Two For The Road
August 10, 2003 | 3:58 P.M. EST
Gordon followed his win at Infineon Raceway in June with the Watkins Glen International Raceway victory, his third career Winston Cup Series triumph.
"I'll be honest," Gordon said. "I don't think we had the best car today. We just drove a good, smart strategy and they made some good calls on pit lane."
Road racing ace Scott Pruett piloted a Chip Ganassi Racing Target Dodge entry home second with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick rounding out the Top 5.
Ward Burton, Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Mark Martin completed the first ten finishers.
Gordon's move to pit road came on lap 52 just after Rusty Wallace spun his Miller Lite Dodge off course and into a gravel pit. Before the caution was displayed Gordon wheeled his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet onto pit road for fuel, which proved to be the difference.
Harvick was involved in two controversial events during the 90-lap chase around the historic road course. A fire broke out in Harvick's pit during a stop on lap 22 bringing out a full course caution. No one was injured in the blaze which erupted under Harvick's car and spread to a fuel can being used.
Harvick tagged Jeff Gordon in the rear bumper on the last lap just as Gordon, who had rallied from the rear of the field after an opening turn incident with Greg Biffle sent him spinning, ran out of fuel. The final lap contact sent Gordon hard into the outside guardrail. Although not injured, Gordon was credited with a 33rd place finish and another blow to his title hopes.
"I was trying to get out of his way, but when you're out of gas you don't have too many options," said Gordon.
"If he was out of gas he should have gotten out of the groove," responded Harvick, who was summoned to the NASCAR trailer after the race.
Kenseth's point lead is now 258 over Earnhardt with Jeff Gordon, Johnson and Harvick, who jumped up two spots, comprising the Top 5.
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series now heads to Michigan International Speedway for the GFS Marketplace 400 next Sunday afternoon.