Years of breathing fumes in a race car has given NASCAR driver Rick Mast carbon monoxide poisoning that will end his career.

Mast, who has not raced since May, said yesterday that he is suffering from acute and chronic carbon monoxide poisoning that carries symptoms similar to "the worst hangover in your life."

"You wake up feeling nauseated and you want to throw up and you can't," Mast said. "Your head is pounding all the time and you just feel awful."

Mast, 45, who made 364 starts over a 15-year Winston Cup career, said he began feeling ill in March but didn't get out of the car until May. It took dozens of visits to various doctors before he was finally diagnosed in November -- he said he lost 43 pounds in that time -- and there is no timetable for when the poisoning will be out of his system.

The only thing he knows for certain is that he can no longer be around chemicals that are spinoffs of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is in everything from a car's exhaust to poorly ventilated heating systems.

That means everything from racing cars to using a lawnmower and riding a tractor on his Rockbridge Baths, Va., farm are off limits to Mast.


Manchester United Advances

Manchester United advanced to the final of the English League Cup, beating host Blackburn, 3-1, as Paul Scholes scored twice.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy converted a penalty kick for Manchester United after he had been upended by American goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Manchester United will play Liverpool in the final on March 2. . . .

D.C. United goalkeeper Nick Rimando and midfielders Bobby Convey and Ben Olsen were among 23 MLS players invited to U.S. training camp in preparation for games against Argentina on Feb. 8 in Miami and Jamaica four days later in Kingston.


Cedeno Pleads No Contest

Mets outfielder Roger Cedeno pleaded no contest to reckless driving in Bradenton, Fla., and agreed to complete a DUI course. As part of agreement, Cedeno also will serve six months' probation and complete 50 hours of community service.


Sakic Sidelined 2-4 Weeks

Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic (19 goals, 22 assists) will be out two to four weeks with a broken foot. Sakic was injured in the second period of Monday's 1-1 tie against Dallas when he was hit by a shot from Sergei Zubov. . . .

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders were each fined $25,000 for two pregame altercations on Tuesday.

Horse Racing

Head-to-Head Wagering at Pimlico

The Maryland Racing Commission approved a Maryland Jockey Club request to conduct head-to-head wagering on select races on Preakness Day and Black-Eyed Susan Day this spring at Pimlico. Instead of needing to select the winner of a race, bettors will only have to pick who finishes ahead in a predetermined matchup.


Little Current, 32, Dies

Little Current, winner of the 1974 Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, was euthanized in Monroe, Wash., because of an intestinal illness. At 32, Little Current was the oldest living winner of a Triple Crown race.

American Brad Friedel can't stop Manchester United's Paul Scholes, who scored twice in English League Cup.