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Motor Racing Roundup : Andretti Owns Home Turf, at Last

August 18, 1986|From Times Wire Services and

Pennsylvania has belonged to Mario Andretti for many years, except for the 2.5-mile tri-oval at Pocono International Raceway.

Andretti changed that Sunday by winning the Domino's Pizza Pocono 500 at Long Pond, Pa., just 30 miles from his home in Nazareth.

"I can't describe this feeling," said Andretti, 46, whose best previous finish at Pocono was a second in 1977. "It makes it a complete cycle, winning in my home state.

"The pressure was on. The fact is, I've been trying so hard here. People expected me to do well and I expected me to do well and something would always happen."

Andretti, with his second victory of the season and 47th of his career, moved past his son, Michael, 23, and into the lead in the CART-PPG point standings by a 96-91 margin.

Andretti picked up $102,843 for the victory as he averaged 152.106 m.p.h. Kevin Cogan, who was more than a lap behind, earned $57,343 for second place.

Pancho Carter was third, three laps behind the winner, followed another lap down by A.J. Foyt and Raul Boesel of Brazil.

The race boiled down to a late duel between Andretti and Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal. Rahal led on lap 174 as he exited the pits a lap after Andretti's final scheduled stop. Andretti regained the lead and seconds later Rahal pulled off the track and scrambled out of his car when his engine compartment caught fire.

Bill Elliott set a NASCAR record by winning the Champion Spark Plug 400 for the fourth straight time at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.

Elliott became the first driver in Winston Cup history to win four consecutive events at one super speedway. Five other drivers have won three straight. Elliott has won five career victories on the Michigan track, including the Michigan 400 on June 15.

Tim Richmond wound up second, 1.34 seconds behind, Darrell Waltrip was third, Geoff Bodine fourth and Dale Earnhardt fifth.

Elliott's Thunderbird led for 129 of the 200 laps, including 59 of the last 61. He averaged 135.46 m.p.h.

Defending world champion Alain Prost of France drove his McLaren Porsche to victory in the Austrian Grand Prix at Zeltweg, Austria.

The Frenchman covered the 52 laps or 191.6 miles in 1 hour 21 minutes 22.531 seconds to gain his 24th career Grand Prix victory.

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