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Gordon Chases Victory

Sun., June 1, 1997, midnight

Bobby Labonte wonders if the success he has enjoyed in qualifying will convert into a victory that will deny Jeff Gordon another spot in the record book.

But Gordon has no doubt he will be stronger today in the Miller 500 at Dover, Del., once he gets a grip on things.

Both front-row starters agree on one thing, however. The notorious Monster Mile - as Dover Downs International Speedway is known - is living up to its name.

“It will definitely take a different setup to win this time,” said Labonte, who sits on the pole in a Pontiac after qualifying Friday at 152.788 mph.

At West Allis, Wis., Paul Tracy got the pole for the CART Miller 200 and the track record at the Milwaukee Mile.

Tracy had the fastest lap, 184.286 mph, of 25 drivers who bested Raul Boesel’s record of 165.752 mph, set in 1993 before the track was repaved.

Spokane’s Appian Jeronimo, driven by Mitch Evans of Chelan, took a pair of second-place finishes and scored 600 points in the APBA Gold Cup hydroplane races in Detroit.

The competition is led by Mark Tate in the Close Call with 700 points.

Two boats - PICO American Dream driven by Mark Evans and Nate Brown’s Miss D.O.C/TruckGear - were heavily damaged when they collided at 150 mph during prerace maneuvering in Heat 2A. The drivers escaped serious injury, although Brown, of Preston, Wash., was hospitalized complaining of left shoulder and neck pain.

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