Burton ends Jarrett's Daytona streak

Jeff Burton scored his first-ever victory at Daytona International Speedway, and denied Dale Jarrett a record-tying third-straight win at Daytona in Saturday night's Pepsi 400

Burton ends Jarrett's Daytona streak

Ford Taurus driver Burton was able to hold off Jarrett's Ford in a closing four-lap Shootout, following a late-race caution flag after Jimmy Spencer and Dave Blaney spun out of the second turn. He defeated Jarrett by 0.149s and won the race at an average speed of 148.576mph.

It was Burton's second win of the 2000 season, but his first career win at Daytona. His previous best finish was second in February's Daytona 500.

Burton was in the lead when the race was restarted after a caution on lap 110. He led the final 50 laps to win the race in front of a near-capacity crowd at Daytona International Speedway under the lights.

"These guys have done a great job on our restrictor plate program," said Burton of his Roush Racing team. "The restart was tough but we were able to hold him (Jarrett) off. We stopped for two tyres on our last pit stop and that put us out front. I was determined to hold Dale Jarrett up because if he ever got beside me, I would have finished 15th. I thought we were in good shape, but with Jarrett behind us, you never know what will happen. The car got better all night. We kept making adjustments to it. Fortunately, it turned like it needed to at the end."

In the end, Jarrett was second as he attempted to join Cale Yarborough as the only driver to win three-straight NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Yarborough won the 1967 Firecracker 400 and the 1968 Daytona 500 and the 1968 Firecracker 400.

Jarrett won the 1999 Pepsi 400 and his third Daytona 500 this past February.

"Jeff Burton did a great job there," Jarrett said. "We fell back to 29th, but we worked our way back up there. At least we made a run at it. We didn't get three in a row, but at least we made a run at it."

Rusty Wallace was third followed by Mark Martin and Jarrett's Robert Yates Racing team mate Ricky Rudd. There were 10 lead changes among 8 drivers. Jarrett led the race twice for 56 laps, including the first 53 laps of the race.

Jarrett's time up front ended when the first caution flag flew on the 54th lap for debris on the backstretch. After Tony Stewart was credited for leading lap 54, Jarrett was back up front for the next three laps.

But when the green flag flew, Jarrett lost the lead when Bill Elliott passed him going into the first turn on lap 58. Elliott remained in front at the halfway point on lap 80.

Two laps later, however, the most serious crash of the race occurred when Terry Labonte shot across the track in the tri-oval and crashed into Michael Waltrip, who went sideways and was slammed into by Jeremy Mayfield's Ford. Scott Pruett was also involved. All drivers were okay except for Labonte, who was taken to Halifax Medical Center for a CAT scan after he was knocked unconscious.

After the leaders made pit stops, Ward Burton was in front when the green flag waved on lap 90. Three laps later, Elliott was back in front when he passed Burton.

At lap 100, Elliott led Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Jarrett and Dale Earnhardt. But on lap 105, Pruett crashed into the first turn wall to bring out another caution flag. The leaders pitted on lap 106 and Burton's team changed two tires, rather than four, to put him in the lead. The green flag waved on lap 110 and Johnny Benson passed Burton on the backstretch to take the lead.

On lap 114, a three-wide battle down the backstretch ended with Elliott slamming into the third turn wall after Mike Skinner ran into the back of him. Elliott was enraged when he climbed out of the car and shook his finger at Skinner as he drove by on the next lap.

Benson was in the lead when the green flag flew on lap 121, followed by Jeff Burton and Earnhardt. Burton was able to quickly pass Benson's Pontiac in the first turn and stayed in front for the duration of the race.

Cars frantically shuffled behind Burton in the closing stages of the race. Jarrett, who had dropped to 29th place because of a loose wheel nut on a pit stop, was able to drive back through the field to put himself in position to challenge Burton. Jarrett was in second place on lap 144 when he passed Earnhardt's Chevrolet.

After Blaney and Spencer crashed in the second turn with just six laps remaining, the clean-up took just two laps. That set up the four-lap dash to the finish with Burton holding on for the victory, the 13th of his career.

"It was difficult to pass, so taking on the two tires was huge because it put us out front," Burton said. "The restart was tough. I knew he was back there and he would be coming, but we were able to hold him off and that is what won the race for us."

Jarrett lamented how difficult it was to pass Burton without the help of another driver pushing him forward in the draft.

"If you don't get that push, there is no way you can make a move," Jarrett said. "I tried to drop back to Rusty and get that push that I needed, but I wasn't able to.

"We had a problem with a wheel nut that came off and we dropped back to 29th, but I had to be patient. That got us up to second or third. I got a push and had a really good run going into turn 1. I was able to shuffle him back and was never able to get a run on him that I needed. For the most part, my crew did an incredible job."

Wallace finished third after he was nailed for speeding on pit road during his first pit stop. That dropped him to 40th place, but he was able to battle back to third.

"NASCAR said I was speeding, so I guess I was," Wallace said. "If they said so, I guess it's true."

Dale Earnhardt entered the race 67 points behind NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Bobby Labonte. Earnhardt finished eighth and Labonte finished 12th, so Labonte's lead is now 42 points over Earnhardt.

Daytona International Speedway, July 1
NASCAR Winston Cup, round 17
Total Race Length: 160 Laps - 400 Miles

Pos, Driver, Car, Laps
Jeff Burton, Ford, 160 laps
Dale Jarrett, Ford, 160
Rusty Wallace, Ford, 160
Mark Martin, Ford, 160
Ricky Rudd, Ford, 160
Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 160
Ward Burton, Pontiac, 160
Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 160
Mike Skinner, Chevrolet, 160
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160
Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 160
Bobby Labonte, Pontiac, 160
Johnny Benson, Pontiac, 160
John Andretti, Pontiac, 160
Jerry Nadeau, Chevrolet, 160
Chad Little, Ford, 160
Robert Pressley, Ford, 160
Elliott Sadler, Ford, 160
Kenny Wallace, Chevrolet, 160
Matt Kenseth, Ford, 160
Wally Dallenbach, Ford, 160
Kenny Irwin, Chevrolet, 160
Ken Schrader, Pontiac, 160
Dave Blaney, Pontiac, 160
Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet, 160
Ed Berrier, Ford, 160
Darrell Waltrip, Ford, 160
Mike Bliss, Pontiac, 160
Ricky Craven, Chevrolet, 160
Kyle Petty, Pontiac, 160
Rick Mast, Pontiac, 160
Jimmy Spencer, Ford, 160
Steve Park, Chevrolet, 159
Geoffrey Bodine, Chevrolet, 159
Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 158
Bobby Hamilton, Chevrolet, 158
Kevin Lepage, Ford, 135
Bill Elliott, Ford, 113
Stacy Compton, Ford, 113
Scott Pruett, Ford, 104
Terry Labonte, Chevrolet, 81
Michael Waltrip, Chevrolet, 81
Jeremy Mayfield, Ford, 81

Time of Race: 2h41m32s
Average Speed: 148.576mph
Margin of Victory: 0.149s
Cautions: 5 for 23 laps
Lead Changes: 10 among 8 drivers

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