Al Unser Jr. shot past Darrell Waltrip on the last lap to earn the narrowest of victories in the third round of the International Race of Champions yesterday in Brooklyn, Mich.
Unser, locked in a race-long battle with Waltrip at the front of the 12-driver, all-star field, also became involved in a duel with series point leader Geoff Bodine with five laps remaining in the 50-lap, 100-mile event on the two-mile, high-banked oval at Michigan International Speedway.
"I wish I hadn't shown that move to him," said Bodine. "I should have saved it."
Unser, an Indy-car star and the defending IROC champion, surprised three-time Winston Cup champion Waltrip with his outside move that began in the third turn of the final lap.
As the leaders rushed toward the finish in two of the 12 identically prepared IROC Z-28 Camaros in the race, Unser went high on the bank between turns three and four. He drew even with Waltrip in the fourth turn and surged ahead as he catapulted off the turn. Unser then beat Waltrip to the finish line by .03 seconds, the closest finish in IROC history.
Bodine was third, followed by road racers Wally Dallenbach Jr. and Scott Pruett, Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Le Mans winner Derek Bell, Indy-car stars Mario Andretti and Bobby Rahal, stock car star Bill Elliott, Indy-car racer Michael Andretti and stock car point leader Dale Earnhardt . . .
Robert R. Ripple of Manassas finished ninth in the 66-lap, 100-mile Sports Car Club of America Trans-Am road race in Lime Rock, Conn.