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The Callahan Report: Jarrett Gambles and Wins at Dover

1 June 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel
Dale Jarrett
DOVER, DE: Jeff Gordon dominated the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway on Sunday. It wasn't good enough.

After leading 375 of 400 laps, Gordon had to stop for a splash of fuel in order to make it to the end of the race. Dale Jarrett's crew took the gamble of not refueling and won. Jarrett led the final eight laps of the race and earned his second victory of the 1998 Winston Cup season.

"I never even asked him how close we were going to be on fuel," the elated Jarrett said. "Todd said we were going for it, and I said, `OK'"

"I knew that we needed to save some fuel," said Jarrett. "Once I knew I couldn't catch Jeff, I backed off. If he was going to have to pit, we were going to win. If not, we were going to finish second."

The win was a payback. Last year, Jarrett led the race at Dover for 255 laps. He failed to make it to victory lane in that race.

"That doesn't happen many times,'' Jarrett continued. "It just goes to show you the dedication of this team. They got beat a couple of times, and we finally got to win like that.''

Gordon's team is already thinking of the championship. They had ran out of fuel on a gamble two weeks ago in "The Winston". That was a non-points-paying" race. When it came down to a decision in a race for the championship, Gordon's team made the call to bring him into the pits for a splash of fuel.


Jeff Gordon.

"It was a tough thing to finish third," Gordon said. "But it was a picture-perfect day for us. The car was great. But we're not going to chance running out of gas. We had to come in. "We can't jeopardize a top-five finish. It would have been crazy to try to finish like that."

Following are the complete results of the MBNA Platinum 400 NASCAR race at Dover Down International Speedway on Sunday. The results show finishing position, (starting position), driver, hometown, laps completed, reason out (if any), and money won:

1. (4) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford, 400, $89,950.
2. (37) Jeff Burton, South Boston, Va., Ford, 400, $62,250.
3. (2) Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet, 400, $79,350.
4. (36) Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac, 400, $55,500.
5. (12) Jeremy Mayfield, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 399, $42,325.
6. (5) Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Ford, 399, $49,275.
7. (3) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford, 399, $40,780.
8. (19) Buckshot Jones, Tucker, Ga., Chevrolet, 399, $26,580.
9. (8) Ernie Irvan, Salinas, Calif., Pontiac, 398, $35,130.
10. (17) Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevrolet, 398, $43,430.
11. (7) Rick Mast, Lexington, Va., Ford, 398, $28,455.
12. (16) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Pontiac, 398, $36,255.
13. (24) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford, 398, $31,165.
14. (21) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 397, $31,655.
15. (25) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet, 397, $32,905.
16. (29) Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 397, $30,780.
17. (38) Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Chevrolet, 397, $33,795.
18. (1) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 397, $39,680.
19. (20) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet, 396, $22,655.
20. (43) Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet, 396, $23,955.
21. (13) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Ford, 396, $29,955.
22. (22) Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Ford, 396, $29,305.
23. (26) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 396, $29,455.
24. (15) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford, 395, $29,305.
25. (34) Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 395, $33,205.
26. (6) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet, 394, $28,555.
27. (18) Mike Skinner, Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet, 394, $21,405.
28. (42) Kevin Lepage, Shelburne, Vt., Chevrolet, 394, $22,255.
29. (10) Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac, 393, $28,105.
30. (33) Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet, 393, $17,955.
31. (27) Rich Bickle, Edgerton, Wis., Ford, 392, $24,905.
32. (41) Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, 392, $27,845.
33. (9) Kenny Irwin, Indianapolis, Ind., Ford, 391, $32,795.
34. (35) Gary Bradberry, Chelsea, Ala., Ford, 391, $17,745.
35. (32) Derrike Cope, Spanaway, Wash., Pontiac, 390, $27,545.
36. (11) Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Ford, 390, $20,030.
37. (39) Chad Little, Spokane, Wash., Ford, 229, handling, $17,520.
38. (30) David Green, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet, 187, crash, $20,000.
39. (23) Robert Pressley, Asheville, N.C., Ford, 120, handling, $17,500.
40. (31) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 32, crash, $17,500.
41. (14) Johnny Benson, Grand Rapids, Mich., Ford, 9, crash, $24,500.
42. (28) Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac, 9, crash, $24,500.
43. (40) Randy LaJoie, South Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 9, crash, $24,500.

Race Stats

Time of race: 3 hour, 20 minutes, 48 seconds.
Margin of victory: 13.117 seconds.
Winner's average speed: 119.522 mph.
Caution flags: 5 for 35 laps.
Lead changes: 13 among 7 drivers.

Lap leaders: Wallace 1-3, Gordon 4-34, Burton 35-39, Gordon 40-101, Spencer 102, Gordon 103-119, Martin 120, Gordon 121-226, Martin 227, Gordon 228-293, Burton 294-297, Rudd 298, Gordon 299-392, Jarrett, 393-400.

Series points leaders: Gordon 1,765, Mayfield 1,718, R.Wallace 1,673, Martin 1,655, Jarrett 1,635, T.Labonte 1,595, B.Labonte 1,504, Burton 1,427, Schrader 1,410, Spencer 1,409.

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