The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on October 17, 1988 · Page 21
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 21

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Monday, October 17, 1988
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Page 21
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MUNUAY, UCTUBEK 17, 1988 IMC IINUlAINAfULia S1AK- IS-.1) aillivan sails to i crown iO A inn win. r STAR STAFF PHOTO Danny Sullivan emerges with 1988 CART championship. Wallace holds on for bumpy victory ASSOCIATED PRESS North Wilkesboro, N.C. fiusty Wallace, racing to catch up in , the Winston Cup points championship, gained a little ground by bumping and banging his way to victory in the Holly Farms 400 NASCAR stock-car race Sunday. Wallace survived a rash of late-race bumps to win the 400-lap race at North Wilkesboro Speedway by one car length over Phil Parsons. He trimmed 20 points off Bill Elliott's lead in the points chase, and now trails by 89 points with three events left. "1 know Dill wants to win it and I want to win it, so we'll both just drive hard through the last race and may the best man win," said Wallace after winning his second consecutive race. He captured last week's Oakwood Homes 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Wallace took advantage of two caution flags in the final nine laps at the five-eighths of a mile track, taking the lead on lap 392, and winning the duel for position with Parsons and Geoff Bodine. ' The race was restarted with nine laps left after Dale Jarrett spun out, and Wallace took the lead. Another caution flag came out three laps later when Ricky Rudd and Dale Earnhardt tangled, sending Earnhardt spinning and taking two other cars with him In turn four. After the restart, Wallace and Bodine fought for position in the five laps, and Bodine tapped Wallace as the drivers headed into the backstretch on the final lap. But Wallace recovered, banging Into Bodine in the third turn, and he managed to squeeze by while Bodine fought to control his car. "On the white-flag lap, he (Bodine) got into me and tapped me and got me sideways," Wallace said. "Then I tapped him and he got sideways. And that's the way the race went. He gave me one and 1 gave him one back. "(After the race) he Just looked at me and waved and that was it. I didn't know how to take We conducted whelmingly prefer natural i 8 'wwwt it, he just waved at me," Wallace said. Meanwhile, Parsons was able to slip by to take second and Bodine settled for third. "Phil beat me by about an inch, I think," Bodine said. "I'd sure like to see a replay of it. I really don't remember much about that last lap it was so exciting. It was a good one. Up until about the last 10 laps it was a ho-hum race." Terry Labonte finished fourth, and Elliott, who started on the pole, finished fifth in a race that had been scheduled for Oct. 2 but was postponed because of rain. Earnhardt, who is in third place In the point standings, wound up sixth and is 188 points behind Elliott. In 1985, when Elliott saw his lead In the standings evaporate late in the season, he averaged finishing 14th on short tracks. This season, Elliott has averaged a seventh-place finish on short tracks. "We were happy with what we did here," Elliott said. "The whole year has been interesting really. Anything can still happen and it probably will." Wallace, who earned $47,000 for the victory, first led with 85 laps left but fell to seventh after tangling with Jimmy Means and had to work his way back. , Rudd and Bodine dominated through much of the first half. Rudd took the lead in the 61st lap after a collision between Kyle Petty and Lee Faulk brought out the first caution flag on the five-eighths of a mile track. Rudd and Bodine pulled away from the field and engaged in a two-car battle through the 155th lap when a caution flag forced a restart. Earnhardt, who started 22nd, moved into the top five following the caution and took the lead on a restart following a caution In lap 204 when Harry Cant spun out. But Rudd powered past the defending Winston Cup champion in the 359th lap. In the next lap, in the second turn, Earnhardt tagged Rudd's car sending Rudd spinning and bringing out a caution flag. living proof that facts don't have to be cole . a survey recently that revealed 80 of Indianapolis homeowners choose natural gas to heat their homes. If you're impressed by statistics, gas neat because nothing else ASSOCIATED PRESS Monterey, Calif. Danny Sullivan didn't want to back into his first CART-PPG Indy-car series driving championship. Heading into Sunday's Champion Spark Plug 300-kilometer race at Laguna Seca Raceway, he had said, "If 1 go out there and win it, there won't be any questions." That's just what Sullivan did, overpowering the field in leading 70 of 84 laps, including the final 24 around the rolling Northern California road course. Sullivan, who came into the race with a solid lead over his two closest competitors in the points race, two-time defending champion Bobby Rahal and Al Unser Jr., could have won the title simply by finishing ahead of those two or by running In the top six. But the 38-year-old Louisville, Ky., native ran to win from the green flag. The victory gave the 1985 Indianapolis 500 winner the $300,000 series championship with one event remaining on the 15-race Indy-car schedule. "There's something special about a championship," said the jubilant glamor boy of Indy-car racing. "It's a season-long deal. You have to do it every race." And, despite his dominance on Sunday, Sullivan said, "It was never easy out there. I had to keep my concentration and just try to keep those other guys behind me." Sullivan, who took the maximum of 22 points for the weekend one for the pole, 20 for winning the race and one for leading the most laps extended a 25-point lead over Rahal coming into the weekend to 35, 171-136. Unser remained third with 128. Sullivan earned his series-leading fourth victory of the season and the 1 1th of his Indy-car career, which began full-time in 1984 after a short stint in Formula One. It was the eighth season title in 12 years for the elite Penske Racing team, headed by New Jersey businessman Roger Penske. After leading by as much as 8.58 seends on lap 70, Sullivan slowed a bit at the end and crossed the finish line 2.78 seconds ahead of second-place Michael Andretti. The winner averaged 94.09 mph in the race slowed by one short full-course caution period. Mario Andretti, Michael's father, was third, followed by Rahal, who had won this race four straight years; Rick Mears, Unser and Derek Daly of Ireland, the last competitor on the lead lap. Sullivan, who started from the pole for the eighth time this season, moved off to a big lead in the early going, building the margin to as much as 6.57 sec- IVrsonul Ensign wins ASSOCIATED PRESS New York Personal Ensign extended her record career unbeaten streak to 12 when she raced to an easy and impressive 5';i-length victory on Sunday in the $332,400 Beldame Stakes for fillies and mares three and up at Belmont Park. The four-year-old daughter of Private Account-Grecian Banner carried 123 pounds and Randy Romero on the l'A-mile fast track in 2:01 1-5 to best run-nerup Classic Crown (118-Julie Krone). makes them teel as warm or comfortable. And tor those who preter natural gas, that s all the proot they onds over Unser when Rahal pitted for tires and lost second place on lap 24. Sullivan gave up the lead when he made his first scheduled pit stop on lap 29, but regained it on lap 40 after all the other cars on the lead lap had made their stops. The last of those was Mears, Sullivan's Penske teammate and this year's Indy winner, who had gotten out of sequence on his stops when he had to go Into the pits on lap nine for a tire change. Sullivan, running his race exactly as planned, made his second and last scheduled stop on lap 58. giving up the lead to Mario. Sullivan came out in third, behind the two Andrettis. After Mario pitted on lap 60 and Michael came in for fuel on lap 61, Sullivan was back in the lead for good. The race was extremely clean and fast after the first few laps. Rocky Moran spilled oil on the track shortly after the start and there were several spins in the first two laps, including two by Italian Teo Fabl in the March-Porsche. On lap nine, Tony Bettenhau-sen and Dale Coyne touched tires on the long straightaway between turns seven and eight. Coyne spun through the dirt and hit the concrete wall hard. 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