Al Unser Jr. drove better than he felt Sunday, shaking off the effects of a severe case of food poisoning to win the Vancouver Molson-Indy.
Unser, who is well on the way to winning his second PPG Cup championship, spent Friday in his hotel room with severe stomach distress, got onto the track Saturday long enough to qualify eighth in the 28-car field, then drove a faultless race Sunday to win his third straight."I was strong enough to drive the car today, and that was due to the CART medical staff," Unser said. "They filled me up with liquids. I was just drained physically (on Friday). It was rough."
The victory in the chaotic 102-lap race on the 1.653-mile, 10-turn temporary circuit was the record-tying eighth of the season for Unser, who was still taking intravenous fluids for a dehydrated condition until just minutes before the start.
But the 32-year-old drove a great strategic race, making just two pit stops by using the unusually high six full-course caution flags to wind up dominating the late stages of the event. He led from lap 77 to the end on the way to his third victory in five Vancouver starts.
"We're pretty sore inside, but winning makes you feel a lot better," Unser said after his 27th career victory.
His Ilmor-powered Penske car crossed the finish line 2.239 seconds ahead of 25-year-old pole-winner Robby Gordon, who overcame a punctured tire and a gearbox problem to equal his best career finish.