Burton wins shortened Las Vegas race

Jeff Burton won a technically-finished, rain shortened NASCAR Winston Cup race at Las Vegas.

Burton wins shortened Las Vegas race

Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Bill Elliott and Bobby Labonte made-up the top-five.

The race was halted twice for rain - with no hope of a break - on the saturated Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

As 42 of 43 starting cars sat parked and covered in turn one, NASCAR gave up an hour and a half later and declared the CarsDirect.com 400 a finished race.

A total of 134 had been completed, marking an "official" race.

Burton won the September Darlington race, and his second "No Bull 5" bonus at Darlington Raceway, thanks to a rain interruption.

Four races are designated each year as No Bull events where the top five finishers (this time, from Daytona) are eligible for the bonus at the next race.

Dale Jarrett, finishing 7th today, picked up the bonus from the pole at Daytona.

Few drivers or fans will admit satisfaction at the interruption after seeing what had the makings of a great race; fan-favourite veterans ran well and others hoped to improve ill-handling cars as time permitted.

It didn't, and by lap 110 just half the starters were on the lead lap when only weather caused cautions to slow a torrid pace set by Earnhardt Jr, Martin and Burton.

The red flag first waved on lap 41 after the field ran 20 laps under yellow because of rain.

The 20-minute break, so early in the event, wasn't much of a boon to crews who frantically tried to adjust for cooler, wet conditions than they practiced.

Earnhardt Jr had the lead during the first pause. He would finish 10th.

Among those who missed the set-up entirely was Jeff Gordon.

He pitted repeatedly prior to the red and was a lap down in 28th when the red showed again on lap 148.

"The car got really loose early on and I couldn't get it back." said the three-time champ early in the second intermission.

"We're actually pretty good now. But I hate that we're a lap down; I don't know if I want to go out there again now."

"Hot or Not" was obvious from the drop of the green flag. Rookie Earnhardt Jr let pole-sitter Ricky Rudd lead lap one, then muscled by, giving Martin the lead for five laps before hanging in the top ten the rest of the race.

His father, starting 33rd, motored into the top ten before the first green flag pit stops (laps 75-90) and laid claim to best Chevrolet, finishing 8th.

"We're not losing as much ground on long runs," said Junior in an important understatement.

Earnhardt-piloted cars traditionally look like rockets on fresh rubber after a pit stop, and predictably drop off dramatically one-third through the run.

Such was not the case at Rockingham a week ago and the first half of this race.

"The Pennzoil and Budweiser (Dale Earnhardt, Inc) cars are helping Richard Childress, me and Mike Skinner learn about and improve the Monte Carlo's," said Earnhardt Snr.

Joining Gordon along the wailing wall was rookie Scott Pruett.

He started second, never led a lap and fell to the back of the field with an ill-handling car.































































































































































































































Pos


Driver


Car


Laps


1


J Burton


Ford


148


2


T Stewart


Pontiac


148


3


M Martin


Ford


148


4


B Elliott


Ford


148


5


B Labonte


Pontiac


148


6


J Benson


Pontiac


148


7


D Jarrett


Ford


148


8


D Earnhardt


Chevrolet


148


9


J Nemechek


Chevrolet


148


10


D Earnhardt Jr


Chevrolet


148


11


K LePage


Ford


148


12


R Rudd


Ford


148


13


R Gordon


Ford


148


14


M Kenseth


Ford


148


15


R Wallace


Ford


148


16


K Schrader


Pontiac


148


17


J Mayfield


Ford


148


18


S Marlin


Chevrolet


148


19


C Little


Ford


148


20


J Nadeau


Chevrolet


147


21


R Pressley


Ford


147


22


D Blaney


Pontiac


147


23


W Burton


Pontiac


147


24


K Irwin


Chevrolet


147


25


J Andretti


Pontiac


147


26


T Musgrave


Chevrolet


147


27


M Skinner


Chevrolet


147


28


J Gordon


Chevrolet


147


29


K Petty


Pontiac


147


30


J Spencer


Ford


147


31


T Labonte


Chevrolet


147


32


S Compton


Ford


147


33


M Waltrip


Chevrolet


147


34


B Hamilton


Chevrolet


146


35


W Dallenbach


Ford


146


36


J Fuller


Pontiac


146


37


D Cope


Ford


146


38


D Waltrip


Ford


146


39


K Wallace


Chevrolet


146


40


R Craven


Chevrolet


146


41


E Sadler


Ford


145


42


S Pruett


Ford


143


43


S Park


Chevrolet


92

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