March 25, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Gordon grabs Goody’s 500 win

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Jeff Gordon keeps finding new ways to win races.

Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, the 25-year-old wunderkind came up with his second straight victory and fourth in eight starts this season as he simply steamrollered the rest of the 42-car field in the Goody’s Headache Powder 500.

A week earlier, Gordon had to bump his way past Rusty Wallace on the last turn of the last lap to win. This time, he led a race record 432 of 500 laps on the .526-mile oval, and not even being spun out in an incident with Jimmy Spencer could slow his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for more than a few moments.

The previous mark for the spring race was 427 laps led by Cale Yarborough in 1974. Richard Petty holds the Martinsville record with 480 laps led in the fall race in 1970.

“I never dreamed we were going to be that good,” Gordon said. “I got a little nervous there at the end, having to battle some of those guys, especially that 43 (Bobby Hamilton).”

Hamilton chased Gordon to the end, finishing 1.047-seconds – about three car-lengths behind – in a Pontiac. Mark Martin wound up third in a Ford, followed by Terry Labonte, Gordon’s teammate and the defending Winston Cup champion.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ricky Craven of Newburgh finished 22nd in his first race back since a crash more than two weeks ago during a practice session at Texas Motor Speedway.

Rusty Wallace, who had won the spring race here four straight years, wound up fifth in his Ford after running as high as second several times.

Gordon, who won $99,225, averaged 70.290 mph as he won for the second straight time at the Martinsville track.

Hamilton, who led 331 laps here last fall before a broken air gun messed up a pit stop and relegated him to third, said, “We needed 100 laps of solid green. We were better than everybody, but we never got that chance except once.”

The flow of the race was interrupted by 11 caution flags for a total of 103 laps and lasted nearly 3 hours, 45 minutes.

Gordon, who now has 23 career victories, has 18 top-10 finishes in his last 19 starts on track shorter than one mile. That includes seven wins.

“Short tracks have been good to us the last few years,” he explained. “You’ve got to do well at short tracks to win a championship, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Gordon started third and followed second-place starter Joe Nemechek past pole-winner Kenny Wallace on the first lap. The 1995 series champion then drove by Nemechek to take the lead on lap 21.

He quickly began to pull away, and the biggest question soon became what the winning margin would be.

Gordon not only remained out front, but moved away from the competition after each successive caution period and kept lapping more cars. That’s what he was attempting to do on lap 328 when a collision with Spencer coming off turn four nearly spelled disaster for the leader.

As his car spun and smoke billowed from the tries, Hamilton moved past to take the lead – despite being hit hard from behind by the lapped car of Sterling Marlin – and Rusty Wallace took second.

Somehow, Gordon’s car came away from the incident virtually unscathed, and he came out of the ensuing pit stop right behind Hamilton in second place. Hamilton wasn’t as lucky, coming away from the melee with the right rear corner of his car pushed completely out of shape.

Still, it took Gordon until lap 376 to get past Hamilton and regain the lead he held the rest of the way.

Seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt extended his string of top-10 finishes to four. He never contended, but finished eighth.

Auto Racing

Goody’s 500

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Results Sunday of the Goody’s Headache Powder 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, with starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, make of car, laps completed, money won and reason out if any:

1. (4) Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet, 500, $99,225; 2. (8) Bobby Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn., Pontiac, 500, $50,575; 3. (39) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford, 500, $42,375; 4. (7) Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chevrolet, 500, $42,925; 5. (15) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 500, $33,875; 6. (1) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Ford, 500, $35.375; 7. (29) Jeremy Mayfield, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 500, $19,775; 8. (14) Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac, 500, $29,650; 9. (17) Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet, 500, $25,445; 10. (26) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet, 500, $30,945;

11. (11) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Ford, 500, $23,685; 12. (25) Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 500, $28,400; 13. (5) Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Ford, 500, $27,065; 14. (6) Hut Stricklin, Calera, Ala., Ford, 500, $22,765; 15. (19) Jeff Burton, South Boston, Va., Ford, 500, $28,215; 16. (23) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford, 499, $28,265; 17. (22) Johnny Benson, Grand Rapids, Mich., Pontiac, 499, $22,365; 18. (18) Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac, 499, $14,770; 19. (2) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet, 499, $15,865; 20. (28) Steve Grissom, Gadsden, Ala., Chevrolet, 498, $23,115;

21. (38) Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Chevrolet, 498, $25,965; 22. (35) Ricky Craven, Newburgh, Maine, Chevrolet, 498, $20,415; 23. (13) Robert Pressley, Asheville, N.C., Chevrolet, 498, $13,265; 24. (12) Ted Musgrave, Franklin, Wis., Ford, 497, $20,115; 25. (20) Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Ford, 497, $20,215; 26. (34) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Ford, 496, $19,815; 27. (37) Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 496, $19,665; 28. (27) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Ford, 496, $19,615; 29. (3) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 495, $20,065, crash; 30. (31) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Ford, 495, $9,515;

31. (30) Ernie Irvan, Salinas, Calif., Ford, 494, $24,465; 32. (16) Mike Skinner, Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet, 490, $10,440; 33. (42) Bobby Hillin, Midland, Texas, Ford, 488, $9,415; 34. (24) Derrike Cope, Spanaway, Wash., Pontiac, 481, $11,140; 35. (21) Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Pontiac, 479, $16,365; 36. (32) Rick Mast, Lexington, Va., Ford, 477, $16,340; 37. (9) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford, 454, $14,075; 38. (41) Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet, 417, $7,075; 39. (36) Mike Wallace, St. Louis, Chevrolet, 414, $7,075; 40. (10) Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac, 398, $7,075; 41. (40) Robby Gordon, Cerritos, Calif., Chevrolet, 395, $7,075, handling; 42. (33) Chad Little, Spokane, Wash., Pontiac, 394, $7,075

Opryland USA 320

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Results Saturday of the Bell South Mobility-Opryland 320 NASCAR Busch Series stock car race at Nashville Speedway USA, with starting number in parentheses, driver and hometown, laps completed, money won, and reason out, if any:

1. (18) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., 320, $31,885; 2. (9) Jeff Green, Owensboro, Ky., 320, $24,610; 3. (5) Tim Fedewa, Holt, Mich., 320, $14,910; 4. (22) Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn., 320, $8,235; 5. (15) Todd Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., 320, $11,205; 6. (7) Randy LaJoie, Norwalk, Conn., 320, $10,810; 7. (4) Hermie Sadler, Emporia, Va., 320, $6,560; 8. (2) Kevin Lepage, Shelburne, Vt., 320, $8,560; 9. (20) Dennis Setzer, Newton, N.C., 320, $4,275; 10. (16) Buckshot Jones, Monticello, Ga., 320, $8,960;

11. (3) Matt Kenseth, Lansing, Mich., 320, $3,325; 12. (29) Phil Parsons, Detroit, Mich., 320, $4,275; 13. (1) Mike McLaughlin, Waterloo, N.Y., 320, $7,775; 14. (37) Stevie Reeves, Speedway, Ind., 319, $4,675; 15. (27) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., 319, $3,550; 16. (33) Jason Keller, Greenville, S.C., 318, $7,075; 17. (11) Elton Sawyer, Chesapeake, Va., 318, $4,525; 18. (26) Larry Pearson, Greenville, S.C., 318, $2,975; 19. (13) Chad Chaffin, Nashville, Tenn., 315, $2,925; 20. (28) Lyndon Amick, Batesburg, S.C., 315, $3,325;

21. (31) Mark Green, Owensboro, Ky., 314, $4,375; 22. (35) Jimmy Foster, Ormond Beach, Fla., 314, $2,860; 23. (25) Johnny Chapman, Stony Point, N.C., 312, $4,325; 24. (8) Shane Hall, Fountain Inn, S.C., 308, $4,315; 25. (39) Tracy Leslie, Mt. Clemens, Mich., 307, $4,505; 26. (6) Tim Steele, Coopersville, Mich., $6,545, 304, Accident; 27. (34) Jeff Krogh, Kamiah, Idaho, $2,785, 303; 28. (21) Rodney Combs, Mattituck, N.Y., $4,275, 302; 29. (41) Jeff McClure, Harrisburg, N.C., $2,765, 299; 30. (12) Elliott Sadler, Emporia, Va., $3,970, 286;

31. (10) Jeff Fuller, Auburn, Mass., $5,985, 281; 32. (40) Joe Bessey, Scarborough, Maine, $3,725, 259, transmission; 33. (14) Chris Diamond, Bethlehem, N.C., $2,715, 255, accident; 34. (17) Mike Dillon, Lexington, N.C., $5,955, 235, accident; 35. (24) Glenn Allen, Cincinnati, Ohio, $3,695, 229, accident; 36. (38) Rick Wilson, Bartow, Fla., $2,685, 210, accident; 37. (30) Mark Krogh, Kamiah, Idaho, $2,675, 161, accident; 38. (42) Mark Day, Clarksville, Tenn., $2,665, 123, Rear End; 39. (19) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kannapolis, N.C., $2,665, 93, oil leak; 40. (32) Randy Porter, Greenville, S.C., $2,665, 87, accident; 41. (23) Nathan Buttke, High Point, N.C., $2,865, 32, accident; 42. (36) Johnny Rumley, Winston-Salem, N.C., $2,665, 7, accident;


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