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Winston Cup briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2000

Fire in pitssends three to hospital

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- A flash fire shot through driver Matt Kenseth's pit area seconds after a stop during Sunday's Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway, injuring a crew member and two firefighters.

Crewman Rick Machinski flew to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte with second-degree burns to his face and neck. Firefighters Herman Andrews and Wayne Paxton were released after being treated for minor burns at the infield medical center.

Apparently, someone dropped a can that contained flammable fluid after Kenseth's stop. Robbie Reiser, Kenseth's crew chief, said the fire began "When they pulled the (left rear) tire off and we had some hot stuff fall on the gas that was spilled."

Kenseth, who drives for Jack Roush Racing, finished two laps down in 25th place.

FORD TOUGH: Ford Motor Co. clinched its second straight Winston Cup manufacturer's championship and fifth in nine years when Taurus driver Dale Jarrett won the race.

It was Ford's 13th victory of the season. Pontiac has won 10 times and Chevrolet eight.

The championship is Ford's 14th overall and the fifth of the modern era in NASCAR's top stock car series, dating to 1972.

TOUGH TURN: Kenny Wallace, who finished second after nearly getting his first Winston Cup victory last week in Talladega, wound up last in the 43-car field when his engine blew after just 14 laps.

"That just shows how this sport is," Wallace said. "We almost won last week and we were running 10th today. The car was there, handling real well and we just had the bottom end of the motor blow up."

BROTHER ACTS: In 52 years of NASCAR racing, no brothers have won championships in the same national touring series. That is about to change.

Jeff Green needs only to start Sunday's Busch Grand National series race in Memphis, Tenn., to wrap up his first title and join 1994 champion David Green, his older brother.

Not only that, but Bobby Labonte is closing in on the Winston Cup championship, which older brother Terry won in 1984 and '96. Bobby can wrap up the title by finishing 14th or better in each of the three remaining races.

Gearhead stats

TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 37 minutes, 11 seconds.

MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.197 seconds.

AVERAGE SPEED: 110.418 mph.

LEAD CHANGES: 23 among 10 drivers.

CAUTIONS: 9 for 60 laps.

LAP LEADERS: Jeremy Mayfield 1-23, Jeff Burton 24-26, Mayfield 27-28, Burton 29-38, Mayfield 39-44, Burton 45-69, Bobby Labonte 70, Dale Earnhardt 71, Steve Park 72-73, Robert Pressley 74-75, Mayfield 76-77, Jeff Gordon 78-81, Mayfield 82-139, Burton 140-158, Rusty Wallace 159-182, Mayfield 183-236, Ricky Rudd 237-240, Mayfield 241-256, Rudd 257-265, Burton 266-273, Mayfield 274-281, Burton 282-332, Wallace 333-350, Dale Jarrett 351-393.

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