Transouth 400 Racing in the Rain - Tran South Financial 400From the August, 1999 issue of Circle Track / By Zena Elich / Photography by Nigel Kinrade, Floyd Coffman, Sam Sharpe
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.
"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."
You just never know.
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.
|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 |