OFF-ROAD RACING : Stewart Shows Son Who's Boss

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ivan Stewart seems to thrive on his son's misfortune.

After Brian Stewart was turned upside down on the first lap of the Grand National truck main event, Ivan moved into first place and went on to win before 21,034 at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

The victory was Stewart's second of the Mickey Thompson off-road racing series.

Stewart, driving for Toyota, had bumped Brian out of the way on the second lap of the second heat and gone on to win. It was the second consecutive round of the series in which father bumped son.

There were two re-starts in the main event.

"As we did the re-starts, it gave me a chance to get my throttle fixed because I think I had a rock stuck in it," Ivan Stewart said. "It also helped me figure out what Roger (Mears) Jr. was trying to do."

Mears was trying to go steadily around the first 180-degree turn, but Stewart went inside of him to take the lead.

"There were more body parts out there than the county morgue," Mears said of the rough racing.

Rod Millen, who drives for Toyota, entered the night as the Grand National truck points leader, with a 26-point lead over Chevrolet's Rick Johnson. But after Millen finished fifth in each of the heats and fourth in the main event, and Johnson was second and third in the heats and second in the feature, the lead was cut to 10 points.

Roger Mears Sr., driving a Nissan truck, won the first heat after starting on the outside front. He took the lead on the first lap.

Johnson's view was obstructed by a loose hood on the last lap, but he finished second. He earned 16 points to gain eight on Millen, who got nine points for finishing fifth in the first heat.

"Unfortunately the lead was taken away from me twice (in the first heat)," Johnson said. "The first was because of the yellow (flag) restart after Brian Stewart rolled, and the second was because my hood blocked my view. Most important, I finished in front of Millen and gained some points."

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