Jarrett tames 'The Rock' for the first time

Dale Jarrett, winless since the season-opening Daytona 500 in February, scored his first-ever win at North Carolina Speedway in Sunday's Pop Secret 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race

Jarrett tames 'The Rock' for the first time

Jarrett entered Sunday's race with six runner-up finishes at the 1.017-mile track, but the defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion defeated Jeff Gordon by 2.197-seconds.

Ricky Rudd was third followed by Jeff Burton and Rusty Wallace. It was the 24th career win for Jarrett, who averaged 110.418 miles per hour and won $125,850.

A crew member for Matt Kenseth's NASCAR Winston Cup team was burned and a fireman was also on fire as a huge pit fire erupted in the pit area during the race.

Rick Machinski, the gasman for Kenseth, was taken to the infield care centre where he was treated for burns. He was transferred to the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment of second-degree burns on his neck and face.

The fireman, whose identity has not been made public, was also on fire, but he rolled on the pavement to extinguish the flames.

Apparently, the fire began when Kenseth's Ford Taurus backfired as he left the pits following a pit stop on lap 321. The spark ignited the gas can, which contains 22 gallons of gasoline. The fire raged for 40 seconds before it was brought under control.

Kenseth was able to continue in the race while his pit crew attempted to reassemble the pit area after the fire.

"We've got two guys injured and that is my main concern," said crew chief Robbie Reiser.

Jarrett took the lead on his final pit stop after the pit area had been cleaned up after the fire. He stayed in front when the race was restarted on lap 354 and stayed there until the chequered flag on lap 393.

"Finally," Jarrett said. "No more bridesmaid here. The pit crew did a fantastic job getting me out first and that was the key. Jeff Gordon made some great adjustments and my car worked good on the high side. He is awful good here and it makes it more special when you can beat a guy that good. This means a lot to us. We have struggled a lot here this year and Daytona was a long time ago. The pit crew deserves all the credit."

Gordon's Chevrolet was unable to track down Jarrett's faster Ford at the end of the race.

"The guys did an excellent job in the pits getting us great track position," Gordon said. "I made a call in the pits and that was not the right call. But to finish second was great. That is what we are working on for next year, to get ready to win."

Bobby Labonte, who entered the race with a 210-point lead over Dale Earnhardt, finished 20th. Earnhardt's 17th place finish trims Labonte's lead to 201 with three races remaining.

Labonte can clinch his first NASCAR Winston Cup title if he finishes 14th or better in the final three races of the season.

North Carolina Speedway, Rockingham, N.C.
October 22, 2000

1 88 Dale Jarrett, Quality Care, Ford, 393, 180
2 24 Jeff Gordon, DuPont, Chev, 393, 175
3 28 Ricky Rudd, Texaco/Havoline, Ford, 393, 170
4 99 Jeff Burton, Citgo, Ford, 393, 165
5 2 Rusty Wallace, Miller Lite, Ford, 393, 160
6 1 Steve Park, Pennzoil, Chev, 393, 155
7 20 Tony Stewart, Home Depot, Pont, 393, 146
8 22 Ward Burton, Caterpillar, Pont, 393, 142
9 4 Bobby Hamilton, Kodak Film, Chev, 393, 138
10 33 Joe Nemechek, Oakwood Homes, Chev, 393, 134
11 10 Johnny Benson, Aaron's, Pont, 393, 130
12 77 Robert Pressley, Jasper, Ford, 393, 132
13 14 Rick Mast, Conseco, Pont, 393, 124
14 31 Mike Skinner, Lowe's, Chev, 393, 121
15 50 Ricky Craven, Midwest Trans, Chev, 393, 118
16 94 Bill Elliott, McDonald's, Ford, 393, 115
17 3 Dale Earnhardt, GM Goodwrench, Chev, 393, 117
18 36 Ken Schrader, M&M's, Pont, 393, 109
19 21 Elliott Sadler, Citgo, Ford, 393, 106
20 18 Bobby Labonte, Interstate, Pont, 392, 108
21 27 Mike Bliss, Viagra, Pont, 392, 100
22 75 Wally Dallenbach, Cartoon Network, Ford, 392, 97
23 43 John Andretti, STP/Cheerios, Pont, 392, 94
24 97 Kurt Busch, John Deere, Ford , 392, 91
25 17 Matt Kenseth, DeWalt Tools, Ford, 391, 88
26 11 Brett Bodine, Ralph's, Ford, 371, 85
27 25 Jerry Nadeau, Michael, Holigan, Chev, 390, 82
28 96 Andy Houston, McDonald's, Ford, 389, 79
29 12 Jeremy Mayfield, Mobil 1, Ford, 387, 10, 86
30 32 Scott Pruett, Tide, Ford, 386, 73
31 71 Dave Marcis, Realtree, Chev, 370, 75
32 85 Carl Long, So Be Beverage, Ford, 341, 67
33 40 Sterling Marlin, Coors Light, Chev, 328, 64
34 8 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Budweiser, Chev, 301, 61
35 7 Michael Waltrip, NationsRent, Chev, 295, 58
36 16 Kevin LePage, FamilyClick.com, Ford, 253, 55
37 66 Darrell Waltrip, Big Kmart, Ford, 193, 52
38 5 Terry Labonte, Kellogg's, Chev, 191, 49
39 26 Jimmy Spencer, Big Kmart, Ford, 174, 46
40 6 Mark Martin, Valvoline, Ford, 174, 43
41 13 Robby Gordon, Menards, Ford, 154, 40
42 93 Dave Blaney, Amoco, Pont, 115, 37
43 55 Kenny Wallace, Square D, Chev, 114, 34

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