Even Sideways, Labonte Wins at Bristol

From Staff and Wire Reports

Terry Labonte, trying to hold off hard-charging Dale Earnhardt in heavy traffic, won the rain-delayed Goody’s 500 on Saturday night while sliding sideways across the finish line at Bristol International Raceway in Tennessee.

Earnhardt, who had several other run-ins during the long night, slammed into the rear of Labonte’s car, sending the leader sliding at the end of Lap 500.

“Dale caught me and gave me a little shot in the back,” Labonte said. “I stayed on the gas and just beat him across the line.”

Earnhardt, who pitted during the last caution period on Lap 390, used his fresh tires to charge from ninth on Lap 429 to second on Lap 487. He nearly caught Labonte, who was slowed on the final lap by several lapped cars.


The start of the 500-lap race on Bristol’s 0.533-mile concrete oval was delayed 89 minutes because of rain, and the race was further slowed by a race-record 15 caution flags for 105 laps.

The winner averaged 81.979 m.p.h.


Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger had the fastest qualifying lap at the Belgian Grand Prix at 137.177 m.p.h. at Spa-Francorchamps.



Chris Phillips, 46, a vice president with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning was shot in a confrontation with two men as they were stopped at a traffic light in Tampa, Fla., he said.

Phillips drove to Tampa General Hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove a bullet from his lower left arm. He is in good condition.

Houston Oiler offensive tackle Stan Thomas said a woman pointed a gun at his head Thursday night, wanting his $100,000 Mercedes and almost everything in it.

Four hours later, the car was found burning a few miles away. The auto’s wheels and tires were gone, as were CDs, golf clubs and two custom suits from the interior and trunk. Thomas said the woman also took his wallet, which contained about $1,200.

Miami Dolphin reserve running back Irving Spikes was arrested at his home in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on battery charges after his wife said he tried to choke her.


The Coast Guard has called off its search for Jim Bertken, a sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News who has been missing since early Friday morning while on a fishing expedition. Bertken, 36, was apparently swept overboard while on an overnight charter trip off the California coast near San Luis Obispo.



Second-seeded Jana Novotna pulled up lame midway through her semifinal against Magdalena Maleeva at the Pathmark Classic in Mahwah, N.J., retiring while leading, 6-4, 3-4.

Maleeva advanced to today’s final against sixth-seeded Chanda Rubin, a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over unseeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan.

Top-seeded Thomas Muster of Austria defeated Francisco Clavet of Spain, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), in the semifinals of the Croatia Open at Umag. Muster will face Carlos Costa of Spain, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Andrea Gaudenzi of Italy.

Defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia defeated Switzerland’s Marc Rosset, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, in the semifinals of the Hamlet Cup in Commack, N.Y. Kafelnikov will face unseeded Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Italy’s Renzo Furlan.


The men’s and women’s basketball teams from the United States won at the World University Games in Fukuoka, Japan. The men’s team defeated Great Britain, 95-59, and the women knocked off Mexico, 100-78.

Argentina earned its first berth in the Olympic tournaments in 44 years by beating Brazil, 87-82, in the semifinals of the Americas Basketball men’s qualifying tournament in Neuquen, Argentina.


Names in the News

Britain’s Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent continued their domination of the men’s coxless pairs by winning their fourth consecutive title at the rowing World Championships in Tampere, Finland. . . . Franzi van Almsick of Germany won her fifth gold medal at the European swimming championships in Vienna, anchoring the medley relay team to victory in 4:09.97.