Labonte lucks in at Homestead

Bobby Labonte took a fortuitous victory in the final race of the Winston Cup season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, passing erstwhile leader Bill Elliott on the final lap when the NASCAR veteran suffered a cut tyre

Labonte lucks in at Homestead

Elliott, who took victory last weekend at Rockingham, had dominated the race until that point, leading 189 of the 267 laps. By contrast, Labonte only led one lap - the final one. While the Joe Gibb Racing driver celebrated his second win of the year, Eliott could only manage to bring his car home eighth.

"He just started wiggling, and I just started screaming on the radio," said Labonte. "It was a gift. It was way cool for us to win a race. We've been a long time without it.

"I've been there. It's probably the worst feeling in the world. It's never over until it's over, that's for sure. That's why most of the people stay in the grandstands."

Elliott said: "We had a great race car. You win 'em sometimes like that, although I don't know if I've ever won one like that, but I've sure lost 'em. You're going to have things that happen out of your control. I'm not going to complain about it. It's a race. It's not the end of the world."

Kevin Harvick finished second, despite being involved in a major crash early in the race. As he attempted to pass Ryan Newman, Harvick nudged the Penske South star into the side of Kurt Busch. Both Newman and Busch slammed into the wall and suffered heavy damage, and were eventually forced to retire.

Jimmie Johnson finished third, cementing second position in the final points standings, in what is only the Hendrick star's sophomore season. Johnny Benson finished fourth, with Jeff Gordon fifth.

New Winston Cup champion Matt Kenseth had reason to be thankful for securing the title last weekend, as a blown engine ended his race after just 28 laps. It was only the second time this year that the Roush star has failed to finish - an impressive statistic that indicates how Kenseth won the crown.

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