Yellow flag helps drive Wallace to win Martin falters at pit stop

Rudd runs a close second

July 22, 1996|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

LONG POND, Pa. -- Rusty Wallace got a break when a yellow flag was forced late in yesterday's Miller 500, and he turned the chance into victory at Pocono Raceway.

Until the caution period was ordered by NASCAR Winston Cup officials because of debris in Turn 2 at the 2.5-mile track, fellow Ford driver Mark Martin had led 121 of the 160 laps. Martin's crew had a problem with an air wrench while changing a tire as all the front-runners pitted, and he wasn't ahead again.

Ford's Ricky Rudd held the lead when the restart came on Lap 166, but Wallace dived into first going through the treacherous Tunnel Turn on Lap 171 and led the rest of the way in the 200-lap race.

Wallace took the checkered flag five car lengths ahead of Rudd, with teammates Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan immediately behind.

The yellow lights also flashed twice more, for fluid on the track on Lap 178 and for an accident involving Joe Nemechek, Brett Bodine and Greg Sacks on Lap 184. However, Wallace remained on the speedway, forcing all the front-runners but Irvan, Lake Speed, Derrike Cope and Geoff Bodine to stay out of the pits, too.

The win is Wallace's third at Pocono, fourth this year and 45th of his Winston Cup career.

"It's a neat feeling to win that many times," said Wallace, who averaged 144.893 mph, a record for a 500-mile race at Pocono, topping the 144.023 set by his late friend, Alan Kulwicki, in June of 1992.

1. (13) Rusty Wallace, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $59,165, 144.893 mph (track record, old record 144.023 by Alan Kulwicki in June 1992); 2. (7) Ricky Rudd, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $56,615; 3. (20) Dale Jarrett, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $35,705; 4. (35) Ernie Irvan, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $44,590; 5. (6) Johnny Benson Jr., Pontiac Grand Prix, 200, $36,400; 6. (17) Sterling Marlin, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 200, $35,925; 7. (15) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 200, $35,825; 8. (11) Lake Speed, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $24,925; 9. (1) Mark Martin, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $46,950; 10. (10) Derrike Cope, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $27,825; 11. (4) Geoff Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 200, $22,975; 12. (32) Jeremy Mayfield, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $15,625; 13. (24) Michael Waltrip, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $22,325; 14. (8) Dale Earnhardt, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 199, $27,925; 15. (22) Ken Schrader, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 199, $22,925; 16. (21) Terry Labonte, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 199, $27,025; 17. (2) Morgan Shepherd, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $14,525; 18. (33) Dick Trickle, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $14,225; 19. (28) Ted Musgrave, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $20,975; 20. (34) Ricky Craven, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 199, $22,550; 21. (12) Bill Elliott, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $20,425; 22. (5) Ward Burton, Pontiac Grand Prix, 199, $24,825; 23. (36) John Andretti, Ford Thunderbird, 199, $20,100; 24. (18) Jimmy Spencer, Ford Thunderbird, 198, $19,950; 25. (39) Robert Pressley, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 198, $19,975; 26. (26) Kyle Petty, Pontiac Grand Prix, 198, $19,625; 27. (16) Brett Bodine, Ford Thunderbird, 198, $19,475; 28. (29) Dave Marcis, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 197, $12,425; 29. (38) Greg Sacks, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 197, $18,875; 30. (23) Rick Mast, Pontiac Grand Prix, 196, $16,325; 31. (19) Randy MacDonald, Ford Thunderbird, 195, $9,275; 32. (40) Hut Stricklin, Ford Thunderbird, 194, $9,225; 33. (27) Wally Dallenbach, Ford Thunderbird, 189, $16,175; 34. (14) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 179, crash, $16,050; 35. (9) Jeff Burton, Ford Thunderbird, 176, $8,975; 36. (25) Kenny Wallace, Ford Thunderbird, 175, engine failure, $8,900; 37. (3) Bobby Labonte, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 168, engine failure, $24,835; 38. (30) Bobby Hillin Jr., Ford Thunderbird, 139, engine failure, $8,125; 39. (31) Bobby Hamilton, Pontiac Grand Prix, 6, crash, $16,125; 40. (41) Darrell Waltrip, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 4, crash, $15,125; 41. (37) Jeff Green, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2, crash, $8,125.

Time of Race: 3: 27: 03; Margin of victory: 0.3-seconds (about 5 car lengths); Lead changes: 23 among 12 drivers; Cautions: 4 for 17 laps; Lap leaders: Martin 1-36; Gordon 37; Sacks 38-40; Nemechek 41-42; G.Bodine 43-45; Martin 46-66; Irvan 67-72; Shepherd 73; Petty 74; Martin 75-98; Irvan 99; Martin 100; Irvan 101-102; Jarrett 103-104; Irvan 105; Martin 106-107; Shepherd 108; Benson 109; Irvan 110-120; Martin 121-142; Benson 143-146; Martin 147-161; Rudd 162-170; R.Wallace 171-200. Points leaders: T.Labonte 2,531; Earnhardt 2,519; Gordon 2,451; Jarrett 2,374; Rudd 2,208; Marlin 2,204; Schrader 2,131; R.Wallace 2,113; Musgrave 2,040; Irvan 2,023; Martin 2,022; M.Waltrip 1,955; Hamilton 1,917; Craven 1,910; J.Burton 1,886.

Pub Date: 7/22/96

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