Daytona 500

February 16, 1997|By Sandra McKee

Lineup

Pos., Car, No., Driver, Hometown, Car, Qualifying time

31, Mike Skinner , Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet, 189.813

2. 41, Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, 188.318

88, Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford

4. 3, Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet

5. 28, Ernie Irvan, Modesto, Calif., Ford

6. 24, Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet

7. 23, Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford

8. 94, Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford

9. 4, Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet

10. 33, Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet

vTC 11. 6, Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford

12. 21, Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Ford

13. 10, Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Ford

14. 2, Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Ford

15. 18, Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac

30, Johnny Benson Jr., Grand Rapids, Mich., Pontiac

17. 22, Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac

5, Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevrolet

29, Robert Pressley, Asheville, N.C., Chevrolet

20. 40,,Robby Gordon, Orange, Calif., Chevrolet

21. 37, Jeremy Mayfield, Owensboro, Ky., Ford

22. 17, Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet

23. 99, Jeff Burton, South Boston, Va., Ford

71, Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet

25. 7, Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford

26. 46, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Basalt, Colo., Chevrolet

90, Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Ford

8, Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Ford

29. 36, Derrike Cope, Spanaway, Wash., Ford

30. 44, Kyle Petty, High Point, N.C., Pontiac

77, Bobby Hillin Jr., Midland, Texas, Ford, 189.111

32. 98, John Andretti, Indianapolis, Ford, 188.834

33. 19, Loy Allen Jr., Raleigh, N.C., Ford, 188.474

34. 20, Greg Sacks, Mattituck, N.Y., Ford, 188.201

9, Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Ford, 188.162

81, Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 187.452

11, Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 187.052

73, Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet, 186.889

43, Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Pontiac, provisional

25, Ricky Craven, Newburgh, Maine, Chevrolet, provisional

16, Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Ford, provisional

1, Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Pontiac, provisional

Note: Positions 1-2 determined in first-round qualifying; 3-30 from results of Twin 125-mile qualifying races; 31-38 from two rounds of time trials; 39-42 from 1996 car-owner points.

Outlook

Drivers to watch: Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte and Jeff Gordon.

Best bets: Dale Earnhardt to win at last and Dale Earnhardt not to win as usual.

Comments: The 500 is shaping up as another battle of the best. Jarrett, Earnhardt, Gordon and Labonte are all in the mix. Two-time winner Sterling Marlin struggled during qualifying and missed the setup early in the week, but his run in Thursday's qualifying races gave notice that he has figured out his problem. The only thing no one is sure of is how much passing there will be for the lead. Early in the week, it was feared there would be no passing in the race because of the rule raising spoilers and changing the air flow over the cars, making it more difficult to draft and pass. The qualifying races showed that the strongest cars will be able to pass on their way toward the front. Jarrett is trying to join Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough as the only drivers to win the 500 three or more times. Earnhardt, who starts on the second row beside Jarrett, is trying to win his first 500 and break an 0-for-18 losing streak.

Pub Date: 2/16/97

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