NEMECHEK WINS IN BROTHER'S MEMORY
------------------------------------------------- Staff Report -------------------------------------------------
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (MSPS) - It was evident that Joe Nemechek had a mission in Sunday's Jiffy Lube Miami 300 at the Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex.
He led 127 of 300 laps in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series season finale en route to victory at the track that took his brother's life just eight months ago.
John Nemechek died after crashing his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry in the first turn in a race here in March of this year - Joe dedicated the win to his brother.
Though Nemechek led the final 59 circuits, the margin of victory over series points champion Randy LaJoie was only .397-seconds.
A crash in turn four just after the leaders took the white flag required some caution as they negotiated their way through the crash area. Nemechek had to get on the brakes hard allowing LaJoie to close the gap.
But the amount of track left before the checkers flew wasn't enough for LaJoie to get the win.
After the race Nemechek took a "Polish victory lap" - driving the wrong way around the course - created and popularized by the late Alan Kulwicki.
Meanwhile, LaJoie did "doughnuts" on the frontstretch to celebrate his second consecutive championship. A cloud of thick white smoke billowed from the track and, when it cleared for the fans to see, LaJoie was standing on the roof of his Chevrolet saluting the crowd.
Mark Martin finished third, the highest Ford at the end, followed by Glenn Allen, with his best finish of the year, in fourth. Jimmy Spencer was fifth.
Todd Bodine managed to hang on to finish second in the points battle with a seventh-place finish in the race. He entered the race leading rookie-of-the-year Steve Park by only 16 points, but Park could finish no better than 12th, ending his streak of top-ten finishes at nine races.
The top ten finishers in Sunday's Jiffy Lube Miami 300 were:
1. Joe Nemechek 200 laps 2. Randy LaJoie 200 3. Mark Martin 200 4. Glenn Allen, Jr. 200 5. Jimmy Spencer 200 6. Matt Kenseth 200 7. Todd Bodine 200 8. Kevin Schwantz 200 9. Joe Bessey 200 10. Tim Fedewa 199
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