Stewart IROC Solid

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BROOKLYN, Mich. -Tony Stewart warmed up for Sunday's Winston K-Mart 400 with a dominating win in Saturday's third round of the 2001 International Race of Champions series at Michigan International Speedway. It was the Indiana driver's first career IROC series victory.

IRL driver Al Unser, Jr., substituting for the injured Scott Goodyear, finished second with CART pilot Kenny Brack, IRL driver Eddie Cheever and Bobby Labonte rounding out the Top 5.

"I know it kind of looked easy, but it was really kind of wild believe it or not," said Stewart, who moved within five points of IROC series point leader Bobby Labonte with the win. "(IROC president) Jay Signore told me before the race that you couldn't run one of these cars wide open around here, but I did run it wide open the whole 50 laps. It was a great car and a great win."

"I haven't been in an IROC car for sometime, but Jay and the whole crew do a great job in setting these cars up," said Unser. "We didn't have enough today for Tony but it was a lot of fun and I'm happy to have had the chance to compete."

The race was the start of a busy day for Unser, Lazier, Cheever and last-place finisher Mark Dismore, who flew directly to Texas Motor Speedway to compete in tonight's IRL Casino Magic 500.

Labonte has a one point lead over Brack with Cheever and Stewart five points behind as the series moves to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the season finale on August 4.

MICHIGAN IROC ROUND 3 RESULTS
1. Tony Stewart
2. Al Unser, Jr.
3. Kenny Brack
4. Eddie Cheever, Jr. 5. Bobby Labonte
6. Buddy Lazier
7. Jeff Burton
8. Dave Marcis
9. Jeff Green
10. Ricky Rudd
11. Mark Dismore

Miller Time at Happy Hour

Rusty Wallace led Saturday morning's Winston Cup "Happy Hour" session. His quickest lap of 182.454 mph edged Johnny Benson at 182.122. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ricky Rudd and Bobby Labonte rounded out the day's Top 5.

"We set the car up a little differently then yesterday in qualifying," said Wallace, who will start seventh in tomorrow's K-Mart 400. "I think we're gonna have a good hot rod here tomorrow, if the weather stays the way it is today. It was pretty hot out there today with the sun shining so brightly, so the track is going to be very slick."

Michigan native son Benson also has hight hopes for raceday. "I think the Valvoline Pontiac is pretty much the way we want it on Sunday. It would be just fantastic to get my first Winston Cup career win here in front of a lot of my fans."

Michigan Schedule Growing in 2002?

Michigan International Speedway may have a new racing weekend on its calendar next season. Word is the track is considering bringing the Indy Racing Northern Light Series to the Irish Hills in 2002. The IRL would reportedly team with NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, which competed here in 1999.

The schedule addition would make Michigan the only track hosting both the IRL and CART open-wheel circuits. Sources report Michigan's sister track, California Speedway, may also add the IRL to its slate next season.

Musgrave Teams with Buckshot

Craftsman Truck Series driver Ted Musgrave will get a shot at the Busch Series next weekend when he wheels the Buckshot Racing Pontiac in Saturday's first-ever visit to Kentucky Speedway.

"Ted's a great choice to drive our car next week in Kentucky," said car owner Buckshot Jones. "He's a veteran and we think he'll do a great job for us."

"I'm really thrilled at this chance," said Musgrave, a former Winston Cup regular who drives for the Ultra Motorsports team on the truck tour. "I want to thank Buckshot for the opportunity. It's a great car that has had some great runs this year, and we look forward to going to Kentucky."

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