Mayfield shoves Earnhardt aside to take Pocono By Dave Rodman LONG POND, Pa. (June 19, 2000) Jeremy Mayfield reprised his two-year-old Pocono Raceway victory by overtaking another NASCAR legend Monday. Mayfield booted seven-time NASCAR ...
Mayfield shoves Earnhardt aside to take Pocono
By Dave Rodman
LONG POND, Pa. (June 19, 2000) Jeremy Mayfield reprised his two-year-old Pocono Raceway victory by overtaking another NASCAR legend Monday. Mayfield booted seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt out of the way in the third and final corner and went on to win the Pocono 500 by .581 seconds over defending NWC champion Dale Jarrett.
Mayfield used a quick two-tire pit stop late in the event that was delayed until Monday morning by rain Sunday to get into position to hound Earnhardt on the last lap. Mayfield's No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford ran deeper into the corner and nudged Earnhardt's No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet.
Earnhardt slid up into the "marbles" on the outside of the corner and lost momentum while Mayfield steamed underneath him. Robert Yates Racing teammates Jarrett and Ricky Rudd blew past Earnhardt as well to finish second and third. Earnhardt recovered to finish fourth and Mark Martin snapped a five-race string of races in which he finished outside the top-10 by ending up fifth.
"That's part of it -- he's got me plenty of times and this time I got him," an ebullient Mayfield said while celebrating his third career victory and his second this season. "He can't say a word."
Earnhardt, who was trying to make it a twin-kill weekend for the Earnhardt family after oldest son Kerry Earnhardt won the Pocono 200 for the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series on Saturday, pulled up next to Mayfield on the cool-off lap and appeared to rub sides with the winner's car while gesturing.
"I told him he was No. 1," Earnhardt said afterward in the garage area when asked what he said. "It was racing I reckon -- whatever you want to call it. It was a good, hard race all day.
"We kept working with the car and at the end taking two tires was the way to go. It made my car turn better. It was a good day for us in the points -- I don't know where Bobby Labonte ended up."
Earnhardt is unofficially 57 points behind Labonte after he finished 13th in the Interstate Batteries Pontiac.