The Winston - Paint Schemes
1997 Winston Select:
In 1997, the No. 3 Childress team continued
their new Charlotte paint-scheme tradition, this time on a promotional deal with Wheaties.
Earnhardt's normally black Chevy was painted in Wheaties' trademark bright orange. The
cereal brand created a series of four Dale Earnhardt Wheaties boxes featuring the 7-time
champion. Several other teams also promoted ideas and products with special paint schemes
in '97, including Jeff Gordon, Michael Waltrip, Terry Labonte, and even Darrell Waltrip.
In the Race:
Dale Jarrett won the first segment of the '97 Winston,
holding off Earnhardt and Gordon in the only close racing of the evening. Earnhardt led a
total of 11 laps while trading the lead several times with Jarrett. Jarrett's margin of
victory was .17 seconds.
Bobby Labonte, by comparison, was 4.34 seconds ahead of his brother, Terry, in winning the
In the final 10-lap segment, Jeff Gordon drove off with the win while Earnhardt came home
fourth. Following the race, Ford drivers complained that they were at a disadvantage to
the Chevrolets. It all started when Mark Martin said that he thought he ran well
"considering." When given the opportunity to explain, Mark recapped the last few
weeks (2 wins each for Ford and Chevy) showing that the Fords could be competitive
"with equal spoilers."
Then Dale Earnhardt got the chance to give the GM perspective. Dale claimed that Fords had
won the last two races and that now it was finally fair again. He also said "[I] hate
to hear Mark cryin' over there. I'd like to throw him a towel to mop up the tears."
Click on an image for a larger version.
Earnhardt unveils the Wheaties car.
Making the announcement.
Earnhardt on Wheaties boxes.
Copyright © 2001 The Earnhardt Connection
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