BUSCH: Lepage Charlotte results

Contact: T. Coons fax 704 556-0470 704 552-6933 May 25, 1997 LEPAGE FINISHES SECOND AT CMS Kevin Lepage piloted the ...

Contact: T. Coons fax 704 556-0470 704 552-6933 May 25, 1997 LEPAGE FINISHES SECOND AT CMS

Kevin Lepage piloted the #88 HYPE - Ryder Driver Recruiting Monte Carlo around Charlotte Motor Speedway to a second place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Busch Grand National CARQUEST Auto Parts 300. Lepage finished just 1.6 seconds behind Winston Cup regular Joe Nemechek. "This is just like a win for our team," commented Lepage after the race. "Anytime a Busch driver finishes in the top five at Charlotte, it's a win. I'm glad Joe won today. He and the whole Nemechek family have had a lot to deal with lately. I'm proud to finish second to Joe anytime." Lepage went charging to the front after starting 24th on the grid. By lap 25, Lepage had moved into tenth place. On Lap 71, Lepage blew into fourth place, just behind Nemechek, Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte. At the half way point of the 200 lap event, Lepage had pulled into second, right on Nemechek's rear bumper. The leaders all came into the pits for what turned out to be the last pit stop of the day when the fifth of six caution flags came out on Lap 122. Jeff Fuller spun out after being sandwiched between Hermie Sadler and Terry Labonte, collecting Jason Keller in the process. Lepage was fourth on the restart, just behind Martin, Nemechek and new race leader Bobby Labonte. Bobby Labonte's lead was short lived as Nemechek retook the lead on Lap 132. Jeff Burton managed to beat Lepage back to the start/finish line when the sixth and final caution flag came out on Lap 134. As the field went back to green, Bobby Labonte, who was running in second place, had trouble coming up to speed. Just as Lepage passed Burton for fourth place, he hooked up with Martin and both sailed past Bobby Labonte. Lepage then pulled up underneath Martin to take second on Lap 142. Lepage kept the #88 HYPE - Ryder Driver Recruiting Monte Carlo close on Nemechek's rear bumper around the 1.5 mile oval for several laps. "In the late stages of the race, the car got tight," said Lepage after the race. "I thought we might have something for Joe at the end, but today was his day." The #88 HYPE Monte Carlo carried an in-car camera originally scheduled for Lepage's Ridling Motorsports team mate Dennis Setzer's #43 Lance Snacks Monte Carlo. Setzer did not make the field after finishing 15th in the CARQUEST 300 Challenge Race on Friday. In addition to the in-car camera, the black #88 also displayed Lance Snacks decals on the hood and TV panel. "I sure feel sorry for Dennis," stated Lepage after the Challenge Race. "I know how it feels not to make a race. Lance has been good to both teams, so I'm happy we can help out." The #88 Monte Carlo also carried the Circle K Convenience Stores logo to help promote HYPE's introduction into the Charlotte market. Greater Charlotte area Circle K Convenience Stores had all four flavors of HYPE available for race fans. Previously HYPE had only been available in Europe. HYPE, billed as the "Funky people's beverage of choice," has been slightly reformulated to suit North American consumer tastes. HYPE is produced from an advanced scientific formula containing 25% of recommended vitamins, natural restoratives and herb extracts. HYPE has just started its US distribution and is available in four flavors, Morning Rush (Grapefruit), Night Boost (Peach), Passion Attach (Passion Fruit) and MFP (Cranberry/Raspberry).

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Drivers Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jason Keller , Jeff Fuller , Joe Nemechek , Kevin Lepage , Dennis Setzer , Mark Martin