The Michigan Daily-- Friday, March 17, 1989 --Page 11
'King' Petty makes
Ann Arbor pit stop
Gymnasts swing into Big Tens
BY JAMES BURGESS
Richard Petty, the "king" of
American stock car racing, spoke
Wednesday to the Society of Auto-
motive Engineers before a packed
lecture hall on North Campus. The
seven-time winner of the Daytona
500, accompanied by racing cohort
Dave Brown, answered 40 minutes
of questions ranging from how he
got started in racing to his own
habits on the highway.
"In our part of the country (North
Carolina), there wasn't any football,
basketball, or baseball, so racing was
the only professional sport we had,"
Petty said. He got his start in racing
40 years ago, working on his father's
race cars. Petty likened racing to
engineering, in that a strong team
effort is necessary to be successful.
He also fielded questions on racing
0 today .and on recent changes, such as
Goodyear's radial racing tires.
THE QUESTIONS were tech-
nical and academic at first. But with
time, the focus of the questioning
shifted to what it's like to be behind
the wheel of a machine rocketing
around a track at around two hundred
miles per hour.
Brown put it nicely. "When you
drive 190 miles per hour and hit
something that doesn't move," he
said, smiling, "things happen."
Richard Petty is no stranger to
the things that happen. He has
suffered numerous broken ribs, legs,
and once a broken neck. A week after
the broken neck, Petty was racing
again. He has lost nearly half his
hearing due to years of roaring
exhaust, and half his stomach has
been eaten by ulcers. But to Petty,
injuries are just the "price of
admission." When asked about fear,
he said: "if anything happens, there's
no time to be scared. And when it's
over, there's no reason to be."
THIS down-to-earth daredevil in
his patent black sunglasses drew
more than just engineering hopefuls
to the EECS building. Thirteen-
year-old David Barth came with his
father Tony all the way from the
Chelsea-Manchester area to see Petty.
And although to him "Grand Prix
rules" over stock car racing, he was
certainly excited to listen to the king.
If SAE members learned one
thing about professional racers, it's
that they don't lose their sense of
humor off the track. His favorite
track? "Any race track I can win on,"
Petty said in his southern drawl. Did
he like the movie made about him
and his father? "I'd have liked it better
if they'd paid." This comment earned
him a round of applause.
HE EVEN had an opinion on
driver's education. "I just had a
fifteen-year-old daughter get done
with it and she'd come in and ask me
what I'd do in a situation...and then
she would say "Well that's not what
SAE was able to book Petty
thanks to Brown, who is Chief Man-
ager of Motor Sports at Pontiac.
Brown, who raced professionally for
11 years, is on hand for nearly half of
Petty's races each season. As SAE
offers its members hands-on exper-
ience through automotive projects,
he was pleased to ask Petty to address
the student organization. "Young
people are more enthusiastic about
auto racing and the competition it
provides," he said. "That's the kind
of spirit the industry needs to survive
BY MARK KATZ
The Michigan women's gymnastics team
competes in its final do-or-die meet of the season this
weekend at the Big Ten Championships in Iowa City.
The Wolverines are currently in eighth place in the
Big Ten, with scores pacing them closely behind
seventh-place Iowa. Michigan must attain a high
enough score this weekend to break into the top seven
of the Big Ten. The first seven teams are guaranteed
~ invitations to the NCAA Regionals, April 1.
Coming off its second-highest score ever (183.75)
against Michigan State and Western Michigan the
team brings much momentum into Iowa. "I think
we're really at our peak now," first-year gymnast
Diane Armento said. "We're the most consistent and
the most confident we've been this year."
Armento stressed the need for the entire team to
maintain the same goals and attitudes going into the
meet as they have at other meets in the past. "We've
got to go in with confidence. We have to know we
can win, and keep together, always supporting each
The Wolverine gymnast have been kept back from
higher scores in past meets because of falls on the
balance beam, especially at last week's meet. "Beam
events really make or break a meet," Armento said.
"Whoever stays on the beam will probably win the
competition or at least fare much better than most of
the other teams.
"It's been a very risky event, but our goal is still
to hit all six out of six routines this weekend."
Michigan will need strong performances from
senior all-around gymnasts Janne Klepek and Amy
Meyer, who both could be competing in the last teams
meet of their college careers. Klepek has already "95
percent secured a place at regionals for her individual
all-around performance," according to coach Dana
Kempthorn. Klepek recorded a career best score of
38.1 in the all-around competition three weeks ago at
Stanford, and has followed that up with equally
impressive performances in the past two weeks.
I think we're really at
our peak now. We're the
most consistent and the
most . confident we've
been this year.'.
- Diane Armento
'M' carries big
BY JAY MOSES
The Michigan baseball team continued play in
the Rollins Invitational Tournament this week,
defeating rivals from both the east and the west.
Wednesday, the Wolverines downed Portland
State (11-3) of the Pac Ten North Conference,
10-6, and yesterday, they trounced Ivy League foe
Yale by a score of 18-5. The two victories raised
Michigan's record to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in the
In Wednesday's game, first-year pitcher Russ
Brock (1-1) notched the victory. Brock was
supported by 2 2/3 innings from sophomore Jeff
Tanderys, and junior John Locker got the last out
of the game for his first save of the season.
Offensively, the Wolverines were paced by a
four-run fourth inning. Sophomore second
stick in two spring-trip victories
baseman Matt Morse continued his assault on
opposing pitching with two run-scoring doubles.
Sophomores Dave Everly and Greg Haeger hit
Thursday, the Wolverines unleashed a furious
offensive attack against Yale for the second time
this week. The highlights included an eight-run
seventh inning, which marked the fourth time in
the two Yale games that the Wolverines have
batted around in an inning.
Individual offensive efforts were led by junior
outfielder Phil Price, who went 3-for-3 with three
walks and four runs scored. Haeger was 2-for-4
with two doubles, and was credited with his third
game-winning RBI in only four Michigan
Sophomore lefthander Kirt Ojala (1-0) picked
up the win for the Wolverines.
Michigan has been very impressive offensive-
ly, with its four wins coming by a combined
score of 59-14. The three Wolverine losses have
all been one-run affairs - 3-2, 10-9, and 3-2.
Michigan finishes the Rollins Invitational. and.
its Florida spring trip with games today against
host Rollins and tomorrow against Portland
State. If the Wolverines beat Rollins, they are
assured at least a tie for the tournament
championship. If a tie should occur, and runs
scored is the deciding factor, Michigan's fearsome
output would put it over the top.
St. Patrick's Day and the 18th
Rugby club kicks
off spring season
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Michigan Rugby club opens
its spring season on the road this
weekend against the Cincinnati Rug-
. The Michigan team enjoyed a
successful fall season with second-
place finishes in the Michigan Cup
Tournament and the Big Ten tourna-
ment, the latter earning them a berth
in the Midwest Rugby Tournament.
The Wolverines' first home game
will be March 25 versus the Detroit
If Michigan's basketball team
wins today and Sunday, tickets for
next weekend's Regional in
Lexington, Kentucky will go on sale
on a first-come, first-served basis
Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Athletic
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Humanities Institute Guest Speaker-
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