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Truex takes Busch Series race, points lead

By Wire services
Published May 9, 2004

MADISON, Ill. - Martin Truex raced to his third Busch Series victory in six races, leading 123 of 200 laps in the Charter 250 on Saturday night to take the season points lead.

Truex, driving the No.8 Chevrolet for owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., started from the pole and finished 6.601 seconds ahead of Ron Hornaday on the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway.

The 23-year-old New Jersey driver moved 11 points ahead of Nextel Cup driver Michael Waltrip in the standings. Waltrip finished 14th on Saturday night.

"We had a superior car tonight," said Truex, who also won at Talladega and Bristol. "Once we got it freed up, we were flying. It seemed like the longer we went, the more we pulled away."

Jason Keller was third, followed by Bobby Hamilton Jr. and rookie Kyle Busch.

FORMULA ONE: Michael Schumacher captured the pole for today's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona, where he will try to win his fifth straight race to start the season.

The six-time series champion will look to equal Nigel Mansell's record start in 1992. Schumacher has won this race the past three years and five times overall.

"It is a track I like, with a lot of high-speed corners," he said.

The Ferrari star was timed in 1 minute, 15.022 seconds Saturday on the 2.876-mile Circuit de Catalunya. It was his 59th pole and fourth this season. Ayrton Senna holds the record with 65 poles.

Schumacher earned the season's first three poles before Jenson Button of BAR-Honda prevailed at the San Marino GP. Schumacher took the Spanish pole last year in 1:17.762.

Juan Pablo Montoya of Williams-BMW was second Saturday in 1:15.639, followed by Takuma Sato of BAR-Honda in 1:15.809. Button was 14th after briefly going off the track on his lap.

"Sometimes these things happen," Button said.

Schumacher and Montoya will be on the front row, which could make for an intriguing start. The two had a close encounter at the San Marino GP, where the Colombian briefly was pushed off the track. Schumacher said he didn't see him.

The German leads the standings with a perfect 40 points in four races. Teammate Rubens Barrichello is second at 24, followed by Button (23) and Montoya (18).

Also, the Spanish GP extended its contract with F1 until 2011, but the agreement is subject to looming tobacco legislation. The race has been at this track outside Barcelona since 1991.

The series has agreed to drop tobacco funding by the end of October 2006. But the European Union has moved to ban it on July 31, 2005. Five teams rely heavily on tobacco advertising: BAR-Honda, Jordan, McLaren, Renault and Ferrari. As a result, F1 has been looking elsewhere for races, especially outside Europe.

[Last modified May 9, 2004, 01:40:27]


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