By JOANNE KORTH
© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 3, 2001
DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Dale Jarrett drove most of the Southern 500 with an upset stomach, and that was before his race turned sour.
For the fifth week in a row, Jarrett lost valuable ground to leader Jeff Gordon in the Winston Cup championship chase.
Jarrett led 53 laps and was among the strongest cars in the field Sunday until something in the left rear wheel hub of his No. 88 Ford broke. He finished 34th, 11 laps down, and dropped one place to fourth in the points standings, 493 behind Gordon.
Sterling Marlin, who finished 16th, moved up to third.
PRESSLEY INJURED: Robert Pressley, who staggered from his No. 77 Ford and collapsed by the pit wall after a hard crash, was not seriously injured. Pressley had a CT scan of his spine and abdomen at Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, but results were negative and he was released.
PARK UPDATE: Driver Steve Park was resting comfortably one day after sustaining a moderate concussion in an accident during the Busch race. He likely will be released today or Tuesday. Substitute Kenny Wallace appeared headed for a top 15 in the No. 1 Chevrolet until the engine overheated after 279 laps. He finished 41st.
BAD BREAK: Rookie pole-sitter Kurt Busch led 74 laps until the alternator on his No. 97 Ford went dead. Busch smacked the wall after turning off all the switches in the car caused the brakes to fail.
TIGHT SQUEEZE: Midway through the race, Jason Leffler took over the No. 44 Dodge for Buckshot Jones, who fought the flu all weekend. Leffler, whose No. 01 Dodge overheated on Lap 90, was the only driver small enough to replace the 5-foot-6, 135-pound Jones.
"How many drivers in this garage are even close to the same size," team consultant Larry McReynolds said.
HARD FEELINGS: Stacy Compton wasn't happy after a tap from behind by Dale Earnhardt Jr. sent his No. 92 Dodge into the wall.
"There's 42 cars out there you can race with and one you can't," Compton said. "That's the third time the 8 car, Dale Earnhardt Jr., hit me today. He finally accomplished what he wanted to do and took me out. ... Maybe he needs to raise his seat up. Apparently, he can't see over the hood."
HIGH JINKS: Robin Pemberton, crew chief for Rusty Wallace's No. 2 Ford, wore a patch over his left eye after someone from another crew accidentally hit him in the eye with a baseball-sized wad of tape in the garage before the race, scratching the cornea.
"It's just a cut," said Pemberton, who said he will have the eye examined today. "I guess the only good thing about it is that it's the best part of the eye to cut. That's what happens sometimes with fun and games."
NUTS AND BOLTS: Ron Hornaday was penalized three laps by NASCAR for disobeying a black flag, dropping him five places to 37th. ... Burton is the 15th different winner this season, a modern-era Winston Cup record. ... Burton's first victory in the event, coupled with Jeff Burton's win in 1999, marks the second time that brothers won the race. Terry Labonte won in 1980 and Bobby Labonte in 2000.
TIME OF RACE: 4 hours 5 minutes 0 seconds.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under caution.
CAUTION FLAGS: 11 for 51 laps.
LEAD CHANGES: 19 among 9 drivers.
LAP LEADERS: Busch 1-23, Mayfield 24-56, J. Gordon 57-78, Busch 79-129, Jarrett 130-138, J. Gordon 139-148, Jarrett 149-181, J. Gordon 182-186, Jarrett 187-197, J. Gordon 198-246, Nemechek 247-248, B. Labonte 249, Marlin 250-251, J. Gordon 252-290, Mayfield 291-310, Craven 311, W. Burton 312-329, J. Gordon 330-342, B. Labonte 343-358, W. Burton 359-366.
Chevy Monte Carlo 400, 8 p.m. Saturday, Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, TV: TNT.