The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on July 12, 1999 · Page 18
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 18

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Monday, July 12, 1999
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Page 18
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STA L Wells is becoming auto racing's tnQst diversified team owner ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -After losing his Tide sponsorship on the Winston Cup circuit to Cal Wells, a riled-up Ricky Rudd referred to the Championship Auto Racing Teams owner as t, The Racing Insider '""'"Robin "some guy with a " Miller fancy briefcase "', , and a second-rate Indy-'car team" during an interview Jn ESFN. For clarification's sake, Wells was a Indy-car owner at the Indianapolis 500 only once (in 1995) and he now fields a pair of champ cars jn the FedEx Championship. Plusrhis briefcase is nondescript (his Initials aren't even on it). Thp-ygh Rudd took the Tide sponsorship away from Rick Hen-drick earlier and isn't exactly in a position to belittle anybody's program he's ranked 28th in NASCAR his anger was understandable. . Fact is, it would be wrong to dismiss Wells as some Johnny-come-latelyl rich-guy hobbyist who wants to play around with stock cars. The 43-year-old Californian is one 6f those self-made types who started banging around on the dirt in off-road racing and became filthy .rich with good business sense and hard work. Ifiothing else, Wells is a racer from the top of his receding hairline to the bottom of his shoes. At present, he owns and operates: a two-car CART team with drivers Scott Pruett and rookie Cristlano da Matta; a two-car Formula Atlantic operation with Anthony tazzaro and Andrew Bordin; and an off-road team with Ivan "Ironman" Stewart. Pioneer and MCI help finance the CART effort, while his off-road team boasts an 18-year relationship with Toyota. Starting next year, Wells is branching out. He's got a five-year deal with McDonald's for a Busch Grand National car, and Tide is on board for his initial venture into Winston Cup. Not even Roger Penske, Carl Haas or Jerry Forsythe can claim su a diversified, high-profile lineup. "I guess the criticism is to be expected, but anybody who knows anything about me knows I'm a racer, first and foremost," said Wells.f::' Wetls, faced the media in Dayto-na, Fla.s after being painted as an open-wheel devil for gobbling up the sponsors of Bill Elliott and Rudd "We didn't go after Ricky's sponsorship," he said. "I had talked to with else can boast the technology that MAACO employs. There's a $ COMPLETE PAINT SERVICES START AT... WEST 3115 Lafayette Rd. SOUTH 3400 S.Madison (1 Mrle Soutfi pf Lafayette Sq pn oi wefges s Haason, t me rr "- . 925-9900 791-8888 899-3100 Vans trucks and commercial vehlclss by estimate Bodywork, rust repair and stripping ot old paint extra. Additional surface preparation may be rwcessary Not with any other oiler MAACO Auto Painting & Bodyworks centers are independent franchises ol MAACO Enterprises, inc. Prices, hours and services may vary. t m (MO M U1M)) GO-GO & NOW APPEARING Babes East Only uuiy ui.m If its not a ZBabes f-'i': Bucket of Beer $10 Every Tues. r . 'Free Buffet Daily: West Only "Free Admission Til 6 Dm ... . - ,cree Admission with Sporting Event Non Stop Lingerie Shows Both Locations Every Friday I "West Tuist 38th & Lafayette Rd. 7259 Pendleton Pike f 299-0433 545-5100 4 BI6 SHOWS DAI IY!... 6: JO PM-8: JO PM-IO: JOPM-12: Ope?i Mon.-Sat. 3 pm-3 -JX -Babes West Open them about some CART stuff, but one phone call led to another and it just evolved. I figured Ricky would be bitter, and I guess I'm glad I went to Daytona to take my hits face to face. "Procter and Gamble wanted Ricky to stay in the car, but he was adamantly against it. He'll get over it." Wells has overcome several hurdles in his life. He bounced back from a severe head injury as a teen-ager in an off-road race and the deaths of mentor Mickey Thompson, who was murdered by a gunman in 1988, and driver Jeff Krosnoff, killed at the Toronto race in 1996. He started his racing team in 1979 with a small loan from his parents and three employees. By December, he'll have race shops in California and North Carolina with 230 people working for him. "I worked with Bill Stroppe and Drino Miller, building off-road cars and learning the business," said Wells. "Then Mickey helped me get my deal with Toyota in 1982. "That was a great time for me. I learned a lot about how to deal with corporate America and Mickey was very good to me." A dominating force in off-road with Stewart and Toyota, Wells came to the rescue when longtime Indy-car owner Frank Arciero was thinking about packing it in. "We came to Indy with Hiro (Matsushita) in 1995 and that pretty much hooked me on Indy-car racing," he said. "So we started ArcieroWells Racing in 1996 with Toyota and Jeff, and then we lost him at Toronto. That was extremely tough because he was such a great kid." Wells had Max Papis and Robby Gordon in 1998 before they left. Now he's got the veteran Pruett and da Matta, a rookie rocket who gets more impressive by the week, though Toyota Is still playing catch-up. At the moment, Wells is scrambling to get a NASCAR shop ready in Hickory, N.C., and fill his cars. He had U.S. Auto Club star Ryan Newman as his guest here this weekend and has also courted USAC midget champion Jason Lef-fler. "We've only got seven months and well be at Daytona," Wells said. 1 Asked if he'd been getting calls from established NASCAR drivers and mechanics, Wells smiled and nodded his head. "Yes, all of the sudden I'm not such a bad guy." Robin Miller is the auto racing writer for The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News. You can contact him by calling (317) 624-4636 and entering 7165 or by e-mail at rmillerstamews.com MAACO. A national company over 450 centers from coast to coast. No one experience, buying power, or state-of-the-art MAACO Auto Painting & Bodyworks near you. Yl o)(p)5 AMBASSADOR PAINT SERVICE OVEN BAKED FINISH NATIONWIDE GUARANTEE EXPERT BODY REPAIR THOUSANDS OF COLORS EAST Ave. 10501 E.Washington St. norm ot w) pest ot mm, fletimd Putt Ml Kfefc ADMSSIOH . ; WSPORTING& UUT0 EVENT TICKETS SHOWTIME 3pm-3om I OPENMon.-Sat. J 4444 S HARDING 1000 Ft NORTH OF 465 SPORTS BAR July 12 -July 17 Babes girl, why look j Tickets INGS Appearing in Hustler, JOAM Busty Beauties, D Cm, Big Top, Sun 3 pm Erotic Film Star . 'A M IAAAACD UMM 1 r (v) IN L- , -1. . ;, t JUST A LITTLE SPLASH: Tony Stewart's team guessed incorrectly on how far his fuel would take him. This pit stop near the end of the race left him in 10th place. Stewart receives high marks Despite late-race miscalculation, many see greatness ahead for the rookie driver. By Dick Brinster ASSOCIATED PRESS LOUDON, N.H. - Hall of Fame driver Buddy Baker was not surprised as he watched rookie Tony Stewart dominate the Jiffy Lube 300 his first Winston Cup event at New Hampshire International Speedway. Unfortunately for Stewart, he ran out of gas with two laps remaining giving Jeff Burton his third consecutive victory In the race. "He can drive anywhere or any surface," Baker, now a commentator who worked the race for TNN, said of Stewart before the race Sunday. "It doesn't matter if It's dirt, pavement, a road course, whatever." Baker said he has been Impressed with the 28-year-old rookie since first seeing him race in the U.S. Auto Club midgets, sprints and Silver Crown cars nearly a decade ago. Baker wasn't surprised that Stewart became the 1997 Indy Racing League Covdthard wins; 5ChlimaCher OUt with a broken leg Associated Press SILVERSTONE, England - David Coulthard finally won a race, capturing the British Grand Prix on Sunday for his first victory in 15 months. Michael Schumacher, however, might be through for the season. His day lasted just 30 seconds after an early crash left him with a broken leg. FORMULA ONE Schumacher lost control of his Ferrari's braking and steering as he tried to turn out of the longest straightaway on the circuit. His team said he broke his right leg in two places and was operated on at Northampton General Hospital. He is expected to be released today, doctors said. Coulthard won for the fifth time in his career and led a strong finish for the home country, with Britons taking three of the first six places. "It was more nerve-racking than at any point in my career," Coulthard said. "It had been such a long time since I had a win." . Eddie Irvine was second with Ralf Schumacher third. Heinz-Ha-rald Frentzen was fourth. Damon Hill of England, who has postponed a retirement announcement for a few days, was fifth. IAmerieH n, . Ltiigyri! I & IJnvertf Lingerie ' Mimomimtions t MWli Waslrtnxttm 322-lfW , in w (Iningtml'taznj IfriiM Mon-Sal. Ham-Mam SunJpm-lOpm HJIff ' Lynn's, "E" 3UMfayMeRd SWr4 Mm.-W. )am-Uam Sm.lpm-IOpm uiW NASCAR NOTEBOOK champion, and figures there are many NASCAR victories ahead. According to Baker, Stewart has a special Ingredient indomitable courage that will make him a big star in the sport. Tony Stewart is the bravest driver I've ever seen," Baker said. "I remember seeing him in a Silver Crown car, passing six cars on the apron," "I said, 'He's dead,' but he made it through." Baker likens Stewart to three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon, saying both were born with Immense ability to drive, but developed beyond that. Martin's day Mark Martin's was the most inspirational story of the race. Martin was a wounded warrior who had to be lifted into his car. He not only drove all 300 laps, he finished sixth despite a broken rib, leg and wrist injuries suffered nine days earlier in a practice crash at Daytona International Speedway. So, how did Martin feel about all this? "Well, I said Friday we'd be real disappointed if we didn't get a pTTPALDI Continued from Pagel have beaten everybody by ages," said the 23-year-old Colombian. When the No. 4 Target Reynard HondaFirestone finally failed, Montoya rolled Into the pits on lap 49. And Fittipaldi flashed Into the top spot. Of course, he'd been in the same position in 1996 at Detroit. Leading Andretti with two laps left, Fittipaldi made a mistake and wound up second. "I think you learn from your mistakes and I was very careful today instead of running every lap like I was qualifying," he said when asked if that '96 disappointment crossed his mind. Andretti, who looked strong In winning the pole position, said he'd made a chassis adjustment that backfired. Notes Two accidents on the first lap brought out the red flag in a CART race for the first time since the '96 U.S. 500. Rookie Memo Gidley, Helio Castro-Neves and Papis were forced to use their backup cars and, after a 40-minute delay, the race was restarted. BURTON Continued from Page 1 said when asked about the contact with Gordon and a resulting post-race conversation. That's between Jeff and me," Jarrett said. Pole sitter Gordon conceded that he tapped Jarrett, but said little about It or earlier contact that sent Rusty Wallace Into the wall. But Jarrett was the biggest winner of the day despite the fourth-place finish of his Ford. He entered the race the 18th of 34 on the schedule with a 177-point lead over Bobby Labonte, Labonte spun into the wall on the 207th lap, wound up 38th and fell to fourth in the standings. Jarrett now leads Burton by a season-high 240 points. "We had a good day," Jarrett said. That's what we needed to do, have a good finish." , SAJMl J -3 l AccnrigtoH Procc top-five," he said. "So we're a little disappointed." Notes Iron man Terry Labonte extended the Winston Cup record for consecutive starts to 620 when th e green flag fell on the Jiffy Lube 300. Labonte, who has 625 starts overall, has run every race in the series since 1979. He finished 11th. . , . Seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt restored1 order in his family by finishing seventh, 36 positions ahead of son Dale Jr. making his second Winston Cup start. The elder Earnhardt had expressed disappointment over qualifying 14th Friday after his son earned the 13th spot on the grid. The younger Earnhardt went out after 44 laps with an ignition problemt. . . . Joe Falk, unable to attract sponsorship for his team, carried the Kodiak colors Sunday because Larry Hedrick's team failed to qualify for the race. Dick Trickle drove Falk's Chevrolet to a 29th- place finish. Roush Racing, wh ich failed to land a car as high as 25th on the starting grid, did much better in the race. Burton worn, Martin finished sixth, Johnn jr Benson 17th, Kevin Lepagei 22nd and Chad Little 24th. it ' - .w TeocoHavoline 200 (Top finishers) Driver Car 1. Christian Fittipaldi S-F 2. Miichael Andretti S-F 3. Adrian Fernandez R-F 4. Gireg Moore R-M 5. Max Papis . R-F 6. Totny Kanaan R-H 7. Michel Jourdain Jr. L-F 8. Robby Gordon S-T 9. Al Unser Jr.' L-M 10. Hichie Hearn R-T Chassis: R-Reynard, L-Lola, S-Swrft. Engines: H-Honda, F-Ford, M-Meroedes, T-Toyota. Series points leaders: Juan MontDya 113, Andretti 95, Gil de Ferran 87, Dario Franchitti 85, Fit-tipabi 82. rt ii r-v.T r.i Winston Cup Jiffy Lube 300 (Top finishers) Drivor Car 1. Jeff Burton Ford 2. Kenny Wallace Chevrolet 3. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 4. Dale Jarrett Ford; 5. Bill Elliott Ford 6. ftlark Martin Ford 7. Wally Dallenbach Chevrolet 8. Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet 9. Jlimmy Spencer Ford 10. Tony Stewart Pontiac Series points leaders: Jarrett 2,839; Jeff Burton 2,599; Martin 2,590; Bobby Labonte 2,551, Goition 2,450. f Warren grad Wayne Stetina :. takes long route to cycling Hall Wayne Stetina's cycling colleagues were surprised he was recently inducted into the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. They thought he was already in. Yet he wel-corned the timing. One of the reasons Stetina became a cyclist is because he tired of being 1 t7. K .j Amateur & Olympic Sports David Woods "annihilated" in speedskating by this younger Wisconsin kid named EricHeiden. - Heiden went on to win five gold medals at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Stetina made U.S. Olympic cycling teams In 1972, 76 and '80. The Somerville, N.J.-based Hall included both in their class of '99. Heiden was among the top Ameri-' can cyclists from 1980-85. Stetina was a Pan American Games gold medalist in 1979. "Getting in with Eric Heiden is better than getting in another year. That's just special In itself," said " Stetina, a 1971 graduate of Warren Central High School, where he was valedictorian and ran the mile in 4 minutes, 28 seconds. Stetina skated for a Champaign, 111., club that Included Bonnie Blair, also a five-time Olympic champion. But his athletic destiny was on wheels, not ice. Cycling is perhaps more lifestyle than sport.' That has certainly been true of Stetina, 45. His parents, Roy and Janice, were champion cyclists in Ohio. Stetina's younger brothers Dale, Joel and Troy became " riders, too. " " In 1980, Dale, Joel and Wayne-teamed with Tom Doughty to win a national title in the team time trial. That year, Dale and Wayne were on the honorary Olympic team the United States boycotted the Mos-' cow Games along with cycling icon Greg LeMond. LeMond was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1996. "One of my goals is to get Dale Inducted," Wayne said. Long after winning the medals, he still pedals. - Stetina rides daily 8 to 25 miles, depending on the route to the Shimano American Corp., where he is national sales marketing product manager for the bicycle components division. He lives in Mission Viejo, Calif., about 2 miles from the road course on which the 1984 Olympic race took place. -' ' He met his wife of 22 years; Barbara, in a Little 500 race at Indiana University. After Stetina failed to r make the '84 Olympic team, she told him, "Enough of this Peter Pan stuff." But a year later, he surprisingly won the individual road race for his fifth national title. The father of three has also won five national'"' masters titles. "I have a feeling that if I trained full time for six months, I'd really " be better than I was when I was 18," he said. Sports of all sorts " I Baseball: Notre Dame's' "" Aaron Heilman, a sophomore pitcher from Logansport, Ind., has been selected a third-team All- ' ' American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Collegiate Baseball magazine. Heil-, man, who was 1 1-2 with 1 18 strikeouts in 109 Innings, is pitch ing this summer for the U.S.-na- j tional team. ; Soccer: A late goal by Fort Wayne's DaMarcus Beasley en-J abled the U.S. men's under-17 team to extend its 10-month un- beaten streak to 14 games with a i 2-2 tie against England's un- der-16s in Tampa, Fla. Synchronized swimming! Anna Kozlova of Russia and Tuesday Middaugh of Riverside, Calif., were the top duet during the U.S. Olympic Trials in Federal Way, Wash. Kozlova applied for U.S. citizenship June 9 after fulfilling the five-year residency requirement. ... The Indy Synchro trio of Alii Mohler-Dimarzio, Laura Green and Elizabeth Beatty finished eighth in the 16-17 division of the age-group national championships in Gainesville, Fla. In team competition, Indy Synchro's top finish was sixth in 14-15, Weightlifting: Bloomington's Erin Brechue (16-under girls) and Justin Begley (13-under boys) won national school-age " championships at IU. Brechue was in the 151-pound division. Begley, in the over-151 division, set a national record of 132 pounds In the snatch. In 16-under boys were ' Bloomington's Miles Johnson,' third at 151, and Eddie Miller, third at 169. In 16-under girls was Bloomington's Hannah Jennings, fifth at 138. Other 13-under boys were Mike Klein, Blooming-ton, third at 112; Brian Lewellyn, Indianapolis, fifth at 136; and Jordan Kornmann, Indianapolis; second at over-151. ' David Woods Is a sportswriter for The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News. You can contact him by calling (317) 624-4636 and'entering 7173. i

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