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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP

Jarrett Becomes Winston Cup Points Leader With Surge to Victory

May 16, 1999| From Associated Press

Jeff was not the name to have at Richmond, Va., on Saturday, as Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton, Winston Cup points leader going into the race, suffered car problems and finished 37th and 31st, respectively, at the Pontiac 400.

So Dale Jarrett took advantage, passing Mark Martin with 32 laps to go for the victory, and passing Burton in the standings. The victory moved Jarrett from 55 points behind Burton to 63 points in front, and earned him a $60,000 bonus for winning the race and taking over the series lead.

"Everybody kept saying, 'When are you going to win? When are you going to win?' " Jarrett said. "We were just biding our time. I don't know that a lot of people expected us to pull it out after starting 21st. But the other race we won here, we started 23rd, so maybe that's a key for us."

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Juan Montoya became the first rookie in CART history to win three consecutive races when he took the Rio 200 from the No. 3 position. The 23-year-old Colombian leads the CART standings after consecutive victories at Long Beach, Nazareth, Pa., and Rio De Janeiro.

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Mika Hakkinen earned his fourth consecutive pole of the Formula One season, going around the 2.092-mile street circuit in 1 minute, 20.547 seconds, posting a speed of 93.528 mph in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

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Greg Ray turned in the fastest lap at 225.887 mph to highlight the opening day of practice for the Indianapolis 500. Arie Luyendyk, the two-time winner who will retire after the May 30 race, was second fastest, with a top lap at 225.163.

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Mike Bliss broke his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying speed record set a year ago, turning in a 132.827 mph lap at Pikes Peak International Raceway at Fountain, Colo. to win the pole position for the NAPA 300K truck race. His old mark, set in July 1998, was 132.402.

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Top fuel favorite Bob Vandergriff earned his first pole position of the season at the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway at Commerce, Ga. Vandergriff, driver of the Jerzees dragster, covered the quarter-mile distance in 4.651 seconds at 305.91 mph to lead the 16-car field. Tim Wilkerson (funny car), Warren Johnson (pro stock) and Angelle Seeling (pro stock motorcycle) won poles in their categories entering today's eliminations.

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