Good Ol' Boys - NASCAR

Under the lights at Daytona
Ford's sweep the top 5

By David Cipolloni
July 1, 2000

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Winner Jeff Burton drives under Tony Stewart

Jeff Burton held off Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace in the best display of blocking south of the Mason Dixon line to capture the Pepsi 400 under the lights at Daytona this evening.  Rounding out the top 5 were Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd making it a Ford sweep of the first 5 positions.

Once again drafting was the name of the game at Daytona with the use of the often maligned restrictor plates. The Pepsi 400 started with Dale Jarrett leading the train and Stewart, Elliott, Wallace and Martin making up the lead pack. It was pretty much follow the leader until the first caution on lap 54 when a piece of plastic had to be removed from the track. 

After the pit stops Rusty Wallace came out in 2nd place but was quickly relegated back to 40th after being accused of exceeding the pit road speed limit. 

On the restart Bill Elliott took the lead with Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin making up the lead pack. It was pretty much follow the leader with Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Mike Skinner making up the 2nd pack almost 6 seconds behind. Anyone unlucky enough to lose a drafting partner quickly lost track position and was swept to the rear.

The 2nd caution of the day came when a 3 car crash involving Michael Waltrip, Terry Labonte and Jeremy Mayfield occurred on lap 84. Replays of the crash seem to indicate Labonte spun and hit Michael Waltrip then collected Jeremy Mayfield in the melee that followed. 

Dale Jarrett running up front prior to the caution lost track position when a 31 second pit stop left him mid-pack after the stop. Difficulty changing the right rear wheel caused the slow stop for Jarrett and put Darrell Waltrip out front on the restart. 

A crash bringing out the 4th caution happened on lap 115 when Bill Elliott hit the wall in turn 3. Elliott was not injured when he spun and hit the wall after getting hit from behind by Mike Skinner. It appeared Elliott got off the throttle when Mark Martin went 3 wide and Skinner wasn't able to respond quickly enough. Jeff Burton was out front on lap 120 for the restart with Rusty Wallace now back into the 2nd place position.  Rusty and his crew apparently upset over the pit speed ruling pulled out all the stops in an attempt to capture the Pepsi 400.

On lap 138 Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett and Mark Martin went storming to the front in a show of speed and power. For a split second it appeared the restrictor plates had been removed with the quick move by the trio. By lap 143 Jeff Burton had worked his way to the front with Earnhardt, Jarrett, Martin and Stewart in tow. It was pretty much follow the leader until lap 153 when Jimmy Spencer spun in turn 2 bringing out the final caution of the day. With a restart leaving only a few laps of racing Jeff Burton lead Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace down to the wire. It looked as though Jarrett and Wallace would try and make a move on Burton with a lap to go but it never happened. Jeff Burton showed he was not going to be intimidated as he held his line around the tri-oval and kept Jarrett and Wallace in check. 

Provisional finishing order, Pepsi 400
1) Jeff Burton, No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford, 160
2) Dale Jarrett, No. 88 Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Ford, 160
3) Rusty Wallace, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, 160
4) Mark Martin, No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford, 160
5) Ricky Rudd, No. 28 Texaco Havoline Ford, 160
6) Tony Stewart, No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac, 160
7) Ward Burton, No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac, 160
8) Dale Earnhardt, No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet, 160
9) Mike Skinner, No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet, 160
10) Jeff Gordon, No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet, 160
11) Joe Nemechek, No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet, 160
12) Bobby Labonte, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, 160
13) Johnny Benson, No. 10 Lycos.com Pontiac, 160
14) John Andretti, No. 43 Cheerios Pontiac, 160
15) Jerry Nadeau, No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet, 160
16) Chad Little, No. 97 John Deere Ford, 160
17) Robert Pressley, No. 77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford, 160
18) Elliott Sadler, No. 21 CITGO Ford, 160
19) Kenny Wallace, No. 55 Square D Chevrolet, 160
20) Matt Kenseth, No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford, 160
21) Wally Dallenbach, No. 75 WCW Ford, 160
22) Kenny Irwin Jr., No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet, 160
23) Ken Schrader, No. 36 M&M's Pontiac, 160
24) Dave Blaney, No. 93 Amoco Pontiac, 160
25) Sterling Marlin, No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet, 160
26) Ed Berrier, No. 90 Hills Bros Coffee Ford, 160
27) Darrell Waltrip, No. 66 Route 66/Big Kmart Ford, 160
28) Mike Bliss, No. 27 Pfizer/Viagra Pontiac, 160
29) Ricky Craven, No. 50 Midwest Transit Ford, 160
30) Kyle Petty, No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, 160
31) Rick Mast, No. 14 Conseco Pontiac, 160
32) Jimmy Spencer, No. 26 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford, 160
33) Steve Park, No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, 159
34) Geoffrey Bodine, No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet, 159
35) Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet, 158
36) Bobby Hamilton, No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet, 158
37) Kevin Lepage, No. 16 Familyclick.com Ford, 135
38) Bill Elliott, No. 94 McDonald's Ford, 113 DNF
39) Stacy Compton, No. 9 Kodiak Ford, 113 DNF
40) Scott Pruett, No. 32 Tide Ford, 104 DNF
41) Terry Labonte, No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, 81 DNF
42) Michael Waltrip, No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet, 81 DNF
43) Jeremy Mayfield, No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford, 81 DNF

Photo courtesy of MSI

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