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With or Without Engines, They Have an Axle to Grind

When residents of Southampton, N.Y., complained about motorcycle racing at the nearby Bridgehampton race circuit on Long Island, the track was ordered to comply with a strict noise ordinance. Still the complaints came.

Six were called in when the track held its annual Soap Box Derby, one from Manhattan--more than 80 miles away.

Soap Box Derby cars have no engines.

Changing times: The Edmonton Oilers are the only NHL team to have scored 400 goals in a season--and they have done it five times, setting the record, 446, in 1983-84. This season, at their current pace, the Oilers will score 228 goals.

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Trivia time: Since divisional play began, what two players have led their teams in all 12 statistical categories: Batting average, on-base average, slugging, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, runs batted in, walks and stolen bases?

Backstretch tip: Caesar Dominguez, one of the leading trainers at Hollywood Park, has a simple philosophy for his success--win with claimers.

“Claimers get you stakes horses,” Dominguez says. “Every trainer has to start somewhere. (Owners) want to see winners. They don’t care if it’s a $2,000 race or a $2-million race. As long as you win, or are among the top five, people will notice you.”

What’s in a name? Russ Blunck, sports information director at Point Loma Nazarene, takes his job seriously. He and his wife, Patty, recently had their first child, whom they named Brodie.

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“I named him so that it would look good on the sports pages,” Blunck said. “There aren’t a lot of names that go well with Blunck. Believe me, I know. But my fear is that he’ll end up in opera or ballet.”

Can it be true? Mark Purkey of Golf magazine passes on a joke that was making the rounds in Britain after the Europeans had lost in the Ryder Cup matches:

“Did you know that there were two Scandinavians on the European team?

“Joakim Haeggman, who is Swedish, and Seve Ballesteros, who is Finished.”

Name game: When senior tour golfer Tom Wargo says, “Good night, Irene,” he could merely be expressing dismay, or actually addressing any of several women in his life. His wife, mother and one of his grandmothers are all named Irene.

Trivia answer: Howard Johnson, in 1989 for the New York Mets, and Jose Cruz, in 1984 for the Houston Astros.

Quotebook: Clipper guard Ron Harper, after Monday’s 118-94 rout of New Jersey: “Once you have a team down, you have to embarrass them because they’re going to keep trying to play.”


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