Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Sports digest


IRL adds road trips to 2005 schedule

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indy Racing League will break from its all-oval roots next year with its first road-course events since the open-wheel series started in 1996.

On Tuesday, the IRL released a 16-race schedule for 2005. Added were races on the road courses in Sonoma, Calif., on Aug. 28, and Watkins Glen, N.Y., on Sept. 25.

The addition of the road courses to the IRL schedule follows the move of several teams - including Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Green Racing - in recent years from road-course dominant CART, now known as the Champ Car World Series.

Next year's IRL season will begin March 6 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The IRL will come to Kentucky Speedway Aug. 15 for the Belterra Casino Indy 300. Next year, the race in Sparta will be Aug. 14.

NHL

BRUINS: Boston will pay defenseman Sergei Gonchar $5.5 million next season - a 51 percent raise ordered by an arbitrator and accepted by the team Tuesday.

Gonchar, 30, was sent by Washington to Boston near the March trade deadline. His salary arbitration hearing Sunday was the first of the NHL offseason.

Gonchar has 148 goals and 277 assists in 669 NHL games. He was a member of Russia's bronze-medalist team at the 2002 Olympics.

Harness racing

HAMBLETONIAN: The name Tom Ridge might make headlines again this weekend, this time in the sports section instead of page one.

Tom Ridge, the trotter named in honor of the former Pennsylvania governor and current Homeland Security Secretary, races Saturday in harness racing's most prestigious race.

The 3-year-old colt drew the No. 6 post position Tuesday and was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands.

Tom Ridge, who has won eight of 12 races, was impressive in winning his elimination heat in 1:52.3, the fastest elimination in Hambletonian history.

The colt, who will have Meadowlands' leading driver Ron Pierce in the sulky, reached the finish line last Saturday almost 2 lengths in front of Cash Hall.

The time was almost two seconds faster than the one posted by Eilean Donon, who won the other elimination in 1:54.2.

The top five horses in each elimination advanced to the final.

Golf

OHIO OPEN: Bob Sowards shot a 6-under-par 66 Tuesday at Barrington Golf Club in Aurora to claim a one-shot lead after two rounds of the 81st Sky Bank Ohio Open.

Sowards, who won the event in 2002, has a two-round total of 9-under 135 and will be paired in the final round today with first-round leader Barry Hinckley, who is at 136.




BENGALS / NFL
Defense focuses on 3rd down
Photos of Tuesday's camp
Coaching staff heavy on defense
Lewis set for long haul with new deal
Bengals e-mail Q&A
Meet the Bengals: Langston Moore
Even veterans have learning to do
Steelers reach terms with Roethlisberger
Fit hip has RB Holmes feeling fine
NFL notebook: Brown expects Oakland exit

REDS / BASEBALL
Woes continue for Reds
Griffey getting back in Reds' lineup
Healthy team on horizon
Detroit earning respect
Former voice of the Mets, 79, dies
Yankees look to fill hole at first by signing Olerud
NL: Batista's slam tops Cards in 12
AL: Boston's Schilling controls Tampa Bay
AAA: Charlotte 9, Louisville 8

MASTERS TENNIS
Federer is frustrated again
Photos of Tuesday's action
Down a set, Roddick finds game in time
Hrbaty downs No. 1 player - again
Henman happy as spotlight goes past
Upstart Kiefer keeps winning
Family, success on court link coaches
Masters schedule, results

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Cardinals aim to go out on a high
RedHawks picked 2nd in MAC East
College football notebook

BASKETBALL
Top college hoops city? We're No. 1
Mavericks' Walker reportedly Hawks-bound in 4-player deal

OLYMPICS
Games matter, but they could mean more
Italy surprises young U.S. with upset in Athens tuneup
Olympics special section
Photo gallery: A look at local Olympians
Editorial: Congratulations to our local Olympians
2004 Summer Olympics schedule
Olympics guide, multimedia

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
It's a bit less sport, a bit more showbiz
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio

THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
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