AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN SEPTEMBER 20, 1998 John Paul, Jr.'s (VisionAire/Bryant Byrd-Cunningham G-Force-Oldsmobile Aurora-Firestone) victory in Sunday's Lone Star 500 K Pep Boys IRL event at Texas Motor Speedway set a...
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN
SEPTEMBER 20, 1998
John Paul, Jr.'s (VisionAire/Bryant Byrd-Cunningham G-Force-Oldsmobile Aurora-Firestone) victory in Sunday's Lone Star 500 K Pep Boys IRL event at Texas Motor Speedway set a new Indycar record. John Paul, Jr.'s first Indycar win came in the CART Michigan 500 on July 17, 1983 and thus OVER 15 YEARS ELAPSED between his first and second victory in Indycar racing. This time separation between a first and second victory broke the old mark of slightly less than 12 YEARS held by Babe Stapp. Stapp took his first AAA Indycar win on September 19, 1927 at Charlotte's Pineville track and his second victory on August 27, 1939 at Milwaukee. The "postwar" Indycar first and second victory time separation record had been held by Johnny Rutherford, who first won on August 1, 1965 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and won just over eight years later on August 26, 1973 at Ontario Motor Speedway (100-mile qualifier). John Paul, Jr.'s "repeat victory fulfillment timespan" also far outstrips the record in the World Drivers Championship of five years, seven months, and eighteen days between win #1 and win #2 held by Mario Andretti (March 6, 1971 at Kyalami; October 24, 1976 at Fuji) and the record in NASCAR Winston Cup of just short of five years held by Morgan Shepherd (April 26, 1981 Martinsville and March 16, 1986 Atlanta). PSCR's NAPA Auto Parts Sebring Classic on Saturday produced the first overall victory for the GT1 class Visteon Ford Panoz team. In a race plagued by rain and a red flag stoppage, David Brabham and Andy Wallace beat the WSC-winning James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger (Goodyear/Safety Glow Dyson Ford R & S Mk 3) by 9.811 seconds. The top ten cars finished on the lead lap, with a record six WSC cars on the same lap with the overall winning Panoz. Ford power took the top four spots overall plus sixth with Chevrolet power fifth and Buick power seventh. The GT2-winning Larry Schumacher/John O'Steen Porsche 911 Turbo finished eighth overall with the GT2 runnerup Massari-Bell BMW M3 ninth and the GT3-winning Cort Wagner/Kelly Collins Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 RSR tenth. Leitzinger and Weaver have now won the WSC class in four consecutive 1998 PSCR events; Brabham and Wallace have won GT1 in five of six 1998 PSCR races. Brabham and Wallace now lead in 1998 PSCR GT1 points over their teammate Eric Bernard. Butch Leitzinger now leads Wayne Taylor (Danka Doyle/Risi Ferrari 333SP) by ten points for the 1998 PSCR WSC title; Fast Qualifier Taylor crashed out of the race on a lap 12 restart. The race had four leaders and five lead changes. The winning Panoz led 16 of the 33 laps, with the runnerup Dyson entry leading seven laps, the third-placed Dyson entry leading four laps, and Taylor leading the first six laps. For the second consecutive North American sports car/GT event, the Alex Job team finished 1-2 in GT3 and ended a PTG BMW win streak. The Sebring win ended PTG's PSCR GT3 team record eight-race win streak; a Job Porsche win in the Watkins Glen 6 Hours ended a four-race PTG BMW GT3 win streak in the USRRC GT series. PTG BMW drivers led by Bill Auberlen still hold the top four positions in the 1998 PSCR GT3 point standings with Cort Wagner fifth. The International Sports Racing Series (ISRS) competed at LeMans on Saturday on the Bugatti circuit. The race produced a sixth consecutive win (in seven races.) for the JB-Giesse Ferrari 333SP of Emmanuel Collard and current AAR CART driver Vincenzo Sospiri. The duo clinched the 1998 ISRS title. Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard (the winners of the 1998 ISRS season-opener) were second in the Horag-Lista Ferrari 333SP. A Chevrolet-powered R & S Mk 3 (Alex Caffi/Andrea Chiesa) finished third with a Porsche-powered Courage C41 fourth. The BMW Team Rafanelli R & S Mk 3 entries retired as did the Solution F Ford-powered R & S Mk 3. The FIA GT series competed at the A1-Ring on Sunday and Mercedes continued its 1998 season sweep with a 1-2 by the AMG Mercedes CLK-LM 98s of Klaus Ludwig/Ricardo Zonta and Bernd Schneider/Mark Webber. Schneider/Webber lead Ludwig/Zonta by three points in the driver title chase. Yannick Dalmas/Allan McNish finished third in a Porsche 911 GT1 98 with the Frank Lagorce/Christophe Tinseau Ford Panoz GTR seventh. The ORECA Dodge Vipers finished 1-2 in GT2 and 8-9 overall. Ford's Taurus took two televised stock car victories, with Mark Gibson (JaniKing Gibson) winning Saturday's Z-Max 250 at Texas Motor Speedway and Mark Martin (Valvoline Roush) winning Sunday's MBNA Gold 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Dover. The Bowtie Brigade won two TV races as well, with Matt Kenseth (Lycos Reiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) winning Saturday's MBNA Gold 200 NASCAR Busch Grand National race at Dover and Rick Carelli (Re/Max Chesrown Chevrolet) winning Saturday's Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway. Kenseth was probably the star of the weekend as he piloted Bill Elliott's McDonald's Ford Taurus to a sixth-place finish in the MBNA Gold 400.
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