"I think slowing the cars down is good," said Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont/Quaker State/GMAC/Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet. "But it's going to make this whole weekend much more interesting. We're all going to be throwing a lot of different spring and shock combinations on the car, trying to find the package that works."
Gordon added, "I'm going to have to learn new braking points, new accelerating points and possibly a different line around the corners. There are just so many questions that won't be answered until we start practice on Friday."
Gordon will start Sunday's race in 18th position. That means there are 17 cars to pass, which will be difficult to do with the restrictor plates.
Bobby Labonte won his third Bud Pole of the year, with Jeff Burton starting in the second spot.
He picked up one more position before some drivers started taking green flag pit stops. Sterling Marlin, driving the eighth place car was one of those drivers who decided on making a stop under green. This moved Jeff up to 8th.
Then suddenly, caution was on the speedway for debris on the track. Gordon would be able to make his stop under yellow along with most of the other drivers. A quick pit stop by the #24 crew and slow ones by Rusty Wallace's and Jerry Nadeau's teams put Gordon up to 6th place.
He came out behind John Andretti who finished in the top 5 for the first time this year. He ran in 6th spot when the third caution of the day came out for a multi car incident in Turn 1.
None of the leaders pitted during this caution, so Jeff was still in 6th when the green flag flew. The restarts were wild, and Jeff was able to take advantage of the lapped traffic and move past John Andretti and Ricky Rudd to take 4th spot. However, Dale Earnhardt was fighting to get his lap back and ran into Jeff's left rear knocking some sheet metal in. A couple of laps later, Jeff was running slowly and started to get pushed back by quicker cars. After falling all the way back to 11th, he finally started to get settled into a line once again.
Then again, on lap 279, a caution came out for the wrecked cars of Chad Little and Steve Park. This time, Gordon was one of the few to take on tires, since he was toward the back of the lead lap cars. When the green came out, it proved to be to his advantage. He picked up several spots.
A few laps later, caution was out for sixth time. This time the mess was big enough that NASCAR put out the red flag and stopped the race so it could be finished under green.
Once the caution came out, it was all forward for Jeff. He picked up a few more spots to be in 6th position when the final caution came out on lap 297 to effectively end the race.
For the first time since Cale Yarborough did it in 1978, Jeff Burton led all of the laps in a NASCAR race. Starting on the outside pole, Burton led from lap one all the way to lap 300 as he went on to collect his third win of 2000.
The restrictor plates did in fact make it difficult to pass. Just ask Bobby Labonte. He spent his afternoon looking at Burton's rear bumper. Labonte finished second.
Jeff is still 10th place in the points standings, 611 points behind leader Bobby Labonte.