The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 4, 1998 · Page 24
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 24

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P4 THURDAY, JUNE 4. 1998 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL T PRO TENNIS: FRENCH OPEN The Associated Press Cedric Pioline volleys to Hicham Arazi in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Pioline advanced in five sets. Pioline struggles but reaches semifinals By ROB GLOSTER The Associated Press PARIS — His body was weary, his legs heavy. He carried the burden of past failures and a nation's hopes. But Frenchman Cedric Pioline withstood five sets of sloppy and often tedious tennis Wednesday to became the only non- Spaniard in the men's semifinals at the French Open. Pioline's 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-3 win over Morocco's Hicham Arazi — a match marred by 149 unforced errors — put him in the semifinals with Alex Corretja, Carlos Moya and Felix Mantilla. "It was very, very tough. I was so tired and I had break points against me practically in every game. I saved some of them by miracle," Pioline said. "I was heavy- legged and it was very hard for me to ac- celerate." Pioline became the first Frenchman to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros since Henri Leconte in 1992. Just two Frenchmen have won the title since World War II, with Yannick Noah the most recent in 1983. The women's semifinals are today, with top-seeded Martina Hingis facing three- time champion Monica Seles and second- seeded Lindsay Davenport facing two- time champ Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. The Pioline-Arazi match was 3 hours, 42 minutes of error-filled tennis. But French fans hardly cared, yelling "Oui" on Pio- line's points and booing when Arazi questioned line calls. Arazi, who played most of the match with a blistered left foot, converted only five of his 21 break points. "I'm going to jump into the Seine River and commit suicide," he cracked. "The thing that really did me in is that I stayed too much on the baseline. I should have gone to the net. I should have volleyed more." As French flags waved in the stands, Pi- oline broke Arazi's serve for a 4-2 lead in the final set and then held for 5-2. During the changeover, fans began doing the wave and held up play for three minutes. While Arazi sat in a linesman's chair during the delay, the exhausted Pio- line stood waiting along the baseline. "I think I used a lot of willpower. I didn't want to let go," Pioline said. Arazi held for 5-3, and Pioline then barely held his serve to close the match. Pioline, a former Wimbledon and U.S. Open finalist who made the French Open semifinals for the first time, had a reputation for not winning big matches — he's reached 12 career finals, but has only two singles titles. Pioline, who has played three five-set matches in the tournament, will have a day to rest before facing Corretja in Friday's semifinals. Corretja made just 18 unforced errors while reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal by defeating Belgium's Filip Dewulf 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. The other two Spaniards reached the semifinals Tuesday. "This is history," Corretja said. "It's hot easy to have a country put three guys in the semis of a Grand Slam. We used to see the American guys in other tournaments, but not the Spanish guys." Corretja defeated Dewulf in just 1:50, by far his shortest match of the tournament. Corretja, who had a 5 Va-hour match in the third round, has been on court for more than 14 hours in this French Open. Hingis-Seles semifinal has the appeal of a final By SALVATORE ZANCA The Associated Press PARIS — Last year, Martina Hingis made a joyful leap after beating Monica Seles in the French Open semifinals. The two go at it again in the semifinals today, with the other women's semifinal featuring Lindsay Davenport against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, a pair of 20- somethings occupying spots many fans thought would be taken by teen-agers. The Hingis-Seles match has the appeal of a final. Will Hingis get another chance at a celebratory leap or will Seles, playing her first tournament since the death of her father, make it back to the final of an event she has won three times? It pits the No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Hingis, winner of four of the last five Grand Slams but no French Opens, against Seles, the former No. 1 and winner of nine Grand Slam events. Hingis has defeated Seles all five times they have played. Last year's French Open match was the only time they have not met in a final. "The last time I played Martina was here," Seles said. "We had a very tough match." That 6-7 (2-7), 7-5, 6-4 victory by Hingis lasted more than two hours. Hingis called it the most satisfying victory of her career at the time. This year Hingis has rolled through the first five rounds, losing just 21 games in five matches, including seven to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals. She is 37-4 this year with four titles. Seles has played only five tournaments this year, with a 13-4 mark. Her father Karolj died of cancer May 14 and Seles has performed courageously throughout the tournament. She said tennis helps her get over the loss of her father. "I think about my dad every day," Seles said. "But for me it's a tennis match, it's a tennis tournament. I'm doing something that I love to do." Seles said her game has improved with the help of new coach Gavin Hopper. PARIS (AP) — A look at Wednesday's play, the 10th day of the French Open: Winners —Alex Corretja (14) and Cedric Pio- line advanced to the semifinals. * ' - Today's schedule -7- The Women semifinals: Martina Hingis (1) faces Monica Seles (6) and Undsay Davenport (2) meets Arantxa Sanchez, Vicaflo (4). Quote — "I hope the people In Spain don't believe that this is really easy". - semlfinallst Alex Corretja on how he feels about being In the semis with two other Spanish players. Stat of the day—149. The number of unforced errors In the quarterfinal match between Cedric Pioline and Hicham,Arazi. Pioline made 83 unforced errors and Arazi 66. Special Advertising Feature THE WINSTON CUP CIRCUIT On TV All Times Eastern m Pronto Auto Parts 400 9 p.m. • Friday • TNN • Winston Cup, Pontiac 400 7:30 p.m. • Saturday • ESPN • CART, Detroit Grand Prix 2:30 p.m. • Sunday • ABC POINTS STANDINGS THE WINSTON CUP SERIES COMING UP: PONTIAC EXCITEMENT 400 WHERE: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway WHEN: Saturday, June 6 DEFENDING CHAMPION: Rusty Wallace EVENT QUALIFYING RECORD: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 124.757 mph, March 3, 1995. RACE RECORD: Rusty Wallace, Ford, 108.499 mph, March 2, 1997. OTHER FORMER WINNERS: Wallace and Darrell Waltrip are the active leaders In Richmond victories with six VJWJJWJWWfm, ALMOST HOME COOKING The Tobacco Company, in the middle of downtown, is a popular gathering place of the Richmond power elite, which means the food Is outstanding, atmosphere comfortable and prices expensive. Traditionally the NASCAR power hitters gather there on race weekends. WINSTON CUP I.Jeff Gordon. 1,765 2. Jeremy Mayfietd, 1 .71 B 3. Rusty Wallace, 1.673 4. Mark Martin, 1,655 5. Dale Jarrett, 1 ,635 6. Terry Labonte, 1.595 7. Bobby Labonte, 1,504 8. Jeff Burton. 1,427 9. KenSchrader, 1,410 10. Jimmy Spencer, 1 ,409 BUSCH 1.M. Mclaughlin. 1.850 2. Matt Kenseth, 1 ,737 3. D. Earnhardt Jr., 1,691 4. Buckshot Jones, 1,556 5. Randy LaJoie, 1.538 6. Dick Trickle, 1,524 7. Jason Keller, 1.501 8. TimFedewa, 1,489 8. Hermle Sadler, 1,489 10. Elliott Sadler, 1,484 TRUCK 1. Jack Sprague, 1,150 2. Ron Hornaday. 1,132 3. Joe Ruttman, 1.028 4. JaySauter, 1.003 5. Stacy Compton. 964 6. Tony Raines, 912 7. Bryan Reffner, 693 8. Randy Tolsma, 874 9. Rick Carelli, 843 1C. Rick Crawford, 823 each. ... Dale Earnhardt has won five times. ... Terry Labonte, Dave Marcls and Ernie Irvan are the only other multiple winners, each with two. NOTABLE: This Is the first summertime running of a Richmond race In many years. ... Because of the warmer weather, both of the ,75-mlle track's 300-mllers will be run at night. BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL COMING UP: HARDEE'S 250 WHERE: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway WHEN: Friday, June 5 DEFENDING CHAMPION: Mark Martin TRACK QUALIFYING RECORD: Michael Waltrip, Ford, 122.227 mph, Sept. 6, 1997. RACE RECORD: Kenny Wallace, Ford, 104.928 mph, Sept. 8, 1995. OTHER <=ORMER WINNERS: Martin leads all active drivers with four victories. ... Dale Jarrett, Joe Nemechek, Robert Pressley, Waltrip and Jeff Purvis are among those with single victories. NOTABLE: Ford has won twice as many BGN events as Chevy (8-4) on this track. In fact, Pontiac (6), Buick (5) and Oldsmoblle (5) have captured more events here than Chevy. PROFILE Kenny Irwin WINSTON CUP SERIES Dale Jarrett used superior fuel economy to win his second race of the season, 17th of his career and first at Dover Downs with a victory In the MBNA Platinum 400. Jeff Gordon dominated the race, leading 376 laps, but had to pit for fuel with only nine laps to go. Jarrett's Ford led only the final eight circuits. BUSCH GRAND NATIONAL Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his second victory In the Busch Grand National with a relatively effortless victory in the MBNA Platinum 200 at Dover Downs. Earnhardt was able to over- come an early mistake when he entered the pits too rapidly and spun at the entrance. The second-generation driver is now third In the point standings. CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES Joe Ruttman picked up a controversial victory at Watkins Glen. N.Y., when Ron Hornaday was penalized for jumping the gun on a restart. Ruttman has won at all three of the series' road courses: Watkins Glen, Heartland Park (Kan.) and Sears Point (Calif.). Thanks to Ruttman, Ford took a 4-3 lead over Chevrolet In race victories. Weekly rankings by NASCAR This Week writer Monte Dirtton. Last week's ranking is in parentheses. John Clark/NASCAR This Week Kenny Irwin. left, believes with time and experience, his team will be competitive. I.Jeff Gordon (1) But for another gallon 2. Mark Martin (2) Faded late 3. Dale Jarrett (5) Played his cards n'ght 4. Jeremy Mayfleld (6) Kid hangs in there 5. Rusty Wallace (3) Won his 2nd pole 6. Bobby Labonte (4) Good, solid 4th 7. Jeff Burton (8) 37th to 2nd 8. Terry Labonte (7) Made the most of it 9. Ernie Irvan (Unranked) Signs of life 10. Dale Earnhardt (9) Another bad week Date JuneG June 14 June 21 June 28 July 4 July 12 July 26 Aug. 1 Aug. 9 Aug. 16 Aug. 22 Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 12 Sept. 20 Sept. 27 I — Vj|ff ur <> ufnfj j jc" Race Pontiac 400, Richmond, Va. Miller 400, Brooklyn, Mich. Pocono 500, Long Pond, Pa. Save Mart 300, Sonoma, Calif. Pepsi 400. Daytona Beach, Fla. Jiffy Lube 300. Loudon, N.H. Pennsylvania 500, Long Pond, Pa. Brickyard 400. Speedway, Ind. Bud at the Glen, Watkins Glen, N.Y. Devllbiss 400, Brooklyn. Mich. Goody's 500, Bristol, Tenn. CMT 300. Loudon, N.H. Southern 500. Darlington. S.C. Exide 400, Richmond, Va. MBNA 400, Dover, Del. Hanes 500. Martinsvllle, Va. ' ""-""•£ ~"-- 1997 Winner R. Wallace Irvan J. Gordon Martin Andretti J. Burton Jarrett Rudd J. Gordon Martin Jarrett J. Gordon J. Gordon Jarrett Martin J. Burton Pole T. Labonte Jarrett Hamilton Martin Skinner Schrader Nemechek Irvan T. Bodine Benson K. Wallace Schrader B. Labonte Elliott Martin W. Burton By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week Kenny Irwin is well on his way to winning Winston Cup rookie-of-the-year honors, but the season has not been without its low points for the talented young Hoosier. While Irwin drew attention with his exploits in United States Auto Club open- wheel competition, he actually moved into Winston Cup from the Craftsman Truck Series. He finished 10th in the 1997 point standings, winning two superspeedway races. AGE: 28 MARITAL STATUS: Single CAR: No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus, owned by Robert Yates. CAREER RECORD: 15 starts, 0 wins, 0 poles, 1 top-five finish, 2 top 10s, career earnings of more than $600,000. FIRSTS (WINSTON CUP): Start (Sept. 6, 1997, at Richmond), pole (none), win (none). HOW TOUGH WAS IT FOR YOU AFTER FAILING TO MAKE THE FIELD AT CHARLOTTE? "It was definitely a mental week for me just trying to get ready, and then coming to a track I had never seen (Dover), and go from not making the race, and then on to another track where I'm just sure that we're going to struggle. It's been tough." AFTER YOU FINISHED FIFTH AT RICHMOND IN YOUR FIRST START, DID YOU THINK WINSTON CUP MIGHT BE EASIER THAN YOU THOUGHT? "No. We tested twice for that race. We were very well prepared. As well prepared as we were, if another one of these teams was that prepared, they probably would have won that race. That was the greatest expe- rience I've ever had. But I didn't let that fool me. Robert Yates didn't either. He told me, This Is not normal.' And I knew that. I'd raced enough to know ... but it did tell me that I could race with these guys. Given time and experience, we can be competitive." HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH THE SCENE IN THE GARAGE AREA? "Not good. It's something that I'm learning. There are so many personalities with all these drivers that... and all of them are nice guys, but you have to figure out how to fit in with them. I need all of these guys in the garage area to want to race with me as much as I want to race with them. That's tough, and that's going to take a long time. Hopefully, I won't do much to back myself up, but that's definitely something I've got to learn." Buckshot Jones vs. Randy Surprise, surprise. Racing's biggest feud landed In the Winston Cup Series as both Jones and LaJoie drove in the Cup race at Dover. These two drivers attract each other like magnets, but there were no outbreaks at Dover because LaJoie was gathered up in a crash on the fifth lap. Jones, meanwhile, managed a spec- LaJole tacular eighth-place finish in his Winston Cup debut. NASCAR This Week writer Monte Dutton gives his opinion: "What a shame. Jones and Lajola are well liked by their peers In both series yet cant seem to be able to get along with each other. These two need to bury the hatchet." Who's not WHO'S HOT? Another top five for Jeremy Mayfleld, who continues to hang around near the top of the season standings. WHO'S NOT? Dick Trickle has finished outside the top 20 six races in a row. TRIVIA 1. What Craftsman Truck Series driver is from Milwaukle, Ore.7 2. What Winston Cup driver lists Rockbridge Baths, Va., as his hometown? 3. Who was the last rookie to win a Winston Cup race? '2 <wia»w< 'i 6UEMSNV AROUND THE GARAGE FROM THE ARCHIVES: Irvan making adjustments with a young Pontiac team The rich history of NASCAR Richard Petty once captured seven races In a row at the Richmond Fairgrounds. After Bobby Allison scored a victory in the spring of 1974, Petty extended his streak to nine out of 10 with victories later that year and in early 1975. Ironically, Petty never won again at the track, but his son Kyle won the first race of his Winston Cup career there in 1986. By Monte Dutton NASCAR This Week DOVER, Del. — It's a crucial time of the year for Ernie Irvan. As uncaring as this may seem, Irvan's near-death, and miraculous recovery, from injuries suffered in an August, 1994, practice crash at Michigan Speedway, increasingly fall into the category of distant memories. Irvan won a couple of races in 1996 (New Hampshire, Richmond) and one (Michigan) in 1997, but he got canned by his car owner, Robert Yates, any- way. JSow, with a relatively y.flljng Pontiac team, relatively young-crew chief (Ryan Pem- bertonl and ownership that is Relatively new to the sport, Irvan musamgfep a move soon if he is to5fcaTofn among the leadiii^drjygjrft jn we sport. "I've never been onj: who's won 10 (races) in a year," said.' Irvan, 39. "I've been a consistent winner each year, This yea I knew it was going to be^g'-"'' tougher just because thjji team was only in its secoJW year, and J was ^oing to have to help /them out a, lot, and they were going 10 have to help me out a ^*<f.,;-' lot. I knew it was going 1 *^ be tougher. Therms no douJEJJMt's A been tough. putlMthihst rigluj|| now, we're rigM»yine. Wu'ref', on the pace' v^umt to be on.|f| If we couldthr'twaway some.pf the flaMirel *$£$$£&&!!$& in the top 4ft "i> points. That's jexactljblWtere we plan to be." "JGH WEEK FOR THE IKIE: Kenny Irwin is well v )ii his way Ip winning Winston dig robkie-pf-the-year honors, but the season has not been without Tts Jow p'din_ts for the talented young^Ioos'i'eh,/*,-. Irwin failed to qwajify for thij Coca-Cola 600, whictrii&tsclfy would not be so embarrassing. But Irwin drives Robert Yates' famous No. 28, and missing any race, let alone one of the sport's bigger ones, was big news for the driver of that car. "It was definitely a mental week for me just trying to get ready," said Irwin, "and then coining to a track I had never seen (Dover), 'and go from not making the race, and then on to another track where I'm just sure that we're going to struggle. It's beon lough." Irwin rebounded strongly in Dover qualifying with a fine ninth-place showing. Utwn from Our Dear NASCAR This Week, I'm a Dale Earnhardt fan, and I want to become a NASCAR driver. Who do I write to about getting a NASCAR license? I want Dale Earnhardt to win some races in 1998. And win his eighth championship this year. And run all over Rusty Wallace. Joyce Walker Blacksburg, S.C. Dear Joyce, You may write NASCAR at P.O. Box 2875, Daytona Beach, Fla. 32120-2875, or join the governing body through one of | its member tracks, such as Greenville-Pickens Speedway or Hickory Motor Speedway, both located not far from you. Dear NASCAR This Week, Why did Bobby and Terry Labonte run in the Gatorade Twin 125 qualifying races (at Daytona), when they were already "locked in" for starting positions in the 500? Tom Minton Hamilton, Ohio Dear Tom, The front-row qualifiers are required to start the Twin 125's as a precondition of earning a spot in the 500. How they perform there is up to them. Some drivers use the 125 as a test session for the 500; others pull into the garage shortly after the start to lessen the risk of a crash. If you've got a question or a comment, write: NASCAR This Week Your Turn, c/o The Gaston Gazette, 2500 E. Franklin Blvd., Gastonla, N.C. 28054 i B S • Frank Stoddard and the work of the Exide Batteries crew enabled driver Jeff Burton to drive through the field at Dover from a 37th- place start to a second-place finish In the MBNA Platinum 400. Fan Tips Richmond International Raceway deserves credit for actively working within the community to hold prices down for race fans. The hotel/motel rates in the Richmond area are kept under control more than at any other NASCAR venue. For several yeare, the track has offered fans assistance at securing quality lodging at affordable rates. RACING ON Brett Bodine Fan ( www.brettbodine.coig^,^ Strong points; Photos, faj mformatlgnf--*-••• " "" about t [Belleville High Banks) Box 349, Belleville, KS 66935 | Call or write for 1898 Schedule May 24 MAM/RMMRA Midget Challenge June 7-NCRA 360 Sprints July 5-NCRA Late Models & Modlfleds All Racing Starts at 7:30 p.m. Mark Miller 913-527-2244 Curtis Klima 913-527-2949 Oil & Lube $1/195 • |H^B includes up to •• •• 5 quarts of oil Plus FREE 15 Point Inspection I Call Now! 785-823-6372 Bennett Autoplex, Inc. Service Department 651 S. Ohio Salina 16th Annual Crossroads Car Festival Saturday, June 20th Sam Belleville City Park Belleville, KS ^r^xx^x- 500 Cars Trophies 1 Prizes Parade Fun & Friendsl --V'V > x~s/- J Saturday Night - Dance to King Midas & The Mufflers BRITTEN DAL L Member of the National Independent Auto Dealers Association $15 per entry Send to 2526 P Street Belleville, KS 66935 or call 7B5-527-5S82 "Spotlight Vehicle" 1968 Harley Sportster $ 5,995 Cars • Trucks • Motorcycles 1 SAM BRITTENDALL 631 N. Santa Fe • 827-7962 SAUNA'S EXCLUSIVE RADIO VOICE -. FOR .*«*O.IXn NEWS TALE 91O MUMROYALI DRIVING DEPENDABILITY HOME TIGER PAW XTIT All-season Radlals The aggressively responsive, all-season, steel-belted radial with road-hugging performance and super-smooth ride. Bengston, Tire 730 N. Santa Fe 823-3771 :d vantage ! E A L T O R SiTuc. 415 E. Iron 825-5200 800-825-0206 http//www.remax.com Each Office Independently Owned and Operated your upholstery demands! FREE ESTIMATES Ken Johnson JD Johnson AUTO URHOLSTERY vf/f&//K/£e'a 785-825-8955 410 N. 5th Salina [Coors Light Wearables & Accessories available at our Retail Outlet. GROWN DISTRIBUTORS, INC. 785'827'0321 606 N. Ohio Salina, KS 67401 Copyright 1998 The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette • Distributed by Universal Press Syndicate (BOO) 255-6734 • For release week of June 1 S.3 -f . Pago Design Dy Erin Patler/Tha Gaslon Gazelle I NASCAR Every Thursday in the Sports Section! *** Salina Journal

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