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Save-Mart/Kragen 350 K

Jeff Gordon qualified 5th for Sunday's race at Sears Point Raceway with a lap of 98.535 mph. Rusty Wallace grabbed his sixth Bud Pole of the season. Wallace ran a lap of 99.309 mph around the 1.949 mile, 10-turn road course. Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart filled out positions 2-4.

Jeff Gordon was 7th fastest in Happy Hour. His fastest lap was at 96.196 mph. The fastest driver in Happy Hour was John Andretti, with a fast lap of 96.764 mph.

Jeff Gordon won the Save-Mart/Kragen 350 at Sears Point, marking his sixth consecutive road course win. By lap 59 of 112, Gordon had built up a lead of over five seconds over Tony Stewart. But then the third caution period began when Brian Simo's Hills Bros Coffee Ford stopped on the frontstretch with a broken differential.

All the leader made pit stops except Scott Pruett, who remained on the track in his Tide Ford. When the race restarted on lap 64, Pruett was ahead of Gordon, Stewart and Martin.

On lap 68, Stewart made a pass on Pruett at the start-finish line, got clipped and slid off the track into Turn 1. Moments later, Pruett spun in Turn 3A and that allowed Gordon to retake the lead.

Pruett then crashed into the tire barrier in Turn 10 to bring out the fourth caution of the race. Again, Gordon joined the leaders on pit road but this time, Kenny Wallace, Mike Skinner, Ward Burton, Marlin and Bobby Hamilton remained on the track. As a result, Gordon was sixth when the racre restarted on lap 74.

He moved into fourth place on the same lap and then into third on lap 76 when Skinner pitted. On lap 80, Gordon passed Burton to take second place and then moved under Wallace low in Turn 11 to retake the lead.

Marlin took second place when he passed Burton on lap 90. But Gordon was well ahead and Marlin was little threat. Nor was there any danger Gordon would run out of gas.

The running order behind Gordon settled into Marlin, Ricky Rudd in the Texaco Havoline Ford, Martin and Bobby Labonte in the Interstate Batteries Pontiac. On lap 106, Martin got around Rudd for third and five laps later, Labonte did likewise.

At the finish, it was Gordon, Marlin, Martin, Labonte, Rudd, Dale Earnhardt in the GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, Dale Jarrett in the Ford Quality Care Ford, Jerry Nadeau in the Michael Chevrolet, Robby Gordon in the Menards/CD-2 Ford and Stewart in the Home Depot Pontiac, with relief from John Andretti, completing the top 10.

Bobby Labonte still hangs on to the points lead by 67 points over Dale Earnhardt. Jeff is in 10th place in the official standings, 341 points from the leader.


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