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MOTOR RACING : Same Old Story for Wallace

From Associated Press

Excuse Rusty Wallace if he says “been there, done that” with no sign of boredom whatsoever.

A year ago, Wallace crashed in the season-opening Daytona 500, then won the Goodwrench 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham.

He completed the scenario again Sunday, leading 346 of the Goodwrench 500’s 492 laps and leading Sterling Marlin’s Chevrolet across the finish line by 5.15 seconds.

Wallace had crashed on the 61st lap at Daytona a week ago, finishing 41st.

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Sunday at Rockingham was no problem at all.

“I told everybody, ‘Man, we could probably win in a Jaguar,’ ” Wallace said. “It’s the race team, not the car.

“The crew did a perfect job on the car. The chassis was great and the motors flew--a lot of power. I don’t think I’ve ever put my foot in that much power.”

It was his first victory in a Ford after winning 10 races in a Pontiac a year ago.

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“A lot of people said we were making a mistake (switching to Ford),” he said. “I made this move because I wanted to have a little better power plant and a little better aerodynamics.

“I wanted to dominate. I wanted to lead all the laps and do it in a big way.”

He did. Wallace led the last 60 laps, and even a late caution flag that allowed the field to close in on him didn’t help the competition.

“We had such a big lead all day, I didn’t care,” Wallace said. “Every time I looked behind me, I couldn’t even see the second-place guys. This Ford is strong.”

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Rick Mast was the only other driver on the lead lap at the end, with Mark Martin and Ernie Irvan finishing fourth and fifth.

Wallace averaged 125.239 m.p.h. over the 1.017-mile oval and earned $50,385 for his 32nd victory.

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Tommy Kendall, driving a Ford Mustang Cobra, raced to a wire-to-wire victory at the Grand Prix of Miami, despite racing an extra lap because of an electrical problem with the scoring computer.

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Kendall, from La Canada, held off Dorsey Schroeder by 0.434 seconds and averaged 68.764 m.p.h. on the 1.87-mile, 11-turn street course.

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Chevrolet driver Rick Johnson made it two victories in a row to start the Mickey Thompson Stadium Off-Road Racing Series, beating Ivan Stewart in the Grand National Sport Truck main event Saturday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.


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