The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 16, 2007 · Page D3
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page D3

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Monday, April 16, 2007
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Page D3
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THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR WWW.INDYSTAR.COM Sports 3rd MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007 D3 AUTO RACING ROUNDUP Bourdais returns to dominating form at Long Beach Associated Press A week after the worst race weekend of his Champ Car career, Sebastien Bourdais was back where he expects to be in victory circle. The Frenchman dominated Sunday on the way to his third straight win in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif), just a week after crashing in qualifying and in the race at the season opener in Las Vegas. "The team didn't panic after Vegas, which was crucial," Bourdais said. "A lot of teams could really blow apart after a week NASCAR Gordon starts on pole, leads the most laps, but ends up 4th. From Dl day and was going for a weekend sweep. It also ended a four-race winning streak by Hendrick Motor-sports. Gordon led 173 of 334 laps and finished fourth, the fifth top-five finish in the seven races this season for the Hendrick driver. But he is 0-for-13 at Texas, one of three active tracks where the four-time Nextel Cup champion hasn't won Cup races. "Man, I'm just sick," Gordon said. "I don't want to give away races. I felt like we had the car to beat there. . . . Another Texas race getting away from us." Gordon was still leading with 21 laps to go when he scraped the outside wall coming out of turn four the first of a couple of times he did that. Gordon managed to stay in front five more laps before Kenseth passed him. Soon after that, Burton got past Gordon and caught up to Kenseth. Lap after lap, Burton tried to get past Kenseth, and finally did with only a half-lap left in the Samsung 500 when he overtook him on the backstretch coming out of turn two. PACERS vs. WASHINGTON Wednesday 418 8:00 p.m. Fan Appreciation Night. Everyone wins! Receive a scratch off card and win prizes. First 15,000 fans receive the official Pacers 2006-07 team poster, courtesy of Sport Graphics. Game Night Special 50 off selected Pacers merchandise. Tickets at Pacers.com or Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office. end like that. We didn't. "That race was like a bad dream. This is a whole lot nicer," he added after leading 58 of the 78 laps on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn downtown street circuit. It's the longest winning streak at Long Beach since Al Unser Jr. won a record four in a row from 1988 through 1991. Oriol Servia, the 2005 series runner-up as Bourdais' teammate, took second after starting the weekend without a ride. He took over for Paul Tracy after the 2003 series champion injured his back in a crash during Sat SAMSUNG 500 (Top finishers) Driver Car Chevrolet Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Ford Ford Chevrolet Dodge Chevrolet Dodge Jeff Burton Matt Kenseth Mark Martin Jeff Gordon Jamie McMurray Greg Biffle Martin Truex Jr. 8. J. Pablo Montoya 9. Denny Hamlin 10. David Stremme Series points leaders: 1. Gordon, 1,136; 2. Burton, 1,128; 3. Kenseth, 1,011; 4. Jimmie Johnson, 955; 5. Hamlin, 914; 6. Clint Bowyer, 866; 7. Kyle Busch, 856; 8. Carl Edwards, 837; 9. Tony Stewart, 814; 10. McMurray, 805. "Honestly, I thought he was going to pass me way before that because he was running me down like crazy," Kenseth said. "He was running me down and had the faster car, but I was just enough of a pain in the neck to hold him off for a while." Just as Burton did last month at Bristol when he was chasing eventual winner Kyle Busch in the closing laps, Burton didn't try to push Kenseth out of the way. Burton raced clean and waited for his chance. "I received some criticism after Bristol for not being more aggres Al f 1 urday's practice. Will Power, who won his first Champ Car race in Las Vegas and started from the outside of the front row, passed Alex Ta-gliani on the last lap to grab third. Justin Wilson, last year's series runner-up, also got past Tagliani on the final lap to take fourth. The victory moved Bourdais all the way from 13th to third in the standings, 19 points behind Power and just four behind runner-up Tagliani heading into next week's street race in Hous sive. I'm OK with that," Burton said. "At the end of the day, I am the way I am, race the way I race. That's the way I am." And it worked out perfectly this time. Burton won with an average speed of 143.359 mph and was the last of nine leaders. Gordon, the points leader who started on the pole after qualifying was canceled because of storms, led four times and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had three leads for 96 laps. Jimmie Johnson, the Hendrick driver who won three of the past four races, was knocked out of contention on lap 240 when he ran into Tony Stewart's sliding car coming onto the frontstretch. Johnson finished 38th. Stewart, who won at Texas last fall, was sent into a spin when he was bumped while running side by side with rookie Juan Pablo Montoya. "I don't blame him. You can't expect him to learn everything in four or five weeks," Stewart said. "He didn't make friends with me today, so he won't get any help from me in the future." When making a run on Busch only 13 laps later trying to get back on the lead lap, Stewart lost control. Earnhardt was running third when he slowed down to try to avoid Stewart but was rammed hard from behind by Kyle Busch, who had the other win in Hen-drick's streak. There must not have been any 1 I Toy '- Y:"x-x liil n ton. Massa wins, Hamilton 2nd Felipe Massa of Ferrari won the Bahrain Grand Prix, and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren finished second, becoming the first driver to start his Formula One career with three straight top-three finishes. Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari was third, and Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber was fourth. Hamilton, F-l's first black driver, finished third at the Australian GP and second at the Ma hard feelings between Earnhardt and Busch. After being unable to finish the race in his No. 8 Chevrolet, Earnhardt drove the final nine laps in the No. 5 car after Busch's crew couldn't find their driver after repairing the car. "He's gone; I think he left," Earnhardt said. "They asked me to do it so I wasn't going to say no." There had been 11 different winners in the 11 races since Burton first won in Texas, which had gone longer than any other track without a repeat winner. When Richmond opened in 1953, there were eight races before inaugural winner Lee Petty won again in 1960. NOW TIRE 317-598-99?? BUY ANY AND GET GIFT CARD ALSO GOOD AT ON THE BORDER. MACARONI GRILL OR MAGGIANO'S RESTAURANT GOOD THROUGH APRIL 21st AT ANY CENTRAL INDIANA TIRE BARN LOCATION FOR TIRES & WHEELS A MONTHS NO INTEREST! PLUS UP TO $50 REBATE ON YOUR TIRE BARN GOODYEAR CARD PURCHASE OF $499 OR MORE. W.A.C. CASTLETON 6415 E. 82nd St. 841-8473 Open Sunday WASHINGTON SQ.' 10103 E.Washington St. 898-8473 Open Sunday SOUTH 8145 U.S. 31 S. 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