Martin Wins, but Earnhardt Gains Ground

From Staff and Wire Reports

Mark Martin won for the second consecutive week, and Dale Earnhardt chopped deeply into Jeff Gordon's Winston Cup points lead in Sunday's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C..

Martin, who dominated a week earlier at North Wilkesboro Speedway, this time led only one lap until he chased down leader Terry Labonte and passed him with four laps to go on the 1 1/2-mile oval.

Earnhardt, trying to stay in contention for his third consecutive series title, came into the race trailing Gordon by 302 points, but cut that margin to 205 with only three races remaining by passing Labonte on the last lap to take second place.

Gordon was riding a string of 14 consecutive top-10 finishes, but a broken gear cost him 14 laps behind the pit wall and a 30th-place finish.

"It ain't winning, but second isn't bad, either," Earnhardt said. "We gained some points on Gordon, so it ain't too bad at all.

"We don't wish any bad luck on anybody, but luck is going to play a big part in who wins the championship. The breaks have to go our way and we have to win. His luck had to get him sooner or later. We still have a big deficit to overcome, but we aren't about to give up."

Said Gordon: "It's a disappointing finish in some ways, but the way we ran today certainly wasn't a disappointment. We had a problem and the crew fixed it. After we came back out, we showed them we still had the fastest car. Hopefully, when we go to Rockingham [in two weeks], we can have the fastest car there. This is what makes a championship caliber team."


Chris Webber agreed to a multiyear contract with the Washington Bullets.

The power forward is expected to sign the deal with team owner Abe Pollin at a news conference today.

The 22-year-old Webber was acquired from the Golden State Warriors for Tom Gugliotta and three future first-round picks last November. He led the team in scoring (20.1 points per game), rebounding (9.6) and steals (1.5) last season.

The team also announced that forward Don MacLean had agreed to terms. MacLean's offer was reported to be $925,000.


Portland Trail Blazer guard James Robinson broke his right hand on the second day of training camp and will be sidelined two to four weeks.

The team said he was injured in a collision with Clifford Robinson on Saturday. Robinson and rookie Randolph Childress are vying for playing time behind starting point guard Rod Strickland.


Raphael Zepeda outkicked fellow Mexican Sergio Jiminez to win the Twin Cities Marathon in St. Paul, Minn. Zepeda won by seven seconds in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 9 seconds.

Gwyn Coogan of Boulder, Colo., a member of the 1992 Olympic team, was the women's winner at 2:32:58.


A poll of 400 Washington state voters shows most oppose using state money to help build a new baseball stadium for the Seattle Mariners.

Results of the poll, commissioned by The Seattle Times and published in a copyright article in Sunday's editions, also suggest that state legislators dealing with a financing plan for the stadium may have some explaining to do if they run for re-election next year.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said their legislator's position on the stadium issue will be an important factor when they go to the polls next year.

The Seattle Times Washington poll was conducted Thursday and Friday by Elway Research of Seattle. The margin of error was 5 percent.

Respondents were asked whether they supported using state money to help build a new stadium for the Mariners.

Fifty-three percent opposed using state money, while 36 percent supported it and 11 percent were undecided.

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