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Jarrett hits wall, still takes win

Dale Jarrett finally overpowered the track that's supposed to be "too tough to tame," dominating the field Sunday in the TranSouth Financial 400.

Jarrett, with a point to make after letting both Winston Cup races slip from his grasp last year at Darlington International Raceway, hung on this time, fighting off a strong challenge from runner-up Ted Musgrave.

The winner led the last 129 of 293 laps on the 1.366-mile oval, beating Musgrave by less than two car-lengths in the battle of Fords.

Coming into the race as the series points leader and the hottest driver on NASCAR's top stock-car circuit, Jarrett started from the pole but came close to disaster on Lap 48 when he skidded through some oil and slapped the wall in Turn 3 while leading.

Jeff Gordon also brushed the wall but finished third in a Chevrolet. Jeff Burton, who led several times, wound up fourth in a Ford, followed by Bobby Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Michael Waltrip.

PHOENIX 200: Unsponsored Jim Guthrie, racing with enough money for just one engine, won the Indy Racing League event, holding off Tony Stewart.

A record nine caution flags produced the slowest Indy-car race in the history of Phoenix International Raceway. The average speed of 89.190 mph was a crawl compared with A.J. Foyt's 99.990 from 1965.

Sam Schmidt and Jeret Schroeder were admitted to Phoenix St. Joseph's hospital with injuries suffered in separate incidents _ Schmidt with fractured vertebrae and Schroeder with a concussion. Both were listed in good condition.

SLICK 50 NATIONALS: Tony Pedregon beat Cruz Pedregon in the Funny Car final, the first professional final round between brothers in NHRA history, at Baytown, Texas.

Other winners at the season's fourth event were Joe Amato in Top Fuel, Tom Martino in Pro Stock and John Myers in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Amato took the lead in the NHRA Winston point standings with a victory over Bob Vandergriff Jr.

NEMECHEK BURIAL: John Nemechek, the truck racer who died Friday from injuries received in a crash, will be buried in his hometown of Lakeland.

A visitation was conducted for Nemechek with a funeral Mass scheduled today in Lakeland. A memorial service is planned for Tuesday night in North Carolina for the racing community.

In lieu of flowers, the Nemechek family requests donations be made to the charity of the donor's choice or to the John Nemechek Memorial Fund, c/o Alan Burke, CPA, P.O. Box 1529, Salisbury, NC 28144-0088.

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