Paul Newman, co-owner of the winning car in Sunday's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, first took an interest in auto racing while filming the 1969 movie "Winning," in which he played an Indianapolis 500 driver.
Besides being a car owner, Newman is also a skilled sports car driver. So what does Joanne Woodward think about her husband's hobby?
"She doesn't buy jewelry, she doesn't buy dresses," Newman told Jay Leno last week. "She buys insurance."
Trivia time: Elmore Smith holds the NBA record and Laker team record for blocked shots in a game -- 17, set on Oct. 28, 1973. Shaquille O'Neal had nine blocks for the Lakers against San Antonio on Dec. 3, 2003. Before that, who was the last Laker to have as many as nine blocks in a game?
Defending Kobe: "The Lakers are lousy and therefore that must mean Kobe Bryant has stopped being one of the 10 best players in the NBA?" wrote Greg Cote in the Miami Herald. "Huh? It is a hysterical proposition -- hysterical as both a gross overreaction and as something ludicrously funny.
"Call Bryant selfish if you like. Eliminate him from your husband-of-the-year finalists.... But don't surmise he is washed up as an elite player at age 26. That's baseless and dumb."
Fact of life: Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan, regarding NBA superstars' getting preferential calls from referees, told the Salt Lake Tribune: "That's the way life is. Miss America gets all the good dates."
Things could be worse: The New York Mets lost their first five games before finally winning Sunday.
"Go ahead, laugh at the Mets," wrote Jim Armstrong in his AOL Sports column. "They're good for more yuks than a Letterman monologue. But give them one thing. At least they're improving.
"The original Mets, Casey Stengel's Amazin' Metropolitans of 1962, lost their first nine games en route to a 40-120 record. A year later, they lost their first eight, with 103 more to follow."
All class: Of Chris DiMarco's demeanor on Sunday at the Masters, where he lost in a playoff to Tiger Woods, Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune wrote that he "could not have been a more gracious loser if he had placed a green jacket over every puddle to keep Woods from getting his feet wet."
Of the chip Woods sank on 16, some people might have called it a lucky break. Said DiMarco: "I expected it to go in. Expect the unexpected. Only it's not unexpected when he's doing it."
Looking back: On this day in 1964, Arnold Palmer won the Masters for the fourth time and came within two strokes of the course record with a 274. Woods and DiMarco finished regulation play at 276 Sunday.
Trivia answer: Elden Campbell had nine blocks against Golden State on March 14, 1996.
And finally: From "The Flip Side" column in the Baltimore Sun, on the Orioles' staging a "Lipstick Night" last Thursday: "And you thought you knew what a makeup game was."
Larry Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.