The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 18, 1997 · Page 37
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 37

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 18, 1997
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Page 37
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL SPORTS SUNDAY, MAY 18, 1997 D5 T AUTO RACING Gamble pays off with a victory for Gordon Driver comes from 19th starting spot to capture 13th The Winston By JOE MACENKA The Associated Press CONCORD, N.C. — Jeff Gordon's qualifying gamble paid off quite handsomely Saturday night. Making up for an overly aggressive move that cost him in the time trials, Gordon charged through the field at Charlotte Motor Speedway and won The Winston, the 13th annual all-star event for stock car racing's top series. "Everything just kind of went our way. Tonight could not have worked out any better," said Gordon, who won $207,500 from the $1.1 million purse. Gordon overshot his pit stall during Friday night's time trials, relegating him to the 19th spot on the race's 20-car starting grid. But he quickly worked his way into contention, took the lead nine laps from the end of the 70-lap race and pulled away to his second victory in three years. "Our car was just awesome for me to get through traffic like I did," said Gordon, who became just the third driver to win the event more than once. Dale Earnhardt won the race three times and the late Davey Allison was a two-time winner. GORDON Bobby Labonte wound up about 15 car-lengths back in second and his older brother, 1996 Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, was third. Earnhardt and Jimmy Spencer rounded out the top five. The event featured exactly what the fans have come to expect when series sponsor R.J. Reynolds offers so much money for a race that typically takes less than 40 minutes. Taking chances becomes the norm, as do bumping, banging and frequent three-wide racing, long regarded as a sure prescription for disaster on Charlotte's 24-degree banking. A record crowd of about 140,000 stayed on their feet throughout the event, which is divided into segments of 30,30 and 10 laps, with the field being inverted after the first leg. Gordon needed less than 20 laps to work his way into the top five, and he was third at the end of the first segment behind Dale Jarrett and Earnhardt. While Bobby Labonte dominated the second leg, Gordon stayed in contention and finished fourth. The Labonte brothers battled each other early in the final leg, allowing Gordon to slip past both of them on lap 61 and pull away for the victory. Pole-sitter Bill Elliott faded over the second half of the race and wound up 10th. Mark Martin, winner of the last two Winston Cup races, started eighth, never led and finished sixth. Martin caused the event's only caution when he bumped into the rear of Bobby Labonte's Pontiac entering the front stretch, sending Labonte into a long slide that ended with him sitting helpless in the middle of the track at the start-finish line. Seven cars roared by within inches but none touched him. While Earnhardt, Elliott and Jarrett battled at the front of the pack over the rest of the segment, Labonte worked his way no higher than 17th. But because the running order is flipped after the opening segment, Labonte found himself in second place to start the second leg behind his brother. The two quickly separated themselves from the rest of the field on the restart, and it didn't take long after that for Bobby to take over the lead and begin pulling away from everyone. By the time the segment ended, Labonte had built his advantage to 4.3 seconds — about 400 yards. Bobby Hamilton and Ernie Irvan both retired in the first segment with engine problems, as did Rusty Wallace in the third leg. Defending champion Michael Waltrip fell off the pace early in the second segment, also with engine trouble, and finished 16th. We Deliver Community News the Salina Journal Boat gives Foyt two Indy drivers Bumped from lineup last year, Boat leads qualifiers Saturday By STEVE HERMAN the Associated Press INDIANAPOLIS — Billy Boat, the only driver bumped from the Indianapolis 500 lineup a year ago, was the fastest among eight qualifiers Saturday and gave the , hard-luck A. J. Foyt team two cars ." solidly in the race. ' A week earlier, Scott Sharp i crashed for the second time and ;.was hospitalized with a head injury. Then on Friday, Johnny O'Connell, subbing for Sharp, dislo- ./"cated the arch of his left foot in ,-tanother crash. "Luck's a funny thing. Sometimes you've got it and sometimes all you can find is bad," said Boat, who averaged 215.544 - mph for the four laps around the ^Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2 Ms-mile track. "You've just got to .press ahead and eventually it' .turns around." ^j>.The only Foyt driver who has- *A't crashed this month is Davey ^;. Hamilton, who qualified last ; week at 214.484 for a spot in the '•'• middle of the third row. Because Boat's attempt came on the third > COLLEGE TRACK AND FIELD of the four days of qualifications, he will start no higher than the outside of the eighth row May 25. Arie Luyendyk won the pole position last week at 218.263. Saturday's qualifiers left only two of the 33 spots to be filled on Sunday. After the end of qualifications, the track will be closed until race day, except for a final two-hour practice Thursday. "I've had a lot of bad luck in my career. I don't think anybody's had any more bad luck than A.J. at the Speedway this week," Boat said. "But we just had a bit of good luck and put this car solidly in the field." Boat also was the first qualifier on the third day of time trials last year, but he had the slowest speed among those not guaranteed a starting spot by the Indy Racing League's qualifying rules. When it looked like he might be bumped on the final day, he practiced in a Foyt backup, but crashed and was taken to the hospital for observation. Eighteen minutes after the crash, he was bumped by Joe Gosek. This year, Boat's car also is not exempt from a possible bump, but the 215.544 average makes that very unlikely. "It did not have a guaranteed spot," he said. "And I've been down this road once before when I got bumped out of this race. I was taking no chances this time." His first lap was just under 215, then the second lap was 216.299, his fastest all week. The last two laps were both just under 216. "The harder I drove it the better it felt," Boat said. "We put a little front wing in to make sure it didn't push. I really didn't know what it was going to do on the first corner. That's why the 214 lap. "But once I got through one corner, I knew it was solid underneath me." Boat was the designated first alternate driver for last year's race. The second alternate was another rookie, Tyce Carlson, who also was among Saturday's qualifiers. Carlson, who replaced injured veteran John Paul Jr., averaged only 210.852 but, unlike Boat, his car was guaranteed a spot. Veterans Fermin Velez, Dennis Vitolo, Mark Dismore and Marco Greco also had exemptions. Rookie Sam Schmidt's car was not guaranteed a spot, but he put it safely in the field with an average of 215.141, second-fastest of the day behind Boat. Rookie Billy Roe, who grew up in a house just outside the third turn of the Speedway, also was not exempt and qualified at 212.752. Another rookie, Greg Ray, who ran out of fuel after averaging more than 215 through three laps of a qualification attempt last week, blew an engine during a warmup lap Saturday. Lavy wins Big 12 high jump By JAIME ARON The Associated Press WACO, Texas — The decathlon .champion woke up Saturday not ;sure if he could walk. The men's high jump favorite promised his mom that if she was in the stands he'd win; she came and he won. X' The men's shot put champion "/tiidn't have his best form, but he ;,;phowed a freshman how to find oth- ; er ways to win. The women's long ^jump finals turned into a show-down where an old foe settled a d score. storylines like that, the in•^augural Big 12 outdoor track and field meet is off to a compelling , start. "„. So are the Nebraska Corn• buskers. The winners of the men's and women's titles at the confer- -jence's first indoor meet in Febru- lary are on their way to doing it Vagain. The men have a 7.5-point lead "-over Texas, last year's Southwest Conference champions, and the women are just one point ahead of -.Colorado, last year's Big Eight winner. The titles will be decided today with a full slate of running events. On Saturday, Texas' Aaron Fox won the decathlon. Other men's winners were Iowa State's Josh Hagedorn in the shot put, Nebraska's Shane Lavy in the high jump and fellow Cornhusker Joe Laster in the long jump. Hagedorn and Lavy also won at the indoor meet. Each victory had a little something special behind it, beginning chronologically with Fox. He arrived at Baylor's Hart-Patterson Track Complex barely able to move because of a torn groin muscle. He considering dropping out because he wasn't sure if he could move his left leg enough to get through the five remaining decathlon events. "I just went ahead and did it, and I'm glad I did," said Fox, who finished with 7,804 points, easily topping his previous best of 7,668 set at last month's Texas Relays and coming within 41 of the school record. Lavy, a Glasco native, set his personal high jump best, a school record, just last week. 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Knowing what he needed for victory, he decided to blow off form and just heave his final toss. It went 3% inches past Roesler's best. It shouldn't have been a surprise that the women's long jump finals came down to Texas' Nicole Devonish and Texas A&M's Adrien Sawyer. Last year, Devonish came from behind on her last jump to beat Sawyer. Located At These Bennington State Bank Locations MINNfAPOLIS 320 W. 2nd 913-392-2136 BfNNlNGTON 104W. Washinnton 913-488-33 SAUNA 2130S. Ohio'200S. 9th 913-827-5522 enng ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT PRODUCTS Mutual Funds triable Annuities Life Insurance Long Term Care Insurance Registered Representatives located at these locations: Doug Alt Salina Caimen Trahan Bennington Dave Stanley Minneapolis Securities offered through Secura Investments Inc. Member NASD, SIPC. SECIJKA is a broker-dealer, not a Uai\k. Investments through SECURA are not deposits or other obligations of nor guaranteed by Beiuiington State Bank. Securities are not insured by the FD1C or other applicable deposit Insurance and are subject to Investment risks, indudii\g the possible loss of principal invested. BSB Financial Services

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