Atlanta notes

>From NASCAR FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 11, 1996 NASCAR WINSTON CUP NOTES OF INTEREST DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Despite the fact he didn't win the Purolator 500 Sunday, Terry Labonte continued his strong run. While still...

>From NASCAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 11, 1996

NASCAR WINSTON CUP NOTES OF INTEREST

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Despite the fact he didn't win the Purolator 500 Sunday, Terry Labonte continued his strong run. While still trying to climb out of a hole dug by complications in the first two races, Labonte continues his assault on tile lap-leader chart. The driver of the Kellogg's Chevrolet led 336.41 miles all of last season. In four races this year, he has led 463.57 miles (of the 1,238.216 he's run). He hasn't led as many laps however, (438 last year, 342 so far this season), the difference being where has led. Most of the time Labonte spent up front last season came on the short tracks.

*** Speaking of leading, here are some other statistics regarding drivers taking the point.

*** Bobby Labonte and Mike Wallace each led Sunday for the first time this season, bringing the number of different drivers who have led to 19 this season. Forty-one drivers led at least one lap in 1995.

*** Sunday's race was the first time this season Dale Jarrett hasn't led a race.

*** Sunday s race was the first time this season the driver who led the most laps went on to win the race. Terry Labonte picked up the bonus points for most laps led in the first two races of the season while Bobby Hamilton stayed up front the most in the season's third race in Richmond. Sunday, Dale Earnhardt led the most laps (136) and won the race.

*** Not once has the winner of the Gatorade Front Runner Award ($10,000 to the eligible driver leading at tile start-finish line at the halfway point) gone on to win the race.

*** We know there are just four races under the old belt this season, but it's still pretty nice to look at the competition index so far. There have been 109 lead changes in the first four races for the huge average of 27.25 per race. The 773 lead changes in 1981 for an average of 24.94 per race are both modern-era records.

*** Driver highlights: Dale Earnhardt's win Sunday was the eighth of his career at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- a speedway record. Earnhardt entered the race tied with Cale Yarborough as the track's all-time winner- with seven.

*** Jeremy Mayfield's fifth-place finish Sunday bested his previous career-best finish by three. The Kentucky native finished eighth in last year's Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Pocono.

*** Only four active NASCAR Winston Cup drivers had won more than one Busch Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway entering this past weekend's events and that remained intact

*** Only six active drivers have won more than one race at AMS and that remained intact with Earnhardt's win.

*** Ricky Rudd, is the only driver this season to have a top-10 finish in all four races, Earnhardt and Mark Martin did the same a year ago.

***With Rudd and Dale Jarrett finishig one and two laps down respectively in Sunday's race, that eliminated the final two drivers who had completed every lap so far this season.

FLASHBACK:

The top 10 in points at this point a year ago: 1) Dale Earnhardt (685) 2) Sterling Marlin (613); 3) Mark Martin (596); 4) Terry Labonte (582); 5) Dale Jarrett (553); 6) Jeff Gordon (532); 7)Ricky Rudd (531); 8) Bobby Labonte (496); 9) Derrick Cope (491); 10) Morgan Shepherd(468).

Today: 1) Dale Jarrett (660); 2) Dale Earnhardt (610); 3) Ricky Rudd (588); 4) Bill Elliott (543); 5) Ricky Craven (533); 6) Ken Schrader (522); 7) Terry Labonte (494); 8) Ted Musgrave (490); 9) Bobby Hamilton (474); 10) Mark Martin (467).

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Derrike Cope , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Ken Schrader , Sterling Marlin , Mike Wallace , Ted Musgrave , Ricky Craven , Morgan Shepherd , Cale Yarborough , Mark Martin