Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Nov. 01, 1999
WINNIPEG, MB, NOVEMBER 1, 1999 (RESNEWS)
Canada Sportsbreak 11/01
Hopes, dreams and huge potential die with young
Canadian car racer Greg Moore, who was only 24 when he died yesterday, had so many plans. Winning his first race driving for Roger Penske next February was high on the list, as was winning the race yesterday with Player's/Forsythe.
The Maple Ridge Rocket, as the kid from suburban Vancouver was sometimes called in home-town newspapers, was outgoing, handsome, funny. His confidence stopped just short of cockiness. Driving with a broken bone in his right hand in the Marlboro 500 yesterday was, in his mind, no big deal at all.
Moore died of massive head and internal injuries after his rolling car slammed into an inner wall with horrific force. The Reynard Mercedes spun out of control as he drove out of Turn 2 at about 355 km/h, came down on the apron, and skipped across a section of grass, flipping it into the air with the driver exposed to the wall. On impact, the car broke in two.
Moore was racing with the broken bone, a brace and a reshaped steering wheel to ease his task after being knocked from his motor scooter by a pickup truck Saturday morning.
"I'll be fine," he said after driving three laps to test his ability with his repaired hand late Saturday afternoon. "I'm a tough Canadian kid, we're used to playing hard."
Helio Castro-Neves was following Moore when the car pivoted out of control. "I saw the whole thing," the Brazilian said.
"It was like he touched the brake as someone slowed in front of him and his car started to oversteer.
"It was very easy to lose control at that point of the track. We are going too fast to be running such small wings."
Dr. Steve Olvey, director of medical affairs for Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., defended the decision to let Moore race.
"We feel very strongly that the hand was not related to the cause (of the accident)," Olvey said in a news conference. "The question of his being able to drive was only a question of his comfort, and the possibility of this fracture being somewhat damaged by the vibration of the car and so forth. He very much wanted to drive if at all possible."
Paul Tracy, Moore's friend and fellow Canadian, sensed Moore's confidence in the moments before they climbed into their cars.
Because he had missed qualifying, Moore started last. Tracy was starting 19th.
"We talked to each other before the race and said, 'Hey we're going to work to the front, if we can hook up we'll work together.' And he was on his way (having climbed to 15th from 27th).
"I am in shock, I can't believe what's happened. He's sitting back there in a good mood before the race and he's injured and still wanted to get in the race car when he didn't have to. Nobody twisted his arm to get in the car."
Like other drivers, Tracy was not told until the race's conclusion.
"I didn't know. They just said Greg had a big accident." For 13 laps, the pace car slowed the field while debris was cleared. Outside the track medical centre, the unconscious Moore was given pulmonary resuscitation before being taken by helicopter to Loma Linda University Medical Centre. The race went on.
Moore died in hospital, according to Dr. Olvey, although according to California Speedway doctor Jeff Grange, Moore was pronounced dead at 1:21 local time. The helicopter didn't leave for hospital until 1:41.
Ric Moore was spotting for his son from the roof of the press box atop the grandstand. The racer's divorced mother, Donna, sat in the grandstand, according to a source, although the team didn't learn of her presence until later. Neither could make their way to the medical centre.
Andrew Craig, CART's chief executive officer, said no thought was given to stopping the race. "After meeting with our sponsors it was the collective feeling that the (championship) banquet (tonight) be cancelled," Craig said. "However, at the request of Greg's family they'd very much like the banquet to go ahead.
"Greg clearly was going to be a future champion in our sport, clearly and unequivocally. It's the belief of his parents he would want the banquet to go ahead to honour the champions of the sport he loved and we're going to honour that request." The Player's/Forsythe team called Moore's teammate, Patrick Carpentier, off the track as he ran in 10th place in the 20th lap.
Carpentier and his new teammate, Alex Tagliani -- signed as a result of Team Marlboro Penske picking off Moore for next season -- were too distraught to comment.
"Today, I lost one of the best friends I ever had," driver Dario Franchitti said.
"(Moore) was the guy I competed the hardest with on the track, and he was the guy I had the most fun with away from the track.
"The guy was going to be a champion many, many times over. With what has happened, nothing else matters," added Franchitti, who ended the season tied with Juan Montoya atop the CART standing but saw the championship go to his rival, who finished with more wins.
The traditional podium celebration was cancelled. In the post-race news conference, winner Adrian Fernandez cried when he was first to speak. His first win had been in the 1996 Molson Indy, when driver Jeff Krosnoff and marshal Gary Avrin died.
"I can't express how sad I feel," Fernandez said. "My heart to his dad, we should support his family."
Christian Fittipaldi, who finished third behind Max Papis, said, "It is hard to put in words but we're out there to practise a really nice sport, a very competitive sport, but we're really not out there to kill ourselves."
Papis, with Franchitti, Moore's best friend, lifted his head from his hands. "We are not here for this," he said.
Scary Halloween for Rhodes
On Halloween, the Senators hardly had enough bodies to put into costumes, but that didn't stop them from making life hell for Damian Rhodes.
Troubled by injuries and a suspension to winger Kevin Dineen, the Senators had to send out an SOS to Grand Rapids to complete their lineup card last night in their first visit to Phillips Arena.
It shouldn't come as any surprise the Senators scored on their first shot on Rhodes -- traded to Atlanta from Ottawa in the off-season -- and then kept firing on all cylinders in a 6-4 victory over the expansion Thrashers.
With the blue line depleted by the loss of Sami Salo (broken wrist) and Igor Kravchuk (knee), the Senators were forced to dress Patrick Traverse and call-ups Karel Rachunek and Kevin Miller.
Led by three-point nights from captain Shawn McEachern, winger Andreas Dackell and Magnus Arvedson, along with a solid effort by Marian Hossa, the Senators moved one point behind Toronto for first in the East.
"That was just a great team effort," said McEachern, who had a goal and two assists. "Nobody in here is talking about all the talented players who were missing. Instead, we just have guys stepping it up and getting the job done.
"We're just playing well as a team. We've got a great system and that's been the key. Everybody is playing within the system and we're getting chances."
Playing his former team for the first time since being dealt here in June, Rhodes made Senators GM Marshall Johnston look like a genius for not shelling out the $2.8 million Atlanta is paying him this season.
After rookie centre Mike Fisher scored his first NHL goal on the first shot, Rhodes looked troubled. Maybe it was because the Thrashers defence spent most of the night collapsing around him.
"I was nervous," said Rhodes. "I could tell when I laid down for my afternoon nap, because I don't remember sleeping a wink. I tossed and turned. I relaxed a little bit by the time I got to the rink, but it just wasn't my night. I wanted to play well against them."
This performance won't let Rhodes and the hapless Thrashers sleep any easier. By the end, the Senators were just padding the stats and that allowed the Thrashers to make the score respectable.
When the Senators did have a tough time, Patrick Lalime -- who made 31 saves -- stepped up with solid stops. Ottawa had only 23 shots on Rhodes.
"It just seems to me like different guys are stepping it up every night," said Ottawa defenceman Wade Redden. "The line of Arvedson, Hossa and Bonk has always been consistent, but there's been other guys.
"That's what we need right now. We've got a lot of talented guys out of the lineup and we need everybody contributing if we're going to have success.
But the happiest man in the loud dressing room was Fisher. The 19-year-old centre doesn't have to dream of his first NHL goal any more.
"That was just perfect," said Fisher, who plans to put the puck on a plaque.
A perfect start and an even better finish for the Senators.
As the northwest winds blew relentlessly onto a frigid, snow-covered McMahon Stadium turf yesterday, it was time for survival of the fittest.
Unfortunately for Calgary quarterback Dave Dickenson, he didn't survive. He went down with an apparent bruised right shoulder midway through the second quarter of the Stamps' impressive 31-24 win over the Montreal Alouettes before a hearty, announced crowd of 28,250.
While Dickenson, whose injury will be assessed today, didn't make it the distance, back-up QB Mike McCoy was the big survivor in leading the Stampeders to victory thanks to 18 unanswered fourth-quarter points.
As a team, the Stamps also survived to fight another day for first place in the West Division. The win improved their record to 12-5 and put them dead even with the B.C. Lions. However, the Leos would win a tiebreaker because they were 3-1 against the Stamps in their season series. And so, Stamps must hope for a near miracle -- an upset of B.C. by Saskatchewan on Friday, combined with a win in their regular season-ending game in Hamilton on Saturday -- in order to claim first place.
While the Stamps survived the 45-60 km winds and -1C temperature to take first place down to the wire, the loss of Dickenson was a disturbing byproduct. He suffered the shoulder injury during a 75-yd. Stamps scoring drive midway through the quarter on a pass he threw away.
The next time Calgary got the ball, with 3:43 remaining in the second quarter, McCoy was in there. After a slow start, McCoy fired up the Stampeders offence, leading them to victory on the strength of fourth-quarter TD passes of 10 and six yds. to Allen Pitts.
Afterwards, the Stamps were somewhat tight-lipped on Dickenson's injury, not even revealing which shoulder he injured. It apparently was the right one. He'd dislocated his left shoulder early in the season, causing him to miss five games. Still, the Stamps insisted the injury isn't a big deal.
"He got hit on the shoulder and he's bruised up and a little sore," said head coach Wally Buono. "It's only a bruise. We're not overly concerned. At the time, we just didn't feel he should take any more hits on it. He got hit on one of the balls he threw away. The doctors felt the shoulder was just sore."
Whether or not Dickenson's injury is more serious than the Stamps suggested will be determined by further evaluation.
Dickenson, who was in civvies on the sidelines in the second half, left the stadium right after the game.
One thing was sure -- there was no big letdown when McCoy came in.
"I think everybody here has confidence in me. They're not saying, 'Oh no, here we go' when I have to come in," McCoy said. "It just took a couple of series for me to warm up and get into the game."
Added Pitts: "Mike really got the job done. We're fortunate to have somebody like that to come in and not miss a beat."
As for the first-place chase, Pitts said, "it was a must win today to keep that alive. But it's really out of our hands, because we have to depend on somebody else. But no matter what happens, no matter where we
up, the most important thing is we have to keep playing well and trying to peak for the playoffs."
Whether that playoff run will include Dickenson is yet to be determined. But either way, Stamps plan to keep on keeping on. It's called survival.
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE STANDINGS THROUGH SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31ST
EASTERN CONFERENCE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NORTHEAST DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD TORONTO 13 9 3 1 19 38 23 7-1-1 2-2-0 OTTAWA 12 8 3 (1) 1 18 41 25 5-1-1 3-2-0 BOSTON 13 4 5 4 12 30 29 2-1-2 2-4-2 BUFFALO 12 3 7 2 8 29 38 3-2-1 0-5-1 MONTREAL 12 3 8 1 7 22 30 1-5-1 2-3-0 ATLANTIC DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD NEW JERSEY 11 6 4 (1) 1 14 30 26 4-1-0 2-3-1 PHILADELPHIA 13 6 6 (1) 1 14 37 33 5-4-0 1-2-1 NY RANGERS 13 4 7 2 10 23 30 3-5-0 1-2-2 PITTSBURGH 9 2 4 (1) 3 8 29 30 0-1-2 2-3-1 NY ISLANDERS 9 2 6 1 5 18 30 1-3-1 1-3-0 SOUTHEAST DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD FLORIDA 12 6 5 (2) 1 15 32 31 5-1-1 1-4-0 CAROLINA 11 5 3 3 13 31 27 0-1-0 5-2-3 TAMPA BAY 10 3 6 (1) 1 8 27 34 2-3-1 1-3-0 ATLANTA 10 2 6 (1) 2 7 22 38 1-4-1 1-2-1 WASHINGTON 10 2 6 2 6 23 36 1-2-1
WESTERN CONFERENCE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CENTRAL DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD DETROIT 11 7 3 (1) 1 16 38 25 5-2-0 2-1-1 ST LOUIS 11 7 4 0 14 36 24 5-2-0 2-2-0 NASHVILLE 11 4 6 1 9 26 34 2-3-0 2-3-1 CHICAGO 11 2 5 4 8 26 34 0-3-3 2-2-1 NORTHWEST DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD VANCOUVER 13 7 4 (1) 2 17 42 37 4-3-0 3-1-2 COLORADO 13 5 6 (1) 2 13 33 38 2-1-0 3-5-2 EDMONTON 11 4 5 (2) 2 12 28 28 4-1-2 0-4-0 CALGARY 13 3 8 2 8 28 45 0-3-2 3-5-0 PACIFIC DIVISION GP W L (OL) T PTS GF GA HOME ROAD SAN JOSE 15 9 5 1 19 45 35 5-2-1 4-3-0 PHOENIX 13 8 2 3 19 40 26 3-0-1 5-2-2 LOS ANGELES 13 8 3 2 18 44 33 3-1-1 5-2-1 ANAHEIM 13 6 6 (1) 1 14 36 32 4-2-0 2-4-1 DALLAS 12 6 5 1 13 23 26 4-2-1
NOTE - OVERTIME LOSSES (OL) ARE WORTH ONE POINT IN THE STANDINGS
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31ST RESULTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OTTAWA 6, ATLANTA 4 PHOENIX 3, ANAHEIM 0 EDMONTON 4, NASHVILLE 2 SAN JOSE 2, WASHINGTON 1
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST SCHEDULE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND SCHEDULE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LOS ANGELES AT PITTSBURGH 8:00P WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD SCHEDULE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ OTTAWA AT WASHINGTON 7:00P TAMPA BAY AT ATLANTA 7:30P TORONTO AT CAROLINA 7:30P BUFFALO AT DALLAS 7:30P LOS ANGELES AT DETROIT 7:30P MONTREAL AT NEW JERSEY 7:30P NY ISLANDERS AT NY RANGERS 7:30P NASHVILLE AT CALGARY 9:00P ST LOUIS AT COLORADO 9:00P FLORIDA AT EDMONTON 9:00P PHILADELPHIA AT ANAHEIM 10:30P PHOENIX AT SAN JOSE
(ALL TIMES ARE EASTERN STANDARD)
Copyright 1998 Resource News International
News Provided by COMTEX (http://www.comtexnews.com)