Jamie McMurray led all but five of 197 laps yesterday to win the rain-delayed Busch Series race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C.

McMurray started the race in second, passed pole-setter David Green on the backstretch of the first lap and steadily pulled away from the field to beat him to the finish line by almost 20 car lengths.

"I feel very blessed to get in a car that is that good, because you have to have a great car to have a performance like that," McMurray said. "It's unreal to have a car that good."


Rose Doesn't Make Cut in Canada

Even when he was put on a Hall of Fame ballot, Pete Rose failed to get elected. Rose missed out on making the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, falling short of the necessary 75 percent vote from the selection committee.

Baseball's career hits leader, who spent part of the 1984 season with Montreal, was among 46 nominees for the Canadian hall. Former Toronto star Joe Carter, Canadian pitcher Kirk McCaskill, administrator Richard Belec and the Vancouver Asahi team were elected.

Rose is ineligible for the ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., because of his permanent ban from baseball. He agreed to the ban in August 1989 following an investigation of his gambling.


Concern for Athens

Construction delays in Athens may force organizers to move test events and miss critical dry runs at venues before the 2004 Games.

A reshuffling of the test event schedule would be another setback for Athens organizers. The pre-Olympic competitions are important for athletes and officials to assess sites and allow time for corrections before the games. Nearly 20 such events are scheduled this year.

"It is a serious situation," International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland. "It is getting really urgent."


Groh Shuffles Staff

Virginia football coach Al Groh announced he has shuffled his staff to fill the void after offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave left for the Jacksonville Jaguars last month.

Groh gave offensive line coach Ron Prince the added responsibility of offensive coordinator. It remains to be seen who will call the plays next season; Groh has indicated he does not believe that should always be one of the coordinator's duties.

Wide receivers coach Mike Groh, a former Virginia quarterback, also will coach the quarterbacks. Former Redskins lineman Andy Heck was promoted to tight ends coach. Graduate assistant Anthony Poindexter will shift from strength and conditioning to offense.


Shirley Povich Lecture

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, Washington Post sports columnists and hosts of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption," will present the fourth annual Shirley Povich Lecture at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center on March 31. The event begins at 8 p.m. in the Tauber Foundation Gymnasium. Admission is $18 for JCC members and $25 for the general public.

Povich was a sports editor and columnist for The Post for 75 years, until his death in 1998.

Tickets can be obtained by calling 202-518-9400, ext. 393, or e-mailing povichlecture@dcjcc.org.


Surgery for Mathis

World Cup star Clint Mathis will have surgery on his groin today and is expected to miss four weeks. The New York/New Jersey MetroStars forward-midfielder scored a goal last year in the World Cup and helped the United States reach the quarterfinals.