Less than 24 hours after a surprising pole run, Sterling Marlin was dealing with the reality of race day.

"There's a big difference between winning the pole and winning the race, but there are plenty of people who would trade starting spots with us right now," he said as he prepared for today's Pocono 500 in Long Pond, Pa. "We know we have to have that perfect lap 200 times Sunday, and not just once like we did Friday."

A qualifying run of 170.506 mph--the fastest in the 26 seasons of Pocono International Raceway--gave Marlin his first pole in four years. Now, the two-time Daytona 500 champion would like to end a 94-race drought with his first victory since 1996.

Meanwhile, two-time Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte will extend the NASCAR record for consecutive starts to 617. But it took him two days to make the field for the Pocono 500. He will start 33rd. . . .

Colombian Juan Montoya, 23, took the pole for today's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway.


Complaint Filed

Arsenal has made an official complaint to FIFA and the English Football Association, accusing Spain's Real Madrid of making an approach to French striker Nicolas Anelka without its consent.

Anelka, also the subject of a $35.2 million bid from Italian club Lazio, reportedly prefers a move to Spain. With Arsenal either prepared to accept the Lazio offer or insisting he play out the remainder of his contract, Anelka appears to be out of luck.


Kubiak Excels

Jim Kubiak, who attended the Naval Academy, threw three touchdown passes, two to James Kidd, as the Amsterdam Admirals beat the Scottish Claymores, 30-22, in an NFL Europe game. . . .

The Bengals have agreed to terms with former Jets starting guard Matt O'Dwyer. . . . 49ers linebacker Ken Norton Jr. will become the first member of his family to graduate from college when he receives a degree in sociology from UCLA today.


Heavyweight Bouts

Michael Grant knocked down weary Lou Savarese twice in the final round and remained unbeaten at 30-0 with a one-sided, 10-round decision in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. On the undercard, last-minute substitute Maurice Harris scored an upset 10-round unanimous decision over Jeremy Williams.


Simoni Gets Jump

Italian Gilberto Simoni will start the Tour de Suisse time trial stage in the leader's yellow jersey after beating countryman Francesco Casagrande to the line in the flagship mountain stage.