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Fernandez Overcomes Flu and Unser to Win in Japan

March 29, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Adrian Fernandez had to win two very different battles to clinch the second Indy-car victory of his career.

First, he had to overcome a bout with flu the night before the race. Then, the 32-year-old from Mexico had to hold off Al Unser Jr. in a sprint to the finish of the Budweiser 500 Saturday at Motegi, Japan.

Fernandez led 102 of the 201 laps in his Reynard-Ford, and spent much of his time out front holding off Unser's Penske-Mercedes. Unser led the race twice for a total of 26 laps.

After a pit stop with 42 laps remaining, Fernandez took the lead 30 laps from the finish.

He was holding his advantage over Unser at more than a second when Bobby Rahal hit the wall on Lap 186, bringing out the last of three caution flags. Rahal was not hurt in the crash.

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Elliott Sadler took the lead on a fast pit stop with 99 laps left and went on to win the crash-filled Moore's Snacks 250 at Bristol, Tenn., his fourth NASCAR Busch Grand National victory in 10 months.

Sadler avoided three wrecks over the final 80 laps and was pulling away at the finish. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started on the pole, finished second, about 10 car lengths behind Sadler.

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Jimmy Spencer led second-day qualifying for the NASCAR Winston Cup Food City 500 at Bristol, driving his Ford Taurus to a fast lap of 122.521 mph to earn the 26th starting spot for today's race.

Swimming

James Hickman of Britain, Andrei Korneev of Russia and Mark Warnecke of Germany set or matched world records during a World Cup short-course swimming meet at Paris.

Hickman broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly, clocking 1 minute 51.76 seconds to take nearly a second off Russian Denis Pankratov's year-old record.

Korneev was timed in 2:07.79 in the 200-meter breaststroke, breaking the mark of 2:07.80 set by Australian Phil Rogers in 1993.

Warnecke was timed in 26.97 to equal his world record in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Track and Field

Marion Jones won the long jump at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C., by leaping 22 feet 6 1/4 inches on her first attempt. It is the longest jump outdoors in the world this year. . . . Frankie Fredericks of Namibia ran the year's fastest 100 meters in the All-Africa Invitational meet at Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday night when he was clocked in 9.96.

Winter Sports

Olympic silver medalist Chris Witty of West Allis, Wis., set a world record of 1 minute 14.96 seconds in the 1,000 meters during the world single-distance speed skating championships at Calgary, Canada. Olympic gold medalist Aadne Sondral of Norway broke his world record in the 1,500 meters. He finished in 1:46.43. Olympic silver medalist Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann of Germany broke the record for 5,000 meters, clocking 6:58.63. . . . Olympic gold medalist Nikki Stone overcame an ailing back and soft snow conditions to win her fourth United States aerials title, at Carrabassett Valley, Maine. But men's Olympic champion Eric Bergoust faltered, enabling Matt Chojnacki to win his first overall U.S. freestyle title.

Miscellany

Italy's Andrea Gaudenzi advanced to the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II tennis tournament at Casablanca, Morocco, by beating Sebastian Grosjean of France, 6-4, 6-4. He will play Spain's Alex Calatrava, who beat Karim Alami of Morocco, 6-3, 6-7 (7-2), 7-6 (8-6). . . . Former boxer Joey Leonard, the younger brother of lightweight boxing champion Benny Leonard, died Friday in Beverly Hills. He was 96. Leonard, also a lightweight, retired with a 22-0 record. He is survived by his wife, Edith, and two daughters, Judy and Marge. Funeral services are scheduled for today at Mt. Sinai in Glendale.

Cambridge defeated Oxford for the sixth consecutive year in their annual rowing race at London, winning by four lengths. . . . Former Cincinnati Reds' shortstop Leo Cardenas has been sentenced to 90 days in prison for beating a man with a baseball bat last year in Cincinnati. Cardenas, 59, pleaded guilty last month to a charge that he beat Orenthal Tate, 27, while he sat with Cardenas' wife, Lois, in a parked car Nov. 18. . . . A soccer fan was attacked and killed after an English Division Two game between Gillingham and Fulham at Gillingham.

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