Labonte wins again, Waltrip fined

Sunday, June 18, 1995 – Three weeks after winning for the first time in the NASCAR premier series, Bobby Labonte returns to the winner’s circle with a victory in the Miller Genuine Draft 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The driver of the No. 18 Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing beat runner-up Jeff Gordon by 0.27 second.

Labonte is one of 12 drivers who won in their third start following their first career victory. He had earned win No. 1 the previous month when he captured the Coca-Cola 600.

It was the fourth career victory for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization.

Gordon had passed Labonte for the lead with just 17 laps remaining in the 200-lap affair. Labonte regained the lead for the final time four laps later.

Rusty Wallace, John Andretti and Morgan Shepherd completed the top five.

A battle for position in the closing laps spilled over onto pit road following the race when Michael Waltrip punched fellow driver Lake Speed while Speed was still inside his car. A day after the incident, NASCAR fined Waltrip $10,000. Speed finished 11th in the race, Waltrip 12th. “He’s 6-3, 210 pounds,” Speed said the following day during a break in testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “I didn’t even lower my visor let alone take off my helmet.” Waltrip, while accepting the NASCAR decision to levy a fine, said he felt “this fine is a little steep for what I did.”

Geoff Bodine was fined $5,000 by NASCAR for ignoring a black flag after hitting the wall with less than 10 laps remaining. NASCAR officials stopped scoring the owner/driver with three laps remaining.

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