Tiring Win For Labonte

18469Jpg
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Bobby Labonte claimed his 21st career Winston Cup victory in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway after passing Bill Elliott, who cut a tire, on the last lap.

Elliott dominated the day leading 189 laps in his bid for back-to-back victories, following his win last weekend in Rockingham. But as Elliott's Dodge sped through the second turn, his right rear tire blew allowing Labonte to slip by for the win.

The cut tire was one of many suffered by a number of drivers during the day as manufacturer Goodyear had trouble coming up with the right compound for the newly-reconfigured Homestead-Miami Speedway. Michael Waltrip, Brian Vickers and Ward Burton also suffered from cut tires which ended their days.

Labonte won his second race of the 2003 season. His win was also the last under R.J. Reynolds' Winston brand, as Nextel will move on to be the title sponsor of the sanctioning body's premier series in 2004.

"I just said on the radio two laps before that, 'He's just playing with me,'" Labonte said. "He came off Turn 2 there and he wiggled and I just absolutely couldn't believe it."

It was a disappointing day for Elliott who was well on his way to career victory number 45. "It was just one of those things," said the 48-year-old driver, who hasn't decided whether he will return for a full season or not in 2004.

Kevin Harvick finished second followed by Jimmie Johnson, Johnny Benson and Jeff Gordon.

Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Stewart, Elliott, polesitter Jamie McMurray and Sterling Marlin completed the first ten finishers.

The day's first caution flew on lap 5 when Harvick tried to make it three-wide racing off of turn two and slid into Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman, who collected each other and the outside retaining wall. Newman and Busch returned later in the day many laps down while Harvick drove away unscathed.

Winston Cup champion Matt Kenseth's day ended early when the engine expired on the DeWalt Tools Ford on lap 30. It was only the second blown engine of the season for Kenseth who racked up 25 Top 10 finishes in 36 starts.

Michael Waltrip crashed hard into the backstretch wall on lap 75 to bring out the third caution when a right front tire blew on his NAPA Chevy. It was the first of several tire problems that sent a number of driver into the wall.

David Green and Brian Vickers experienced similar troubles to bring out the fourth and fifth cautions of the day. In all the yellow waved ten times.

The Winston Cup Awards banquet will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Friday night, December 5.

Photos

  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • From the Archives: Richmond
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • Harvick Wins Southern 500
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • From the Archives: Darlington
  • Duck Commander 500
  • Duck Commander 500
  • Duck Commander 500
  • Duck Commander 500
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites