DaytonaBud Shoot Out & FirstPlus Financial 200

SOURCE: Daytona International Speedway Rusty Wallace Wins Thrilling Bud Shootout At Daytona Irwin Holds on to Win FirstPlus Financial 200 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Bud Shootout At Daytona's new format provided a thrilling finish as Rusty...

SOURCE: Daytona International Speedway

Rusty Wallace Wins Thrilling Bud Shootout At Daytona

Irwin Holds on to Win FirstPlus Financial 200

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Bud Shootout At Daytona's new format provided a thrilling finish as Rusty Wallace edged his brother Kenny Wallace in a dramatic last lap shootout in the first race of 1998 featuring the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Jeff Gordon led the field to the white flag in the final restart, but his No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet failed to come up to speed. That gave the lead to Jimmy Spencer, but the Wallace brothers drafted by on the race's final circuit.

"It was a great race -- a real shootout to the end," said Rusty Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Ford Taurus. "When I saw Kenny coming, I said, wow, brotherly love, and he helped me go for the win."

"We ended up breaking our transmission," said Gordon. "By the time I tried to go on the last restart, Rusty was already gone."

Spencer qualified for the 17th and final starting position in the Bud Shootout At Daytona with an exciting last-to-first charge in a special 25-lap qualifying race Sunday morning. Spencer, driving the No. 23 Winston Ford Thunderbird, held off the Ford Taurus of Lake Speed and the Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt in the sprint to the checkered flag of the qualifying race.

Spencer quickly worked his way up to contention in the second 25-lap race.

"When I saw Kenny helping Rusty, I figured that would happen," Spencer said. "I'm just disappointed I didn't get any help on the last lap."

In the second half of Sunday's doubleheader, NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Kenny Irwin captured the FirstPlus Financial 200 by holding off a third Wallace brother, Mike Wallace, in the season-opening race for the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series.

Irwin, who will pilot Robert Yates' No. 28 Havoline Ford Taurus on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1998, won his first career start at Daytona.

The race came down to a four-car duel among Irwin, Wallace, Mike Ciochetti and Frank Kimmel, but while fighting for third place, Ciochetti and Kimmel got together in turn four on the last lap. Irwin was able to hold off the hard-charging Wallace by .244 seconds at the finish line.

"Before today I had no drafting experience whatsoever," said Irwin. "But, I learned a lot in 80 laps about what I need to do. I think you saw a couple of times where I got snookered or taken advantage of, so next time I'll know what to do.

        "After what I learned today, I would hate to think that I was
starting the Gatorade 125s without the experience I got today.  After
qualifying yesterday the whole team was kind of down.  So this will help
the whole No.  28 team get back up heading into the 125s on Thursday." 

Irwin led 41 of 80 laps including the final 11 en route to his first victory ever on a superspeedway. Irwin averaged 153.191 mph.

Qualifying and practice action continues today (Monday) at the Speedway with NASCAR Winston Cup Series Second-Round Qualifying set for 1 p.m. The next racing action at the Speedway will be Thursday's Gatorade 125s, which will set positions 3-30 for the"Great American Race," Sunday's Daytona 500.

For ticket information, call the Speedway Ticket Office at (904) 253-7223. -- 30 --

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Rusty Wallace , Jimmy Spencer , Kenny Wallace , Mike Wallace , Frank Kimmel , Robert Yates