Auto racing Crash costs Martin Busch victory, makes...

Sports Digest

March 05, 2000

Auto racing

Crash costs Martin Busch victory, makes winner of Burton

Mark Martin was well on his way to yet another Busch Series victory yesterday until Jack Sprague got in the way.

Three laps from the end of the Las Vegas 300, with Martin slicing through heavy traffic and holding off Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton by about six car lengths, the leader suddenly found himself confronted by Sprague's spinning car.

Martin braked his Ford hard to avoid a crash and Burton's Taurus wheeled past and into the lead.

Sprague hit the wall and the race finished under the yellow flag, with the bemused Martin trailing Burton across the line.

"It's kind of hard to get beat at the end like that," said Martin, the career Busch Series victory leader with 41, including last Saturday's race in Rockingham, N.C.

"I'm sure Jeff Burton had it planned that way," he said jokingly.

Burton picked up his 11th Busch Series victory, but his first since the Rockingham race in February 1999.

Tennis

Davenport, Hingis to meet for State Farm crown

Trying to regain the No. 1 ranking, Lindsay Davenport routed Anna Kournikova, 6-2, 6-2, to advance to the final of the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Davenport is looking to overtake Martina Hingis, the WTA's top-ranked player for seven months and Davenport's opponent in the final. Hingis defeated third seed Mary Pierce, 6-4, 6-3, in the other semifinal.

The victory sent Davenport to her fifth straight final. She has won eight of her last 10 finals.

Citrix Championships: Sixth seed Stefan Koubek of Austria rallied for a 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Richard Fromberg of Australia in the semifinals at Delray Beach, Fla. He will meet Spanish qualifier Alex Calatrava, who advanced with a 6-0, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) victory over unseeded Paul Goldstein of Rockville.

After Fromberg took the opening set, a piece of the hard court tore at 2-2 in the second set, causing an extended delay.

Copenhagen Open: No. 3 seed Magnus Larsson of Sweden and countryman Andreas Vinciguerra advanced to the final in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Larsson beat seventh seed Roger Federer of Switzerland, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), while the 19-year-old Vinciguerra upset top seed Marat Safin of Russia, 6-3, 6-0.

Chevrolet Cup: Argentina's Mariano Puerta and Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten won semifinal matches to advance to the final of the Chevrolet Cup at Santiago, Chile.

Puerta beat countryman Gaston Gaudio, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Kuerten defeated Spain's Albert Porta, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

College basketball

Temple's Chaney angry about Lyde suspension

Upset over having to suspend his starting center, John Chaney vented his anger on two fronts.

First, the Temple coach ripped the NCAA over its rules, then questioned the ethics of the reporter who broke the story.

On Friday, the day before Temple's trip to Washington to play George Washington, Chaney suspended Kevin Lyde. He said he did so after a call from a Washington Post reporter who called the university on Thursday to ask about a summer course Lyde took as a 17-year-old high school student in 1997.

At issue is whether Lyde's family or his Amateur Athletic Union coach paid for the course. The Post said Lyde, a Washington native, admitted that his coach paid for the course in an interview with the paper in October.

"It is truly unbelievable," Chaney said after Temple routed George Washington, 98-67. "Why don't they go back to the crib? I don't understand it. I've never heard of this rule."

Et cetera

Bulls' Starks won't play while awaiting decision

An arbitrator may have said John Starks has to stay with the Chicago Bulls. No one said anything about him playing.

Starks, who has missed Chicago's last three games with tendinitis in his knees, won't play until a grievance arbitrator rules on his request to leave the Bulls and join a playoff contender, coach Tim Floyd said.

Starks offered to forfeit the rest of his $4 million salary -- roughly $900,000 -- if the Bulls would waive him, clearing the way for him to sign with a playoff contender.

College wrestling: Western Maryland, which entered the weekend with one wrestling All-American in team history, had three unseeded wrestlers earn All-America honors yesterday at the NCAA Division III championships at Ohio Northern University.

Sophomore Rob Johns (Calvert Hall) finished seventh at 157 pounds, senior Charlie Conaway (184) wound up eighth, and sophomore Vinny Pedalino (125) finished in fifth place. The top eight in each weight class become All-Americans. Entering the final bouts, Western Maryland stood 15th among the 62 schools represented, its first top 20 finish ever.

Indoor track: Weight thrower Lance Deal won his 12th national indoor title, more than any athlete in the same event in the 112-year history of the USA Track and Field Championships in Atlanta. Deal, 38, won with a mark of 78 feet, 4 1/2 inches in the 35-pound weight throw.

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