Miami: Dominguez wins wild race

Mario Dominguez and Roberto Moreno scored a one-two finish for the Herdez Competition Team in a wild Champ Car Grand Prix of Miami. The Herdez duo took advantage of problems befalling race leaders Adrian Fernandez and Bruno Junqueira to earn the best result in the history of the team formerly known as Bettenhausen Motorsports. Mika Salo took third place in his second Champ Car start for PK Racing.

Miami: Dominguez wins wild race

Junqueira took the lead from pole man Fernandez at the start, but the Mexican made a clean pass for the top spot starting the second lap. The order remained the same through the first two rounds of pit stops, but Junqueira lost control under braking into Turn 6 and rammed Fernandez into a spin while Adrian was trying to put Tiago Monteiro a lap down. They both recovered to finish eighth and ninth.

That seemed to hand the race to Michel Jourdain, but he was sent to the back of the field under yellow on Lap 106 as punishment for crashing into Monteiro in the pits during the round of stops on lap 90. This put Dominguez, who had started the race from eighth on the grid alongside his team-mate, into the lead.

It was the second career Champ Car win for Dominguez, and it was much more satisfying than when he won the controversial Surfers Paradise race in the wet in October, 2002.

"It's our first win of the year and I hope there will be many more," said Dominguez after leading the final 28 of 135 laps. "We'll be under big pressure in Mexico City but we know we can do this again with the support of the Mexican people."

Dominguez credited the arrival of Moreno this year with helping him mature as a driver. "Not too shabby - this is a great time for us," Moreno remarked. "I'm very happy. Herdez put a lot of trust in this sport and they have been a sponsor for a long time. This is the payoff day. I have known Mario is capable of this and he's getting better all the time."

Salo rebounded from a crash in final qualifying to earn the best-ever result for the first year PK team owned by Craig Pollock and Kevin Kalkhoven. "The team did a great job and all I had to do was keep it between the walls," said the Finn. "I screwed up in qualifying and I had to make up for it today. I was flat out all day and all I want now is a cold shower."

The big loser on the day was championship leader Paul Tracy, who punted Sebastien Bourdais out of the race in a dubious move on Lap 69. Bourdais had just passed Tracy for fourth place at Turn 1, only to see Tracy respond by tapping the French driver's Newman/Haas Lola into a spin a few yards up the road.

"I have nothing to say - it's just stupid," Bourdais remarked.

Tracy's lead in the CART championship was cut from 17 to 13 points with three races remaining. The next round in the championship takes place October 12 at Mexico City.

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