Side Lines for Monday — November 21, 2005

• Stewart caps second title


Stewart caps second title

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Tony Stewart has two championships and a spot in NASCAR history. Both pale in comparison to what he treasures most: Earning the respect of his team and colleagues.

“It’s nice that they don’t have to talk about my behavior anymore,” Stewart said. “That’s the biggest honor you can have, for the guys you race with to give you that kind of compliment.”

Smooth and steady for an entire race. An entire season. An entire championship run.

That’s the formula Stewart used to win his second NASCAR championship in four years Sunday, capping an uncharacteristically calm season for the former Bad Boy. He won races, kept his temper in check and avoided every major incident long enough to cement himself as one of the greatest drivers of his time.

Needing only to run clean at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he hovered just outside the top 10 and away from any potential danger. Stewart ended up 15th, winning the title by 35 points over Greg Biffle, who won the Ford 400 for the second straight year by besting teammate Mark Martin in a door-to-door finish.

Stewart became just the 14th driver in NASCAR history with more than one championship and joined four-time winner Jeff Gordon as the only active full-time drivers with multiple titles.

After the championship Sunday, two helicopters collided at the speedway, killing one pilot.One helicopter was taking off from the speedway’s helipad shortly before 9 p.m. while another was attempting to land, said Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Richard Martin.

“They had either a mid-air collision or a near-midair collision. One of them did a hard landing right on the helipad. No one on said.

The other pilot died after being airlifted to a Miami hospital, a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Police Department said. The pilot’s identification was being withheld pending family notification.


‘Ele’ele’s Umetsu swims for PLU

Waimea graduate Katelyn Umetsu helped the Pacific Lutheran University (Wash.) women’s swim team to a seventh-place finish overall at the Northwest Conference Relays at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash.

The freshman was a part of the women’s 300 yard back-stroke relay, which placed fourth.

The Lutes head to Portland, Ore., for their next meet on Dec. 2-3.

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