LOUDON, N.H. — It's tough being a team player when a victory is on the line.
Just ask Dale Jarrett. Or Ricky Rudd, the teammate Jarrett shoved aside Sunday for his victory in the New England 300.
Bumping his Robert Yates Racing teammate ever so slightly toward the wall with three laps left, Jarrett took the lead, then held off Jeff Gordon for his fourth victory of the year, and his first since April.
It was a fitting way to start the second half of the season, as the top three drivers in the ultra-tight Winston Cup points race fought it out in front all day.
When it was over, Jarrett and Gordon finished the way they started, in an unlikely dead heat. Their 2,695 points were 28 more than Rudd, who was poised to win, but got burned by a late yellow flag, then beaten by his teammate, and finished third.
"They're racers like we are," said Jarrett's crew chief, Todd Parrott. "They want to win just like we do. That's the fire Robert Yates puts in his race teams. It's something to be very proud of."
At Brooklyn, Mich., Patrick Carpentier came out of the pack and outran Dario Franchitti and Michel Jourdain Jr. for his first career victory, winning the Harrah's 500 in another breathtaking CART race at Michigan International Speedway.
The Canadian driver had not led a lap and appeared to be racing simply for a top-10 finish before teammates Kenny Brack and Max Papis took each other out in a crash as they fought for the lead with Bryan Herta just 23 laps from the end on the 2-mile oval.
With challengers nipping at the back of his Ford-powered Player's Forsythe Reynard, Carpentier, getting some unexpected help from teammate Alex Tagliani, was able to hold them off, winning by 0.243 seconds ahead of a dead heat by Franchitti and Jourdain.