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Motor Racing Roundup : Unser Sr. Shows Son How It's Done

October 14, 1985| From Times Wire Services

Al Unser Sr. pulled away from the fastest field in the history of the Phoenix International Raceway Sunday at Phoenix to win the Dana 150 Indy-car race and move past his son into the season-point lead.

The elder Unser, 46, dominated the 150-lap race, beating second-place Al Unser Jr. by more than a lap on the one-mile track.

Mario Andretti was third, followed by Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal, all one lap behind the winner.

Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi, one of six drivers who came into the race in contention for the CART-PPG point title and the $300,000 payoff that goes with it, finished eighth, four laps off the lead.

Unser Sr. leads with 139 points, followed by his son at 136. They are the only drivers with a mathematical shot at the title.

With a maximum of 22 points available in the season finale Nov. 9 in Miami, Fla., the other four challengers were eliminated from contention. Rahal has 116 points, while Mario Andretti is at 114, Sullivan has 106 and Fittipaldi is at 104.

It was the senior Unser's first victory of the season, the 38th of his career and his first since the July 4 race at Cleveland in 1983. The victory, his sixth here, also broke a tie with Gordon Johncock for most victories at Phoenix.

Gordon Johncock, two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who announced his retirement from the Indy-car circuit last May, said Sunday at Phoenix he is coming back.

Johncock, 49, quit the Patrick Racing Team prior to the opening round of qualifying for this year's Indy 500.

He said Sunday: "I've been in racing 30 years and I found I miss it. I miss the competition. I probably wasn't really ready to quit. I made a hasty decision in May.

"It was frustration, really. We had some things go wrong, some crashes, and we weren't really competitive."

Johncock suffered severe ankle and leg injuries in crashes in 1983 and 1984, but he said those injuries no longer hamper him.

"I don't even think about my legs anymore," he said.

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