The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on August 7, 2004 · Page 28
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 28

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Saturday, August 7, 2004
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C4 SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 2004 SPORTS THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Nextel Cup n lit By Mike Harris The Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS - The money is big, and the fame for win ning the Brickyard 400 at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway is even bigger. But many drivers would covet a victory here Sunday for a much more important reason. "Winning this race could be a real springboard for somebody trying to get into the champion ship battle, said two-time Brick yard winner Dale Jarrett. Under NASCAR's new title for mat in the Nextel Cup series, the top 10 drivers - plus any others within 400 points of the leader - after the 26th of 36 races will be eligible to win the lucrative v r- Jarrett championship. The race winner will earn more than $400,000, but the series champion will walk away with $5.28 million, just from the series points fund. Overall, including contingency awards from sponsors, the title will be worth close to $10 million for the champion. Most of the drivers bidding for a spot in what NASCAR calls the "Chase for the Cup" prefer to talk about taking the last six events before the 10-race championship playoff one race at a time. But there is little doubt Sunday's 400-mile event could play a key role in determining which drivers get the shot at the big prize. "Every race is crucial at this . tt f T i point, saia jere- lj my Mayfield, 11th Mayfield in the standings and 40 points be hind lOth-place Kevin Harvick, the defending Brickyard champion. "You need to finish in the top 10 or the top five, and you need to build momentum that can carry you into the last 10 races. "That's why this race is so important. Nobody with a chance at the top 10 can afford to lose a lot of points right now." Ryan Newman, eighth in the standings and only 52 points in front of Harvick, echoed May-field and Jarrett. "Mathematically, these races are all the same, but it's getting to be crunch time as far as gaining and losing points," Newman said. Series leader Jimmie Johnson and the rest of the top six in the standings look to be all but guaranteed spots in the championship chase, but only 194 points separate sixth-place Kurt Busch from 15th-place Jamie McMurray. Busch knows firsthand how quickly momentum can turn. ,.... . i Road America's place on Champ Gar schedule at risk 77i Associated Press ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Bruno Junqueira has a passion for Road America, the challenging road course that weaves through four miles of Wisconsin's countryside. He has two race victories and a pole in three visits to the hilly, 4.048-mile circuit. But there's no telling when - or if -Junqueira and his colleagues will be back at the track, where he post Basketball Bobbitt can make Lakers in October veteran camp B) Bill Koch Enquirer staff writer Former University of Cincinnati guard Tony Bobbitt signed a free agent contract with the jos Angeles Lakers on Friday and will have a chance to earn a spot on the nine-time NBA champions in their veteran camp this fall, beginning Oct 4. Bobbitt, 24, averaged 13.4 points for UC last season, primarily as the first player off the bench. He was not selected in the draft but was invited to play on the Lakers' summer league team, where, according to his agent, Richard Katz, he averaged 16 points as a reserve and spent some time at point guard. "He played well enough to warrant this consideration," Katz said. "I don't think they're going to take him to camp just to have him as a camp player. He's got an opportunity because of the way he shoots the ball." Bobbitt, 6 feet 4, 190 pounds, shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range last season, 45.5 percent overall. He said he was disappointed when he wasn't drafted but didn't give up on his goal of playing in the Money, prestige suw' Ryan Newman's crew pushes his No. 12 car into the garage area after Motor Speedway Friday. Newman is eighth in the season-long point ffi i 5 Site: Indianapolis Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway (rectangular oval, 2.5 miles, 9 degrees banking in turns) Race distance: 400 miles (160 laps) SCHEDULE TODAY 11:10 a.m. - Qualifying (TNT) 3:10-3:55 p.m. - Practice 4:45-5:30 p.m. - Practice SUNDAY 2 p.m. - Driver introductions 2:30 p.m. - Brickyard 400 (Ch. 5, 22) He felt pretty secure in the points race after winning two weeks ago in New Hampshire. Then a broken transmission sent him tumbling to 26th place last Sunday at Pocono, costing Busch ed his first Champ Car victory in 2001 and won in the rain last year. Road America has been a part of the Champ Car schedule since 1982, but genera manager George Bruggenthies says sponsorships are down and the track has lost $500,000 in recent years. Attendance has been about half the 70,000 that once crammed the track on race day. "I think Road America is the nicest race track in America. It's a Enquirer file photoGARY LANDERS Tony Bobbitt shot 45.5 percent , for the Bearcats last season. NBA. "Everybody knows I wanted that to happen," Bobbitt said. "But it didn't work out that way, so I had to go another route. I didn't put my head down. I just went ahead and took care of business." Bobbitt said he's confident hell make the team. "I should be all right," he said. "I just need to go in and do what I've been doing, shooting the ball, doing what's asked of me, and play hard." E-mail bkochenquirer.com 7 v. : A n 1 B5 wm w big, but points - f.? ma wr one position in the standings and moving a handful of drivers within striking distance. Mark Martin, 13th in the standings but 89 points behind Ken-seth, also has seen the momentum shift in a hurry. "For a while, we were totally out of it," he said. "Then we had a couple of good races and we were in it. Then we had a bad race and we were out of it. Then we had another good race and we were in it. I don't even want to go there. "We may make it; we may not. I want to approach this race like the championship chase is out of the question for us. I don't want to be disappointed." So Martin, coming off a second-place finish at Pocono - after running 24th and 14th in the two previous races - has only one goal at Indy: to win. "Winning solves a lot of problems and gives everybody on the team a lift," said Martin, who got his 34th career win earlier this season at Dover. "The next race on the schedule is the Brickyard 400, and that's the one I want to win." Auto racing notebook proper road course: long, fast. ... Every lap here, I enjoy myself so much," said Junqueira, who had a gearbox problem in provisional qualifying Friday and spun out, erasing his best lap and pushing him from second to third. Ryan Hunter-Reay secured a first-row start for Sunday's race by posting the best qualifying time in a ilit W iitflmfti &&m n n n are bigger I, i The Associated Press DARRON CUMMINGS a practice run at Indianapolis standings. CHASE FOR TOP 10 Six events remain for NASCAR drivers to secure a spot in the top 10 before the race for the 2004 Nextel Cup begins with the Sylvania 300 on Sept. 19 at New Hampshire Speedway. As many as 156 points could be gained In one race, based on the difference between a first-place finish while leading the most laps (190 points) and a 43rd-place finish (34 points). All of the top 34 points positions following last Sunday's race at Pocono are separated by fewer than 156 points, except the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, meaning those positions could change hands Sunday at Indianapolis. Kevin Harvick is 10th in the point standings, but the next five drivers are within 133 points of the coveted 10th position. Position, driver Behind 10th 40 69 89 103 ' 11th, Jeremy Mayfield 12th, Kasey Kahne 13th, Mark Martin 14th, Dale Jarrett 15th, Jamie McMurray 133 Source: rVXSORmedla.com session marred by two red flags -Jimmy Vasser also spun out - that limited many of the drivers to six laps instead of 15. HunterTReay had the fastest lap with a time of 140.246 mph. Patrick Carpentier leaped past Junqueira for second at 140.021. Junqueira was relegated to 139.414. NEXTEL CUP: Car owner Chip Ganassi exercised an option to keep Jamie McMurray in the No. 42 Dodge for the 2005 season. iniriiiti'fiK(mmiiiim) vi;Wi;4liUfHn?iri!i So Many Deals, So Little Time. "So...to save you time and money, we prefer to keep it simple, Just choose any Chevy ad in today's paper, bring it in and we'll beat it. It's like I always say: Everybody needs a little TLC. For yours, call me direct." HBRSi Kings Auto Mall Call683-4TLC 800956-4852 wmw.terryleechevrolet.com cZ? AN AMERICAN RVOLimON !tYSd Pre-Swung Many originally ) :; Trf sJSw 4m sold new for KA A ff7 W? $300 -$400 U fe .. y,' j Contact your nearest store tor detiilt W Offer ands Wednesday, August 11. V " limited quantities available. CLLWAY TmORMAOE TITLEIST PINS NIKE MIZUNO TayorMade .E'lSSSf. m War Binl Burner buddib Ry COOK . PRE-SWUNG DRIVERS PUTTERS The best value for trade-ins. pnd Swing lt' not you. K'$ your Common. Itsirlti County Kil. Florma Cmemu to Naxttt, Across from tftt I3)I7I-2HI i J jg59;l-2l31 J OlflonMlll9?K3-M14 J i v:'7 I A7 i . ( $ TaylorMade club. www.2ndswinj.com s J I . . .. j ij yi irrarivri ran r,Rra I Jj

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