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Motorsports

Hamilton on top after late pass

By Associated Press
Published June 20, 2004

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Bobby Hamilton took the lead with eight laps left and held off Shane Hmiel by 0.423 seconds Saturday to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' O'Reilly 200.

Hmiel, a first-time series starter on the 0.75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park track, lost a half-second lead when Rick Crawford's 187th-lap spin brought out a caution flag.

The 47-year-old Hamilton took the lead with an outside pass on the second lap after the restart en route to his second victory of the season and sixth overall in the series.

"He (Hmiel) got loose coming off Turn 2 a little bit and halfway down the straightaway it looked like he thought the caution came out or something," Hamilton said. "I had made my up my mind to work on the outside on the last lap anyhow."

CHAMP CAR: One week after racing 24 Hours at Le Mans, Sebastien Bourdais of Tampa earned the pole for the Grand Prix of Portland, posting a fast lap of 59.229 seconds at an average speed of 119.678 mph.

He leaped over teammate Bruno Junqueira, who had won the provisional pole Friday, to earn the top spot for today's race.

Bourdais, who took the pole and the race at Monterrey earlier this year, earned one series point to tie Ryan Hunter-Reay for third place in the standings.

Bourdais turned his fast lap on alternate tires from Bridgestone. The construction of the alternate is similar to a standard, but it has a softer tread compound.

The tires are supposed to provide a better grip - and possibly more speed - at the expense of durability. Drivers got only two sets, and one must be used for a stint during today's race.

That sets up a strategic decision.

"It's hot, so it's going to be hard on the tires," said Bourdais, estimating that the softer tires trimmed his time by 0.2 seconds.

FORMULA ONE: Rubens Barrichello made up a 0.2-second deficit over the final two-thirds of Indianapolis' 2.605-mile road course, beating Michael Schumacher's qualifying time by 0.177 seconds to claim the pole for the U.S. Grand Prix.

"We made progress since (Friday)," Barrichello said. "We made a small change in the car. I didn't have much of a reference, but it was an easy lap."

The winning run also came as a relief to Barrichello. He earned the 10th pole of his career and first since October in Japan with a time of 1 minute, 10.223 seconds.

Barrichello's move wasn't a total surprise. He had been fastest in three of four practice sessions on the 13-turn road course, then set a new track record with a time of 1:09.454 during prequalifying. The previous record, 1:09.566, was set last year by Jarno Trulli.

NHRA: Brandon Bernstein was first in Top Fuel qualifying in the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J., completing his run in 4.565 seconds at a top speed of 325.85 mph. Eric Medlen (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Bike) also qualified No.1 in their divisions in the $2.1-million event.

[Last modified June 20, 2004, 01:00:41]


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