Jeff Burton Wins TranSouth 400
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) _ Jeff Burton had just wrecked and could not have finished the race.
But he didn’t have to. He was saved Sunday by the rain that nearly was his undoing, and won the TranSouth 400.
Burton, who had battled Jeremy Mayfield and Jeff Gordon throughout much of the $1.8 million race, stood near his badly damaged car, and motioned to the angry sky to keep the wet stuff falling.
Moments later, his prayers were answered. NASCAR decided it could not restart the race _ halted earlier for nearly three hours.
It was Burton’s second victory this year and seventh of his career, and gave him the lead in the Winston Cup points race. Mayfield was second in a 1-2 Ford finish, followed by the Chevrolet of Gordon.
Burton was coming up on lapped traffic exiting the fourth turn three laps after rain began to fall for the second time in the race. Suddenly, the cars slowed, and Burton hit a spinning Jerry Nadeau and then the frontstretch wall.
Burton’s right front wheel was turned at a 30-degree angle, and the tire flat. But he managed to limp around _ the right front smoking badly _ behind the pace car for a lap until the red flag ended the race after 164 of 293 scheduled laps.
The rains ended what would have been a battle between Mayfield and Jarett, because Gordon also received damage substantial damage in the chain-reaction crash involving leaders and backmarkers.