JEFF GORDON/#24 Dupont won his fifth Infineon Raceway road course race Sunday for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge/Save Mart 250 Race in front of a crowd estimated to be approximately 100,000. He led twice for a total of 44 laps. The victory, his seventy-fourth, moved the Rainbow Warrior back into The Chase at Position Eight. This makes nine road course victories for Gordon, the most of any driver. He has led laps in seven Infineon races.
Gordon said "Man, I didn't know if we were ever going to win another one of these races. I'm speechless. What an amazing moment this is, a very special weekend for me and this race team to get back to Victory Lane." And he was even proud of his burnout, perhaps his best-ever.
Gordon let it slip after the race that he got engaged Saturday. It was done in a nontraditional way, and they (he and fiancee INGRID VANDEBOSCH of Belgium) have been 'holding onto it' for a month or so. He wanted to let his family know before it was more widely announced at his family Croquet gathering.
RYAN NEWMAN/#12 Alltel Dodge finished 1.250 seconds behind Gordon, after passing TERRY LABONTE/#96 DLP@HDNET Chevrolet in Turn 12 with two laps to go.
After the race Newman was eager to get to the Medical Center to treat the cramps he had in his left posterior. It started half way through the race and he tried to raise himself during every caution. Although a Dodge has never won at Infineon, he said "This was a big day for us, a good run. We had a smooth race, great pit stops and great strategy."
Terry Labonte got "very good gas mileage," gambled on his pit stops, and worked on saving gas. Despite being passed, "It was still a good run for us." He didn't realise that he has run 56 of the 100 NASCAR Road course races. He did say this would probably be his last year of racing. "It's time to retire, when some of the guys in the Drivers' Meeting are younger than my kids."
GREG BIFFLE/#16 National Guard Ford finished fourth and KURT BUSCH/#2 Miller Lite Dodge was fifth.
The first lap was marred by a multi-car accident in Turn Two, bringing out the red flag for 12+ minutes. Three drivers failed to continue after all the dust settled, but no one was injured.
CLINT BOWYER/#07 Jack Daniels Chevrolet; JAMIE McMURRAY/#26 Crown Royal Ford; and CASEY MEARS/#42 Chevron/Texaco Dodge were involved and continued.
STERLING MARLIN/#14 Waste Management Chevrolet, KEN SCHRADER/#21 Little Debbie Ford, and TOM HUBERT/#27 Ford were towed back to their haulers for an unexpected early end to their race day.