A victory in Sunday’s Miller Genuine Draft 400 evoked sweet memories for Davey Allison--of a second-place finish.
Allison simply blew away the rest of the field to earn his third victory of the season, leading 107 of 200 laps at Michigan International Speedway at Brooklyn.
Allison’s Ford Thunderbird crossed the finish line 11.7 seconds ahead of the No. 12 Buick Regal of Hut Stricklin, a childhood friend driving for Davey’s father, Bobby, and married to his uncle Donnie’s daughter.
“I think everybody knows I ran second to that No. 12 at Daytona a couple of years ago in the 1988 Daytona 500,” Davey Allison said, referring to a day Bobby Allison beat him. “That is still the highlight of my career, even though we’ve won 11 races now.
“Dad’s not in the car anymore, but it’s nice to see that car finish second.”
Dale Earnhardt, Stricklin and Allison bumped and banged in the early going until Allison asserted his dominance, taking control before the halfway point.
Bobby Allison was proud of his driver’s showing, but even prouder of his eldest son.
“Davey has been a lot of pleasure to me along the way,” said Allison, whose career was ended in a nearly fatal racing crash in June 1988. “I’ve talked to Hut about that. I told him on account of that, I just want to beat Davey by a little bit--but I do want to beat him.”
Allison earned $90,650 and averaged 160.912 m.p.h., breaking the track record of 157.704, set in August 1989 by Rusty Wallace.
For the second year in a row, Michael Andretti dominated the competition in the Budweiser-G.I. Joe 200 at Portland, Ore., cruising to a 4.5-second victory to become the first two-time winner on the Indy-car circuit this year.
Andretti, using his backup Chevrolet-powered Lola, qualified fourth but got to the front quickly with a daring move at the start to shoot between the two front-row drivers, Emerson Fittipaldi and Rick Mears, as they entered the chicane at the end of the main straightaway.
“I’m young--young and stupid,” Andretti said, explaining his reason for the move.
Fittipaldi, who finished second, said no other driver would have made the move Andretti did.
“Michael’s a great driver and he took a very high risk on the start,” Fittipaldi said. “The gap between my car and Rick’s was very small. I don’t know how Michael did it.”
Andretti tried to shrug it off.
“I think it looked a little worse than it really was,” he said.
“Not from my cockpit,” Fittipaldi responded.
Andretti, who also won at Milwaukee, led all but two of the 104 laps, a race record, dropping out of first only during pit stops. He averaged 115.208 m.p.h. and won $79,398.
Fittipaldi, who started from the pole, fell behind by as many as 17 seconds until Andretti was held up for several laps while trying to lap Scott Pruett.
Kenny Bernstein drove his dragster 284 m.p.h. at 5.020 seconds to win the top fuel competition at the National Hot Rod Assn. Le Grandnational Molson at St. Pie, Canada.
Bernstein had beaten Jack Ostrander and Lori Johns en route to a finals matchup with Don Prudhomme, who drove 5.031 at 279.06 m.p.h. in finishing second.
Jim White was the Funny Car winner, his Dodge Daytona turning 271.90 m.p.h. at 5.595 seconds in beating John Force.
Belgium’s Eric Bachelart won his third Firestone Indy Lights race of the season at Portland International Raceway.
Bachelart won by 0.447 seconds and earned $20,750. His average speed of 105.073 m.p.h. is a record for the 1.922-mile road course.