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Final-lap pass helps Green win

©Associated Press

April 13, 2003


GLADEVILLE, Tenn. -- David Green passed Johnny Sauter on the backstretch of the final lap Saturday to win the Pepsi 300 at the Nashville Superspeedway.

Green won for the first time on the Busch series since June 1996. With the Winston Cup series in Virginia, the 1994 Busch champion also became the first series regular to win this season.

Green led only four times for a total of nine laps and was running fourth with 17 laps left. But he drove his Pontiac through the traffic and worked his way up as he picked off Mike Bliss for third, then chased down Ashton Lewis Jr. and passed him in Turn 4 of the next-to-last lap.

Green said he didn't remember much of the final three laps.

"I had to call on my car again, and my car didn't let me down all day long. I was able to drive up underneath those guys," he said.

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS 250: Dennis Setzer passed Chad Chaffin with 51 laps to go and held on through a series of late restarts.

Setzer, the defending Craftsman Truck champion, earned his ninth career victory and became the first to win twice on tight, narrow Martinsville Speedway, where the close quarters produced 11 cautions.

Setzer beat pole-sitter Ted Musgrave by .947 seconds and had smooth sailing to the finish after pulling away on a restart with 15 laps to go as everyone behind him fought for position.

Darrell Waltrip, a three-time Winston Cup champion making his second truck start at Martinsville and fourth in the series, finished seventh.

O'REILLY NATIONALS: Doug Kalitta led Top Fuel qualifying for a record-tying fifth consecutive race in at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

Kalitta equaled the record set by Gary Beck in 1983 with a quarter-mile pass Friday of 4.486 seconds at 333.91 mph, the fastest run in NHRA history.

Gary Densham topped Funny Car with a track-record run of 4.755 seconds at 325.68 mph. Warren Johnson, seeking his 90th victory, set the NHRA elapsed time national record Friday in Pro Stock, finishing in 6.720 at 204.66.

TOYOTA GRAND PRIX: Michel Jourdain Jr.'s new focus on qualifying paid off with the pole position.

The 26-year-old Mexican driver turned the fast lap with just more than two minutes remaining in the 40-minute session to earn his first pole in 123 CART Champ Car World Series starts.

Jourdain covered the 1.968-mile, 11-turn downtown Long Beach street circuit in 1 minute, 8.177 seconds, a speed of 103.918 mph.

INDY JAPAN 300: Scott Dixon took the pole position after heavy rain washed out qualifying at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan.

Dixon's lap at 206.996 mph in Friday's practice was good enough for his first IndyCar pole of the season. He will be joined on the front row by Tony Kanaan, who had a fast lap of 206.775 in Saturday's morning practice.

Organizers called off the afternoon qualifying session on the 1.52-mile oval after only six drivers completed laps.

TIRE TETHER: NASCAR announced that, beginning April 27, a second tether will be required on the front wheels of all vehicles in the top three series when they are racing on tracks of 11/2 miles or more.

The change was prompted by an accident last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, where Ryan Newman's front wheel came completely off.

WAITING FOR FERRARI: Ferrari is postponing the debut of its new Formula One F2003-GA model.

The Italian team announced its decision after disappointing tests of the new car, which was expected to race April 20 at Ferrari's home circuit of Imola.

Team manager Jean Todt said the new model "is suffering from some problems of youth."

"F2002 has the potential to win, thus there is no reason to take useless risks," Todt said. "Our goal is to have the new model debut in Spain" on May 4.

MORE DOWN UNDER: CART signed a contract adding five years to the race in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The new deal extends through the 2008 season.

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