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Another Andretti at Indy

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2003


DAYTONA BEACH -- John Andretti got permission from his NASCAR bosses to run in the Indianapolis 500 this season. He'll race against his cousin one last time.

Former CART champion Michael Andretti said last week he'll retire after the Indy 500 in May to concentrate on being a car owner.

John Andretti, who races for Petty Enterprises in Winston Cup, has not run the 500 since 1994, when he became the first to run at Indy and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.

WINTERNATIONALS: Tim Wilkerson clocked a career-best 4.759 seconds time at 318.32 mph to be the surprise Funny Car qualifying leader in the NHRA opener at Pomona, Calif. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel) and Troy Coughlin (Pro Stock) also led their divisions. Qualifying continues today.

EARNHARDT TRIBUTE: Brooks and Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Chesney and Alabama will headline the Dale Earnhardt Tribute Concert, a charity event put on by Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. The concert, June28 at Daytona International Speedway, will be the first nonracing event at the facility. Tickets for the general public go on sale March 22. Premium subscribers to the Dale Earnhardt Inc. Web site, which is being launched next week, can purchase tickets starting March3.

BUD SHOOTOUT: Geoffrey Bodine, who isn't even racing in the Daytona 500, drew the pole position for Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout, a NASCAR exhibition race. He will run in a car owned by his brother, Brett.

FORMULA ONE: Ferrari hired Felipe Massa as its second test driver. The former Sauber driver will share duties with Luca Badoer.

OBITUARY: Manfred von Brauchitsch, a Grand Prix winner in the 1930s who became a senior sports official in East Germany after World War II, died in Graefenwarth, Germany, at 97. In May 1953, West German police arrested him on suspicion that he was planning an act of treason. During his release on bail two years later, he defected to East Germany, leaving behind his first wife, Gisela, who committed suicide in 1957.

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