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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP : Irvan Gets His Fourth Victory Since Joining Yates Team

March 14, 1994|From Associated Press

HAMPTON, Ga. — Ernie Irvan led seven times for 207 laps Sunday, including the final 45, on his way to winning the Purolator 500--his fourth victory in nine starts with the Robert Yates Racing team--at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Irvan, who also finished second in the season-opening Daytona 500 and leads the Winston Cup standings by 101 points over Mark Martin, bought out the remainder of his contract with another team in order to take the seat left vacant in July when Davey Allison died in a helicopter accident.

"It's a great race team and they showed it again today," Irvan said. "The car kept getting better and better and faster and faster."

Said Morgan Shepherd, who led one lap all day and finished second: "We were just too even. One car was as quick as the other there at the end. We gave it all we had and he beat us."

Darrell Waltrip, in a Chevrolet Lumina, and Jeff Burton, in a Ford--the only other drivers in the lead lap--also mounted challenges during the race, but wound up finishing third and fourth, respectively. Martin finished a lap down in fifth.

Irvan, who won $86,100, averaged 146.136 m.p.h. during his 11th Winston Cup victory, his first at Atlanta.

*

Scott Russell took his Kawasaki 750 from the 62nd starting position to win the American Motorcyclist Assn.'s Daytona 200 at Daytona International Speedway.

Russell, the reigning world superbike champion and 1992 Daytona 200 winner, averaged 85.010 m.p.h. around the 3.56-mile road circuit to win by 2.918 seconds. He earned $16,500.

Bernhard Schick crashed on lap 31 of the 57-circuit race, allowing Russell to catch eventual runner-up Troy Corser, who held a 10- to 15-second lead on Russell at the time of the accident.

"I was making the progress I needed to make before the red flag," Russell said. "But it definitely helped me. It allowed me to close the gap all at once instead of taking 20 or so laps to do it."

Another key was Russell's crew's decision to bypass a tire change on his final pit stop on lap 46. He was sent back on the track in only 9.9 seconds with another tank of gas.

Schick, of Germany, crashed his Ducati 926 because of front-wheel failure at nearly 175 m.p.h. He suffered cuts on his left knee and scrapes on his hands.

Corser, from Australia, finished second in his Daytona 200 debut, followed by Eddie Lawson.

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