MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP : At 51, Gant Adds Dover to NASCAR Win Streak
Harry Gant backers passed out buttons Sunday proclaiming “Life Begins at 51.”
“I’m proud to be 51 years old,” Gant said at Dover, Del., after winning his fifth consecutive NASCAR race, third in a row on the Winston Cup circuit. “There’s a lot of people that don’t make it to 51, and we’re just glad for everything that’s happened to us.”
Nobody could stay within a mile of Gant as he lapped the field in the wreck-marred Peak Antifreeze 500 in the same Oldsmobile he used to win at Richmond, Va., and Darlington, S.C., the past two weeks.
“We’ll probably run it at Martinsville, (Va., next week), and we’ll probably run it until we wreck it,” said the Taylorsville, N.C., driver, who won $67,000.
Gant, the oldest man to win a 500-mile race of any kind, became the first driver since Rusty Wallace in 1988 to win three in a row. Gant averaged 110.179 m.p.h. on the high-banked, one-mile oval at Dover Downs International Speedway. Geoff Bodine finished second and Morgan Shepherd third.
Michael Andretti’s victory in the Pioneer Electronics 200 at Lexinton, Ohio, moved him past Bobby Rahal into the CART Indy-car series point lead.
Andretti, 28, has finished second in the points race three times but never has won it.
He won his second race in a row and sixth in the past 10 events. Andretti led all but one lap--his father, Mario, led that--and earned $83,700 after setting a course qualifying record in winning his seventh pole position of the year. Andretti averaged 99.559 m.p.h in winning the 89-lap, 199.3-mile race over the 2.25-mile, 13-turn road circuit.
Emerson Fittipaldi was second and Al Unser Jr. third.
Brian Till led the final four laps at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the way to earning his first Firestone Indy Lights victory in nine starts.
Till beat Mark Smith to the finish line by 0.215 seconds, averaging 87.866 m.p.h. and winning $26,750.
Don Prudhomme defeated Joe Amato in the top-fuel final, and Jim White eclipsed a national Funny car speed record at the National Hot Rod Assn. Sunoco Keystone Nationals at Mohnton, Pa.
Amato left the starting line slightly ahead, but Prudhomme ran him down, winning in 4.954 seconds at 278.20 m.p.h. Amato’s time was 5.009 at 279.50.
White set the speed record in downing John Force in the funny-car final. White’s speed of 289.94 m.p.h. in 5.181 seconds topped his mark of 287.81 set earlier in the week.