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Motor Racing Roundup : Guerrero Gets a Break and a Win

September 07, 1987| From Times Wire Services

Roberto Guerrero, benefiting from an incident that knocked Bobby Rahal out of the lead 10 laps from the finish, raced to his second Indy car victory Sunday in a 200-mile race at Lexington, Ohio.

Rahal, who was in command through most of the 84-lap race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, appeared well on the way to his third straight Indy car victory on the 2.4-mile, 15-turn road circuit.

He led Guerrero by about 10 seconds when Rick Miaskiewicz, running 10 laps off the pace, appeared to cut Rahal off as the leader tried to pass him on the inside of Turn 11 on Lap 75.

The two bumped hard, with Miaskiewicz, who was not injured, skidding up and nearly over a dirt embankment before stopping. Rahal was able to continue, but had to drive slowly through the last four turns on the circuit before reaching the pits to replace a flat tire.

"It was probably my own fault," Rahal said. "I should have watched him closer. The guy was a problem all day long. It looked like he was having problems seeing out of his car all day."

Miaskiewicz, a former Can-Am champion, said: "I never saw him. I was having troubles seeing out of those little mirrors on this track."

Guerrero, from Colombia, set a race record by averaging 107.431 m.p.h., breaking the mark of 107.041 set by Rahal in 1985. He earned $67,410.

Rahal recovered to finish second, a distant 25.9 seconds behind the winner's Cosworth-powered March. Danny Sullivan was third.

Michael Andretti, who led several times in the race and took second after Rahal's incident, pulled off the track with an engine problem just seven laps from the end and wound up 13th.

Rahal, defending CART-PPG Indy-car champion, picked up 17 points, including one for leading the most laps in the race, to increase his lead over second-place Andretti to 146-115 in the season standings. Guerrero is third with 106 points.

Dale Earnhardt, who has dominated the NASCAR circuit this season, won the rain-shortened $482,370 Southern 500 stock car race at Darlington, S.C.

The victory was Earnhardt's 10th in 21 races this season but his first Southern 500 victory since he started on the circuit in 1979.

The race started a few minutes late as officials tried to dry the track following a light morning rain and it was halted on the 202nd of the scheduled 347 laps when a thunderstorm struck. The race was called after a delay of 1 1/2 hours. Earnhardt earned $64,650.

Brazilian Nelson Piquet won the Italian Formula-One Grand Prix, scoring an unprecedented fourth victory in the Italian event and strengthening his lead in the world championship standings.

Ayrton Senna, another Brazilian, was second, and Nigel Mansell, the British teammate of Piquet, was third. Piquet covered the 180.2 miles in 1 hour 14 minutes 47.707 seconds at an average speed of 145 m.p.h.

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