OCTOBER 2, 2006
The Chase goes on
The Chase to the NASCAR Nextel Cup continued on Sunday at Kansas Speedway where Tony Stewart, who is not in the running for the title, won the race, crossing the finish line at reduced pace as he eked out the last vapours in his fuel tank after a risky fuel strategy. Jimmie Johnson, who is fighting to get back into the running for the title after a recent setback, was leading in the closing laps but could not gamble on fuel and so pitted for a last-minute splash and dropped back to 14th after he was penalised for speeding in pitlane. his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon, another of the 10 championship contenders was looking good until a fuel-pressure problem left him stranded on the track. He did get back to the pits but could not rejoin and so falls back in the title race. As a result Jeff Burtojn extended his lead by finishing fifth after a last-minute splash and dash. Burton has increased his lead to 69 points (a very small margin in NASCAR) while rookie Denny Himlin is up to second just one point ahead of Mark Martin with Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick both within reach of the title.
The A1 Grand Prix Series kicked off at Zandvoort with South Africa's Adrian Zaugg winning the first race but going off in the second, leaving victory to A1 Team Germany's Nico Hulkenberg. The main race, watched by 75,000 Dutch fans, saw Nicolas Lapierre in the lead for France, but when rains came the order was shaken up and America's Phil Giebler - still on slicks - took the lead and stayed ahead despite the difficult conditions. Lapierre caught up as the track was slow to dry but it was Holland's Jeroen Bleekemolen who went into the lead and as the track dried more France had to go into the pits. The Dutch decided to leave Bleekemolen out on wets and Team USA was back in the lead but then rookie Hulkenberg took second and went after Giebler. Australia's Ryan Briscoe snatched third at the end.
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