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Disqualification denies Unser his second 1995 win

Al Unser Jr., his car cited for a technical violation, was disqualified Sunday three hours after easily winning the Budweiser-G. I. Joe's 200.

Jimmy Vasser, who had finished nearly a half-lap behind in second at Portland International Raceway, was awarded his first IndyCar victory in 48 starts.

It is the first disqualification of a winner in the IndyCar series since 1983.

Kirk Russell, vice president of competition for IndyCar, said Unser's Penske-Mercedes was found after the race to have less than the required 2 inches of ground clearance.

Unser's car had been bottoming out throughout the race, sending white smoke from its compressed board skidpads attached to the car's underbody.

Unser, who had moved into the PPG Cup points lead with what would have been his second win of the year, was stripped of the 21 points he had earned and was not scored in the final race standings.

Roger Penske, owner of Marlboro Team Penske, which fields cars for Unser and Emerson Fittipaldi, filed an immediate protest and issued a statement.

It said, in part, "Penske's position is that the car experienced a mechanical failure (re _ the rear skid plate was broken off the car as a result of the car riding over uneven surfaces on the track)."

If the protest is turned down, as expected, Penske would have three days to file an appeal.

Unser said, "I think it's a real shame that this happened to Team Penske and it just seems to be that's the way the year has been going.

"Nothing was wrong with what happened to the car today. It was something that IndyCar saw as a rules violation."

Russell said it took nearly three hours of investigation and discussion to make the decision to disqualify Unser's car.

The bottoming of the car was obvious as Unser sped through the race, but additional attention was drawn to it when the middle of three pieces of the plywood skidpad sailed out from under the car on the 90th lap, floating to the side of the road.

Labonte wins


Y. _ Terry Labonte survived a racelong duel with Chad Little to win the Lysol 200 NASCAR Busch Grand National.

Labonte, driving a Chevrolet, won for the second straight year and third time in five years in the only road-course event on the Grand National schedule.

Labonte and Little exchanged the lead four times during the 200-mile race on the 2.45-mile course, but Labonte took the lead for the final time on Lap 48 and led the rest of the 82-lap distance.

Little finished 3.88 seconds behind, with Ricky Craven, Mike McLaughlin and Jeff Green completing the top five.


Indy Lights: Greg Moore led wire-to-wire, winning the Portland round of the Firestone series, his sixth victory in seven starts. The 20-year-old Canadian, in his second season in the series, came up with his ninth career victory. He beat runner-up Affonso Giaffone of Brazil by 11.08 seconds. Moore is well on his way to matching or beating the record of nine victories set by Paul Tracy, now an Indy-car star, in 1990.