Michael Andretti's pass catches Cleveland GP win

July 08, 1991

CLEVELAND -- The pass was less daring but just as effective yesterday, as Michael Andretti got past Emerson Fittipaldi and went on to a victory in the Cleveland Grand Prix.

Andretti, who picked up his second win in a row and third of the season, made a heart-thumping move between Fittipaldi and Rick Mears two weeks ago at Portland, Ore. He got away with it and won the race.

This time, it took the second-generation Indy-car star until the 53rd of 85 laps on the 2.37-mile, 10-turn temporary road circuit to get to the front for good.

The victory moved Andretti into second place in the point standings after eight of 17 races, trailing third-place finisher Bobby Rahal, 104-94.

Andretti had been trailing Fittipaldi's Penske-Chevrolet most of the race, leading only one lap, during the first round of scheduled pit stops; but Andretti moved to the front in the first turn on lap 53.

Fittipaldi, trying for his third Cleveland win, immediately slipped to the inside and retook the lead, moving just ahead of Andretti's Lola-Chevrolet. But Andretti darted to the inside on turn three, out-braked Fittipaldi and moved in front for good.

He held off Fittipaldi by 2.25 seconds despite two full-course caution flags in the final 18 laps that bunched the leaders.

The green flag came out for the final time just three laps from the end, but Andretti easily held the top spot, with Fittipaldi more occupied trying to keep Rahal behind him.

Al Unser Jr. barely held off Arie Luyendyk for fourth. Mario Andretti, Michael's father and teammate, wound up sixth, the last competitor on the lead lap.

The battle for third in the standings got tighter, with Luyendyk at 79 points, Unser 78, Fittipaldi 77 and Rick Mears, who went out early after tagging a wall, 76.

1. (2) Michael Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Lola-Chevrolet, 85, $78,922, 117.763. 2. (1) Emerson Fittipaldi, Brazil, Penske-Chevrolet, 85, $69,322. 3. (7) Bobby Rahal, Dublin, Ohio, Lola-Chevrolet, 85, $49,972. 4. (3) Al Unser Jr., Albuquerque, N.M., Lola-Chevrolet, 85, $43,422. 5. (8) Arie Luyendyk, Netherlands, Lola-Chevrolet, 85, $39,772. 6. (5) Mario Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Lola-Chevrolet, 85, $36,122. 7. (13) Scott Brayton, Coldwater, Mich., Lola-Chevrolet, 83, $32,222. 8. (12) Eddie Cheever, Aspen, Colo., Lola-Chevrolet, 83, $28,822. 9. (11) Danny Sullivan, Aspen, Colo., Lola-Alfa Romeo, 83, $25,422. 10. (17) Mike Groff, Northridge, Calif., Lola-Cosworth, 82, $24,742.

11. (20) Buddy Lazier, Vail, Colo., 1990 Lola-Cosworth, 81, $24,402. 12. (19) Didier Theys, Belgium, 1990 Lola-Cosworth, 81, $23,722. 13. (15) Tony Bettenhausen, Indianapolis, 1990 Penske-Chevrolet, 81, $23,722. 14. (21) Hiro Matsushita, Japan, Lola-Cosworth, 77, $16,911. 15. (9) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Lola-Chevrolet, 76, crash, $22,022. 16. (16) Jeff Andretti, Nazareth, Pa., Lola-Cosworth, 76, $20,322. 17. (4) Rick Mears, Bakersfield, Calif., Penske-Chevrolet, 49, crash, $19,472. 18. (14) Ted Prappas, Los Angeles, Lola-Judd, 39, suspension, $14,361. 19. (10) Scott Goodyear, Canada, Lola-Judd, 28, electrical, $19,472. 20. (22) A.J. Foyt, Houston, Lola-Chevrolet, 27, suspension, $19,472.

21. (23) John Jones, Canada, 1988 Penske-Buick, 25, engine failure, $18,622. 22. (18) Willy T. Ribbs, San Jose, Calif., 1990 Lola-Cosworth, 19, oil pressure, $18,622. 23. (6) Scott Pruett, Dublin, Ohio, Truesports-Judd, 4, suspension, $18,622.

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