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Jarrett Avoids Early Disaster to Conquer Darlington

March 24, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Dale Jarrett fought off a strong challenge from Ted Musgrave in the final laps to win the TranSouth Financial 400 on Sunday at Darlington International Raceway in South Carolina.

Jarrett earned $142,860 and averaged 121.162 mph in a race that was slowed because of 10 caution flags. He led the last 129 of 293 laps on the 1.366-mile oval, edging Musgrave by less than two car-lengths in a sprint to the finish between two Fords.

Jarrett, the Winston Cup points-leader, started from the pole and was leading when he averted disaster on Lap 48. He skidded through oil, slapped the third-turn wall and slipped to sixth place.

He regained the lead on Lap 165, but worried it was going to slip away again because of a bad right tire.

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Unsponsored Jim Guthrie, racing with enough money for only one Olds Aurora engine for his Dollara chassis, became the Indy Racing League's first rags-to-riches story when he led the last 47 laps and held off Tony Stewart by 0.854 seconds to win an accident-marred Phoenix 200.

A record nine caution flags produced the slowest Indy-car race in the history of Phoenix International Raceway. The average speed of 89.190 mph was a crawl compared with A.J. Foyt's old slow mark of 99.990 mph, set Nov. 21, 1965.

Guthrie earned $170,100. Stewart, who has started all seven IRL races, won three poles and led 473 laps--including 85 on Sunday--still has not won a race.

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Tony Pedregon covered the quarter-mile at Houston Raceway Park in 5.054 seconds at 288 mph, and beat Cruz Pedregon in the Funny Car final of the Slick 50 Nationals, the first professional final round between brothers in National Hot Rod Assn. history.

Pedregon, from Gardena, holds a 4-3 lead over Cruz, from Camarillo, in eliminations.

Other winners were Joe Amato in top fuel and Tom Martino in Pro Stock.

Winter Sports

Heidi Voelker, once seventh in the world in the giant slalom, retired after placing third at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Sugarloaf-USA in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

Voelker, of Park City, Utah, was third at 2 minutes 14.67 seconds, behind Carrie Sheinberg at 2:14.56 and Tatum Skoglund at 2:14.66.

Akir Higashi of Japan twice surpassed the 200-meter mark to win the final World Cup ski jump competition at Planica, Slovenia.

Primoz Peterka of Slovenia, the runner-up, finished first in overall standings.

Bjarte Engen Vik of Norway won his third consecutive World Cup Nordic combined event at Strbska Pleso, Slovakia.

Vik, who had the third best jump, was timed at 37:48.2 for the 15-kilometer cross country race. Samppa Lajunen of Finland captured the season's overall standings with 1,223 points.

Cross Country

Paul Tergat of Kenya out-kicked Morocco's Salah Hissou in a dramatic stretch duel to win his third consecutive International Amateur Athletic Federation Cross Country Championship and earn the $40,000 first prize at Turin, Italy.

Tergat, 27, finished at 35 minutes, 11 seconds, on the 7.65-mile course, edging Hissou by two seconds as Kenya won the men's team title for the 12th consecutive year.

Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu overcame surprise early leader Paula Radcliffe of Britain to win the women's race for the second time in three years. Ethiopia won its first women's team title.

Gymnastics

UCLA senior Leah Homma won the all-around competition and the Bruins won the overall women's title at the Pacific 10 Championships at the University of Arizona on Saturday.

Homma had a score of 39.725 and scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars.

UCLA won its seventh Pac-10 gymnastics championship with a score of 196.55, defeating Stanford and Washington.

Homma was selected Pac-10 gymnast of the year for a second time. Washington's Bob Levesque was named coach of the year.

Miscellany

A Vanderbilt football player, Patrick Kyle Gulahorn, 19, was distressed over an argument with his girlfriend and pounded on a dormitory window before accidentally falling to his death from the seventh story.

USC right-hander Seth Etherton (10-1) suffered his first loss when UCLA scored seven runs on him in 6 1/3 innings of a 12-6 Pacific 10 victory at Dedeaux Field. Peter Zamora homered while going three for four with two RBIs.

Tampa and Hillsborough County officials plan to ask a judge to reconsider his ruling that the city's deal for a new stadium for the Buccaneers is unconstitutional.

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