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Burton Drives to Victory

November 06, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Even though it was obvious Jeff Burton had the best car, it took a gritty comeback and Ricky Rudd's misfortune to give him a victory Sunday in the Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Speedway.

On lap 294 of the 312-lap NASCAR race, Mike Bliss slammed into the rear of Rick Mast, who had slowed because of a flat tire. Bliss' car glanced off and Rudd, trying to pass on the low side of the track, hit it broadside.

As Rudd slowly drove to the pits for repairs, Burton took the lead. Moments later, when most of the leaders pitted, Burton came off pit road third behind teammate Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace.

The green flag waved with 11 laps to go, and it took Burton four laps to get around Wallace. He then overtook 1993 Phoenix winner Martin and made a strong outside pass for the lead on lap 308.

Jeremy Mayfield finished second. Steve Park finished third, followed by Wallace and series leader Bobby Labonte, who started ninth and was never out of the top 10.

Combined with runner-up Dale Earnhardt's ninth-place finish, Labonte--who came into the race with a 201-point lead--leads Earnhardt by 218 and Burton by 226 with two races remaining in his bid for his first Winston Cup title.

*

Jason Bowles of Ontario, Kevin Christensen of Castaic and three other go-kart drivers earned the opportunity to test a champ car owned by 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and earn a scholarship to the Skip Barber Racing School based on their performances in the Stars of Tomorrow at Las Vegas Karting Center.

Bowles, 18, won the 30-lap 80cc pro gearbox race and Christensen, 20, won the pro superbox race. Jonathan Bomarito, 18, of Salian, Calif., won the 125cc pro gearbox race. Brett Buckwalter, 18, of Novato and A.J. Allmendinger, 17, of Hollister were also selected.

Baseball

Japan got 20 hits and chased San Francisco Giant ace Livan Hernandez after 1 1/3 innings as it handed a touring major league all-star team its first loss, 14-2, at Tokyo. The major leaguers' runs came on a second-inning single by the New York Mets' Jay Payton and a third-inning home run by the Giants' Barry Bonds.

Ted Williams, 82, remained hospitalized in Gainesville, Fla., awaiting word on whether doctors would implant a heart pacemaker. Cardiologist Rick Kerensky said the Boston Red Sox hall of famer remains in fair condition after suffering from congestive heart failure last week. . . . St. Louis Cardinal General Manager Walt Jocketty won the Sporting News' award for executive of the year, receiving 24 of 54 votes cast by baseball executives.

Tennis

Unseeded Wayne Ferreira of South Africa, upset No. 8 Lleyton Hewitt of Australia, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 6-2, to win the final of the $2.95-million Tennis Masters Series at Stuttgart, Germany.

Kim Clijsters, a 17-year-old Belgian ranked No. 420 less than two years ago, won the Sparkassen Cup at Leipzig, Germany, by Elena Likhovtseva of Russia, 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4. The victory will move Clijsters up to No. 20 in the rankings.

Chanda Rubin defeated Jennifer Capriati, 6-4, 6-2, to take the Bell Challenge final at Quebec City, Canada.

Miscellany

Rae Carruth told a family friend he did not kill his pregnant girlfriend but thought about having her attacked early in her pregnancy, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The friend, Wendy Lovette Cole, drove the car in which the former NFL player left Charlotte after learning Cherica Adams died Dec. 14 of gunshot wounds from a month earlier. Carruth was discovered the next day in the trunk of Cole's car, which was parked outside a motel in Wildersville, Tenn. Cole spoke to investigators Jan. 12. The Observer said it obtained a copy of the 79-page transcript. She was charged in August with harboring a fugitive.

Carruth's lead attorney, David Rudolf, had no comment on the Observer's story and would not say if he planned to call Cole as a defense witness.

Freshman Jared Jeffries scored 27 points as Indiana defeated Athletes in Action, 84-74, at Bloomington, Ind., to give Coach Mike Davis his first victory.

Mexico's Hector Velazquez unanimously outpointed countryman Ubaldo Hernandez in a 10-round featherweight boxing bout at Chula Vista.

Magic Johnson scored nine points and had eight rebounds and 14 assists as the Magic Great Danes lost, 97-68, to Zalgiris of Lithuania in a Northern European League game at Copenhagen.

Veteran French cyclist Jeannie Longo broke the world one-hour record, covering 44.767 kilometers at the Mexican Olympic Sports Centre cycle track at Mexico City.

Longo topped the one-hour record on a conventional bicycle that Australian cyclist Hanna Wilson set in Melbourne on Oct. 18 with 43.501 kilometers.

World ice dance champions Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat of France, performing a challenging new free dance, won the Skate Canada International at Mississauga, Canada.

Elvis Stojko, a three-time men's world figure skating champion, withdrew from NHK Grand Prix, scheduled to begin Nov. 30, because of a heel injury. The decision means Stojko has no chance to qualify for the Grand Prix final in Tokyo.

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