You're fired! You win! Although those exact words may not have been said, Joe Nemechek heard at least something to that effect all within one month back in September. Nemechek captured his first career Winston Cup victory at the New Hampshire International Speedway in the #42 BellSouth Chevrolet-just a month after Sabco team owner Felix Sabates and Nemechek "mutually" decided to part ways. In racer speak, that's code for "I want to break up with you, but I still want to be friends, sort of."
To sum up, Nemechek can now be called Front Row Joe (as he has often been called), Hit the Road Joe, or Victory Lane Joe, depending on your perspective.
Of the 42 cars behind Nemechek on the 300th and final lap at NHIS, the Joe Gibbs force was baring down on Nemechek in the form of Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, who finished second and third, respectively. Fourth and Fifth Place were occupied by two guys named Jeff, last names Burton and Gordon.
Race NotesJeff Gordon's '98 win at Loudon spawned Tiregate-the controversy in which team owner Jack Roush (among others) had suspicions that Gordon's tires had some kind of rule-breaking chemical treatment that allowed him to go faster after changing only two tires (while other teams took four and could not go as fast). NASCAR's extensive investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Rusty Wallace captured his 25th career Bud Pole Award. It was Wallace's third Bud Pole of 1999; he finished sixth. Winston Cup Series point leader Dale Jarrett's 18th-Place finish was his third outside the top 15 in the previous four races.
Winston Cup Championship Point Standings Following the Dura Lube/KMart 300
|1. DALE JARRETT ||3972 |
|2. BOBBY LABONTE ||3718 |
|3. MARK MARTIN ||3700 |
|4. TONY STEWART ||3683 |
|5. JEFF BURTON ||3576 |
|6. JEFF GORDON ||3554 |
|7. DALE EARNHARDT ||3415 |
|8. RUSTY WALLACE ||3163 |
|9. TERRY LABONTE ||2966 |
|10. WARD BURTON ||2933 |
Race No. 26There were 11 caution flags for 53 laps, and 12 lead changes among nine drivers.