Something wicked this way...
Something wicked this way comes--rain clouds loom over Darlington Raceway.
You just never know what will happen at Darlington.
The TranSouth Financial 400 had already been rain-delayed once, just past the halfway mark, and surely no one was happy about it. But as the second wave of storm clouds rolled in, one Jeff Burton couldn't have been more elated to see those fat droplets of rain falling on the racetrack "Too Tough to Tame."
Two laps earlier, Burton, who was leading the race, had been caught up in a multicar accident involving Jeff Gordon, Kenny Irwin, Kenny Wallace, Ernie Irvan, and Jerry Nadeau. Burton smacked the wall coming out of Turn 4, mangling the front end of his #99 Exide Batteries Ford and blowing a tire. But carry on he did, muscling the beaten and battered Taurus around the track for two laps behind the pace car, under the caution flag. Then came the rain and, soon after, out came the red and checkered flags.
Ward Burton (#22) makes a...
Ward Burton (#22) makes a run on the #11 car. The elder of the Burton boys finished eighth, making it his third straight top-10 finish.
"Riding behind the pace car, it was all I could do to steer the car on the straightaway, much less the turns," says Burton, well pleased with his first win on NASCAR's original superspeedway.
"I wrecked that car. It's tore up," he adds. "I mean, it's tore up big, and we were gonna finish last if it hadn't have rained--so when it's your day, it's your day."
Jeremy Mayfield, who had exchanged the lead with Burton four times, finished second. Jeff Gordon finished third, followed by Dale Jarrett. Mark Martin came in Fifth Place to cap off the top five.
Word has it that Martin and Matt Kenseth may team up next year as owner-driver. The millennium will mark Kenseth's entrance into Winston Cup as a bonafide rookie.
Ken Schrader, in the Skoal...
Ken Schrader, in the Skoal Bandit Chevrolet, bore the brunt of a multicar crash on Lap 3. Schrader returned to finish the race, albeit dead last.
|WINSTON CUP CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS AFTER THE... |
TRANSOUTH FINANCIAL 400
|1. Jeff Burton ||763 |
|2. Jeff Gordon ||756 |
|3. Bobby Labonte ||737 |
|4. Mark Martin ||714 |
|5. Mark Skinner ||697 |
|6. Dale Jarrett ||672 |
|7. Ward Burton ||629 |
|8. Jeremy Mayfield ||610 |
|9. Terry Labonte ||601 |
|10. Michael Waltrip ||589 |
Race No. 5
There were three caution flags for 18 laps, and 13 lead changes among 7 different drivers.
NASCAR Busch Series
Grand National Division
Diamond Hill Plywood 200
1. Matt Kenseth
2. Elton Sawyer
3. Phil Parsons
4. Terry Labonte
5. Kevin Lepage
Jeff Burton survived just...
Jeff Burton survived just long enough to win the rain-shortened event. On the second lap of the caution, Burton and his battered car took the red and checkered flags to win the race. It wasn't pretty, but who said it had to be?
Ricky Rudd in the Tide Ford...
Ricky Rudd in the Tide Ford and John Andretti in the STP Pontiac battle for position under a clear (for the moment) sky.
It looks as if advice from...
It looks as if advice from Mark Martin paid off for Matt Kenseth at Darlington.
The #24 DuPont Chevrolet,...
The #24 DuPont Chevrolet, driven by Jeff Gordon, was the only GM car to finish among four Fords in the top five.
"I don't like starting races...
"I don't like starting races and then stopping," says Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Ford. It didn't seem to bother him too much though--Stewart finished sixth.
The #99 Exide Batteries team...
The #99 Exide Batteries team celebrates while shielding itself from the rain. It was the team's second win of the season.