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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Nemechek Outduels Biffle for Busch Win at Daytona

July 06, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Joe Nemechek won the first-ever Busch Series night race at Daytona, blocking Greg Biffle over a two-lap shootout Friday after a 16-car accident halted the Stacker2/GNC Live Well 250 race at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Nemechek became the first Busch driver to win from the pole at Daytona International Speedway since 1975.

Jack Sprague, who started the race as the points leader, was knocked out of the event in the big wreck that came with five laps to go.

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Kevin Harvick won the first Winston Cup pole position of his career, qualifying first for the Pepsi 400 at Daytona Beach, Fla.

Harvick, who took over the car Dale Earnhardt drove after the Intimidator died last year, circled the 2.5-mile Daytona track at 185.041 mph. That was 0.668 mph faster than second-place qualifier Geoffrey Bodine, a restrictor-plate specialist racing in only his fourth event of the season.

Defending Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon (184.271) will go for his first victory of the season from the third position. Harvick's Richard Childress Racing teammate, Robby Gordon, qualified fourth (184.268) for tonight's race.

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Brazilian Cristiano da Matta crashed during provisional qualifying for the Toronto Molson-Indy, but not until after he had posted the fastest lap. Da Matta's fast lap on the 1.755-mile street course winding through Exhibition Place on the edge of downtown Toronto was 58.487-seconds, or 108.024 mph.

Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs above the knee, and nearly lost his life, in a terrifying crash last September in Germany, was in Toronto Friday. It's the first time Zanardi has been to a racetrack since the accident. The two-time CART champion was walking on prosthetic legs and with the aid of two canes.

Hockey

Teemu Selanne took a pay cut, agreeing to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the San Jose Sharks with a player option for a second year.

Selanne, an eight-time All-Star, made $9.5 million last season.

Shark General Manager Dean Lombardi said Selanne rejected a four-year deal, worth more money than the Sharks' offer, from an Eastern team on Thursday night.

Miscellany

French skating chief Didier Gailhaguet decided not to appeal his three-year ban imposed for the Winter Olympics judging scandal in a bid to mend ties with skating's governing body.

Gailhaguet and Marie-Reine Le Gougne received three-year suspensions for their part in the pairs figure skating scandal at the Salt Lake City Games.

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The ATP is expected to announce today that its Tennis Masters Cup, which is the season-ending championships, will move to Houston in 2003 and 2004. This year's event will be held in Shanghai in November.

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War Emblem, eighth in the Belmont after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, may run in the $1-million Haskell Handicap at Monmouth Park on Aug. 4. That's a race that War Emblem's trainer, Bob Baffert, won last year with Point Given.... Bobby Frankel's Shibboleth, the 1-2 favorite, ran fifth Friday as Volponi, a 9-1 longshot, won the $100,000 Poker Handicap at Belmont.... Easyfromthegitgo won the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows. Danthebluegrassman, the favorite, finished last.

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