Dale Earnhardt easily won the Atlanta Journal 500 stock-car race in Hampton, Ga., Sunday, to clinch the NASCAR Winston Cup series championship.
Earnhardt, who won the second driving title of his career, beat runner-up Richard Petty by more than a lap with a track and race record average speed of 152.523 m.p.h.
The previous track record of 144.945 was set by Benny Parsons in the Coca-Cola 500 in March of 1984. The previous race record was 142.712 set by Petty in 1970.
Driving a Chevrolet, Earnhardt started the race with a 144-point margin over Darrell Waltrip in the battle for the points bonus, worth approximately $719,000.
"It blew up," Waltrip said of his engine. "Engine problems have been our demise this year. We could have won this race and maybe the (points) championship, too."
Earnhardt, in winning his fifth race of the season, clinched the championship when Waltrip's Chevrolet went out with engine problems on the 83rd lap.
For the win, Earnhardt received $114,950, including $67,950 for first place and a pair of $25,000 bonuses.
Earnhardt, who qualified in the fourth spot, took the lead with just over 200 miles remaining in the 500-mile race under sunny skies at the 1.522-mile Atlanta International Raceway.
Bobby Davis, Jr. was named the winner of the Western World sprint-car championship in Phoenix, Ariz., Saturday night, after Doug Wolfgang was penalized two positions for an illegal restart on lap 20.
Davis, of Memphis, Tenn., led the first 9 laps of the 40-lap event Saturday night before being passed by defending champion Steve Kinser.
Kinser was in control of the race until the 20th lap when he slid into a fence and blew a right-rear tire.
Wolfgang then took the lead and finished the race 1 second ahead of Davis.
However, Manzanita Speedway officials ruled that Wolfgang made his move into the lead before the cars were signaled to restart.
Wolfgang later refused to accept the $4,500 third-place check.
Davis won $12,000 for the victory and Bobby Allen collected $7,000 for second place.
Ed (Ace) McCulloch of Hemet, won the final 100-meter race on dirt in the $1 million Drag Race at Glen Helen Off-Highway Vehicle Park, to collect the entire purse.
McCulloch defeated veteran sand drag racer Dean Shaw of Arroyo Grande.