Originally created 05/29/99

Dragway site of top meet this weekend



Auto racing has long been a Memorial Day weekend outing -- first at Indianapolis for the Indy 500 and, in the last three decades, the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's (formerly Charlotte) Motor Speedway.

Racing fans this year can add the International Hot Rod Association's Sports Nationals at Carolina Dragway in Jackson, S.C..

Qualifying and runoffs in eight Sportsman classes will start at 8:30 a.m today in the IHRA event at Carolina Dragway. Early qualifying began on Friday.

A "Night of Fire" exhibition and Pro Mod exhibition runs will be held tonight.

With more than 400 entries in this weekend's event, final eliminations are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Tickets, available at the gate, today and Sunday are $15 each day, with children 6-12 admitted for $5. Call (803) 266-5831 for ticket information.

Competition includes Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Modified, Quick Rod, Super Rod, Hot Rod, Super Stock and Stock.

Carolina Dragway is located in Jackson, just off Highway 125.

FOOTBALL:

The Wal-Mart store off Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez is the site today of the unveiling of the logo for the Augusta Heat of the International Football League.

The public is invited to meet Heat players and cheerleaders and vote on the finalists in the Heat's Name and Color the Mascot contest starting at noon and winding up at 3 p.m.

Parents are encouraged to bring their kids and vote on the best artwork out of 2,111 entries from four counties in each classification. The winner gets a $250 savings bond.

GOLF:

Officials have closed Pinehurst's No. 2 course to give maintenance crews nearly three weeks to prepare it for the 99th U.S. Open.

The North Carolina course, which is open to the public, was shut down Thursday. The tournament runs June 17-20.

An investment group headlined by Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth hopes to close a deal soon for the purchase of the famed Pebble Beach golf course.

Palmer indicated a deal could come at any time. "I've been waiting to hear something the last couple of days," he said.

Palmer would not discuss the price but there has been speculation the Pebble Beach resort could go for between $800 million and $1 billion.

The resort properties include four golf courses -- the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, Del Monte Golf Course, along with two luxury hotels and the spectacular 17-Mile Drive that winds through Pebble Beach and nearby Del Monte Forest.

BASEBALL:

Greenbrier seniors Hampton Rowland and Dewayne Lowe signed baseball scholarships on Friday.

Rowland signed to play at Middle Georgia College next season, while Lowe signed with Young Harris College.

Last season, second baseman Rowland hit .339 with nine homers and 38 RBI, while accumulating an 11-3 record on the mound.

Center fielder Lowe hit .252 with 10 doubles and led the team with 31 walks and 45 runs scored.