Gordon Johncock, 1973 winner of the Indianapolis 500, took his first run around the Speedway under the "boost" restrictions that helped precipitate the USAC-CART rift and declared yesterday, "It was like going 80 miles per hour in a passenger car - there is no feeling there.
"It's just dead."
Two-time Speedway champ Johnny Rutherford like Johncock is one of the drivers admitted by court order to trials for the May 27 classic after USAC barred them because of their car owners' dispute with the establishment.
Rutherford reckoned the top cars probably won't average 190 mph in qualifying (compared to the 202 mph by pole winner Tom Sneva last year). George Bignotti, chief mechanic for the racing team headed by dissident leader Pat Patrick for which Johncock will drive, added, "Nobody will run 190 unless they cheat."
Better dead rides at 200 fewer horsepower than heretofore instead of dead drivers at upward of 200 mph?
Associated Press pollees among the sports media have followed up their pick of Muhammad Ali as 1968-78 athlete of the decade by crowning Jack Nicklaus athlete of the 1969-79 decade.
Mr. Golf earned 2,548 points, including 123 of 319 first-place votes; Rod Carew was runner-up, 2,374 (67 first).
Friday midnight is deadline for Redskin football season-ticket renewals-but no need for those on the waiting list to hold breaths. As usual, upward of 99 percent of the ticket holders-in-perpetuity won't let go . . . Old Redskin-let-go-prematurely-maybe Len Hauss comes for some glad-handing May 22 in the Rayburn House Office Building. U. of Georgia Alumni will salute old grad Hauss and Joel Eaves, concluding 15 years at Bulldog athletic director. . .
Nice to see Paul Blair land on his feet again, the longtime Oriole outfielder cut by the Yanks signing with another contender (?), Cincinnati. . . And Washington's Willie Wood find coaching employment anew, showing the Toronto Argonaut defensive backs how to cover their extra-wide, extra-long, CFL territory. . . .
Allen Harvin, U. of Cincinnati running back sweating out charges of receiving stolen property, made an interesting statement after scoring three times in the spring squad finale. Harvin, who set UC varsity rushing records as freshman tailback in '78, says it's okay that Maryland didn't offer him a scholarship out of high school in Willingboro, N.J., and "I don't want to leave Cincinnati, but if they kick me out I should be able to play where I want"-and he would want to be a Terp. Hmmmm. . . .
The Capitals feel like proud parents with word their 14th round draftee last June, 5-10, 192-pound center Wes Jarvis, is rookie of the year in the International Hockey League, where he posted 44 goals, 65 assists in 73 games. . . . U. of Virginia congregated its athletic family and cited as best male athlete for '78-79 Drew Schuett (football, baseball); best female one, Margaret Groos (cross country, track). . . .
George Washington gets in the act, pinning 5-9 Dawn Winovich, 19.0-a-gamer who led Brentwood High to 28-3 and was named Pittsburgh Class AA girl basketballer of the year. . . GW is full goodies-Colonial tennis No. 1 Dave Haggerty accepted for the European satellite circuit of the pro tennis tour come fall; center fielder Tino Monaldo, from Wheaton's Good Counsel H.S., finishing up his GW baseball career a year short by graduating in three years (3.5 in economics), heading for law school at Washington U. of St. Louis; Brian Magid another May grad (speech and communications) but, never fear, will be back as grad student for his remaining year of basketball eligibility. That's Magid the Jewish All-America (again), with Bucknell's Len Klebanoff (from Bethesda), Yale's Joe Jolson, Harvard's Glenn Fine, Syracuse's Hal Cohen. . .