Darlington race story

Gordon Captures the Winston Million Wins Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Jeff Gordon became only the second man to capture the Winston Million as he won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 NASCAR Winston ...

Gordon Captures the Winston Million Wins Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Jeff Gordon became only the second man to capture the Winston Million as he won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Darlington Raceway Sunday beating Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett to finish line after a thrilling last lap scramble. Gordon won his ninth NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of the season and his third consecutive Mountain Dew Southern 500. After passing third-place finisher Jarrett, Burton ran down Gordon during the race's final two laps. The two drivers' cars touched as they received the white flag and started to enter turn one, but Gordon was able hold off Burton and took the checkered flag .144 seconds ahead of Burton. "This is a great day, I never really thought that anybody would win this Winston Million again, much less to win three consecutive Mountain Dew Southern 500s," said Gordon. "I can't believe it. "When I saw Jeff Burton coming in the final laps, I didn't think that he had enough time. But I looked up in my rear view mirror with two laps to go and knew he was the guy that we were going to have to beat. It sure did get exciting during that last lap, but I've been saying all week that if it came down to that last lap, that I was going to race hard and go for that million dollars." Darlington Raceway lived up to its tradition of being the "Track Too Tough to Tame," as the race saw no less than 11 caution flags for 67 laps. The race saw 9 lead changes among 7 drivers. The final and most significant lead change of the race took place on lap 296 of the 367-lap event Gordon took the lead for the final time. "He (Gordon) was racing for a million dollars," said Burton. "I got under him there when we got the white flag and he cut me down, and when he turned left, I turned right, but I guess I just didn't get him good enough. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done the same thing for a million dollars. I can't blame the guy, but we're here to win too." The Winston Million is a one million dollar bonus paid to any driver who can win three of the season's big four races including the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Gordon positioned himself for a shot at the million dollat bonus by winning the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 earlier this year. Bill Elliott won the inaugural Winston Million in 1985. On the strength of his victory Gordon was able to recapture the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points lead, he know leads runner-up Mark Martin by 25 points. Excluding the million dollar bonus Gordon earned $131,330 for his victory.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin