1997 Busch Clash preview

Busch Clash of '97 Field Halfway to Tying Record DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The prospective field of starters for the Busch Clash of '97 on Sunday, Feb. 9, at Daytona International Speedway has reached nine -- halfway to eqalling the record 18...

Busch Clash of '97 Field Halfway to Tying Record

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The prospective field of starters for the Busch Clash of '97 on Sunday, Feb. 9, at Daytona International Speedway has reached nine -- halfway to eqalling the record 18 competitors who took the green flag for the Clash of =FE96 -- barely one-third of the way through the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. Ernie Irvan won his first Busch Pole Award since 1994 at the Winston Select 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and summed-up the competitors=FE feelings for the event. "I like the Busch Clash and I'm really looking forward to it, even though it's a lot of work for the guys," said Irvan, who has finished no worse than seventh in four previous Busch Clash appearances and who won a Gatorade 125 Qualifier in his return to Daytona last February. =FEIt's a driver's race and a non-points race and every time we have one of those things they get hot and loud." Irvan will join 1985 Clash winner Terry Labonte, who has won four Busch Poles through the season's first 10 events, in trying to make some noise. Johnny Benson, Ward Burton, Ricky Craven, Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin round out the guaranteed starting field for the high dollar, short distance spectacular that will include the Busch Clash "Wild Card" selection and the 1996 NASCAR Busch Series season pole champion. Through 10 Winston Cup events seven men were eligible for the Wild Card drawing among the fastest drivers in Busch Beer Second-Round Qualifying from the 1996 Winston Cup season, including Chuck Bown, Bobby Hillin, Rick Mast, Joe Nemechek, Lake Speed, Dick Trickle and Michael Waltrip. Following Busch Pole Qualifying for nine of 26 Busch Series races Jeff Purvis led the season pole chase with two. Advance reserved tower seats are available for the Busch Clash of '97. For information and seat selection for Speedweeks '97 call 904-253-RACE (7223).=20 =1A

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Ward Burton , Ernie Irvan , Terry Labonte , Dick Trickle , Michael Waltrip , Joe Nemechek , Johnny Benson , Ricky Craven , Jeff Purvis , Rick Mast , Mark Martin