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The Day in Sports | NEWSWIRE

It's Another Close Win for Hornish

September 08, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Sam Hornish Jr. held off not one but two cars this time, edging Scott Dixon and Bryan Herta to win his second consecutive Delphi Indy 300 on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. His margin of victory was .0099 of a second, the third-closest finish in Indy Racing League history.

Hornish has been a part of the three closest finishes in Indy car history, winning all three. At last year's Delphi Indy 300, he won the closest race ever, beating Al Unser Jr. by .0024 of a second -- about three inches.

This year's race also was the closest 1-2-3 finish in IRL history. Only .0100 of a second separated first and third place.

Helio Castroneves stalled in his Dallara-Toyota on the backstretch on Lap 186, bringing out only the third caution of the day on the 1 1/2-mile oval. Herta, already in the pits when the yellow was announced, took advantage and grabbed the lead.

When the race went to green again with six laps to go, Herta was in the lead with Roger Yasukawa, Hornish, Dan Wheldon, Tomas Scheckter and Dixon bunched up behind him.

Herta and Yasukawa were racing side by side in their Dallara-Hondas on Lap 196 when Hornish made a daring move in his Dallara-Chevrolet, going to the outside to race three abreast through Turns 3 and 4. The gamble paid off, as Hornish pulled ahead of Yasukawa.

He raced Herta wheel-to-wheel for much of the last three laps, staying on the outside. As they raced through the straightaway going into the final lap, Hornish moved slightly ahead.

Dixon weaved in and out of traffic in his Panoz G Force Toyota to move into third place. As they moved through Turn 3, Dixon saw that there was no one behind him to make a run. So with Hornish and Herta battling, he made a late charge. Ducking beneath Herta on the inside, he edged him out as they crossed the finish line three across.

Hornish is still fifth in the standings, but he's only 41 points behind Castroneves, who leads with 439. There are two races left. Dixon moved into second place, 12 points behind Castroneves.

*

Tony Schumacher successfully defended his Top Fuel title at the NHRA's longest-running event, the 49th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Schumacher beat Darrell Russell in the final round. He turned in a career-best elapsed time, going 4.498 seconds at 328.54 mph in the U.S. Army dragster, beating Russell's 4.613 pass at 290.19 in the Bilstein dragster.

Track and Field

Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco won the mile at the Rieti Grand Prix in Italy but came up short in his attempt to improve his world record. He was timed in 3:50.20, the best time in the world this year but far off his world record of 3:43.13 set in Rome in 1999. Coming off his fourth world title in the 1,500 at the recent world championships in Paris, El Guerrouj held off Kenya's Alex Kipchirchir, who was second in 3:50.25.

European champion Adrian Annus of Hungary won the men's hammer and Libor Charfreitag of Slovakia finished second at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Szombathely, Hungary. Annus, runner-up at the world championships, won with a throw of 269 feet 4 on his third attempt. Charfreitag threw 266-6.

Miscellany

Jonas Carney of Team Prime Alliance crossed the finish line just ahead of Rashaan Bahati of Team Saturn to win the Chevron Manhattan Beach Cycling Grand Prix for the second time in three years. Becky Quinn of Team Red 5 won the women's race.

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