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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP

Less Time in Pits Gives Bodine a Victory

August 12, 1996|From Associated Press

Geoff Bodine and Dale Earnhardt made choices that worked. Bodine's worked a little better.

He used a bit of pit strategy Sunday to win for the first time in almost two years on NASCAR's Winston Cup circuit.

Earnhardt, overcoming the constant pain from a broken collarbone and sternum suffered two weeks ago in a crash at Talladega, Ala., stayed in the car for all of the 90 laps--instead of using relief driver David Green, as planned--and finished sixth in the Bud at the Glen at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

"At Indy, last week, we kicked ourselves in the butt because we made a big mistake up there," Bodine said. "We spent too much time in the pits. . . . We decided to make this a two-stop race, no matter what."

Bodine won for the first time since Oct. 2, 1994, at North Wilkesboro, N.C., a string of 54 races. He easily held off a late challenge from series point leader Terry Labonte to win his 18th Winston Cup race and first on the track just down the road from his hometown of Chemung, N.Y.

Bodine, who started 13th in the 39-car field, averaged 92.304 mph over the 2.45-mile, 11-turn track and won $88,740 for beating Labonte's Chevrolet to the finish line by about eight car lengths. Mark Martin was third.

Earnhardt, who had started from the pole, led the first 29 laps.

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Jacques Villeneuve nursed a balky Williams Renault around the 2.465-mile Hungaroring in Budapest to win the Hungarian Grand Prix, averaging 106.870 mph in his third Formula One victory of the season.

Villeneuve, a 25-year-old Canadian who raced Indy cars last year, had clutch problems at first, but they sorted themselves out and allowed him to move to the front on the track, which has tight turns and short straights that put strain on the clutch and make passing difficult.

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Alex Zanardi started on the pole and stayed in front in the Miller 200, winning at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington.

Zanardi, a 29-year-old Italian who lives in Monaco, won for the second time this year, both victories coming from the pole. He averaged 104.358 mph and gave the Honda engine its fifth victory in a row over the CART circuit.

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