Victory LapsMatt Kenseth * Lowe's Motor Speedway * Race No. 12Another rookie stepped up to join the elite group of Winston Cup race winners. The victory for Matt Kenseth, who led twice for 32 of the 400 laps making up the race, seemed a long time coming-and by that I mean the race lasted a long time. Not including a 51-minute rain delay, the 600 took just under four hours to complete. It was of no matter to Kenseth, who muscled his way to the front of the pack, ultimately chasing down Bobby Labonte until he passed him for the lead in the final 26 laps. "My heart started beating pretty hard once I took the lead," said Kenseth, whose overexcitement cost him a chance at a victory in California. In Charlotte, his cool head prevailed. "Tonight I didn't think I had it in the bag until the last two laps," he said.*Winner: Coca-Cola 600
Tony Stewart * Dover Downs International Raceway * Race No. 13Tony Stewart dominated the MBNA Platinum 400. He led four times for more than half of the race's 400 laps and fended off a hard-charging Matt Kenseth in the end to win by 1.215 seconds. Stewart's fourth career Winston Cup victory was his first win this season. Kenseth finished second, followed by Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, and Ricky Rudd.*Winner: MBNA Platinum 400
Tony Stewart * Michigan Speedway * Race No. 14Tony Stewart became this season's first back-to-back winner as he nabbed the rain-shortened Kmart 400. Stewart claimed the lead on lap 185, but when the downpour came just shy of lap 195, he parked the #20 Home Depot Pontiac ahead of Dale Earnhardt in second followed by Bobby Labonte and Dale Jarrett. When asked whom he would have been more concerned with at a restart, Stewart said, "I knew the #18 (Labonte) was not going to hurt me. He may go by me, but the #3 (Earnhardt) wouldn't have had a problem roughing you up a little bit on the way by just to say 'hi,' and he'd smile and laugh while he was doing it. I didn't really like seeing him back there at the end."*Winner: Kmart 400
In The SpotlightEarnhardt Jr. Wins The WinstonHe can't count on any points for winning it, but he can count the prize money-$515,000 to be exact. Not bad for a night's work. Dale Earnhardt Jr. snatched up another win, this one coming by way of Winston Cup's all-star spectacle. It was his third victory this season, but winning the non-points event doesn't contribute toward his bid for the championship. But then again, winning races does do wonders for a team's confidence and momentum-ultimately a contribution of a different kind.
Hey, Mister, Can You Spare a Car?Darrell Waltrip failed to qualify his car for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, but that wasn't going to stop him from making his 28th consecutive, and final, 600 race-oh, no! "Everybody wants me in the race," said DW. "I want to be in the race. Kmart wants me in the race. The fans, the track, everybody wants me to be in the race." And so, a deal was struck. Team co-owners Carl Haas and Travis Carter pulled together a wad of sponsor Kmart's money to offer Carl Long in exchange for the driver's seat in the car he qualified at 35th on the starting grid for the 600. Long, who drives for a part-time team owned by Thee Dixon, obliged and DW's Victory Tour, undeterred, rolled on. DW stayed on the lead lap for a little more than 32 circuits, and then he just hung on. He turned the wheel back over to Long during the rain delay to let him finish the last 150 laps of the race. Waltrip/Long posted a 36th-place finish.
Know who won the first NASCAR event at Michigan International Speedway and when?Cale Yarborough on June 15, 1969
Quick StatSophomore Tony Stewart and rookie Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the only two drivers to have won more than one race thus far.
By The Numbers3The most-feared car number to be seen in the rear-view mirror during the final laps of a race.