Originally created 01/10/01


Bill Davis and the rest of his Winston Cup team are feeling a lot better about their chances for a competitive start to the new season after two days of testing their new Dodge cars and engines in Las Vegas.

Davis, along with drivers Ward Burton and Dave Blaney and engine builder Terry Elledge, flew from Nevada overnight to take part in the first day of the annual motorsports media tour hosted by Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

"We did durability testing on the motor, and everybody was happy," Davis said. "We're really happy with the progress of the Dodge. It's going to be a great car."

DaimlerChrysler's Dodge brand is re-entering NASCAR's top division after a 16-year absence, with five teams and 10 drivers. The project to design, build and race the all-new Intrepids and their all-new Winston Cup engines has taken more than a year and will get the ultimate test on Feb. 18 in the season-opening Daytona 500.

The other Dodge teams and drivers include Evernham Motorsports with Bill Elliott and rookie Casey Atwood; Petty Enterprises with John Andretti, Kyle Petty and Buckshot Jones; Melling Racing with Stacy Compton , and Ganassi Racing with Sterling Marlin and a driver yet to be selected. All of those teams took part in the Las Vegas test.


Retired Houston Comets guard Cynthia Cooper is leaving town with four WNBA championship rings and already thinking about returning to face her old teammates as coach of the Phoenix Mercury.

Cooper bid farewell Tuesday to Comets coach Van Chancellor, a day after she accepted the offer to coach the Mercury, replacing Cheryl Miller, who resigned Dec. 1 to devote full time to her broadcasting duties.

The Comets and Mercury will meet for the first of three meetings June 8 at Phoenix.

Cooper retired after helping lead the Comets to their fourth straight WNBA title last year. She was the WNBA championship series MVP all four years of the league's existence and she led the league in scoring her first three years.

A rematch of last year's Western Conference final between the four-time defending champion Comets and the Los Angeles Sparks on Memorial Day will mark the start of the WNBA's fifth season.

The May 28 game, at Houston's Compaq Center, will be the first of 10 regular-season telecasts on NBC.

Additionally, ESPN will televise 11 regular-season games and ESPN2, for the first time, will televise 10 games.

ESPN also will broadcast the 2001 WNBA All-Star Game on July 16 in Orlando, Fla.


Dogwood Stable has shipped Trippi, a 4-year old with earnings of $620,500 in 10 starts, to Florida to prepare for a possible run in the Breeders' Cup Spring Championship at Gulfstream Park.

Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell said Trippi, who has been "on vacation in Aiken" since November, will run the 2001 campaign and go to stud at Vinery Kentucky, one of his owners, in the fall.

Four other Dogwood horses also were shipped to Florida with Trippi.


Four Augusta Fencing Club members won medals over the weekend in the annual Geoff Elder tournament in Statesboro, Ga.

Kevin Matthews won a silver in D-and-under foil; Brian Barnes and Collin McCoy tied for the bronze in Men's Open Sabre, and Louise Moore took a bronze in the Women's Open Foil.


As a middleweight, Hungary's Laszlo Papp, the first three-time Olympic boxing champion, was unstoppable in the ring.

It took politicians in his Communist homeland to do that. They forced him into retirement before he could fight for a world championship.

A world title may have eluded him but enshrinement as one of boxing's all-time greats did not. He was among the 16 people selected Tuesday for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Three weeks after he needed brain surgery to remove a blood clot, boxer Paul Ingle has begun walking. He's even cursing, and his doctors are pleased to hear it.

Surgeons in Sheffield, England, operated on the fighter minutes after he lost his IBF featherweight title to South Africa's Mbulelo Botile.


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