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Bump and Run Doesn't Bother Gordon in Victory

July 27, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Jeff Gordon survived a bumping from Dale Earnhardt, then used a fast pit stop to retake the lead and drive off to his 34th victory in the Pennsylvania 500 at Long Pond on Sunday.

Earnhardt tapped him at the end of a furious battle, nearly sending Gordon into the wall as both lost several positions on lap 136.

"I thought I had lost and [our] car and our day was done," he said.

But he said enjoyed the close racing with Earnhardt, whom he succeeded three years ago as the top driver in the sport.

"Racing with Earnhardt is always exciting," he said. "It got pretty close a couple times, but we brought it back to Victory Lane, and that's what counts."

The victory padded Gordon's lead in the standings by 10 points as he pursues his third championship in four years. He now leads Mark Martin by 62 points (2,712-2,650) after 18 of 33 races.

*

Mika Hakkinen won the accident-filled Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg, his fifth victory of the season, to pace a McLaren triumph and increase his Formula One championship lead over Michael Schumacher.

With six races left, the Finn has an eight-point lead over Schumacher, the two-time champion who had won the last three races.

Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes teammate David Coulthard finished second and Schumacher came in third.

Doug Kalitta earned his first top fuel victory and Cruz Pedregon drove to his third funny car win of the year at the NHRA Nationals in Sonoma.

Kalitta covered the quarter-mile distance in 4.802 seconds at 306.43 mph. Pedregon drove a Pontiac to victory in 5.073 seconds at 300.80.

Pro Football

The Minnesota Vikings signed top draft pick Randy Moss to a four-year contract worth about $4.5 million, including a $2 million signing bonus.

Moss, an All-American, caught 53 touchdowns in two seasons at Marshall. He is expected to fill the Vikings' third receiver position, behind Cris Carter and Jake Reed.

Basketball

Sophia Witherspoon scored 17 points as the New York Liberty won its fourth consecutive WNBA game, 78-62, over the Detroit Shock before 15,114 at New York.

The Sacramento Monarchs spoiled the debut of interim Coach Cathy Parsons, who took over for the fired Jim Lewis, defeating the Washington Mystics in a matchup of the league's worst teams, 79-65.

FIBA, the governing body for international basketball, made two rules changes after a two-day meeting at Athens, Greece.

The World Congress of FIBA decided to stop the game clock after a basket is made during the last two minutes of a game and in overtime. Also, the number of timeouts in the second half will increase from two to three.

FIBA also elected Abdoulaye Seye Moreau of Senegal as its president for the next four years.

Soccer

Dan Stebbins' goal in the 86th minute gave the Miami Fusion a 2-1 MLS victory over the New England Revolution in front of 18,337 at Foxboro, Mass. The victory lifted the Fusion (9-11) out of the Eastern Conference cellar, giving them a one-point advantage over the Revolution (6-15).

Miscellany

Stuart O'Grady of Australia, the overall leader for three days earlier in the Tour de France, used his sprinting ability to capture the 15th stage in 4 hours 30 minutes 53 seconds at Grenoble.

Defending champion Jan Ullrich maintained the overall lead, 71 seconds ahead of Bobby Julich of the United States.

Japan's Satoshi Iida pounded out a unanimous decision over Nicaraguan challenger Jurio Gamboa at Nagoya, Japan to keep his WBA super flyweight title.

Loidel Chapelli hit a three-run homer and Yosvani Aragon tossed a five-hitter as Cuba trounced China, 10-0, to stay unbeaten at the Baseball World Championship at Rome. The United States (2-3) lost to Nicaragua (4-1).

Michele Smith homered twice and combined with Lisa Fernandez for a seven-inning six-hitter as the United States defeated Taiwan and improved to 7-0 in the Women's World Softball Championships at Fujinomiya, Japan.

Miss Budweiser, driven by Dave Villwock, won the Budweiser Columbia Cup unlimited hydroplane race on the Columbia River at Kennewick, Wash.

The team of Dax Holdren and Todd Rogers defeated Franco Neto and Roberto Lopes to win the Miller Lite/AVP Beach Volleyball Tour's $50,000 Miller Lite Open at Minneapolis.

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