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Junior still dominant force in Busch series

©Associated Press
September 8, 2002

RICHMOND, Va. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned to the series he once dominated and did it more convincingly than ever Friday night, leading 190 laps and easily winning the Funai 250 NASCAR Busch Grand National race.

So dominant was the 1998 and 1999 series champion that he built a lead of more than 13 seconds in a span of 60 green-flag laps, and three times pulled away on restarts in the final 30 laps of the crash-filled event.

"It was a great car. This was a lot of fun," Earnhardt said. "The car would do anything, absolutely anything I wanted it to do."

The win came in a Chevrolet Earnhardt co-owns with stepmother Teresa Earnhardt, and was the Winston Cup star's second in three Busch starts this year.

DELPHI INDY 300: Sam Hornish Jr.'s chase of a second straight IRL points title will continue today -- this time from the front.

The defending series champion qualified for the pole Saturday, setting a Chicagoland Speedway track record of 222.867 mph.

Hornish, currently third in the championship race just eight points behind leader Helio Castroneves and seven under second-place Gil de Ferran, will be on the pole for the first time since the season opener.

HONORING SWEETNESS: The Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing team is honoring the memory of the late Chicago Bears star Walter Payton in today's IRL race. Its car, driven by Laurent Redon, bears the No. 34, the same one Payton wore during his Hall of Fame career.

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