Auto racing

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Jimmie Johnson led the start of winter testing at Daytona International Speedway on Monday, a strong start for his 2002 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year campaign.

Driving a Chevrolet co-owned by Rick Hendrick and defending series champion Jeff Gordon, Johnson posted a lap of 183.120 mph in his new No. 48 Monte Carlo.

It was the fastest lap among 25 cars that made it onto the 2.5-mile, high-banked track for the first of six days of January testing at Daytona.

Stacy Compton, on his first day in A.J. Foyt's Pontiac, was second fastest at 183.087, followed by Ward Burton in a Dodge at 183.064. Gordon was sixth-fastest at 182.685, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. next at 182.641.

The season begins Feb. 17 with the Daytona 500 at Daytona, Fla.


The Pittsburgh Penguins must wait a little longer for Mario Lemieux's latest comeback. Lemieux, who said last week he was planning to return Tuesday against Boston, isn't expected back until a Saturday home game against St. Louis. As a result, he will also miss Thursday's game at Buffalo.

Lemieux said there is no problem with the surgically repaired hip that has sidelined him for the last 22 games, but he still isn't where he wants to be in his conditioning.


Anna Kournikova won her first-round match in straight sets, advancing to a second-round showdown with Serena Williams in the Adidas International in Sydney, Australia.

Kournikova beat Angeles Montolio of Spain 6-4, 6-2.

Williams, ranked No. 6 in the world, will be playing her first match of the season against Kournikova, who reached the semifinals of the ASB Bank Classic last week.

Among other results:

Wayne Ferreira of South Africa ousted fifth-seeded Arnaud Clement of France 6-2, 6-4, and Lee Hyung-taik of South Korea defeated seventh-seeded Carlos Moya of Spain 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Max Mirnyi of Belarus defeated Australian Davis Cup finalist Wayne Arthurs 7-5, 7-6 (4).

In the evening, American Andy Roddick beat Australia's Andrew Ilie 6-4, 6-4.

Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport, 25, will miss the Australian Open because of a right knee injury that might require surgery.


Michael Jordan's wife has filed for divorce, the Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site Monday night.

In a petition filed in circuit court in Waukegan, Juanita Jordan cited "irreconcilable differences" in seeking to end their 13-year marriage.

-- Wire service reports

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