The 1997 race, scheduled for Sunday, October 26, was rained out. Instead, the teams raced on Monday the 27th allowing Hamilton to win on the same date in back-to-back years. As he did at Phoenix in 1996, Hamilton qualified poorly with a 28th starting spot. And as was the case in his Phoenix win, he again led very few laps - 37 of 393 - but he led the final 16 to claim the win.
Pole winner Bobby Labonte led 93 laps, second place finisher Dale Jarrett led 73, and third place finisher Ricky Craven (now a NASCAR analyst for ESPN) led the most laps at 139.
In the first half of the 1990s, Kyle Petty frequently dominated Rockingham when driving for SABCO. In 1996, he returned to the family team - kinda of. He formed a Petty Enterprises satellite team called pe2 with sponsorship by Hot Wheels. He qualified 5th and led a couple of laps, but he finished two laps down in 22nd.
|Source: Augusta Chronicle|
|Source: Kentucky New Era via Google News Archive|