With his fifth career victory on a road course, Jeff Gordon made NASCAR history yesterday by winning at Watkins Glen International in New York, passing Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin for career victories on the serpentine tracks where the circuit races twice each year.
Gordon credited crew chief Ray Evernham and his team for his dominance.
"They always find a way to make it go faster," said Gordon, who also won two months ago in Sonoma, Calif. "All I had to do was try not to make too many mistakes."
It was Gordon's 47th career victory and fifth this year. But the win--his fifth straight on a road course--did little to enhance his chances for a third straight points title. Gordon advanced a position in the standings to fifth place after 21 of 34 races but has conceded for weeks that he has nothing more than a mathematical chance to catch series leader Dale Jarrett. Gordon trails Jarrett by 482 points. After finishing fourth, Jarrett's lead over Martin is a commanding 300 points.
Gordon's Chevrolet beat that of road-course specialist Ron Fellows by about 10 car-lengths--.763 seconds.
CART: Juan Montoya, who started eighth, charged through the field to win the Miller Lite 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Montoya trailed by as many as 17 seconds early in the race but took the lead from Paul Tracy on the 56th of 83 laps and never trailed after that. Driving his Reynard-Honda, Montoya finished 10.927 seconds in front of Tracy. Tracy's teammate, Dario Franchitti, who held the pole position, led the first 54 laps and took third.
It was the fifth victory this season for Montoya, tying the CART rookie record set by Nigel Mansell in 1993. It also pulled Montoya within one point of standings points leader Franchitti (152-151).
FORMULA ONE: Finland's Mika Hakkinen delighted thousands of flag-waving countrymen by capturing the Hungarian Grand Prix after leading from start to finish in Budapest.
With his fourth victory of the season, Hakkinen moved within two points of Formula One championship leader Eddie Irvine, ending the Briton's two-race winning streak. Irvine slid off the track on Lap 63 and finished third behind Hakkinen's McLaren-Mercedes teammate, David Coulthard of Britain.
Hakkinen covered 77 laps on the Hungaroring in 1 hour 46 minutes 23.536 seconds, 9.7 seconds ahead of Coulthard and 27.2 seconds ahead of Irvine.
Heinz-Harald Frentzen of Germany took fourth in a Jordan. Rubens Barrichello of Brazil came in fifth in his Stewart-Ford after making only one pit stop and Damon Hill of Britain was sixth in the second Jordan.