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The Inside Track | Newswire

Kenseth Wins Busch Race, NASCAR to Inspect Engine

October 08, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

Matt Kenseth won a Busch Grand National series race, the All Pro Bumper to Bumper 300, at Concord, N.C., on Saturday, but NASCAR later confiscated his engine because of a possible rules violation.

The engine in Kenseth's Chevrolet might have been too big, so NASCAR officials impounded and plan to test it today at an independent location, said Kevin Triplett, NASCAR'S operations director.

NASCAR also called runner-up Mark Martin back to the track so they could test the engine from his Ford. There was no indication his engine was illegal, so the test could just be a precautionary measure.

Kenseth and Martin are Winston Cup teammates, but drive for different owners on the Busch Grand National series.

Kenseth won Saturday's race, his second consecutive Busch series victory, when leader Joe Nemechek ran out of gas with two laps to go.

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The longest continuous race sponsorship in the NASCAR Winston Cup series is coming to an end.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. announced in Concord that it will sponsor its final Winston 500 next weekend at Talladega, Ala., then end the naming-rights relationship that began in 1971.

The company said the decision was based on its desire to refocus its marketing division to other programs in NASCAR.

Talladega is left without a title sponsor for its biggest event of the year. The track is also looking for a sponsor for its spring race because Sears ended its 13-year relationship with the track after last April's DieHard 500.

RJR remains the title sponsor of NASCAR's top series. The company also sponsors the Winston--the annual all-star race--and the No Bull Five program, which awards $1 million to an eligible driver and a fan if the driver wins a predetermined race.

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NHRA top-fuel champion Tony Schumacher claimed the No. 1 qualifying position for the AutoZone Nationals at Millington, Tenn., but was injured later in a crash. He was hospitalized and listed in critical condition.

Schumacher, 30, recorded a track-record 4.552-second pass during the first of two qualifying runs to lead the 16-car field. On his final qualifying attempt, his dragster went out of control and crashed.

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Kenny Roberts had to finish at least sixth in the Rio Grand Prix in Brazil to clinch the 500cc motorcycling championship, and he just made it. Valentino Rossi of Italy won the race on a Honda with a time of 45 minutes 22.624 seconds, and Roberts finished sixth on a Suzuki, 7.778 seconds behind.

Tennis

Martina Hingis breezed to her most lopsided victory ever against Spain's Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, 6-1, 6-0, to move into the final of the Porsche Grand Prix at Filderstadt, Germany.

Hingis will face 17-year-old Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who turned in her third upset of the tournament, beating Nathalie Tauziat of France, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Clijsters, a wild-card entry, earlier beat Conchita Martinez of Spain and Anna Kournikova of Russia.

It took Hingis, No. 1 in the women's rankings and the defending champion, only 36 minutes to beat Sanchez-Vicario.

Serena Williams cruised into the final of the Princess Cup at Tokyo, but top-seeded Monica Seles was forced to withdraw because of foot injuries.

Williams, seeded second, dispatched unheralded Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-4, in the first semifinal.

Seles lost the first set, 6-4, to fourth-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis of France and trailed in the second, 3-4, before retiring from the match with inflammation of the tendons in the front of the both feet.

Nicolas Kiefer of Germany defeated Tim Henman of Great Britain, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to the final of the Salem Open at Hong Kong.

Kiefer, who has not lost a set in the tournament, will face Mark Philippoussis, who advanced by registering his first victory over fellow Australian Patrick Rafter, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Miscellany

Brian Peterson, 22, arrested at Shea Stadium Sept. 27 when a bottle was thrown at Atlanta Brave reliever John Rocker, is off the hook on one charge and probably will have the others dismissed as well.

Prosecutors in New York have dropped a misdemeanor charge that Peterson had interfered with police when they tried to arrest a friend.

The case gained wide attention because Peterson was on probation for the 1996 killing of his newborn son in a motel room in Delaware. Peterson and his girlfriend, Amy Grossberg, pleaded guilty in 1998 to manslaughter.

Alan Alborn, a 1998 Olympian from Anchorage, overcame rain and raw weather at Lake Placid, N.Y., to win the Flaming Leaves Ski Jump. Alborn, expected to contend for the 2002 Olympic squad, had two of the day's three longest attempts. Jumps of 102 and 100 meters, combined with style points, gave Alborn a cumulative 278.5 points.

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