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Brickyard 400 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Qualifying-
Jeff Gordon drove the #24 DuPont Chevrotet Monte Carlo to the 27th starting spot. He made his lap around the 2.5 mile rectangular super speedway in 50.351 seconds, at an average speed of 178.745 mph. The winner of the Bud Pole was Ricky Rudd. Unfortunately, Rudd had to knock Darrell Waltrip off of the provisional pole in order to gain the first starting position. Ricky circled the super speedway in 49.705 seconds (181.068 mph).

  • Jeff Gordon, on his less than great chance of winning a third Brickyard, said, "Anything is possible."
  • It can be done. Dale Jarrett, in 1996, won his first Brickyard 400 from the 24th starting spot.

UPDATE- Jeff Gordon will start in 29th spot for the Brickyard 400. The team decided not to try to qualify again in the second round.

Happy Hour-
Jeff was 10th quickest in Happy Hour, the last one-hour practice session before the race on Saturday. Teammate Jerry Nadeau topped the list of speeds in Happy Hour.

Today was also Jeff's 29th birthday.

The three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion said he planned to mark the occasion by having dinner with his wife, Brooke.

"That's all I know about, anyway," Gordon said. "She keeps things kind of secretive. We celebrated on Tuesday at home, but I guess they're inviting 300,000 or 400,000 people out here on Saturday."

Said Dale Earnhardt, "Jeff turns 29 today. He's finally become a man." Yeah, whatever Dale.

Race-

Ouch! New paint schemes are killing the #24 team.

Jeff finished 33rd in Saturday's Brickyard 400. Early in the race, Gordon made hard contact with the #14 Conseco Pontiac of Rick Mast. The contact sent Mast spinning and gave the DuPont Chevy heavy damage in the right-front fender, nose, and hood, effectively ruining the aerodynamics on the car for the rest of the day. The team worked hard all day to fix the aero package, but could never get it good enough to get back up to full speed.

 

Up front, the race was between Bobby Labonte and Rusty Wallace. Wallace led much of the race, but Labonte gained the lead with 14 to go and never looked back. Labonte went on to win his second race of the season, extending his points lead over Dale Jarrett.

Many drivers equaled or recorded their best finish of the season.

  • Bill Elliott finished third, tying his high mark which he achieved in this season's Daytona 500.
  • Jerry Nadeau, Jeff's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, finished fourth, tying his best run of the season.
  • Scott Pruett (yes, the same Scott Pruett) finished in tenth, making him the highest finishing rookie of the race.
  • Ole' DW, Darrell Waltrip, finished in 11th place, his best finish in 2 seasons.

Other notes: Terry Labonte did not start Saturday's race, because of complications from injuries sustained in the Pepsi 400. By Terry not starting, his Iron Man string of 655 consecutive starts ended.