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IRWINDALE

Gamester Wins Race, Darland Leads Series

October 15, 2000|MARK PEINADO

Russ Gamester passed Jason Leffler for the lead on lap 46 and pulled away from him in the closing laps to win the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet 100 before 5,867 at Irwindale Speedway on Saturday night.

Gamester, of Peru, Ind., started fifth and slowly edged his way through the 26-car field. Leffler, of Long Beach, sat on the outside of Row 1 and quickly got by pole-sitter Tracy Hines of Newcastle, Ind. With the exception of laps 5-18 in which Jason McCord led, Leffler was in control of the race.

But on came Gamester on lap 46 to grab the lead. He feinted high and dove low in Turn 4, inching passed Leffler for the lead. The only caution of the night would come out two laps later when Brad Noffsinger spun in the fourth turn and onto the grass before backing into the inside retaining wall.

After the restart on lap 60, Gamester pulled away from Leffler, despite havoc caused by lapped traffic.

Aaron Fike of Galesburg, Ill., passed Hines on lap 89 for third place. Hines' fourth-place finish helped shave 15 points off points leader Dave Darland's lead. Darland, of Walton, Ind., leads Hines by five points, 551-546.

The track qualifying record was broken three times. Darland broke it first followed by Leffler, then by Hines at 16.549 seconds.

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