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Sports Shorts

May 5, 1989

PHOENIX (AP) _ Defending Formula One world campion Aryton Senna of Brazil will be among the drivers when the Phoenix Grand Prix, a race some thought would never happen, gets under way in less than a month.

Officials announced Thursday that 39 cars have been entered in the race set for June 2-4 over downtown Phoenix streets.

Joining Senna and teammate Alain Prost of France will be U.S. Driver Eddie Cheever, a Phoenix native, who will team up with England’s Derek Warwick, the Formula One Constructors’ Association said.

A surprise entry was that of Gerhard Berger, who survived a flaming crash at Imola in the San Marino Grand Prix two weeks ago. Berger will be joined by Nigel Mansell, who won the opening round of the Grand Prix season in Brazil.

Thirteen of the cars will face pre-qualifying runs on June 2 to become eligile for the final qualifying sessions June 2 and 3.

Since January, when the event was approved by the Phoenix City Council, naysayers have been objecting to the race or doubting it would ever come off. Some claimed fans would not tolerate the expected 100-degree conditions on the streets of downtown Phoenix.

Others said the promised economic bonanza would not materialize for the city, that Phoenix officials lacked the experience to handle such an event, and that facilities couldn’t be readied in only 4 1/2 months.

But with nearly a month left for preparation, the 2.36-mile race route has passed its final inspection, the press tower, pit areas and parking garages built, and concrete barriers and fences readied for setup.


IRVING, Texas (AP) - Quarterback Danny White says he is pleased to get a chance to compete for a roster spot next season with the Dallas Cowboys.

White emerged from a meeting Thursday with owner Jerry Jones and Coach Jimmy Johnson with a chance to compete, but no guarantees.

White, a 14 year veteran, said he expects to sign a contract before the start of a voluntary quarterback school May 15. White, a free agent, is expected to make far less than the $605,000 he made during the final year of his contract.

Earlier the Cowboys had declined to pick up the option year of his contract, leading to speculation that he was going to join so many other people from the Tom Landry-Tex Schramm era and be looking for a new job.

The Cowboys, with the first choice in last month’s NFL draft, took quarterback Troy Aikman of UCLA.


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - Trevor Berbick, a former world heavyweight boxing champion, was found not guilty of sexually assaulting a Halifax teenager in her parents’ house four years ago.

In handing down his verdict Thursday, county court Judge Felix Cacchione said he did not find the teenager, now 19, a credible witness. There were too many inconsistencies in her testimony, he said.

Berbick, 36, who once lived in Halifax and now resides in Florida, said he was relieved by the decision. But he said the court case robbed him of his concentration and cost him millions of dollars in potential fight earnings.

The woman, whose identity is protected by law, told the court Berbick pinned her down and proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her despite her struggles and protests.

However, a doctor who examined the woman the day after the alleged offense said she showed no signs of forced intercourse.

Berbick admitted having some contact with the woman, but said she initiated it. He said intercourse did not take place.

Cacchione said he was not convinced that either Berbick or the woman was telling the complete truth.

The Jamaican-born boxer won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 but lost it a year later to Mike Tyson.


TORONTO (AP) - George Bell of the Toronto Nlue Bays says he will appeal a two-game suspension handed him for charging Oakland A’s pitcher Gene Nelson.

Bell will be permitted to play until the suspension is heard by American League president Bobby Brown.

With two out in the ninth inning and nobody on base Tuesday night, Nelson hit the Bell with a pitch in the chest area. Bell charged the mound, bowling into Nelson and knocking him over.

Players from both benches emptied on to the field.

Nelson stood his ground, but ducked into a crouch when Bell arrived at full speed.

Reacting to news of the suspension, Bell said Thursday that he believed Nelson threw at him intentionally. He said he felt he was within his rights to charge the mound.

Update hourly