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MBNA.com 400 - Dover Downs, Dover, Delaware

Qualifying-
Jeff Gordon will make his 250th career start from the ninth position on Sunday. In qualifying, he rounded the one-mile concrete oval in 22.773 seconds, at an average speed of 158.082 mph.

Jeremy Mayfield will start from the Bud Pole, his second in 4 races. His last pole came at Darlington. His average speed for the qualifying run was 159.872 mph. Mayfield gave the credit to his team mate for the win, saying Rusty Wallace warned him that many of the cars were running loose in qualifying, causing the #12 team to tighten up their race car.

Rick Mast came very close to his first Bud Pole of the season. He missed the top spot by almost one whole mile per hour.

Johnny Benson, Rusty Wallace, and Mark Martin rounded out the top-five. Ward Burton, Bill Elliot, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, and Kurt Busch, who will be making his Winston Cup debut, finished up positions 6-10.

Race-
Jeff Gordon started Sunday's MBNA.com 400 from the inside of the 5th row. Before racing could settle in, the race was slowed twice by cautions during the first 20 laps. When racing resumed after the 2nd caution, Gordon ran in 7th place.

The third caution came out on lap 26 after Ward Burton and Dale Jarrett made contact and spun out on the track. Shortly after the restart, Gordon moved up to 6th place. He then drove past Bill Elliott and Rusty Wallace to climb to 4th. As Mark Martin moved into the race lead, Gordon's teammate Jerry Nadeau dropped to 5th behind Gordon.

The yellow flag flew for the fourth time on lap 45 for a regulated stop to check for tire damage. Dave Blaney opted to stay on the track where he assumed the race lead. Jeff was able to quickly surpass him after the restart as he backslid through the leaders.

It took until after the 60-lap mark for Gordon to be able to make it inside and drive into 2nd place. A few laps later, Nadeau took second from Gordon, where he remained through the 5th catuion. The Rainbow Warriors turned a slightly slower pit stop which put Jeff back on the track out of the top 5.

Jeff's position on the track remained closely the same. He fluctuated from the mid teens to just inside the top-10. He was able to hang on to a 9th place finish in his 250th career Winston Cup race. Gordon remains in 10th place, just 39 points behind 9th place Ward Burton.

"It was a good day for us", said Jeff Gordon. "We started out real strong. It was a little bit too tight and we freed it up. I think we went too far and got pretty loose there, especially on new tires. I guess we were trying to gradually bring it back, but it just wasn't enough. We were able to stay on the lead lap and get a top-10 finish out of it."

Said Robbie Loomis, "Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Tight, loose, tight, loose, tight loose. We just weren't set up right. We worked on it and never got it right. We got it close a couple of times but any time we'd try to go the next step with it we'd go too far the other way. We just missed the setup."