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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP : Bodine Fights Grief, Wins Michigan Race

August 22, 1994|From Associated Press

Ernie Irvan was never very far from Geoff Bodine's thoughts Sunday as Bodine won the GM Goodwrench Dealers 400 at Brooklyn, Mich.

"Every lap I could see the wall over there in turn two, I would see those skid marks and Ernie came to mind," Bodine said of his critically injured NASCAR competitor. "It's hard (to race), but it's just something you have to do."

With Irvan on life support in an Ypsilanti hospital about 50 miles away after being injured in a crash during practice on Saturday, it was difficult for many of the drivers to concentrate before the 400-mile race at Michigan International Speedway.

Rookie Jeff Burton, who was involved in an eight-car crash on the first lap, seemed almost relieved his racing day was over early, saying: "All of us out there are thinking about Ernie. I almost wish we didn't have to race today. What we went through out there isn't nearly as hard as what he's facing."

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Al Unser Jr. led another high speed replay of Penske domination by winning the Slick 50 200 when teammate Emerson Fittipaldi lost a fuel gamble on the final laps at Loudon, N.H.

Fittipaldi led by more than 20 seconds but did not have enough fuel to finish the race.

He stayed on the track until the last minute, hoping for a caution flag. When it didn't come, he was forced to come in with five laps to go, coasting into the pits as the gas gauge went to zero.

Unser won by 0.89 seconds over another teammate, fast-closing Paul Tracy.

Fittipaldi, the pole-sitter, wound up third, 1.75 seconds back on the one-mile oval at the New Hampshire International Speedway.

Fittipaldi lost the lead in the 47th lap when he had to make an unscheduled stop for a blistered right tire.

The victory was Unser's seventh in 12 races this season.

The 1-2-3 finish also was the fourth this season for the Penske team.

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Australian Michael Doohan won the world championship motorcycle Grand Prix title in the 500cc category with his victory at Brno, Czech Republic.

Shinichi Itoh of Japan was second and Italian Luca Cadalore finished third. Cadalore had earned the pole position with the fastest practice time.

In winning the 118.668-kilometer race, Doohan continued his domination of the 500cc competition this season. He has won eight of the last nine races.

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Don Prudhomme scored his 48th career victory, winning the top fuel title at the Champion Auto Stores Nationals. It was his first victory at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway.

John Force won the funny car title for his fifth consecutive victory and eighth of the season. Jim Yates won the pro stock competition for his first career victory.

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Ron Hornaday Jr. won the NASCAR Winston 200 on Saturday night at El Cajon to break a seven-year losing streak at Cajon Speedway.

Hornaday, who started second in the 18-car field, finished ahead of P.J. Jones as the 200-lap Winston West Series event ended under a yellow flag after Jeff Davis' accident with two laps remaining.

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