, meaning that if any of them were to win the 1998 Daytona 500, they would receive an extra $1 million.
  • With this win Terry Labonte became only the second Chevrolet driver to win a race in 1997. Jeff Gordon had all of the other wins for Chevrolet in 1997.

AC Delco 400[edit]

The AC Delco 400 was held October 27 at North Carolina Speedway. Bobby Labonte won the pole. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  2. 88-Dale Jarrett
  3. 25-Ricky Craven
  4. 24-Jeff Gordon
  5. 90-Dick Trickle
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 5-Terry Labonte
  8. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  9. 4-Sterling Marlin
  10. 42-Joe Nemechek

Failed to qualify: 11-Brett Bodine, 71-Dave Marcis

Dura Lube 500 Presented by Kmart[edit]

The Dura Lube 500 Presented by Kmart was held November 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. Bobby Hamilton won the pole. Dale Jarrett's victory in this race marked the final victory for the Ford Thunderbird. The race was broadcast on TNN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 88-Dale Jarrett
  2. 2-Rusty Wallace
  3. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  4. 33-Ken Schrader
  5. 3-Dale Earnhardt
  6. 6-Mark Martin
  7. 41-Steve Grissom
  8. 44-Kyle Petty
  9. 7-Geoff Bodine

Failed to qualify: 1-Morgan Shepherd

NAPA 500[edit]

The NAPA 500 was held November 16 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The #7 of Geoff Bodine won the pole at a speed of 197.478 mph (317.810 km/h), which (as of February 26, 2012) is the fastest qualifying lap ever run outside of Daytona and Talladega. The race was broadcast on ESPN.

Top Ten Results

  1. 18-Bobby Labonte
  2. 88-Dale Jarrett
  3. 6-Mark Martin
  4. 29-Jeff Green
  5. 36-Derrike Cope
  6. 44-Kyle Petty
  7. 43-Bobby Hamilton
  8. 42-Joe Nemechek
  9. 22-Ward Burton
  10. 30-Johnny Benson

Failed to qualify: 8-Hut Stricklin, 35-Todd Bodine, 40-Greg Sacks, 71-Dave Marcis, 77-Robert Pressley, 95-Ed Berrier, 96-David Green

  • Bobby Labonte won the first race on the new 1.54 mile configuration on Atlanta and became the first driver to win on both configurations of the track.

NASCAR Thunder Special - Suzuka[edit]

The NASCAR Thunder Special - Suzuka was a non points exhibition race held November 23 on the Suzuka Circuit - East Circuit in Japan. Mark Martin won the pole. The race was broadcast on TBS.

Top Ten Results

  1. 31-Mike Skinner
  2. 6-Mark Martin
  3. 74-Randy LaJoie
  4. 96-David Green
  5. 21-Michael Waltrip
  6. 09-Jim Richards
  7. 72-Kenny Wallace
  8. 38-Butch Gilliland
  9. 5-Jack Sprague
  10. 7-Geoff Bodine
  • This was the final race for Ford Thunderbirds. Mark Martin ran a Thunderbird and finished 2nd.

Results and standings[edit]

Drivers' championship[edit]

  1. Jeff Gordon - 4710
  2. Dale Jarrett - 4696
  3. Mark Martin - 4681
  4. Jeff Burton - 4285
  5. Dale Earnhardt - 4216
  6. Terry Labonte - 4177
  7. Bobby Labonte - 4101
  8. Bill Elliott - 3836
  9. Rusty Wallace - 3598
  10. Ken Schrader - 3576
  11. Johnny Benson - 3575
  12. Ted Musgrave - 3556
  13. Jeremy Mayfield - 3547
  14. Ernie Irvan - 3534
  15. Kyle Petty - 3455
  16. Bobby Hamilton - 3450
  17. Ricky Rudd - 3330
  18. Michael Waltrip - 3173
  19. Ricky Craven - 3108
  20. Jimmy Spencer - 3079
  21. Steve Grissom - 3061
  22. Geoff Bodine - 3046
  23. John Andretti - 3019
  24. Ward Burton - 2987
  25. Sterling Marlin - 2954
  26. Darrell Waltrip - 2942
  27. Derrike Cope - 2901
  28. Joe Nemechek - 2754
  29. Brett Bodine - 2716
  30. Mike Skinner - 2669
  31. Dick Trickle - 2629
  32. Rick Mast - 2569
  33. Kenny Wallace - 2462
  34. Hut Stricklin - 2423
  35. Lake Speed - 2301
  36. Chad Little - 2081
  37. David Green - 2038
  38. Morgan Shepherd - 2033
  39. Jeff Green - 1624
  40. Robby Gordon - 1495
  41. Wally Dallenbach, Jr. - 1475
  42. Dave Marcis - 1405
  43. Robert Pressley - 984
  44. Gary Bradberry - 868
  45. Greg Sacks - 778
  46. Mike Wallace - 541
  47. Bobby Hillin, Jr. - 511
  48. Lance Hooper - 402
  49. Kenny Irwin, Jr. - 390
  50. Billy Standridge - 366

NASCAR Rookie of the Year[edit]

After running the Cup series part-time for a decade, Mike Skinner finally ran a full-time schedule, and walked away with three top-tens and the Rookie of the Year title. His closest runner-up was David Green, despite the fact Green did not finish any higher than sixteenth. Third place was Green's brother Jeff, who came into the season midway with Diamond Ridge Motorsports. The last place finisher was Robby Gordon, who suffered through a tumultuous season with Team SABCO, dealing with injuries and personal disputes.

References[edit]

External links[edit]