NAZARETH, Pa. -- Arie Luyendyk stole another Indy-car race yesterday, using pit strategy to stretch his fuel and foil bids by championship contenders Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti to win the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix.
Rahal, who came into the race trailing Andretti by 13 points in the title chase, appeared to have his second victory wrapped up before darting into the pits 10 laps from the end for a splash of fuel.
That gave the lead, and probably the title, to Andretti, but he, too, had to pit for fuel, racing in on lap 195 in the 200-lap race on the one-mile Pennsylvania International Raceway tri-oval.
Suddenly, Luyendyk, who only a few laps before had been working hard just to keep Rahal from lapping him, was taking the checkered flag for his second win this season and third of his CART career.
He held off a hard-charging Rahal over the last few laps, driving his Lola-Chevrolet across the finish line .71 of a second ahead.
"I don't know how he did it, but he did it," Rahal said, shaking his head.
Andretti, who earned a one-point bonus for leading the most laps in the race and finish third, lost only one point to Rahal and will go into the season finale Oct. 20 in Monterey, Calif., with a 12-point advantage.
That means he can earn the championship by finishing 10th or better, no matter what two-time PPG cup titlist Rahal does.
"I'm actually happy the way it ended up," said Andretti, who celebrated his 29th birthday Saturday. "I've got to thank Arie. He really helped me in the championship battle."