St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Gordon foils Martin's Busch series finale

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 12, 2000


HOMESTEAD -- A driver making his final Busch Grand National start did win the Miami 300 on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

It just wasn't Mark Martin.

Jeff Gordon led the final 71 laps and beat Martin to finish line by .241 seconds in the season-ending race.

"The focus should have been on Mark Martin and his last race," said Gordon, who drives the No. 24 Chevrolet. "I know how bad he wanted to win that last race. I'm just tickled that I was able to battle with a guy like Mark in my last Busch race."

Martin, citing a desire to focus solely on his Winston Cup career, leaves the series with a record 45 wins but left open the possibility of returning.

"I'm going to try to smile more, stop and sign that autograph that I haven't had time to sign all day," said Martin, who drives the No. 60 Ford. "The only thing that is going to leave a hole in my life is if my Winston Cup car runs like a dog. ... When that Winston Cup car runs bad, if I get in a Busch car, at least everybody says it's not me. "It's not Mark.' "

With the help of a 16.1-second pit stop during the last of five cautions, Gordon beat Jeff Green and Martin off pit road and took the lead on Lap 129.

Martin made numerous attempts to close the gap between he and Gordon in the closing laps, often driving on the apron, but couldn't as Gordon won his fifth career Busch race after starting eighth.

"There wasn't anything I could do," Martin said. "I could catch him, but then I'd lose the front end. I tried, but I couldn't do it."

Green, who clinched the championship on Oct. 29 at Memphis, finished third followed by Jason Keller and Jeff Burton.

"We got a little better there at the end, but it just wasn't enough for Gordon or Martin," Green said. "For anybody to beat Mark Martin, he's done a great job. My hat's off to Jeff Gordon."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Hubert Mizell
  • In politics, sports it's not over ...

  • Gary Shelton
  • Stars align for Palmer's night

  • Bucs
  • Scream team
  • No replacing experience
  • Together from the beginning
  • Once again, Abraham seeing tough road to the Pro Bowl
  • Bucs chat
  • On his way to game No. 200, McDaniel 'not extinct yet'
  • Best and worst: game 10
  • Buccaneers by the numbers
  • Analysis: Bill Maas
  • Buccaneers quick hits
  • Love of game unites Sapp, Favre

  • College football
  • Gators SECure East
  • Bad start, bad finish for Bulls
  • Seminoles hope win is enough
  • UM focus: W-I-N, not B-C-S
  • College football this week on TV
  • Louisville WR sets receptions mark
  • Florida Classic calendar
  • College football around the state
  • USF sideliners
  • Blackwell's INT-free streak ends
  • RB carnage forces re-education
  • FSU sideliners
  • Sheppard continues to amaze
  • UF sideliners
  • Rhine's 26-yard run chases boos away

  • Lightning
  • Lightning winning streak ends at 3
  • Slap shots
  • Lightning wants a recount of shots
  • Players union keeping an eye on Kravchuk deal

  • Sports Etc.
  • Arizona's Woods has good times
  • Confident Clearwater wins state
  • Highs and lows
  • Mizell mailbag
  • Skier quits team, goes for gold on her own
  • Sports briefs
  • Millionaire crybabies
  • College basketball top 25 predictions
  • College basketball this week on TV
  • Florida, FSU meet in NCAA Tournament
  • College basketball briefs
  • Atlanta hits Hawk bottom with 0-7 start
  • NFL games
  • Jaguars have reasons not to declare season over
  • NASCAR binding family ties
  • No jitters for Jarrett last year
  • Gordon foils Martin's Busch series finale
  • Powerboat circuit looks to NASCAR as its model
  • On the fly
  • Tournament insider
  • Vikings outdistance District 7 opponents
  • Struggling Moffenbier's victory is like clock work
  • Citrus becomes regional champ in due course
  • Jesuit, AHN cruise to 2A-3 victories
  • Rams continue run at another state title
  • Sickles runs to state berth
  • IRC pulls off upset to win A-3 championship
  • Seminole has little problem reaching state
  • Marauder shows her kick in victory
  • Indian Rocks pulls off upset to win A-3 title
  • Jesuit captures district title
  • Ramirez wish rings a Belle for Indians


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts