Jarrett Delivers At Michigan

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BROOKLYN. Mich. – The last time the NASCAR Winston Cup Series raced at Michigan International Speedway, Dale Jarrett was chasing a Roush Racing car when the checkered flag fell.

In the closing stages of Sunday’s Pepsi 400 at MIS, Jarrett was again chasing a Roush Racing car. Instead of Matt Kenseth, it was Jeff Burton. And instead of coming up short, Jarrett got around Burton with four laps to go to claim his second victory of the season and 30th of his career.

The triumph came on the 11th anniversary of his first Winston Cup victory, when he drove a Citgo-sponsored Ford. Sunday, he passed a Citgo-sponsored Ford en route to victory lane. It was also the third time Jarrett won at Michigan when the race was held on August 18th.

“What a great day for this team,” a jubilant Jarrett said in victory lane. “(Crew chief) Todd Parrott made the call for the four tires which is what turned out to be the difference down the stretch as I could run down Jeff.”

Burton faded to fourth at the checkered flag. Tony Stewart, going for his second straight victory, finished second, two seconds behind Jarrett. Kevin Harvick was third, with Burton fourth and another Roush car, Mark Martin, in fifth.

Winston Cup points leader Sterling Marlin was sixth, followed by rookie Jimmie Johnson, Johnny Benson, Jeff Green and polesitter Dale Earnhardt Jr.

After sweeping the first five spots in qualifying Friday, only Harvick managed to crack the Top 5 in the race. Chevrolet got a 1-inch “kickout” on its nose for this race, and some said the Monte Carlo had the advantage in the race.

Burton and Stewart were fighting for the lead when Derrike Cope spun and hit the wall in Turn 3 on Lap 185. None of the leaders pitted, and the race restarted with 11 laps to go.

Burton got a terrific jump at the green flag, with Earnhardt Jr. slipping past Stewart for second Burton moved away. But Jarrett ran him down as Burton’s engine started to sour.

Jarrett had rallied from the rear of the field when he spun early in the race. He kept the car off the wall and didn’t do any damage, but he was stuck at the back of the pack.

“All I could think of when I saw Dale spinning through the grass was, ‘Oh, no, not again,’ ” said Parrott, referring to the recent rash of bad luck experienced by the team. “But this crew did an awesome job getting the car back out on the track and Dale is such a great driver.”

The next Winston Cup race is the always exciting Bristol night race, otherwise known as the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Saturday night.

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