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Petty lets nothing get in his way at Pocono

Published Oct. 9, 2005

Even a fan on the track couldn't get in the way of Kyle Petty's first victory of the NASCAR season.

Petty dominated the Champion Spark Plug 500, leading 148 of the 200 laps and pulling away after a late caution for a 4.9-second victory over Ken Schrader at Pocono International Raceway.

He averaged 138.005 mph, slowing his Pontiac just enough for a fan who ran across the track to dive out of the way.

"You ever seen a deer in headlights?" Petty said. "That pretty much describes what he looked like."

The man _ his identity and motives not immediately clear _ narrowly avoided being hit as he sprinted in front of Petty and Davey Allison. He dove over the outside retaining wall just ahead of the cars.

"I saw the stupid nut. He's lucky he's not dead," Allison said. "Is he in jail? I've never seen anything like that before. I never dreamed anybody could be that dumb."

State police caught the man in the swamp outside the track. Officers didn't release the man's name pending filing of formal charges.

Petty climbed out of his car after winning and used a video camera to record the scene, which capped a motorcycle trip through the Northeast with crew chief Robin Pemberton and two friends.

"We just made enough money here to have our trip next year," said Petty, who earned $44,960 with his seventh career Winston Cup victory and first on the 2{-mile triangular track.

Harry Gant beat Jimmy Spencer for third, Ted Musgrave was fifth and Davey Allison sixth. The finishes were the best of the season for Schrader, Gant and Musgrave.

Schrader, who won the pole at a track-record 162.816 mph in a Chevrolet, had his fourth consecutive top-five finish.

"Kyle was faster all day. I only got faster after the first two pit stops. We were better on the long runs," Schrader said.

Petty moved quickly to the front off a restart on Lap 180. He took the lead from Sterling Marlin on Turn 1 of Lap 185 and was unchallenged.

Petty, who started eighth, had not won since Oct. 25, 1992, at Rockingham, N.C.