Darlington: Labonte ends win drought

Terry Labonte snapped a three-year win streak in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, taking his first Winston Cup victory since Texas 1999 in a typically bruising encounter at the 'track too tough to tame.'

Darlington: Labonte ends win drought

Labonte took the lead on the final round of pit-stops, edging Kevin Harvick for victory. The former Winston Cup champion has fond memories of Darlington, holding a race on Labour Day for the final time. Labonte started his first NASCAR race at the historic track in 1978 and took his first win there in 1980.

Harvick claimed the runner-up spot for the third time in as many races, solidifying his third position in the championship. Jimmie Johnson finished third, with Jamie McMurrary and Bill Elliott rounding out the top five.

The race featured several big wrecks, the first caused when Christian Fittipaldi and Jason Leffler came together on lap five. The resulting wreck also involved Dale Jarrett, Tony Raines, Michael Waltrip and Rusty Wallace, with Starling Marlin and Mark Martin hitting trouble on the subsequent restart.

Jeff Gordon suffered his second retirement in a row when Casey Mears turned into him shortly before half-distance, sparking another multi-car pile-up.

"Casey Mears is a good friend of mine but he needs a spotter," observed Gordon. "I don't know what he was thinking. There wasn't anything broken on the car then. There's a whole lot broke now."

Championship leader Matt Kenseth could only finish 14th, but still increased his lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr, who lost eight laps with mechanical trouble.

Pole-sitter Ryan Newman led much of the race, and was looking a strong contender for victory until he stalled on pit road during a stop, and then couldn't get his car to re-fire. He lost nine laps while the team discovered the problem - apparently Newman had inadvertently hit his car's engine kill switch.

shares
comments
John Andretti lands DEI drive

Previous article

John Andretti lands DEI drive

Next article

Harvick targets championship

Harvick targets championship
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020