Irvan's late charge wins Delco 200

October 20, 1991

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Pole-sitter Ernie Irvan overcame an early battle with Dale Earnhardt, then took the lead with 13 laps left yesterday to win the AC Delco 200 NASCAR Busch Grand National race at North Carolina Motor Speedway.

Irvan, who picked up his first Busch series victory of the season, became the 16th different driver to win this year.


Marlboro Challenge

MONTEREY, Calif. -- One cough from Rick Mears' engine was enough to hand the Marlboro Challenge all-star Indy-car race to a stunned Michael Andretti.

Mears appeared on the way to an easy victory in the 45-lap event on Laguna Seca Raceway's 2.214-mile, 11-turn road course until the Chevrolet engine in his Penske racer sputtered coming off the final turn of the final lap.

Andretti, the first repeat winner in the annual 100-mile race for the season's race and pole winners and top 10 point-finishers, tried to keep the pressure on the leader but had been unable to close the margin to less than 1.55 seconds on lap 36.

The separation was still about 2 seconds as the two leaders headed into turn 11, a 90-degree left-hander.

As Mears tried to get back up to speed coming off the slow turn, he suddenly wavered and slowed just long enough for the surprised Andretti to race past and take the checkered flag about 100 yards up the track.

Japan Grand Prix

SUZUKA, Japan -- Gerhard Berger won the pole position, edging his McLaren-Honda teammate Aryton Senna in record time.

Berger, who also had the fastest time Friday, was timed at 1 minute, 34.700 seconds around the 3.64-mile Suzuka circuit, Honda's home track, for an average speed of 138.515 mph.

Senna, closing in on his third world title, was second at 1:34.898. Briton Nigel Mansell, the only driver with even an outside chance of overtaking Senna, was next at 1:34.922, putting him in the second row for today's Formula One race.

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