Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner

Al Unser Jr.

is listed as an extortion victim in a grand jury indictment against the suspected head of an Albuquerque, N.M., prostitution ring.

The district attorney's office said the suspect, 47-year-old Bobby McMullin, tried to blackmail Unser with claims of a "compromising" videotape in February and March 2004.

Prosecutor Mark Drebing said yesterday the video is not related to the prostitution ring and Unser was not a client.

It wasn't clear why Unser was involved with McMullin and Unser couldn't be reached for immediate comment.

McMullin allegedly asked Unser for $750,000 and, if payment wasn't received, threatened to release the tape to the public, according to one charge outlined in a 137-count indictment.

Drebing said it appears Unser made some payments to McMullin but didn't know how much money was handed over.

Unser's name turned up as police investigated an online escort service run by McMullin, who was arrested in May. The company, Private Ice, was tied to a downtown strip club and alleged prostitution ring.

In other auto racing news:

* Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International needs a title sponsor for its NASCAR Sprint Cup race after Centurion Boats opted out of the final year of its contract because of the economic downturn.


* Jeff Sluman and Nick Price combined for an 8-under-par 64 that gave them a one-shot lead over Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry at the Merrill Lynch Shootout in Naples, Fla.

* American Len Mattiace, England's Robert Rock and Sweden's Oskar Henningsson shared the halfway lead of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa, at 11-under 133.

* Annika Sorenstam held a one-shot lead over Nikki Garrett after two rounds of the Dubai Ladies Masters, Sorenstam's final tournament before retiring.

Philly File

* Junior midfielder J.T. Noone became the first Temple men's soccer player to earn All-America honors since Steffen Hausner in 1986 with his selection to the 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America second team.

Sport Stops

* The Breeders' Cup will slash $4.5 million in co-funding of 121 stakes races at North American tracks in 2009 because of the economic downtown.

* Chicago 2016 organizers unveiled several venue changes to their proposal for the Summer Olympics, including making the competition pool temporary, and moving the aquatic center, sailing, canoe/kayaking, track cycling and BMX cycling venues.

* Swiss skipper Dominique Wavre likely will become the eighth sailor forced out of the Vendee Globe round-the-world solo race after his keel's locking mechanism broke in 20-foot seas in the southern Indian Ocean. France's Jean-Pierre Dick leads the race which enters its 34th day today; the lone American, Rich Wilson, is 20th.

* Three world records were set at the European short-course championships in Rijeka, Croatia: France's Amaury Leveaux won his 100 freestyle semifinal in 45.12 seconds; Italy's Alessia Filippi swam the 800 freestyle in 8:04.53, more than 3 seconds faster than the mark set last year by American Kate Ziegler; and the Netherland's 200-meter relay team won in 1:33.80.

* The international Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed an appeal by showjumper Jessica Kuerten against her 2-month suspension for using a banned medication on her horse. *