Darlington,SC -- Jeff Burton grabbed his third straight Busch Series Darlington win on Saturday following a soggy afternoon of on again off again rain. The win is the third for Burton this year. Shortly following Winston Cup's final practice...
Darlington,SC -- Jeff Burton grabbed his third straight Busch Series Darlington win on Saturday following a soggy afternoon of on again off again rain. The win is the third for Burton this year.
Shortly following Winston Cup's final practice this morning, rain began to fall pushing back the start of the Busch Series' race set to start at 1 p.m. Over an hour and a half later, the cars finally roared to life on the historic track but the rain once again began to fall. The cars stayed on track for roughly a dozen laps before NASCAR decided to drop the green flag and begin counting the laps. A few minutes later the rain began to fall harder, forcing the cars to pit road to wait out the red flag.
Over two hours later, the cars once again hit the track and took the green flag as the first competitive lap of the event came on lap 10. Although the first nine laps of the race were run under yellow, they were the first laps any Busch Series competitor had run on the 1.3-mile track this weekend since rain caused the cancellation of both practice and qualifying on Friday.
On the racing side of things, points leader and pole sitter Greg Biffle jumped out to an early lead. The third caution of the day flew on lap 32 when Kerry Earnhardt and Ricky Hendrick got together in turn four. A mandatory caution flag was set to fly on lap 35, but with the caution flag falling three laps earlier, all of the teams dipped to pit road.
Roush Racing's Jeff Burton had started the race in 33rd and worked his way up to 12th prior to the yellow. His crew picked up an additional five spots in the pits. Last week's Bristol winner Jimmy Spencer missed his pit stall and drove through the pits, picking up the lead. Spencer held on for a few laps before RCR's Jeff Green took advantage of Spencer's lack of fresh tires. Burton took over the lead from Green on lap 44.
Brewco Motorsports' Jamie McMurray brought out the fourth caution flag of the day after his No. 27 bounced off of the wall in turn three. McMurray was trying to drive away from Burton who was about to lap his 27, bounced off of the wall in turn two, drove on and hit the wall again in three. The car then went ablaze as McMurray pulled the car to a stop on pit road and climbed out unhurt. The accident seemed very reminiscent of a wreck McMurray had earlier this season at Dover.
Under the caution brought out by McMurray, rain began to fall yet again. With 74 laps marking halfway in the event, NASCAR opted to park the cars less than 100 yards of the start/finish line on lap 73. 147 laps was the scheduled distance, but the rain forced the event to be official.
The event was finally called and the cars were once again restarted as Burton led the field to the checkers as it continued to rain.
ppc's Jason Keller finished second, Jeff Green finished third, points leader Greg Biffle fourth and Hendrick Motorsports' Jack Sprague closed out the top five.
Bobby Hamilton Jr., Scott Wimmer, Mike McLaughlin, Tony Raines and Scott Riggs round out the top 10.