News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida on October 4, 1998 · Page 29
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida · Page 29

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Fort Myers, Florida
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Sunday, October 4, 1998
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Page 29
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NEWS-PRESS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1998 9C Motorsports Moore edges Franchitti for pole Texaco Grand Prix expected to be highly combative race today The Associated Press HOUSTON - If the final round of qualifying is indicative of how competitive the inaugural Texaco Grand Prix will be, the drivers will be nothing less than ace forecasters. Greg Moore barely beat Dario Franchitti on Saturday in a dramatic battle for the pole position. The Canadian will start first today on the 1.527-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit circling the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center. Moore, assessed an eight-minute penalty for an infraction Friday, won the pole while idle in the pits at the end of the 30-minute qualifying session. His lap of 92.377 mph was good enough for his fourth pole of the season and CART FedEx Series career. Franchitti, who will start from the front row for the seventh time in his last nine races, wound up second at 92.281 mph. Their lap times were separated by just .022-seconds. "1 got in my fast lap pretty early, but 1 didn't think it would be enough," Moore said. "Because I had the penalty (for causing a red flag in Friday's time trials with a spinout), at the end, I knew I had only another lap or two. "1 had a real good one going and I swung out my rear end a little bit and that was it. Dario ran two really good laps at the end and I thought 1 was going to lose it." ; Franchitti was the only one close to Moore. Former CART champion Jimmy Vasser was third with a lap of 92.050 mph, followed by Paul Tracy at 92.026. The top 15 drivers on the 28-car grid were separated by less than a second, with the top 26 within two seconds of the pole-winner. "I think it's going to be a war on Sunday," Franchitti said with a grin. "1 think it's going to be a fun day for us and for the fans." One reason for the optimism is that the new track, although short and winding, is wider than the average street circuit, offering at least some hope of passing. "I think there's going to be a couple of passing zones," Vasser said. Franchitti, sitting alongside, leaned toward Vasser and jokingly asked, "What places are those?" "I'll show you tomorrow," Vasser replied. B Today's lineup ZC TV: 4 p.m., ABC UAW-GM 500 CONCORD, N.C.. - Pole-sitter Derrike Cope knows he won't be the main attraction in the UAW-GM Quality 500, and he's comfortable with that. When the green flag flies to begin today's event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the primary focus will be Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin, who trails him by 199 points atop the season driver standings with six races left. Cope, on the other hand, is in 37th place in the points, a distant 2,767 off the lead. While Gordon and Martin have combined to win 16 of the year's 27 races, Cope is still looking for his first top-10 finish. That kind of record prevents Cope from even considering a victory in the 334-lap event on Charlotte's 1.5-mile, high-banked layout. "Obviously, we haven't been that productive this season, and we're not quite ready to really win on all fronts yet," he said. "So if I could run up 1 "flSIISBMIUI" Stone Crcb-Trops MO 10 itHimtiHii IHIMHHMMHII t MIIMHIttltMltltt 10 10v Blue Crab-Traps lobster Traps W Rope Shark Hooks 25 Floats $100 Clectric Trap Puller, fishing Rods life Raft Walk In Cooler Clectric Reels IMIIMHIIIIM! MIMMMIMIMIMI HtttMttlMHtlMtMMIIttl I SCAA riVV MIHIIIIMMHMMMM Boot Dock For Rent - Up to 75 rt& DK0OID MflRINfl 466-3525 482-3186 P Oxbow Golf Club I atthePortLaBellelnn S3:.'S!MjfUr. ii Take 1-75 TO EXIT 25, GO EAST ON HWY. 80 THROUGH LABELLE, OXBOW IS 2 MILES EASTOFLABELLE. IflteSDSaSBSOD mm wSSSm fjaE,.T..jp.,-ja&..JJa.. V n W H 4 'nse a lue bx' I sparkles like crazy. And it makes lierjeei very generous; tome see us. 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WAPC, other restrictions may apply S Offer Ends Oct. 31 '' B 433-1188 Nothing Runs Like A Deere On McGregor Between Cypress Lake & College i ?ij tn front for a while, and if I have to give the lead to Mark or whoever, if I can stay in the hunt, have some good, solid stops, good things all day long, we'll be in position to have a good effort. That's what our goal is." Today's lineup 2C TV: 1:05 p.m., TBS All Pro 300 CONCORD, N.C. - Mike McLaughlin went almost the last half of Saturday's race without a pit stop. McLaughlin's second Busch Grand National victory of the year came on a day when Matt Kenseth was unable to make up ground on Dale Earnhardt Jr., the leader. - Kenseth finished second and Earnhardt was third, but because Earnhardt led the most laps, he retained a 97-point lead. EARNHARDT While Kenseth and Earnhardt dominated most of the last half of the race, McLaughlin didn't run anywhere near the front until the leaders came in for green-flag pit stops between laps 170 and 180. 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