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Motorola Cup Sebring Preview

POINTS CHASES TIGHTEN AS MOTOROLA CUP TEAMS RETURN TO SEBRING SEBRING, Fla- (September 12) - The most recent Motorola Cup series event at Watkins Glen, N.Y., didn't spread the class points leaders from their nearest challengers, they only...

POINTS CHASES TIGHTEN AS MOTOROLA CUP TEAMS RETURN TO SEBRING

SEBRING, Fla- (September 12) - The most recent Motorola Cup series event at Watkins Glen, N.Y., didn't spread the class points leaders from their nearest challengers, they only shrunk the gap.

Two races remain on the season. and this weekend, the Motorola Cup returns to the worldfamous Sebring International Raceway for a three-hour race on Saturday, Oct. 16. an event which may complicate matters even further.

Only a total of ten points -- spread over four classes - separate the class leaders from the runners-up in Grand Sports, Sports, Touring and Compact class competition. The spread had been 14 points before the last race.

In the Grand Sports class, Doug Goad has a two-point lead over his co-driver Devon PowellThe duo shared the 1998 championship In the Pennzoil/Sunoco Pontiac Firebird owned by Powell's father, John.

"The driver's championship isn't our big concern right now, because one of us is going to win it ... we hope," said Goad, Farmington Hills, Mich. "The problem is the manufacturer's championship. We're tied dead even with Ford and if the season ended right now, we'd lose on the basis of their six race wins to our Pontiac's four. When it comes down to the point in any season where it's time to plan for next year with a manufacturer, that championship means everything to them"

Andy Lally, Northport, N.Y., in his rookie year of production car racing, turned around a large deficit and is now tied with Lance Stewart, Jupiter, Fla., a 15-year veteran of this form of racing.

Lally, only 23 years old, races the Team Spartanburg BMW Z3 Coupe with Howie Liebengood, Vienna, Va.. while Stewart's Team Hurricane Acura Integra R is owned and co-driven by Hobe Sound, Fla., home developer John Bourassa.

The Touring class is one of the most confusing. John Wymore, Milwaukee, Ore., has a fourpoint lead in the Planet Earth/US Filters Mazda MX5, which he shares with veteran Dick Sterile, Palm City. Fla. Sterile, and the Planet Earth team's leaders, Canton, Oh.. brothers Wayne and Will Nonnamaker, are all tied for second place.

Devon Powell and Starita both finished in different positions from their co-drivers in onedriver-only sprint races In Canada during the Summer, which explains why their points are not identical. The same problem exists In the Compact class where Bob Beede, Falmouth, Mass., has a four-point lead over his co-driver, Bob Beede, Keene. N.H.. They share a Honda Civic del Sol, and showing faith in the growth of the Motorola Cup series, have already purchased their 2000 season racer, a new Honda Civic Si.

"The manufacturer and team championships are what's important to us," said Fenton. "Bob and I have been friends for years. We were friends back in the early days when we weren't competitive, and it's still the some with a championship In sight. If he wins, and I figure he will, he's deserved It-"

The Sebring race will be televised on the Speedvision network, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. EST.

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