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Johnson Fourth at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2003) – Jimmie Johnson earned his fifth top-five finish of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, coming in fourth on the 2.45-mile road course.

Johnson, who has two victories this season in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, had to work his way from the rear of the 43-car field after changing engines before the event.

“What an afternoon,” Johnson said. “What a team effort. This race was a great example of what this team can do when we all come together.”

With two victories, five top-fives and nine top-10s, the El Cajon, Calif., native is currently fourth in the Winston Cup championship standings after 22 events.

Driving the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevy, Joe Nemechek finished 17th at Watkins Glen after starting 21st. The showing, his best at the track since finishing eighth in 2000, earned him one spot in driver points, moving from 25th to 24th overall.

Nemechek is just seven points behind 23rd-place Johnny Benson and has a 16-point advantage over 25th-place Ricky Rudd.

Thanks to mechanical problems, Terry Labonte crossed the finish line one spot behind his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, coming in 18th on Sunday.

After starting 19th, the two-time Winston Cup champion lost his power steering on Lap 10 of the 90-lap event, forcing him to wrestle his No. 5 Kellogg’s / got milk? Monte Carlo through the remainder of the event.

Labonte, who still managed to finish on the lead lap, remains 14th in driver points.

After starting from the pole position, Jeff Gordon suffered the most disappointing day of anyone at Watkins Glen, finishing 33rd after being spun by Kevin Harvick during the event’s final lap.

The two-time Winston Cup champion, who fought his way to the front after being spun on the first lap by Greg Biffle, was running in the top five when his car ran out of fuel on Lap 90. As he coasted to the finish, Harvick turned Gordon’s No. 24 DuPont Chevy, which lost momentum and failed to finish.

Gordon remains third in the standings, 396 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.

Robby Gordon won Sunday’s event, his second victory of 2003.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will next visit the two-mile Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., on Sunday. Coverage of the event will be carried live on TNT and MRN Radio beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.


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