What kind of race lets somebody cause an accident before the start, get in his backup car and then go on to win the race?
STEVE BRADLEY, FARMERSVILLE, OHIO
Changes at Indy
Ed Hinton claims that CART led a rebellion against the Indianapolis 500 (Sunday Drivers, June 3). Actually, by mandating that 25 of the 33 starting spots be reserved for drivers from his fledgling Indy Racing League ( IRL), Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George left CART with no choice but to boycott.
Hinton vilifies the CART owners and glorifies George as the keeper of the Indy tradition, but it is George who has ruined that tradition by freezing out the best drivers and encouraging mediocrity by serving this watered-down version of the Indy 500.
PATRICK COLLINS, New York City
Through the years the Indy 500 has represented the state of the art in motor racing. Its lifeblood has been innovation, technology and creativity. The real excitement of the Indy 500 lies in anticipating what each team will introduce in May at Indianapolis. So please, Tony, give back our Indy 500.
LARRY JODRY, Chelmsford, Mass.
Some observers knocked the Indy 500, but as usual it was a first-class show from start to finish: good strategy at the end and good competition. But over in Michigan, what did CART fans get? A rookie mistake at the start, a delay of more than an hour before the restart. Then what happens? A guy takes a backup car and beats all those so-called high-tech drivers, teams and owners. That's competition?
RICHARD WILSON, Westminster, Calif.
The self-ordained "best drivers in the world" at the U.S. 500 in Michigan couldn't even complete the pace lap before 12 cars crashed! The rookies at Indy acquitted themselves well. Incidentally, weren't the Unsers, Andrettis, Rahals and Fittipaldis all rookies once?
RICH HOEFLI, St. Louis
I would much rather see a driver make a bonehead mistake trying to get a jump on the green flag, as Jimmy Vasser did in the U.S. 500, than see the field tiptoe through the first lap, as it did in Indy.
JOE BOWEN, Thorofare, N.J.
Congratulations to Alexander Wolff for his article about basketball players from the former Yugoslavia (Prisoners of War, June 3). It breaks my heart to see such talent go to waste. I am a citizen of Bosnia, and I have dreamed of a day when the best of the NBA would match up against the best from the former Yugoslavia. I thought sport was above everything. What a dreamer! It will never be the same between Serbia's Vlade Divac and Croatia's Toni Kukoc and Dino Radja.
ALMIR DULIC, Beaumont, Texas
I was born in Yugoslavia. In 1963, when I was 10 years old, my parents had the courage and foresight to emigrate to the United States and thus spare our family the devastation and horror that would befall that country. I can remember taking pride in the accomplishments of the Yugoslav basketball players, but your story paints a personal picture of which I had not been aware. The courage of those men, the tortured souls, the gut-wrenching emotional conflicts, all those things remind me once again that part of me is still Yugoslav.
PETER JAKSA, Deerfield. Ill.
The Brands twins are the most intense, ferocious and successful competitors in any sport today ( Wrestlemania, June 3). Tom and Terry compete for the love of wrestling and its challenge, not the outlandish salaries that pro athletes receive. However, at what price do they sacrifice sportsmanship to their zeal and intensity? During the U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas this spring, Terry Brands was defeated 5-2 in the finals by Kendall Cross, NCAA champ for Oklahoma State and a 1992 Olympian. Brands stormed off the mat in anger, initially refusing to shake hands and so setting a bad example.
Harris Brumer, West Point, N.Y.