One year ago:
worse than 20th for the third weekend in a row,
after getting involved in someone else's
Not quite as
good as his qualifying effort earlier in the year
at MIS - Gordon will start 13th.
extended his Winston Cup Series points lead
big-time on Sunday afternoon in the rain delayed.
Gordon started 11th - ahead of his earned position
of 13th because of two Happy Hour
The start was waved
off because of light sprinkles of rain around the
race track. However, once they got going the #24 Du
Pont Monte Carlo was just not handling quite right,
due largely to the downpour of rain the night
before that washed all the rubber off the
Ricky Rudd, second
to Jeff in the points standings, led 50 laps early
in the race and looked to be the dominant car until
his motor went south and then blew up.
"I don't think we
can beat Gordon in the points unless he has some
trouble," said Rudd afterwards. "I don't think
anybody's gonna beat him."
The race was slowed
and then stopped for about an hour and forty-five
minutes for rain. Gordon had worked his way up as
high as 7th, but was 8th when the rain delay came
out. The cars ran some more laps until the caution
came out for Rudd's blown engine.
Pit stops were now
the name of the game, and many teams opted to
gamble that the race would not run its full length,
so they took two tires. The #24 team decided four
were the way to go, but the decision caused them to
lose some track position.
Shortly after they
went back to green, Dale Jarrett cut a tire down
and brushed the wall in turn four. Bad day for the
eventually work his way back up to seventh, and
remain there when the caution came out for rain and
the race was eventually shortened. Sterling Marlin
gained the first win for Dodge, and was the first
of three Dodges to finish in the top
We had a
pretty good car in clean air, but we could just
never get it, he said. When you're back
there, the cars just don't drive. You're all over
the place. And then as soon as you get in clean
air, the car's pretty good.
It was a good
day for us, Gordon said. That's what we
need to do. When it comes to the championship, it
wasn't a day we were looking for in order to win,
but it was what we were looking for toward
(winning) the championship."
Because of Rudd's
and Jarrett's mishaps, Jeff's nearest pursuer in
the points standings is still Ricky Rudd. However,
Rudd is almost 300 points behind with 13 races
remaining in the 2001 season.