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Cabbie Earns Checkered Flag as Wallace Fan

Stock car driver Rusty Wallace, who usually is fighting for position on the high banks of NASCAR tracks, faced another kind of traffic during an only-in-New York incident.

Wallace, his wife Patty and several friends flagged a cab to get back to their hotel after attending a party. The cabbie asked Wallace where he was from and what he did for a living. Wallace replied: “I’m from Charlotte, N.C., and I drive a stock car.”

The driver said: “I thought so. You’re Rusty Wallace!”

The cabbie braked to a stop so fast that taxis behind nearly ran into him. He got out, walked to the passenger side, opened the door and said: “You drive. I want to be able to tell people that Rusty Wallace drove my cab.”

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So Wallace did--with the cab driver sitting in the back seat with Rusty’s wife.

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Trivia time: What country won soccer’s first World Cup, and when was it played?

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Search goes on: Saudi Arabia is one of the 1994 World Cup qualifiers, but Coach Leo Beenhakker doesn’t sound too optimistic about his team.

“At the moment, I know more about my opponents than my own team,” he said. “Saudi Arabia are champions of Asia and that has to mean something, but I don’t know how they compare to European and South American football teams. I am still looking for players.”

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Add Saudi: The reason Beenhakker doesn’t know much about his team is because he only recently replaced the regular coach, who was fired after refusing a sheik’s demand to change goalkeepers.

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Color-coordinated: Do maroons have more fun? Not according to Sunday’s souvenir program at the Coliseum, as Raiderette cheerleader Maureen Glynn described being chosen for the squad.

“I can dance and I have a lot of good qualities, but I think that I get noticed because of my red hair. I mean, it is like a full-on flame on top of my head.

“At tryouts, there were a lot of girls with maroon hair and stuff like that, but I don’t think anybody had red hair like mine.”

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Basketball fans: University of Massachusetts President Michael Hooker and state Rep. Carmen D. Buell found the perfect place to end their court-ship: In the school’s field house, where the No. 8-ranked Minutemen practice.

The couple met at a game last January in Springfield, Mass., so it was fitting that the reception be held in a basketball arena.

“I knew something good had to come out of that game,” said UMass Coach John Calipari, whose team lost to Cincinnati.

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Trivia answer: Uruguay, in 1930.

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Quotebook: Craig Stadler, asked why he used a new putter at the U.S. Open: “The old one didn’t float too well.”

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