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Tuesday, February 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Cheap Seats

Jump start

Ever been to a ballgame where there hasn’t been a P.A. announcement instructing someone to move his car? Well, in Bozeman, Mont., last week, they asked people to park illegally - on the gym floor.

When the lights went out during a volleyball match between Mount Ellis Academy and Lima, electricians said it would take an hour to restore power. So a 1992 Eagle Summit and a 1979 Datsun 510 were driven onto the court through double-wide doors and parked in the corners, and the match resumed by headlight.

“It seemed like the ball was in slow motion,” said Mount Ellis’ Amee Hamilton, owner of the Datsun.

After a split of the first two games, Lima - which led 13-11 in the third before the outage - won the deciding game 15-13.

It would have been best-of-five, but neither car was equipped with a Sears Diehard.

Your cheatin’ part

Richard Petty used to say, “If you ain’t cheatin’ a little, you ain’t competitive.” And that continues to be NACAR’s motto, given the $90,000 in fines levied during Daytona’s Speed Weeks by car cop Gary Nelson, a one-time crew chief with his own reputation for bending the rules.

Among the more inventive fudgers: car owner Bill Davis and driver Randy Lajoie, who were fined $35,000 for an electric motor that operated a hydraulic pump, enabling the driver to lift and lower the rear deck lid to help aerodynamics.

Cheating is a grand old NASCAR tradition. One time, driver Smokey Yunick pushed his car, presumably out of fuel, to the inspection area after competitors complained he had a secret fuel compartment. When officials found nothing wrong, Yunick climbed in the car, turned on the ignition and drove off.

And at the 1982 Daytona 500, Bobby Allison’s Buick Regal had a rear bumper that caught too much air, creating drag. Of course, NASCAR rules require bumpers - but if one came off in a race, too bad. And when Cale Yarborough tapped Allison’s car from behind, the bumper conveniently came off as if it were spring-loaded.

“It looked like a kite flying over the infield,” said Ed Hinton, a longtime racing writer.

I love what you do for me

Golfer Peter Jacobsen is tough on cars in a different way.

He has a sponsorship deal with Toyota and wears its visor during tournaments. Last year, he had it on when he made a hole-in-one to win a Nissan at the Nissan Los Angeles Open. Earlier this month, he wore it as he hogged airtime as the runaway leader at the Buick Invitational.

Honda Classic officials can rest easy. Jacobsen is skipping that event.

The last word …

“Danny Ainge is right over there.”

- Billy Crystal, emceeing the Charles Barkley roast, on what his waiter told him after he ordered white w(h)ine

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