Jeff Burton won the rain-shortened Southern 500 yesterday, giving him a sweep of the Winston Cup events this year at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Although he won the TranSouth 400 just over five months ago, Burton said what he wanted more than anything was a victory in NASCAR's oldest race.
That he achieved, in addition to a $1 million promotional bonus for himself and a fan, Phylis Farmer of Hillsboro, Mo. The victory was his fifth this year, tying Burton with Jeff Gordon for the most on the Winston Cup circuit and ending Gordon's record run of Southern 500 wins at four.
Burton beat the track called "The Lady in Black" despite crashing at the end in a rain storm that ended the TranSouth 400 after 164 of 293 scheduled laps in March.
This race also ended because of rain with 97 laps remaining. . . .
Rookie William Langhorne, who is from the District, earned his first Toyota Atlantic Championship victory at the Molson Indy Vancouver.
Langhorne sped from fifth to first on the opening lap, and led the first 20 laps of the 33-lap, rain-shortened race. Canadian Andrew Bordin passed Langhorne on Lap 21, but slid on Lap 28, falling back to third. From there, Langhorne navigated his way to the victory. . . .
Juan Montoya, the sensational CART rookie, led for all but one lap in the Vancouver Molson Indy. The event, scheduled for 90 laps on the narrow 1.871-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit near downtown, was cut 16 laps short because of a two-hour time limit.
U.S. Olympic Teams Determined
Three former Olympians, including a pair of former medalists, were among six athletes who qualified for the 2000 Summer Games at the U.S. Olympic trials in Chula Vista, Calif.
Justin Huish, 24, a double gold medalist at the 1996 Olympics, placed second with 5,238 points to earn a spot on the three-member men's team. Vic Wunderle, 23, placed first with 5,332 points, and Shane Parker, 27, finished third with 5,214.
Janet Dykman, 45, qualified for the women's team for the second straight time, finishing two points ahead of 17-year-old Karen Scavotto. Denise Parker, 25, earned the final spot on the women's squad. Parker won a team bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics, when she was 14, and also was a member of the 1992 Olympic team. Ruth Rowe of McLean placed sixth among the women with 4,925 points.
Track and Field
Ngeny Sets Record for 1,000 Meters
Noah Ngeny finally made the move from runner-up to record-setter. The Kenyan, who has helped Hicham El Guerrouj shatter records in the mile and 1,500 meters, put himself into the record books by eclipsing the 18-year-old standard for 1,000 meters at the Rieti Grand Prix II meet in Rieti, Italy.
Paced by countryman David Kiptoo on a sunny afternoon, Ngeny glided around the track in 2 minutes 11.96 seconds. That broke former great Sebastian Coe's mark of 2:12.18, set in Oslo on July 11, 1981.
"It's amazing this record has been around 18 years," said Ngeny, the silver medalist in the 1,500 at the world championships in Seville, Spain, last month. "I always wanted to be a world champion or an Olympic champion. At least now I am a world record holder."
Ngeny persuaded meet organizers on Thursday to add the rarely contested 1,000 to the schedule, and he earned a $25,000 bonus by bettering the record. Ngeny has been involved in a series of record attempts during his brief career.
After abandoning his first love, volleyball, because, he said, "in Kenya, it's the runners who become national heroes," Ngeny only started competing on the track in 1996. The next year, he shattered two world junior records, including Jim Ryun's mile mark, which had stood since 1966.
In July, Ngeny set the pace as El Guerrouj broke the world record for the mile in Rome. Ngeny also pushed the Moroccan to a record for the 1,500 in Rome in July 1998. The two also engaged in a thrilling duel in the 1,500 at the world championships, with El Guerrouj taking the gold.