Wallace's Cup hopes hit Slick Earnhardt 126 up

Martin wins race

November 01, 1993|By Knight-Ridder News Service

PHOENIX -- Rusty Wallace said yesterday that he was "going to have to take chances . . . race like there is no tomorrow" if friendly rival Dale Earnhardt was to be overtaken for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship.

Wallace and his Penske South team took one chance too many yesterday in the Slick 50 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, and it cost them considerably.

A gamble on lowering tire pressure led to a flat that in turn created a sway-bar problem on Wallace's Pontiac.

After leading for one lap and running in the top five for much of the race, he lost two laps and finished 19th to Earnhardt's fourth.

That outcome boosted Earnhardt's lead toward the $1.5 million Winston Cup championship from 72 points to a commanding 126 with only the Hooters' 500 finale remaining at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Nov. 14.

If Earnhardt finishes 34th or better in Georgia, a sixth championship is his.

Mark Martin won the race, holding off Ernie Irvan by .19 of a sec- ond, or two car-lengths.

Wallace's flat came on the 191st of the 500-kilometer race's 312 laps as he roared out of Turn 4.

"We dropped the air pressure down, made a long run and the right front tire let go because the pressure was too low," said Wallace, who had won four of the previous six races to rally within striking distance of Earnhardt.

"Kenny Schrader was right on my rear end, and when that happened I couldn't get into the pits. If I had slowed down he would have gone right through me. I had to run an extra lap, and when I did that it ground the bottom of the hyme joint [off the sway bar]. That was it," he said. "Earnhardt probably just has to basically start at Atlanta to win the thing."

Results

1. (3) Mark Martin, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $67,035, 100.375. 2. (5) Ernie Irvan, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $44,155. 3. (27) Kyle Petty, Pontiac Grand Prix, 312, $28,430. 4. (11) Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet Lumina, 312, $29,980. 5. (1) Bill Elliott, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $31,655.

6. (4) Ricky Rudd, Chevrolet Lumina, 312, $21,120. 7. (21) Darrell Waltrip, Chevrolet Lumina, 312, $21,820. 8. (20) Bobby Labonte, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $14,620. 9. (23) Michael Waltrip, Pontiac Grand Prix, 312, $16,020. 10. (13) Rick Mast, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $17,770.

11. (22) Morgan Shepherd, Ford Thunderbird, 312, $14,820. 12. (15) Harry Gant, Chevrolet Lumina, 311, $17,520. 13. (16) Lake Speed, Ford Thunderbird, 311, $16,220. 14. (26) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet Lumina, 311, $13,720. 15. (36) Ted Musgrave, Ford Thunderbird, 311, $13,470.

16. (14) Dale Jarrett, Chevrolet Lumina, 311, $15,320. 17. (32) Kenny Wallace, Pontiac Grand Prix, 310, $9,920. 18. (35) Bobby Hillin Jr., Ford Thunderbird, 310, $7,095. 19. (6) Rusty Wallace, Pontiac Grand Prix, 310, $15,495. 20. (37) Rick Wilson, Pontiac Grand Prix, 309, $9,260.

21. (25) Rick Carelli, Ford Thunderbird, 309, $6,685. 22. (24) Ron Hornaday Jr., Chevrolet Lumina, 307, $6,660. 23. (31) Derrike Cope, Ford Thunderbird, 306, $11,535. 24. (10) Chuck Bown, Chevrolet Lumina, 306, $6,610. 25. (30) Todd Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 305, $6,585.

26. (40) Loy Allen Jr., Ford Thunderbird, 305, $6,560. 27. (17) Jimmy Spencer, Ford Thunderbird, 301, $11,385. 28. (12) Brett Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 300, $11,260. 29. (18) Steve Grissom, Chevrolet Lumina, 260, $6,485. 30. (7) Sterling Marlin, Ford Thunderbird, 255, crash, $11,110.

31. (2) Dick Trickle, Chevrolet Lumina, 254, oil leak, $9,535. 32. (29) Jimmy Hensley, Chevrolet Lumina, 242, handling, $15,760. 33. (8) Ken Schrader, Chevrolet Lumina, 236, $10,710. 34. (33) Wally Dallenbach Jr., Ford Thunderbird, 234, rear end, $10,660. 35. (9) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet Lumina, 195, handling, $7,610.

36. (28) Hut Stricklin, Ford Thunderbird, 157, engine, $10,560. 37. (41) Terry Fisher, Pontiac Grand Prix, 132, engine, $6,040. 38. (39) Rich Woodland Jr., Oldsmobile Cutlass, 114, engine, $6,030. 39. (38) Mike Chase, Chevrolet Lumina, 87, engine, $6,015. 40. (34) John Andretti, Chevrolet Lumina, 79, crash, $5,980.

41. (43) Wayne Jacks, Pontiac Grand Prix, 48, engine, $5,980. 42. (42) Dirk Stephens, Ford Thunderbird, 34, engine, $5,980. 43. (19) Geoff Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 14, crash, $15,380.

Time of race: 3 hours, 6 minutes, 30 seconds. Margin of victory: 0.19 seconds. Caution flags: 9 for 44 laps. Lead changes: 21 among 13 drivers.

Lap leaders: Trickle 1-3, Martin 4-19, R. Wallace 20, Martin 21-38, Marlin 39-42, Irvan 43, Martin 44-73, Gordon 74-79, Martin 80-121, Mast 122-127, Petty 128-136, Martin 137-190, Irvan 191-193, Elliott 194-195, B.Labonte 196-197, Earnhardt 198-199, M.Waltrip 200, Gant 201-217, Martin 218288, Irvan 289, Martin 290-312.

Series point leaders: Earnhardt 4,387, R.Wallace 4,261, Martin 4,047, Jarrett 3,849, Shepherd 3,735, Petty 3,730, Irvan 3,707, Schrader 3,633, Elliott 3,609, Rudd 3,469, Gant 3,440, Spencer 3,381, Gordon 3,372, D.Waltrip 3,309, G.Bodine 3,292.

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