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PONTIAC TAKES NASCAR MANUFACTURERS POINTS LEAD

 MARTINSVILLE, Va., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Pontiac took the lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup manufacturers point standings for the first time in five years Sunday when Rusty Wallace won the Hanes 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
 Wallace's third consecutive victory gives Pontiac a 54-50 advantage over Chevrolet. Ford is third with 48 points.
 "We're very excited to be on top of the Winston Cup point standings and extremely proud of the driver that put us there -- Rusty Wallace," said Pontiac General Manager John G. Middlebrook. "We look forward to finishing the year on top. That would be quite an achievement since we have the smallest stable of drivers on the circuit."
 In addition, Wallace's Miller Genuine Draft Pontiac team leads the Winston Cup point standings with 1,297 points. Wallace is 106 points ahead of second-place Dale Earnhardt. Mello Yello Pontiac driver Kyle Petty, who finished fifth Sunday, is fourth in the point standings.
 "I'm real happy to be able to do this for Pontiac," Wallace said. "If we keep on having strong performances and Kyle keeps having strong performances, then Pontiac can win it."
 Pontiac has never won the manufacturers title.
 The last time Pontiac led the manufacturers point standings was March 6, 1988, when Neil Bonnett won the Goodwrench 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway to give Pontiac a 21-17 lead over Buick.
 Wallace has scored 50 of Pontiac's 54 points. Dale Jarrett (Chevrolet) is the second-leading scorer with 21. In eight races, Wallace has four victories and seven top-five finishes. Pennzoil Pontiac driver Michael Waltrip scored Pontiac's other four points in the season-opening Daytona 500.
 Pontiac's other drivers are Rick Wilson in the STP Pontiac and Kenny Wallace in the Dirt Devil Pontiac.
 Of the 3,187 laps run this season in Winston Cup racing, Pontiac drivers have led 1,410 laps (44.2 percent).
 Team Pontiac returns to action Sunday in the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
 -0- 4/27/93
 /CONTACT: Randy Fox of Pontiac, 313-857-0195; or Brian Hoagland of Pontiac NASCAR Public Relations, 704-825-7435/
 (GM)


CO: Pontiac Motor Division ST: Virginia, Michigan IN: AUT SU:

SM -- DE024 -- 1589 04/27/93 16:31 EDT
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Date:Apr 27, 1993
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