Ward Burton takes checkered at New Hampshire Speedway, and he has continued to show why he is one of the premier race drivers and teams in NASCAR. He took a late lead away from the failing car of Matt Kenseth. Burton started 31st and then came on late after struggling most of the day with setup, wrecks and tires.
The race at times resembled more of a demolition derby, with 14 caution flags, tying the season high for cautions. Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the way for most of the race until he was caught up in a fender bender of his own making. He drifted up into another car on the re-surfaced track. The new surface did not seem to hold rubber well, and drivers out of the groove were in trouble, usually meeting the wall before righting the car. The loose grooves resulted in tempers flaring, including those of Ricky Craven, bumped from contention, as were the frayed nerves of angry Joe Nemecheck, who also was bumped out of the groove and out of contention. But the heartbreaking move of the day belonged to Kenseth. He was in position for the win, holding off Burton, when four laps from the finish, his tire went flat, resulting in him being shuffled completely out of any chance for the win. Next up is Pocono, a race that drives like a road course and a drag strip all in one track. The sharp lefts once again should have the tempers ratcheted up a notch, as cars will beat and bang on each other as the championship race heats up. Sterling Marlin, points leader going into the race at New Hampshire, was relegated to a 55 point lead in the standings over Mark Martin. Marlin finished 14th and Martin finished 16th, keeping the race season standings close.
Watkings Glen, NY.