Auto Service World
News   June 9, 2003   by Auto Service World

Corteco Holds Together for Unser Victory


Gasket manufacturer Corteco celebrated its first IRL victory of the season with Al Unser Jr.
Unser Jr., driving the No. 31 Kelley Racing-Corteco entry, posted his first victory of the season, his 3rd IndyCar Series victory and his 34th career victory at Texas Motor Speedway.
Unser Jr., who started 7th, dueled for the lead with Tomas Scheckter most of the night and after Scheckter had an accident on lap 173, Unser Jr. took over the lead for good. Tony Kanaan tried to make a late run on Unser Jr. but as Unser Jr. said in his press conference, "it was the Toyota engine versus the Honda engine tonight in those last few laps and my Toyota won."
Unser Jr. led 54 laps of the 200-lap Bombardier 500 and his victory puts him in second place in the points standings with 151 points. Tony Kanaan is the current points leader with 177 while Helio Castroneves is now in third with 149 points.
Scott Sharp, driver of the No. 8 Delphi entry, also entered by Kelley Racing, appeared to be on plan to make it a Kelley Racing first and third place finish until misfortune struck on lap 190. Sharp, who started in 12th position, had been working his way to the front and by the final stint of the race was running in third position.
Going into lap 190, Sharp was running side-by-side with Felipe Giaffone and Tora Takagi tried to get a run down low on the two cars. There was not enough room for the three cars to make it through the corner together and it appeared that Takagi got a wheel into Sharp’s sidepod, pushing Sharp into Giaffone and putting them both into the wall. Both drivers were unhurt but their races ended on lap 190. Sharp is now in sixth place in the IndyCar Series points standings with 130 points.
Takagi continued to finish third.


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