CART racer Greg Moore was killed yesterday in the season-ending Marlboro 500 when he lost control of his car at 220 mph and crashed into a wall, spinning wildly and slamming into the ground several times.
The 24-year-old Canadian, a young star in the open-wheel circuit, was airlifted to a hospital and declared dead of massive head injuries about an hour after the wreck at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
He almost missed the race after he hurt his hand when a car hit him Saturday while he was riding a scooter to the paddock area.
Moore was the second driver in the CART FedEx Series to die this year. Rookie Gonzalo Rodriguez of Uruguay, preparing for only his second race, was killed in a crash Sept. 11 during practice at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.
The 27-year-old Rodriguez was the first driver fatality in the CART series since Jeff Krosnoff was killed in a crash during a race in Toronto in July 1996.
On the 10th lap of the Marlboro 500, Moore lost control of his car coming off Turn 2. The Reynard-Mercedes skidded onto the infield grass, crashed hard into a retaining wall and broke into pieces, with the open-cockpit driver's compartment spinning and hitting the ground several times before coming to a halt.
He was declared dead at Loma Linda Medical Center, said Steve Olvey, director of medical affairs for CART.
The race continued, but CART chief steward Wally Dallenbach canceled post-race celebrations and the flags at the speedway were lowered to half staff.
This was the 72nd start in Moore's CART FedEx Series career. He had five victories, including the season-opening race in Homestead, Fla., this season, and was the runner-up in last year's Marlboro 500. . . .
Mika Hakkinen won the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix to retain the Formula One drivers' championship he won at the same race a year ago.
Hakkinen overtook pole-sitter Michael Schumacher at the start and never trailed in a race that was contested the entire way by the two drivers. Hakkinen finished in 1 hour 31 minutes 18.785 seconds at the 3.7-mile Suzuka Circuit. It was the fifth victory of the season for the McLaren driver.
Schumacher, a two-time world champion for Ferrari, was timed in 1:31:23.800, 5.015 seconds behind Hakkinen. Eddie Irvine, bidding for his fifth victory for the season and his first world championship, placed a distant third in 1:32:54.473.
World Cup Upset
In the biggest upset in the history of the Rugby World Cup, France beat New Zealand, 43-31, to advance to the final against Australia.
The French were led by Christophe Lamaison's 28 points and rallied from a 24-10 deficit. They will play for the championship Saturday in Cardiff, Wales.
All but dismissed before the semifinals, Europe's sole survivor in the competition salvaged much respect with its comeback. No team from the Northern Hemisphere has won the championship.
Maier in Top Form
Hermann Maier of Austria, seeking to regain the overall World Cup title, won the season-opening giant slalom in Tignes, France.
The 1998 World Cup winner raced down the sun-soaked Tignes glacier in a combined time of 2 minutes 22.33 seconds. It was his 19th World Cup title and sixth in the giant slalom.
Long Shot Wins
Long shot Floating Interest (Chip Miller) snatched the win from favorite Company Eight (Neil Morris) in a stretch duel at the wire in the 65th running of the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup in Unionville, Pa. Miller kept Floating Interest off the pace for most of the four-mile timber race. Around four fences from home, he urged the 9-year-old gelding to the lead. They crossed the wire by a neck in 8 minutes 25 1/5 seconds.
Angels Select Stoneman as GMT
he Anaheim Angels said they have selected Montreal Expos executive Bill Stoneman as their new general manager. Angels spokesman Tim Mead said a news conference was scheduled for today to introduce Stoneman. He gave no other details.
Stoneman, most recently Montreal's vice president of baseball operations, has worked primarily as the franchise's chief financial officer since 1983. He also pitched in the major leagues for eight seasons, with a 54-85 record and 4.08 earned run average.
Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Bill Musselman was upgraded to fair condition yesterday following a possible stroke. Musselman collapsed after Thursday night's exhibition game against Phoenix.