Talladega Story

Terry Labonte Captures DieHard 500 at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte captured the DieHard 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday beating younger brother Bobby,...

Terry Labonte Captures DieHard 500 at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte captured the DieHard 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday beating younger brother Bobby, John Andretti and Ken Schrader to the finish line after a thrilling last lap scramble. Labonte won his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of the season and the 19th of his career. The race came down to a last lap shootout among a tight draft of four cars. Labonte, who grabbed the lead from Schrader with two laps remaining, was able to hold on over the last two laps to win by a mere 1.46 seconds. Talladega Superspeedway lived up to its tradition of being NASCAR's most competitive Superpeedway as the race saw no less than 30 lead changes among 13 drivers, the most of any race during the 1997 season. "I've got to thank Bobby, he let me back in line with a few laps remaining, that really gave me a shot at winning." said Labonte. "It was a heck of a race all day long. We got hung up in the middle of the race and got kicked back to about the 15th spot. You just have to be patient at this place and pick your spots. "This is a real positive for the team, we're starting to get this back on the right track and this is the first step in the right direction." An incident on lap 139 involving 21 cars eliminated many of the race's top contenders including NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Jeff Gordon and second place point man Mark Martin. Others involved in the accident included Dale Earnhardt, Sterling Marlin, Dale Jarrett and Jimmy Spencer. The younger Labonte was also searching for his first victory this season. "Terry and I stayed in line and raced for a while, just trying to stay close together," said younger brother Bobby. "I helped Terry a little bit to get by Schrader but by then there was just a couple laps remaining. If we had had just one more lap, we might have been able to do something with him." Jeff Gordon retained a 110 point lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup points standings over Martin by coming home 35th. Labonte earned $116,725 in victory.

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Series NASCAR-CUP