May 7, 2001
Stewart wins Pontiac Excitement 400By JR Nerad
For Tony Stewart the Pontiac Excitement 400 in Richmond, Virginia, presented a bit more excitement than he would have liked. After finally working his way into a substantial lead late in the Saturday night race, Dave Blaney encountered the wall, and NASCAR officials decided a red flag followed by a restart would get everybody's heart pumping. In a quote uncharacteristic of a NASCAR driver, Stewart was openly critical of the late-race restart, saying, "I thought NASCAR was going to take it away from me."
Instead Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace took any last chance they might have had away from each other. Running second and third, respectively, when the racing went green, Wallace pushed Gordon up high on the track, essentially ending Gordon's shot to overtake Stewart. The usually mild-mannered Gordon was none too happy about it either. He and Wallace banged into each other after the checkered flag had come out, and later Gordon had some harsh words for Wallace with whom he has had several run-ins during the years.
The bright side of the restart for Gordon came from the fact that during the delay season points leader Dale Jarrett ran out of gas, dropping him from eighth to 15th. In light of Gordon's second-place finish, Jarrett's points lead fell to just 14. Meanwhile, Wallace surged into third place in the season standings, 62 points behind the leader.
Pontiac Excitement 400 Top 5 Finishers
More Racing Raps
Email Your Host
Get in touch with your host, Jack Nerad, the head honcho of Driving Today.Go>>