The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 18, 1994 · Page 11
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 11

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Monday, April 18, 1994
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Xl : MONDAY, APRIL 18, 1994 The Indianapolis Star slayoffs iacers want momentum headin ginto , ' vi 7 i . ' A) I -r' J I . BLOCKING THE PATH: Detroit's Book 5 innovative work made Long Beach a top road course Robin Miller Long Beach, Calif. I've always thought street courses had about as much In common with Indy-car racing as pace car girls, computer technol Lx J '-ft V ogy and Guldo Dacco. Detroit's constrictive Joke of a track offers littlfj' atmosphere and less racing. Ditto for Vancouver. Australia draws a decent crowd but it's another no passing zone with walls;,. , ..- ; JJitt the place where temporary circuits were born doesn't fit this mold.. It's got a scenic setting. Uiiser wins Toyota GP again despite changes .': By Robin Miller ; .STAR ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR Long Beach. Calif. Different year; Different track. Different team. Different car. Same driver. ' Whatever his formula for success: at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Al Unser Jr. should consider bottling and selling it. The second generation star, in his first year with Roger Penske, rode his California magic to another victory Sunday afternoon before 84,000 paying customers. After four consecutive wins from 1988-91, this was Unser's fifth triumph here, the 20th of his career and first In Marlboro colors. Starting second, Unser stalked and dodged teammate Paul Tracy early; then fell behind teammate Emerson Fittipaldi after a pit vlo-latjpn; before surgii to an easy win over Nigel Manell. 1W I 'U.' 12) Terry Mills gets in the way as Rik racy layout, huge crowds, loyal sponsors and, after 20 years, a firm place on the American mo-torsports calendar. And, more than anything, it helped revive this depressed Navy town. Of course, when the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach opened in 1975, it was to more curiosity than paying customers. Nobody could envision how it would evolve into such a major event. Not even its creator. "I always thought it could be a good event but we never thought It would get to this magnitude . . . it exceeded our wildest expectations," admitted Chris Pook following Sunday's IndyCar show. Pook, a former travel agent who migrated here from England In 1964, had always been taken The 1992 Indianapolis 500 winner covered the 166 miles at a record speed of 99.238 mph and finished 39 seconds ahead of Man-sell, who recovered from a flat tire. Robby Gordon was third and the only other driver to complete 105 laps. In a less than memorable show, celebrating 20 years of street racing, Nigel Bennett's chassis was the class of the field but Unser's Marlboro '94 Penske-Ilmor-D was the only one still standing after 1 hour, 40 minutes and 53.2 seconds. Polesltter Tracy and Fittipaldi were on the sidelines with gearbox failures, but Unser hardly missed a shift. "I didn't have any problems . . . my gearbox was great," said Unser, who led 61 laps and moved , y See UNSER Page 5 r Associated Press Smits heads to the hoop. with Monte Carlo's Formula One extravaganza, And, for some crazy reason, he thought Long Beach held that same potential. Never mind it was a dingy place, sporting miles of porno theatres, flophouses and condemned buildings. The only racing most people did was to their cars, after dark. And never mind Pook was armed with only his tap shoes, a sharp mind and 600 cubic inches of bravado. Budget? Get serious. "We couldn't pay the guy who rented us the grandstands, so Chris made him a stockholder," said Pete Biro, the veteran racing photographerpromoter who served as the LBGP's first public See MILLER Page 2 . , : - J " I NBA Pacers 1......Pl?l,?.i ?? Washington WJBoston 100 Denver .??.....Mi.n.P?0..?. New Jersey HO Miami 103 Orlando 118 Chicago 101 Houston " 7 JPtirtjania IX) AMERICAN LEAGUE Kansas Oty 8 Cleveland 3 Chicago 7 Boston 4 KZZZ .... j.ZZIZIIi? Oakland 5 Minnesota 1 Toronto ?......??!!fm!?...... 4. Seattle 8 Milwaukee 3 Baltimore 6 Texas ' 5 NATIONAL LEAGUE San Francisco 9 Florida 8 Cincinnati 7 Philadelphia 0 Los Angeles 19 Pittsburgh 2 New York 4 Houston 2 St. Louis 5 San piego 0 Atlanta l..ChJ?.?9. ? Colorado 6 Morrtreal 5 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION Oklahoma City 8 Indians 5 This year's squad claims the franchise's second-best NBA record. By Dan Dunkin STAR STAFF WRITER Auburn Hills, Mich. With 24 minutes to play Sunday afternoon, the Indiana Pacers had 14 turnovers, a seven-point deficit and, oh well, still four more games to make the playoffs. : " Why worry? Why wait? That refreshing lack of patience distinguishes Larry Brown's first Pacer team from others. Finishing eighth Is no longer enough. It paves the way for first-round exits. So the second half against Detroit was a good time to turn it up rather than turn it over. The Pacers did the former to clinch their fifth consecutive playoff berth by beating the Pistons 104-99. "We made it tough," said Pacers coach Larry Brown. But they made it. The Pacers are one of seven teams to qualify for the postseason each of the last five years. They also are one of only four current franchises to never win a playoff series. , For now, they have achieved the club's second-best NBA record. They are 43-35 and need two wins to break the record set by the 1980-81 team (44-38). They tied the 1980-81 squad for most road wins (17). They remain in sixth place, 1 xh games behind Cleveland. The Pacers have won four straight. Byron Scott wants to make it eight to set the proper tone. "Taking an eight-game winning streak into the playoffs would make all the difference in the world," Scott said. "Getting to the first round is not a goal for us. We should be thinking about the next level, getting to the semis or the Eastern Conference Finals." When the Pacers were 16-23, Reggie Miller recalled, "I didn't think we'd have this record or Associated Press FOLLOW THE PENSKES: Team Penske drivers Paul Tracy, eventual winner Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi lead the pack heading into the first turn of the IndyCar race at Long Beach. 89er manhandle Indians Opponent's big third and fifth innings do in the Tribe. By Don Bates STAR STAFF WRITER The Indianapolis Indians landed an early punch Sunday afternoon at Bush Stadium. But it was Oklahoma City that got in most of the licks thereafter, resulting in an 8-5 decision for the 89ers. Designated hitter Doug Jennings hit a home run with two mates aboard off 89ers starter Hector Fajardo In the first inning to give the Tribe a 3-1 lead. Then the 89ers became more serious. With the exception of Jennings' shot, Fajardo kept the Indians off the scoreboard. The 23-year-old native of Mlchaocan, Mexico, worked flvt-lnnings and allowed five hits. He walked two and struck out eight. Fajardo was cred Ticket sales Playoff opponent, date and times have yet to be determined for the Pacers, but tickets go on sale this morning. The Market Square Arena box office and alt TicketMaster outlets will have tickets available at 10 a.m. or by calling 239-5151. It is the fifth straight playoff appearance for the Pacers. Tickets are priced at $10, $17, $24 and $30. PACERS (1041 Mn FO-A FT-A OR-T A F T Pt D.Davis 38 4- 5 3- 6 3-11 2 2 1 11 McKay 33 6-11 1-3 0-3 4 4 5 13 Smits 25 6-15 4-5 2-9 0 2 2 16 Miller 29 5-12 2- 2 0- 3 1 0 2 14 Workman .... 36 2-7 9-11 0-4 9 4 2 13 Scott 20 7-9 0-0 0-0 4 0 3 16 A Davis 23 2-3 5-7 3-6 2 2 3 9 Williams 14 5-7 0-0 0-3 0 3 0 10 Mitchell 10 1-4 0-0 1-13 10 2 Conner 12 0-1 0-0 1-1 2 1 0 0 Totals 36-74 24-34 10-41 27 19 104 Three-point shooting: 4-6 (Scott 2-2. Miller 2-4. Workman 0-2). Steals: 10 (Workman 6, Miller 2. McKey. Conner). Blocked shots: 2 (A.Davis. Williams). Teem rebounds: 7. Teem turnovers: 1 . Technicals: None. DETROIT (99) Wn FO-A FT-A OR-T A F T Pis Elliott 18 1-4 0-0 0-3 0 2 1 2 Mills 40 9-14 0-0 3-6 3 3 1 18 Anderson .... 40 4-6 3-5 1-13 0 5 3 11 Dumars 36 7-17 4-4 1-1 3 3 2 20 Thomas 30 9-20 2-2 0-3 6 3 7 22 Wood 29 4-7 1-1 4-7 34 1 11 Hunter, 19 1-6 0-0 0-2 4 2 1 2 Houston 12 3-6 0-0 2-2 2 ,0 1 6 Jones 8 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 1 0 0 Chilcutt 8 3-3 O0 0-0 0 1 0 7 Totals 41-85 W-12 11-38 22 24 17 99 Three-point shooting: 7-14 (Thomas 2-8. Dumars 2-3. Wood 2-2. Chilcutt 1-1). Steals: 12 (Dumars 3. Wood 3. Mills 2. Anderson 2. Elliott, Thomas). Blocked shots: 1 (Thomas). Team rebounds: 6. Technicals: None. Pacers 24 19 29 32104 Detroit 25 25 22 27 99 Officials: Steve Javie. Joe DeRosa, Greg Willard. Attendance: 17.417. even have a shot at the playoffs "We can win the rest of our games. We've got a lot of work to do. We still haven't done anything. I don't think we're really going to be accepted until we prove ourselves in the playoffs." Miller passed Billy Knight to become the club's all-time scorer (Miller now has 10,786 points in seven seasons). The Pacers put seven in double figures in putting together a second half as sublime as their first half was sub-standard. They shot .567 in the second half and made only five turnovers. The latter matched their total in a 1 :40 span " ited with the win and moved to 2-1 on the season. When he left the game the Indians were on the short end of a 6-3 count. "Hector's given up five homers In three starts now but other than the long ball he's pitched well," said Oklahoma City manager Bobby Jones. "After he threw about 40 pitches today he seemed to kick in and did a real good job." Fajardo was taken from the game at the end of five only because, according to Jones, "he was on a 90-pitch limit." The 89ers outhlt the Tribe 13-10. "We were due," Jones said. "We got beat at Louisville last night and 1 think we had only three hits." The 89ers tied the score with two runs in the third. Center fielder Oddlbe McDowell led off with a triple and rigVt fielder Rusty Greer and third baseman Chuck Jack vsmmm-, u nrH"""" nil - f , , ,, of the first quarter which wasted a 14-4 lead. The Pistons, despite combined 5-of-18 shooting from Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, led 50-43 at halftime. "We got Impatient offensively, like we did with a big lead after the first quarter at Minnesota," Brown said. "In the second half we did Just the opposite. We had good shots because we moved the ball and set good screens. I can't find fault at all." Thomas had 10 of his 22 in the third quarter. Derrick McKey, scoreless in the first half, had eight, and the bench, as usual, kicked into overdrive. McKey, Scott, Kenny Williams and Antonio Davis combined for 27 points over a 7:42 span as the Pacers went up by nine with under 6 minutes to play. "Our bench gave us a big lift," Brown said. "Derrick came out and was really a factor. And 1 thought Haywoode's (Workman) defense was great (six steals) . . . And Tony (Davis) was really needed today, because I thought Rik (Smits) was struggling a little bit." Thomas, Dumars and a turnover on an inbounds pass turned an eight-point Pacer lead with 27 seconds left into 102-99 by 1.7. But McKey got the ball into Workman, who hit the clinching free throws. Thomas is expected to announce his retirement today. Brown said the 13-year legend isn't ready. "If Isiah's done playing, there's still a lot of ability left in his body," Brown said. "I'm just glad I got to see him play. I hope the Dream Team II isn't his last hurrah." Miller will play with Thomas on Dream Team II. "I hope I get a chance to bend his ear and get some of his winning experience someday," Miller said. "The worst thing we can do is relax," Scott said. "You've got to play your best basketball at the end of the season." "We want to go in playing at a high level," Brown said, "and we also don't want to assume what position we're going to get." ''iirrr '.Twit - ! l ljHii'i 4 1 son followed with run-producing doubles. After first baseman Rob Maurer singled in a run In the fifth, a two-run homer by left fielder Dan Peltier put the Tribe In a 6-3 hole. A double by designated hitter Trey McCoy produced two runs and upped the count to 8-3 in the sixth. Tribe starter Kevin Jarvis, who had worked five scoreless Innings at Iowa last week, was rocked for six runs in 4 Innings. He allowed nine hits, walked two and struck out six. Jarvis (0-1) took the loss. "He didn't stay ahead of the count ... he was in too many 2-0, 3-1 situations." said Tribe manager Marc Bombard. "He's a sinker-ball pitcher and he kept getting the ball up today." The Tribe pitching chart showed Jarvis threw only 10 first-pitch strikes to the 25 battey he, See INDIANS Page 3

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