Gorden crowned king of the road


WATKINS GLEN, New York, AP

Jeff Gordon became NASCAR’s King of the Road as he set a record for road course victories by winning Sunday at Watkins Glen International. The three-time Winston Cup champion won for the seventh time on a road course, breaking a tie with Rusty Wallace, Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for the most in NASCAR history. Gordon’s victory in the Global Crossing also extended his lead in the points race to 194 over fourth place finisher Ricky Rudd. But it wasn’t easy _ right to the end. Jeff Burton, with whom Gordon waged a magnificent battle over the final laps, hit him coming to the final turn. Gordon had the lead for only one lap before passing Burton in the first of 11 turns on the 78th of 90 laps. It was the second straight victory for Gordon, who also put his car in the winner’s circle seven days earlier in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. The 30-year-old Gordon has 57 victories, the most among active drivers. Gordon’s Chevrolet started 13th in a field of 43 and officially beat the Ford of Burton by 0.172 seconds. The victory was his fifth this year, breaking his tie with polesitter Dale Jarrett. Jeremy Mayfield was third followed by Todd Bodine. Gordon was the only non-Ford driver in the top five. CART LEXINGTON, Ohio, AP Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran produced their second consecutive one-two finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the CART Miller Lite 200. Castroneves averaged 171.599 kph (106.627 mph) in his Reynard Honda and defeated de Ferran by 1.568 seconds. The margin separating the Marlboro Team Penske drivers was slightly closer than it was last year, when Castroneves won by 4.425 seconds. He became the sixth driver in 20 years of CART racing at Mid-Ohio to win back-to-back events, joining Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Alex Zanardi. The victory moved Castroneves into second place in the points standings, one point behind leader Kenny Brack, who finished 20th. It was the third CART victory of the year for the Brazilian, who also won the Indianapolis 500 and Michigan 500. Indy Racing League SPARTA, Kentucky, AP Buddy Lazier took his first lead on lap 112 and held off Robbie Buhl to win the Indy Racing League Northern Light Series Belterra Casino Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Lazier, who won last year’s Kentucky event en route to the series championship, became the first IRL driver to win four races in a single season. Lazier, who started 11th in the 22-car field, has was won four of five races to pull within striking distance of Sam Hornish Jr. for the points title. Polesitter Scott Sharp led the first 105 laps of the 200-lap race before giving way to Hornish and then Lazier. Buhl passed Lazier to take the lead with 12 laps remaining, but Lazier regained the lead on the inside with eight to go. The two battled wheel-to wheel until Buhl ran out of fuel on the backstretch with a lap remaining, giving Lazier his eighth career IRL victory.