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MOTOR RACING ROUNDUP

Droughts Over for Marlin, Dodge

August 20, 2001|From Associated Press

Sterling Marlin won the rain-shortened Pepsi 400 on Sunday at Brooklyn, Mich., giving him his first victory in five years and Dodge its first in 24.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner passed Bill Elliott with 53 laps to go and won when a heavy shower halted the scheduled 200-lap event at Michigan International Speedway.

Marlin beat Ricky Craven back to the finish line at Lap 156 when the caution flew for rain, and the cars ran six laps under yellow before NASCAR called the race.

An earlier shower at the halfway point had forced a 1-hour, 45-minute stoppage.

"I kept looking in my mirror and I saw Ricky coming," Marlin said. "It was raining and I was thinking, 'Man, they've got to call it,' because it was getting slick out there."'

Neil Bonnett got the last previous victory for Dodge, at Ontario in 1977. The automaker returned to Winston Cup racing this season after a 16-year absence.

Craven finished a career-best second. But the big winner was three-time series champion Jeff Gordon, whose lead in the points race reached 298 after 23 of 36 races. Gordon finished eighth, gaining 104 points on his nearest pursuer, Ricky Rudd, who finished 42nd in the field of 43 after his engine failed.

Bruno Junqueira gave car owner Chip Ganassi his first victory of the season, taking advantage of a collision by former teammates Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi to win the crash-filled Motorola 220 at Elkhart Lake, Wis.

The Brazilian rookie became the sixth driver to earn his first CART victory on the long, hilly road course and also the ninth winner in 14 races this season.

The race, scheduled for 55 laps, was stopped 10 short after a series of crashes extended the event to its two-hour time limit.

Larry Dixon (top fuel) and Ron Capps (funny car) gave team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme a pair of victories in the Colonel's Truck Accessories NHRA Nationals at Brainerd, Minn. Bruce Allen (pro stock) and Antron Brown (pro stock motorcycle) also won.

Michael Schumacher of Germany won his fourth Formula One championship and matched Alain Prost's series record of 51 victories by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix at Budapest. . . . Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro won the American Le Mans Series GT3 Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Canada. The victory was the first of the year in the series for the Audi R8 drivers.

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