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BRACK ON TOP; DRIVER PUTS FOUR-TIME WINNER FOYT IN VICTORY CIRCLE FOR FIRST TIME IN 22 YEARS.

Byline: Skip Myslenski Chicago Tribune

They began their last, mad dash 25 laps from the end of Sunday's Indianapolis 500, and as each lap passed, a single question loomed: Did Robby Gordon, who led Kenny Brack and Jeff Ward by a little more than three seconds, have enough fuel to finish?

He had last taken on fuel 36 laps from the finish, and when the other leaders pitted under caution six laps later, Gordon had stayed out and rolled to the front. That is where he was 10 laps from the end, and from his pit, car owner John Menard told him, ``We're OK on fuel.''

``But I had a funny feeling about my fuel,'' Gordon would say later. ``My dash(board) said 191 (of the 200 laps were gone). But I looked up (at the Speedway scoreboard) and saw 190. I knew then we weren't going to make it unless I had more fuel in there than I thought.''

He did not have more than he thought, and he would not make it to the checkered flag. He ran out of gas just before the final lap of this scintillating race, and that opened the way for Brack to roll to a 6.557-second win over Ward.

``Keep coming, Kenny. C'mon. C'mon,'' owner A.J. Foyt urged as Brack roared toward the finish line and Gordon rolled to a stop in his pit. ``Bring it home. You've won it.''

Moments later, Foyt was nearly speechless. ``I don't know. I'm out of words. Wonderful. Wonderful,'' said Foyt, who won the Indy 500 four times as a driver, the last time in 1977.

Said Brack: ``I've been practicing drinking milk and eating milk and cereal all week. Maybe that's what did it.''

There was, of course, more to it than that, but it would have been a fitting reason for victory in a most entertaining, occasionally bizarre race that featured eight caution flags, 18 lead changes and one driver - Jack Miller - who couldn't fire up his engine and started his afternoon sitting still.

There was a nearly disastrous accident in the pit of rookie Robby McGehee, whose crew chief was hospitalized after he was hit by Jimmy Kite's car. And there was another pit accident that dearly cost Greg Ray, who was in the lead when he pulled in and out of the race after he hit the car of Mark Dismore as he tried to exit.

While running second, defending champion Eddie Cheever's engine blew 60 laps from the finish. There was quick Sam Schmidt hitting the wall 132 laps from the finish, while running fourth.

And there was two-time champion Arie Luyendyk, running in his 15th and final 500, on the lead 83 laps from the finish and trying to duck under Tyce Carlson. But Carlson, whom Luyendyk was lapping, came down on him, and as Luyendyk hit his brake, his car wobbled before skittering across the track and into the outside wall.

``I should know better. I really feel stupid,'' Luyendyk said. ``I should have known better than to race in traffic that hard.

``The car was just phenomenal. It's too bad. I can't believe it. My mindset today was unbelievable. It's the most fun I've had at any Indianapolis 500. Greg Ray. Kenny Brack. We were doing a lot of dicing. That was a lot of fun. Maybe I got too relaxed, I don't know. It's going to be a long summer thinking of what could have been.''

Brack, meanwhile, was beaming.

``My goal was to drive the perfect race, and that's what I did,'' he said. ``Arie didn't. He made a mistake. I don't know who's to blame for Robby's incident. But I think we planned this race perfect.

``I didn't take any unnecessary chances, but in the end I ran as fast as I could. The car was slipping with the front end, slipping with the rear end, and I was just holding on as hard as I could trying to catch Robby. I knew if he didn't run out, I'd have to try and catch him somehow.

``I wasn't going to take second. That's why I ran like I did the last three, four laps. That's when I took a few chances. Finishing second in a race like this is not too good.''

INDIANAPOLIS 500 FINAL RESULTS

Results Sunday of the Indianapolis 500 with finishing position, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed, winner's average speed and reason out, if any:

1. (8) Kenny Brack, Dallara-Aurora, 200 laps

2. (14) Jeff Ward, Dallara-Aurora, 200

3. (3) Billy Boat, Dallara-Aurora, 200

4. (4) Robby Gordon, Dallara-Aurora, 200

5. (27) r-Robby McGehee, Dallara-Aurora, 199

6. (32) Robbie Buhl, Dallara-Aurora, 199

7. (22) Buddy Lazier, Dallara-Aurora, 198

8. (17) Robby Unser, Dallara-Aurora, 197

9. (24) Tony Stewart, Dallara-Aurora, 196

10. (10) Hideshi Matsuda, Dallara-Aurora, 196

11. (11) Davey Hamilton, Dallara-Aurora, 196

12. (33) Raul Boesel, Riley & Scott-Aurora, 195

13. (12) r-John Hollansworth Jr., Dallara-Aurora, 192

14. (15) Tyce Carlson, Dallara-Aurora, 190

15. (21) r-Jeret Schroeder, G Force-Inititi, 175

16. (5) Mark Dismore, Dallara-Aurora, 168, crash

17. (20) Stan Wattles, Dallara-Aurora, 147

18. (16) Eddie Cheever, Dallara-Infiniti, 139, engine

19. (26) Buzz Calkins, Dallara-Aurora, 133

20. (23) Roberto Moreno, G Force-Aurora, 122, transmission

21. (2) Greg Ray, Dallara-Aurora, 120, crash

22. (1) Arie Luyendyk, G Force-Aurora, 117, crash

23. (29) r-Wim Eyckmans, Dallara-Aurora, 113, timing chain

24. (28) Jimmy Kite, G Force-Aurora, 111, engine

25. (25) Roberto Guerrero, G Force-Infiniti, 105, engine

26. (13) Steve Knapp, G Force-Aurora, 104, handling

27. (9) Scott Goodyear, G Force-Aurora, 101, engine

28. (6) Scott Sharp, Dallara-Aurora, 83, transmission

29. (19) Donnie Beechler, Dallara-Aurora, 74, engine

30. (7) Sam Schmidt, G Force-Aurora, 62, crash

31. (31) Jack Miller, Dallara-Aurora, 29, clutch

32. (30) Johnny Unser, Dallara-Aurora, 10, brakes

33. (18) Eliseo Salazar, G Force-Aurora, 7, crash

r-rookie; prize money to be announced at Victory Celebration Monday night

FAST FACTS

Time of race: 3 hours, 15 minutes, 51.182 seconds

Margin of victory: 6.562 seconds

Fastest lap: 218.882 mph, Ray, lap 101

Fastest leading lap: 218.224, Luyendyk, lap 108

Yellow cautions: 8 for 42 laps

Lead changes: 17 among 7 drivers

Laps leaders: Luyendyk 1-32, Ray 33, Schmidt 34-37, Luyendyk 38-44, Ray 45-59, Brack 60-64, Luyendyk 65-69, Brack 70-82, Ray 83-95, Brack 96-98, Luyendyk 99-117, Ray 118-120, Cheever 121-124, Brack 125-150, Ward 151-153, Brack 154-170, Gordon 171-198, Brack 199-200

IRL SERIES LEADERS

1. Ward - 115

2. Goodyear - 96

3. Boat - 90

4. Cheever - 75

5. Buhl - 73

6. Dismore - 70

7. Brack - 66

8. Sharp - 63

9. Boesel - 60

10. Lazier - 58

CAPTION(S):

3 Photos, Box

PHOTO (1--2--Cover--Color) A DAY AT THE RACES

Fans double their pleasure with Brack's win at Indy 500 and Burton's triumph at the Coca Cola 600

Al Behrman and Chuck Burton/Associated Press

(3) Kenny Brack, driving under A.J. Foyt's famous No. 14, hits the pits during the 81st Indianapolis 500.

Marc Matheny/Associated Press

BOX: (Ran on Page 12) INDIANAPOLIS 500 FINAL RESULTS (see text)
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 31, 1999
Words:1174
Previous Article:JETHAWKS SALVAGE FINALE : JETHAWKS 14, MODESTO 3.
Next Article:BURTON SHOWS STAYING POWER, PULLS AWAY TO WIN : CREW ADJUSTS, KEEPS WINNER'S CAR ON TRACK, WHETHER DAY OR NIGHT.


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