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Auto Racing Roundup : Cogan Gets a Break and Beats Sneva for First Indy-Car Win

April 07, 1986| From Times Wire Services

Kevin Cogan took advantage of Michael Andretti's misfortune and raced to his first Indy-car victory Sunday in the Dana 200 at Phoenix.

Cogan, 30, was trailing the 23-year-old Andretti by about six seconds when the latter's new March racer suddenly began spouting smoke from the rear and rolled slowly to the pits.

That left Cogan, who had been battling with Andretti on and off through the 200-lap event, ahead of second-place Tom Sneva by two laps.

Cogan held on to beat Sneva by 5.69 seconds and win $40,000. The winner averaged 120.345 m.p.h. The race was slowed by seven caution flags.

Cogan's best previous finishes were two seconds, one in the 1982 Pocono 500 and the other in a 1981 race at Milwaukee.

Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil was third, another lap down, followed by Danny Sullivan and Johnny Rutherford.

Steve Millen of New Zealand held off Cary Bren Sunday to win the inaugural race of the American Racing Series at Phoenix.

Millen averaged 120.093 m.p.h. in the 76-lap event at Phoenix International Raceway to win the $20,000 first prize.

Pole-winner Kim Campbell led the first 44 laps around the one-mile oval, but gave up the lead to Millen on lap 45 as his car began to experience suspension problems.

All 14 starters drove new Buick-powered Wildcat racers. Ten were running at the finish.

Rusty Wallace flashed past Darrell Waltrip on lap 400 to take the lead and notch his first career Winston Cup victory in the Valleydale 500 at Bristol, Tenn.

Wallace was 11th different winner in the past 11 Winston Cup races, establishing a modern-day record for parity on the stock-car circuit. The win was worth $34,780.

Ricky Rudd finished second, 10.69 seconds behind Wallace. Waltrip, the Winston Cup points leader, was third.

The record of 11 different drivers winning the last 11 races broke the mark set during the 1983-84 season. The all-time record for such a streak is 13, set twice in 1961.

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