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February 18, 2001
Daytona 500/Motorsports
Promise kept
photo
[Times photo: John Pendygraft]
Adam Petty would be starting his first full Winston Cup season today at Daytona, but he was killed in a crash last year. Father Kyle wouldn't let his son's dream die, too.

Gordon’s engine woes make crew scramble
DAYTONA BEACH -- For the second straight year, final practice for the Daytona 500 left one top team scurrying to repair its car.

Team effort gets LaJoie to the top
The veteran wins his third NAPA 300 thanks in part to owner/teammate Joe Nemechek.

Dunn’s run holds up in Top Fuel field
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Mike Dunn earned his 12th career Top Fuel qualifying spot for today's finals of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals.

Hubert Mizell
Olden Bear is ready to roar
With a lifetime of golfing treasures, 61-year-old Jack Nicklaus is worlds ahead of Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Walter Hagen, Lee Trevino, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and all the celebrated others.

Devil Rays
Getting ready for the big test
Both Wilson Alvarez and the Rays have a good deal riding on the left-hander's comeback from last season's shoulder surgery. He is making steady progress.

Abernathy has luck of draw
ST. PETERSBURG -- Brent Abernathy went to Australia to win gold. He had no idea he also would win cash.

Hernandez to be missed in many ways
ST. PETERSBURG -- There is no doubt the Rays will miss Roberto Hernandez's pitching ability. He may have occasionally made things more exciting than they needed to be, but there is no easy way -- as the Rays soon will find out -- to replace his experience in getting the precious final outs in a game.

Join our WHO-RAY contest ...
Throughout spring training, the Times will pose a trivia question -- in varying degrees of difficulty -- about a Rays player. For the fans who really know their way around the Rays, we have a suite deal -- watching the July 6 game from the Times' suite at Tropicana Field.

Verizon Classic
Stiff test fits Irwin to a tee
The seniors wanted tougher course setups, and they found one at the TPC of Tampa Bay.

Johnson thrilled by return to roots
Monday qualifier learned the game in Tampa and found his greatest thrill at the TPC.

Floyd’s hopes sink despite solid play
LUTZ -- Raymond Floyd was one shot out of the lead Saturday when he walked onto the 197-yard, par-3 17th hole. Floyd was 4-under par, along with playing partner Jack Nicklaus, and closing on leader Hale Irwin.

Lightning/NHL
Late flurry not enough to overcome mistakes
Tampa Bay loses 5-4 on national TV by playing poor defense and giving up three goals to N.Y.'s Petr Nedved.

Trainer: Weekes healing properly
TAMPA -- Goaltender Kevin Weekes said he asked head medical trainer Dave Boyer about using a pain-numbing agent on his injured groin to get in the lineup more quickly, but Boyer dissuaded him.

NHL briefs
Bettman upholds Nolan's suspension

Gretzky: the Great Executive
Wayne Gretzky likes to think of himself as one of the guys.

Slap shots
BUDDING NATURALIST?: This probably is more information than you want, or need, to know, but Nashville forward Scott Walker likes to be naked in his hotel room on road trips. Amazingly, he doesn't mind talking about it.

Letters
Race card gets played too often
I just read the article Darrell Fry wrote about (Ravens assistant) coach Marvin Lewis. I cannot believe the Times would waste this much space on such a senseless article.

Baseball
Baseball briefs
Strained calf slows Hampton

Stottlemyre thrilled to return to Yankees
There are certain hazards that go with having a low immune system. Certain rules that must be followed. Stay away from crowds. Avoid children. Treat someone with a cold as if they have the plague.

NBA
NBA briefs
Nelson close to return

College basketball
Cavs stop upset at last second
Late three keeps FSU from beating its second straight ranked team.

Today: USF women vs. Marquette
WHEN/WHERE: 2; USF Sun Dome, Tampa.

College basketball this week on TV

College basketball briefs
Hurricanes bury Villanova

Women’s college basketball briefs
Rutgers takes down unbeaten Irish

Et cetera
Mizell mailbag
NCAA recruiting needs a new set of standards

Gasparilla flourishing despite no prize fund
The annual race, which offered money until three years ago, is on target to have more runners this year than at any other point in its history.

Sports briefs
Songandaprayer never trails in Derby prep

College sports briefs
Jacksonville DH rips USF in 11-9 victory

Outdoors
Keep a memory, release the fish
REDINGTON LONG PIER -- William Pelno had caught his share of monster redfish, but his friends never believed him.

Captain’s corner
March is one of the best times for artificial lures. Extreme low tides and a lack of baitfish leave the flats void of action.

Outdoors calendar

Preps
Leopards meet goal ... and win 4A-8 title
BROOKSVILLE -- Before the season, Hernando coach Charlie Williams set a realistic goal for his team: a respectable 15 wins.

Seven Rivers overwhelmed
CITRUS SPRINGS -- The best punch Seven Rivers Christian had to offer stunned fifth-ranked Ocala Shores Christian but couldn't knock it off of its feet.

PHU’s Goetz places 4th to reach state
ORLANDO -- There were few surprises at the Class 3A, Region 2 meet, but those that did occur were big enough to make up for the whole night.

Osceola comes close to regional championship
IMMOKALEE -- For Osceola, district titles are commonplace.

Offense helps Bogie hold off Countryside
Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman has made no secret of the fact his team has relied on defense to carry a sluggish offense this season.

Osceola misses title, but sends six to state
IMMOKALEE -- For Osceola, district titles are commonplace.

4th-quarter falter costs Brandon district title
SARASOTA -- It took Port Charlotte almost 35 minutes to gain the lead. When the Pirates got it, there was no way they were letting Brandon take it back.

Springstead rules; sends 8 to state
BROOKSVILLE -- Springstead closed the Class A, Region 2 tournament Saturday the same way it began it -- by dominating.

Land O’Lakes sends 6 to state meet
Four Gators win championships and two others place second in the 2A-3 regional tournament.

Plant rallies for 5A-11 title
TAMPA -- For Plant, it was a perfect way to enter this week's regional playoffs.

Cowboys knock off Bulls in ugly game
TAMPA -- Gaither scored only 34 points in its Class 6A, District 7 final, but that was fine with Cowboy coach Dwayne Olinger.

Slow start dooms PHU against Land O'Lakes
NEW PORT RICHEY -- Give Palm Harbor University some credit. In reaching the finals of the Class 5A, District 9 tournament, the Hurricanes turned in the most exciting performances of the week.

Adjustments pay off for Mustangs
Northside Christian shuts IRC's top scorer down in the second half and wins the 2A-10 title.

Lakewood wins round three
The Spartans use a second-quarter surge to top Largo 79-61 to complete a sweep, and by a far bigger margin than in the other two meetings this season.

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