The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 14, 1997 · Page 15
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 15

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Monday, April 14, 1997
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Page 15
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MONDAY. APRIL 14. 1997 The Indianapolis Star Online: www.stamews.com InfoLlna: 624-4636 High-octane work by crew fuels Zanardi By Robin Miller . STAFF WRITER LONG BEACH. Calif. Nobody in Championship Auto Racing Teams drives harder or faster than Alex Zanardi. But Sunday, his pit crew had no equal and that helped him win the 13th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "i aont tninK we had the best car today, but we beat the opposition in the pit lane," said Zanardi after beating Mauricio Gugelmin to the checkered flag by 3.8 seconds in front of a record crowd of 90,000. "We didn't dominate the race, but my guys did a perfect Job and nobody failed to do his best on our team. It was a true team effort today." Zanardi was modest and honest because his Target 1997 Reynard HondaFirestone wasn't as quick as Long Beach GP TOP FINISHERS - At Long Beach, Calif. , I.Alex Zanardi R-H 2. Mauricio Gugelmin R-M aScottPruett R-F 4. AIUnserJr. P-M 5. Parker Johnstone ... R-H 6. Bryan Herta R-F 7. Paul Tracy P-M 8. Raul Boesel R-F 9. Jimmy Vasser R-H 10. Bobby Rahal R-F CHASSIS: R-Reynard, P-PnsK ENGINES: H-Honda, F- Ford, M-Mercedes SEASON POINTS STAND-INGS:Pruett 44; Zanardi 41; Michael Andrew 35; Greg Moore 28. Gil de Ferran's Valvoline '97 ReynardHondaGoo-dyear much of the afternoon around the 1.59-mile temporary circuit. But Rob Hill, Wayne Westplate, Simon Hodgson, Ricky Davis, John Wayne Gape and Steve Gough gave Zanardi exceptional pit stops and rightfully shared equal billing in the talented Italian's initial victory of 1997. See ZANARDI Page 5 CART at Long Beach is more than just a race Robin Miller .IN y u v. Jl LONG BEACH, Calif. It doesn't last a month, it's not much of a race track and it's only been on the schedule since 1984. But with the Indianapolis 500 off their dance card, Championship Auto Racing Teams' most prestigious event has become the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This street race doesn t compare to Milwaukee, Michigan or even Cleveland for on-track excitement. Passing anywhere is quite tough and passing for the lead is a Kodak moment. And there is no such thing as a good seat because of the limited vision. Without CART, May has certainly lost its luster, daily draw and overall professionalism, but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway remains the Mecca of open-wheeled racing in terms of a race-day crowd, exposure and television ratings. However, for atmosphere and attendance, nothing on CART'S 17-race PPG series can match Chris Pook's three-day circus of speed, sound and sights. "It's so much more than Just a race," said three? time CART champion Bobby Rahal. still signing autographs two hours after Sunday's race. "We had the same kind of crowd at Australia, but this has become such an event." There were 48,000 spectators at Friday's opening day of practice and qualifying, 76,500 bodies showed up Saturday and 90,000 spilled into Sunday's show. Unlike some of the Indy Racing League's make-believe numbers at Las Vegas and Phoenix, this was See MILLER Page 5 i I ' V t l J f ' if r :, : I I J-' ' " (r ---- - - . .Ifcaa... - 1. . :. . - - ' ' J- - V It "V A LITTLE BREAK IN THE DOMINATION: Tiger Woods wipes his putter and confers with caddie Mike "Ruff" Cowan during a break in play on the eighth hole. Woods manhandled the field at the Masters on the way to breaking several records and winning his first major tournament as a professional. Associated Press of, n if n mm Opponents are in awe over Tiger Woods5 performance at the Masters By Phil Richards STAFF WRITER AUGUSTA, Ga. The future of golf spends evenings eating cheeseburgers and fries and playing pingpong and video games. The future of golf is 6-2, 155 pounds, has a 324.3-yard reach and a grasp whose bounds he is only beginning to sense. COMMENTARY The future of golf took possession of said future Sunday when he walked up the 18th fairway at Augusta National Golf Club and left footprints in history. Woods, 21, became the Masters Tournament's youngest champion Sunday and the first African-American to win a major championship. He shot 3-under-par 69 to finish at minus-18 and break by one stroke the tournament record shared by six- Masters Tournament TOP FINISHERS At Augusta, Ga. Tiger Woods, $486,000 70-6&6S69 270 Tom Kite, $291,600 77-69-66-70282 Tommy Tolles, $183,600 72-72-72-67283 Tom Watson, $129,600 7568-69-72284 Paul Stankowski, $102,600 68-74-69-74285 Costantino Rocca, $102,600 71-69-70-75 285 time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and Raymond Floyd. Nicklaus holed out on 18 while Woods was playing No. 5 Sunday. Nicklaus, 57, shot 78 to finish at 11 over, 29 strokes behind Woods. "It's not my time," said Nicklaus, winner of 20 major championships, "it's his. It establishes him in the game as the obvious heir apparent, not a pretender to the throne anymore, but the guy who's there." Two-time Masters champion Tom Watson went even further. He called Woods "the type of player that only comes around once in a millennium." A millennium is 1,000 years. Watson might not realize that. Then again, he might. He might have said exactly what he meant. Consider this: Woods has been a professional nine months. How much might he improve? How telling after so many errant proclamations, false starts and broken promises that the next Jack Nicklaus finally has been fingered by the original Jack Nicklaus. Jack predicts Tiger will win at least 10 green jackets and be the favorite at Augusta for the next 20 years. "What he has is similar to what Jack had when See WOODS Page 4 Smits' play, pain both continue to improve Pacers' center still feeling effects of foot surgery, ' but it is not showing when he steps on the court. By Mark Montieth STAFF WRITER Rising above the cloud cover hovering over the final days of the Indiana Pacers' season is a 7-4 center offering rays of hope for future seasons. Rik Smits' comeback has just about reached the point where It's safe to say he is back. The scar tissue in his feet resulting from September surgery still feels like he's playing with a small rock in each shoe, but the pain is improving. . So is his play. The nine-year veteran started slowly after sitting out the sea-' son's first 30 games but has played at a peak level the past five weeks. "Rik's starting to play like he did two years ago," Pacers coach Larry Brown said after Smits scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to New York at Pacers WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today WHERE: Market Square Arena TVRADIO: Fox Sports Midwest, WIBC-1070 AM, WQFE-101 .9 FM TICKETS: About 650 remain lead Saturday's 100-89 victory at Toronto. Actually, Smits who renews acquaintances with Patrick Ewlng tonight when Indiana plays New York at Market Square Arena is playing better than ever, at least statistically. He's averaged 21.6 points and grabbed 7.6 rebounds over the most recent 19 games. He's hitting just under 50 percent of his field goal attempts, has reached double-figure scoring in every game, scored 20 or more 12 times and hit 40 once. His importance to the Pacers' offense was obvious against the Raptors. Although missing several open shots, the Raptors like many NBA teams had nobody to match up with See SMITS Page 2 ( J Another victory D Jeff Gordon, with his wife, Brooke, celebrate a NASCAR triumph In the Food City 500 at Bristol, Tenn. Page 5. Mario's farewell D Pittsburgh's Mario Lemleux plays his final regular-season game; that and other NHL ,newsonPagej3. Ice lose their momentum heading into postseason By John Bansch STAFF WRITER Momentum will not be on the Indianapolis Ice's side when they begin postseason play Friday. The Central Division champions fell Sunday for the fourth time In their last five games since winning the title, losing to CJuebec 4-2 at Market Square Arena. The defeat in the regular-season finale was nearly a carbon copy of their 5-1 loss to the Rafales on Saturday. In each game, Quebec scored four goals in the third period, thanks primarily to numerous Indianapolis mistakes. "Those two losses are kind of sticking In my saddle," Ice coach Bob Ferguson said. "This time of the year, we shouldn't be making all those mistakes in the third period. We certainly didn't play playoff hockey. ' "My biggest fear was we would have a letdow the last 10 days and it was real Quebec 4 Ice 2 Next game: vs. Cleveland, 7:30 p.m. Friday; WMYS-1430 AM. ized," the coach added. "We beat ourselves In our last four losses." The lone plus for Ferguson is the team has five days to regroup. "We are fortunate we don't open until Friday," he said. "We will have a lot to talk about at practice." Because of Grand Rapids' 4-2 victory over Michigan on Sunday night, the Ice will play Cleveland in the first round. For two periods Sunday, the Ice controlled the game and were leading 1-0 heading into the final 20 minutes. Defenseman Tuomas Gronman was credited with the lone goal, driving home a shot from the left sidewall with 33.9 seconds remaining in the first period. It appeared c At '"v." Staff Photo Kat Wade See ICE Page 3 CROSSING PATHS: Ryan Hughes of Quebec (left) and Dave Chyzowskj of the Ice battle. t . . Kiti;l?. J NBA Detroit 108 Chicago 91 Milwaukee 132 New Jersey 123 Hcon7I.lt?...il!?. 7? ' LAjUters7IIw'"'utah " 98 ! Phoenix 105 Golden State 97 MAJOR LEAGUES Boston 7 Seattle 1 Anaheim fMCievetaitf 3 Baltimore ijrexas 0 Kansas City 6nnesota 1 . Milwaukee 3 .Toronto 2 , Chi White" 8-4 : New York M0and 2-7 Los Angeles 14 Pittsburgh 5 San Diego 3 Philadelphia 1 San Francisco 57 N Y Mete 14j ' Cincinnati 6 Florida 4 Atlanta 6 Chicago 4 Montreal 8 Colorado ; 3 St. Louis 6 ..Houston 2 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION Louisville at Indians, ppd., cold ! 1HJL Quebec , 1 4 Ice J 2 ;

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