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Timing woes lead to two Pikes Peak winners

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Published June 28, 2004

CASCADE, Colo. - Robby Unser and Paul Dallenbach were both declared the overall winners of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday because officials were not sure the racing's timing equipment was reliable.

Saturday's race was cut short by snow and only about half the field finished the 12.42-mile course up the mountain road. As a result, race director Phil Layton said he would declare a winner based on the split times for the 5.5-mile leg of the race to Glen Cove, the only portion all the drivers ran.

Unser got to Glen Cove in 4:27.80, Dallenbach in 5:06.23. But Layton said there was a problem with the timing equipment during the first run, when Unser drove, and he didn't want to rely on the backup system to declare a winner. There was only one person holding a handheld timer at Glen Cove.

"I wasn't going to base a critical decision like that one individual's ability to start and stop a time-tech machine. The electronic (system) was down at the time," Layton said.

Unser's recorded time beats the old division qualifying record by almost 26 seconds.

Unser, who qualified at 5:06.40 on Glen Clove in what he called an "off run," said he thinks his race time is correct.

"I had a great car. I had a fast run," Unser said. "They're not sure about the time on the bottom, so I can understand that."

Dallenbach said he thought declaring co-champions was fair.

"It's what they had to do," he said. "It was the best thing."

BUSCH SERIES: Ron Hornaday Jr. won the Alan Kulwicki 250 late Saturday at the Milwaukee Mile, taking the lead with seven laps to go after rallying from a lap down. Hornaday passed Shane Hmiel on the inside, ending Hmiel's chance for his first Busch Series victory at West Allis, Wis. Hornaday started 10th and dropped a lap behind when the first caution flag came out while he was in the pits. David Stremme finished second, followed by Jason Keller and Hmiel, driving in place of Nextel Cup driver Kasey Kahne.

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