Wallace Inherits Pocono Win

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  • Pennsylvania 500 Results

    Jeremy Mayfield was on his way to sweeping the two NASCAR Winston Cup events at Pocono Raceway when a blown tire cost him the victory.

    Mayfield's teammate, Rusty Wallace, inherited the lead and the win, his 51st of his career. Jeff Burton was a close second followed by Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and rookie Matt Kenseth.

    Burton and Wallace were involved in a spirited duel over the last few laps and appeared to be racing for second place with Mayfield safely out front.

    "He raced me hard and he raced me clean," Wallace said of Burton. "Now, I won't have to hear people saying, 'When are you going to win again, Rusty?'"

    Burton said he and Wallace let Mayfield get away by racing each other hard, occasionally side by side. But Burton said he had a faster car and had little choice. He knew he couldn't win from the third spot.

    "If I had been leading the race on the last lap then I would have won, not Rusty," he said.

    Wallace knew he couldn't let Burton get in front of him, but realized they had to run nose to tail to draft closer to Mayfield.

    "I was running too hard in the tunnel turn and finally had to tell myself to calm down," Wallace said.

    Then Burton began his move. Several times he got alongside Wallace as the three Fords battled it out over the final laps.

    "He really did a good job pinching me off," Burton said.

    Points leader Bobby Labonte protected his points lead with a sixth place finish. Labonte's teammate, Tony Stewart, fell back quickly after starting the race from the pole and was a non-factor all day.

    Ironically, Mayfield, who ended up 10th, lost the victory on the last lap, which is when he won the Pocono 500 in June after tapping Dale Earnhardt and passing him.

    Earnhardt finished 25th and because of the poor finish he lost a spot in the point standings to Jarrett, who moved up to third. Stewart's disappointing finish also cost him a spot in the points race. He is now sixth.

    But they weren't the only drivers unhappy with their finishes.

    Mechanical problems plagued the field all day. Mark Martin blew an engine and finished last. Kyle Petty also fell out of the race early, putting him in 40th position. Stacy Compton, Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin also fell victim to mechanical problems.
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