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July 18, 1981 - Image 10

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-18

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Page 10-Soturday, July l8, 1981- ,The MichiganDoily
Michigan 500 gears up

4

Wait her
qualifies
wi*th day's
top speed
BROOKLYN (AP) - Salt Walther led
second-day qualifiers yesterday for the
$500,000 Michigan International Speed-
way, turning in a fast lap of 193.876 mph
on the two-mile, high-banked oval.
The veteran Indy car racer, best
remembered for his part in the
horrifying crash at the start of the 1973
Indianapolis 500 in which he was badly
burned, ran his fast lap in a Cosworth-
powered Phoenix racer.
WALTHER RECENTLY bought the
car, in which Tom Sneva won- last
year's season finale at Phoenix, from
the team operated by George Bignotti
and Dan Cotter.
"This is an incredible car," said the
33-year-old Walther, who never has
finished higher than fourth ineprevious
Indy car starts.
"We're the 11th fastest car in the field
now, but if we had run yesterday
(Thursday), we would have run 199 and
been in the second row. The weather

.was a lot cooler and the track was a lot
faster then.
"I KNOW darn good and well if the
car runs all day Sunday, if the crew
does its job and I do my job, we'll be in
the top two or three when it's over."
Walther, who was unable to get his
car ready in time to qualify during
Thursday's opening session of time
trials, will start 28th in the field.
In all, six drivers made it into the
lineup for tomorrow's race, most of
them bumping slower cars. None of the
other qualifiers yesterday got over 188
mph, with rookie Chip Mead second to
Walther at 187.734.
CLIFF HUCUL, who was involved in
one of two minor crashes during prac-
tice yesterday, managed to get his car
into the lineup after going out onto the
track just seconds before the qualifying
period was ended. His fast lap of 180.995
was the slowest among the 33 qualifiers
now in the field.
Roger Penske, owner of the Michigan
track, also announced the addition of a
10-lap promoter's qualifying race
today.
All the cars at the track which failed
to qualify during the first two sessions
of time trials will be eligible for the
sprint race.
STEVE CHASSEY and Bill Tempero,
the field alternates by virtue of being
the fastest of the bumped drivers, must
take part in the qualifying race, but are
guaranteed spots in tomorrow's field.
The two top finishers, excluding
Chassey and Tempero, in the 10-lapper
also will be added, raising the starting
lineup to 37 cars.
The 500-mile race, which will be
televised live by NBC, is scheduled to
start at 3 p.m. EDT.

Track owner
Penske talks
about race'
past and
its promise-
BROOKLYN (AP)-Track owner
Roger Penske readily admits there is
no event that is going to challenge the
Indianapolis 500 as the crown jewel of
auto racing in the foreseeable future.
But Penske feels strongly that
tomorrow's $500,000 Norton Michigan
500 at Michigan International Speed-
way is going to be the start of
something big.
PENSKE, A New Jersey
businessman, who operates the Penske
Racing Team and the Michigan track
as part of a conglomerate that did more
than $200 million in business in 1980,
bought MIS in May of 1973.
"I bought the track as an invest-
ment," Penske explained. "It was
probably equally important because I
love racing and was interested in the
sport, but it gave me the opportunity of
tying it in with my businesses and using
it as a test facility.
"But, when I bought it, the track had

a contract for two NASCAR stock car
races a year and the Indy cars that
were run here were never as successful
as the stock car races from the stan-
dpoint of attendance.
"AND WE'VE had had, some great
Indy car races here. The one last Sep-
tember was probably the best I've ever
seen. There were four of five cars
wheel-to-wheel at 190 mph for'150 miles.
"But, the moment we announced we
were going to have a 500-mile Indy car
race here, it was like I had invented a
new formula," the dapper, white-
haired 44-year-old explained. "The
ticket sales jumped almost 100 percent
over last year.
"Now last year wasn't our best year.
We know that the economy in the
Michigan area, because of the
automotive industry's problems, isn't
up to where it could be, and will be,
hopefully, shortly.
"IT WAS OBVIOUS that the 500-mile
race had some real promise," Penske
added. "The sponsors (of his team
cars) liked it and we were fortunate
enough to talk to a television network,
NBC. They said if we ran a 500-mile
race, they would televise it live.
"When I looked at the economics,
looked at putting up $250,000 for the
purse, we had the television to offset
some of that. And, with the ticket sales
going up, I said we've really got to get
behind that."
The purse wound up at a half million
dollars, with the winner to get $100,000.
That doesn't compare to the $1.5 million
purse at Indy and the payoff of more
than $200,000 to the winner there.
Indianapolis, which ran its 65th
edition in May, draws more than 300,000
spectators, while Michigan, which has
only about 38,000 seats, will bring in
about 70,000 persons tomorrow.

4

4

SPORTS OF THE DAILY:

4

Red Wings
DETROIT (UPI) - Detroit Red
Wings goaltender Gilles Gilbert has
renewed his contract for another year,
Detroit Hockey Club's General Counsel
Robert Cavalieri announced yesterday.
Gilbert, 32, came to the Red Wings
from the Boston Bruins in exchange for
goalie Rogie Vachon in July, 1980, and
played in 48 games for the Wings during
the 1980-1981 season.
Despite injuries and illness - in-
cluding a sprained thumb on his cat-
ching hand. viral infections and severe
headaches - the 6-foot-1, 175-pound
Gilbert still led the Red Wings in "first-
star selections" and posted a 4.59 goals
against average.

,rwtert
itra renewe

sign goaltender Gilbert
Last season was the first year in his advocated the elimination of the third-
12-year pro career that Gilbert had a place game which directly preceded the
goals-against average that surpassed championship match.
the 4.00 mark. "We are concerned about some ad-
NCAA tourney change ministrative problems this change
could present for the committee and the
MISSION, Kan. (AP) - The third- participating and host institutions,"
place consolation game of the NCAA Duke said, "but we are more sensitive
basketball tournament is now a thing of to the attitude of the student-athletes
the past and the tourney field, at least who play in this game."
for the present, will remain at 48 teams. F sign
Those were the highlights of the NFL draft choices
results of the Division I Basketball TAMPA BAY, FLa. (AP) - The
Committee's meeting yesterday at Tampa Bay Buccaneers' number one
NCAA headquarters. The committee draft choice, linebacker Hugh Green,
met earlier in the week in Chatham, signed his contract only hours before
Mass. training camp opened. Green, who
THERE WAS support among some played his college ball at Pittsburgh,
basketball people to expand the field to refused to disclose the terms of his
64 teams beginning next year. multi-year contract, signed just before
"The tournament has undergone ex- midnight Thursday.
tensive administrative changes in In other draft signings around the
recent years, and we did not feel it was league, the Baltimore Colts signed first
wise to expand the bracket at this round draft choice Donnell Thompson,
time," committee chairman Wayne a defensive lineman at North Carolina,
Duke said in a prepared news release. who is expected to take the place of
"We have just completed the two most Fred Cook, who has asked to be traded.
successful tournaments in history with The Minnesota Vikings, meanwhile,
the 48-team bracket and we did not signed second round pick Jarvis Red-
determine there was enough merit to wine, a star running back at Nebraska.
change this format." Redwine signed three one-year con-
Coaches and players alike have long tracts.

4

VIDEO FREAKS-GET EXPOSURE
in the Liberty St. Video Festival held in Liberty Plaza
7-22 to 7-25 (ART FAIR!) For your original video work to be
shown, please send to:
Public Access c/o Street Festival
107 N. Fifth Ave.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48107
At the Video Festival there will be % and 2 inch decks. Tapes
will be shown continuously from oIam-2 pm, during the Art
Fair. Interested in becoming involved? Call 665-4901. Spon-
sored by Public Access of Ann Arbor.

4

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