Sunday, February 2, 2003

NASCAR notebook


Wallace targets win at Daytona

Enquirer news services

If Rusty Wallace wins the Daytona 500, he'll have plenty of fans celebrating with him.

If Wallace gets his first Daytona 500 victory, his sponsor, Miller Lite, will have representatives at the exits to distribute coupons for a free six-pack of beer to every drinking-age fan in the stands at Daytona International Speedway. Wallace, who will debut a Dodge at Daytona this week, has 54 Winston Cup victories but none at Daytona. His best finish was a runner-up run in the Pepsi 400 last July, and his best 500 finish was third in 2001.

But he believes his 39-race winless streak at Daytona could end this month.

He has been confident before, such as in 1999, when he and then-teammate Jeremy Mayfield were running one-two with 11 laps to go in the 500.

But Mayfield fell back, and Jeff Gordon, the eventual winner, moved up to challenge for the lead.

"Gordon got underneath me in the tri-oval, we got down on the apron, and we had a big race going into turn one," Wallace said. "I had to get off the gas to keep from causing one heck of a wreck. ... Looking back on it, I should have stayed on the throttle, stayed on the bottom and forced him to make some kind of maneuver."

PEMBERTON TO FORD

Former crew chief Robin Pemberton has been hired by Ford Racing to run its NASCAR program. Pemberton, who played a major role in the development of the Taurus, will be Ford's field manager and will be responsible for overseeing development in all three of NASCAR's top series.

MONEY INCREASE

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has increased the Winston Cup series points fund - the year-end money awarded to the top 25 drivers in the points standings - by $3 million this season.

The yearly total reaches nearly $17 million, with $4.25 million awarded to the series champion - an increase of $500,000 during 2002.

Drivers finishing second through fourth will each receive more than $1 million at the annual December awards ceremony in New York. After starting at $100,000 in 1971, the point fund rose to $750,000 by 1985. The fund increased to $2 million the following year. By 1998, the total jumped to $5million. In 2000, the fund doubled $10 million, with the champion making $3 million.




UC BEARCATS
Marquette 82, UC 76
Daugherty: Snarl gone from 'Cats
Rankings become least of concerns

XAVIER
Xavier 66, Richmond 52
Victory a little sweeter for West

OTHER COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No. 7 Kentucky 87, South Carolina 69
Miami 57, Buffalo 55
Ohio State 65, Northwestern 52
No. 8 Louisville 95, No. 19 Indiana 76
Syracuse stuns No. 2 Pitt
Texas A&M denies Knight 800th victory
Top 25 roundup: Who's No. 1? Maybe Texas
How the Top 25 fared
Women: UConn blasts No. 1 Duke
Smith's late basket lifts Norse men to 76-75 victory

REDS / MLB
Shake this winter chill, make tracks for Florida
Reds Spring Training Guide
A look at the Grapefruit League
Leading off, Adam Dunn?
Judge: Put Rose in HOF

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals Q&A
Ditka interested in coaching Lions
Garcia frustrated by 49ers' coaching conundrum
Rice's heart fonder for Hawaii

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Hula Bowl: South 27, North 24
Paterno: 2006 might be final year at Penn State
Grambling QB wins Gaither Award

HORSE RACING
Streaking Champali adds WEBN at Turfway
Medaglia d'Oro wins Strub Stakes after three-month layoff
Record number nominated for Triple Crown races

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: St. X swimmers step up
Schmidt: Former prep football stars get shot at pros
Withrow gets top seed in Division I
Sectional tournament pairings
St. Henry hits All 'A' state
Ohio boys games
Ohio girls games
Ky. boys games
Ky. girls games
Prep sports results

GOLF
Herron pulls away by 4 strokes in Hope Classic

NBA BASKETBALL
NBA: Penalized Pacers prevail

HOCKEY
MacInnis, Roy lead West to skills victory
NHL YoungStars: East 8, West 3
NHL All-Star notebook
Ducks waddle past Admirals

AUTO RACING
The Boogity Man is back
Tight battle up front in Daytona
NASCAR notebook

TRISTATE SPOTLITE
Ex-GCL, XU players skip along in ACC
Local man knows story behind numbers
Enquirer's Page Two power rankings

AS THE SPORTS WORLD TURNS
Lewis prefers Tyson rematch over quality opponent