More controversy for Chase
Tiny Front Row Motorsports asked for a deal from Penske Racing in the closing laps of the Chase field-deciding race at Richmond International Raceway over the weekend and then helped make sure Penske’s Joey Logano made the Chase by having one of its drivers back off, according to an Associated Press review of radio communications.
A Front Row spokesman said the team did not heed a Penske request to give Logano track position before the final restart. And Penske team president Tim Cindric told SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio that “there was no conspiracy, there was no bribe” and that Penske was not involved.
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“Roger Penske is not involved in trying to manipulate the outcome of a race or what have you,” Cindric said. “In fact, the first time Roger heard any of this stuff was this afternoon.”
NASCAR said it was looking into the matter.
The Chase begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.
The Richmond race was marred by controversy. Clint Bowyer’s spinout ended Ryan Newman’s bid to win the race and make the Chase field and instead helped Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. land a berth. NASCAR, however, determined that MWR had manipulated the race and replaced Truex with Newman in addition to punishing MWR.
TV ratings tie record
The United States’ 2-0 victory over Mexico on Tuesday night had matching record ratings to the 0-0 draw the teams played in Mexico City in March. The game on ESPN drew a 1.4 rating, according to Nielsen. The rating in Seattle-Tacoma was 2.6.
Toronto, Chicago draw
Robert Earnshaw scored midway through the first half to give host Toronto FC (4-13-11) a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire. Dilly Duka scored in the 20th minute for the Fire (10-11-6).
The Afghan capital of Kabul erupted in joyous pandemonium after its national team defeated India 2-0 in Katmandu, Nepal, to win the South Asian Football Federation championship. It was the first international soccer trophy for the war-weary nation and the first ebullient mass outpouring anyone could remember.
Heat signs Beasley
Troubled forward Michael Beasley is back with the Miami Heat, signing a contract that will give him another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA. He was bought out earlier this month by the Phoenix Suns, not long after the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft was arrested in Arizona on charges of felony marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Diana Taurasi was suspended one game for an accumulation of technical fouls. The Phoenix Mercury star picked up her ninth technical of the season in the third quarter against New York on Tuesday. She missed the Mercury’s nationally televised game in Chicago. The Sky won 70-68 when Elena Delle Donne made a 10-foot jump shot as time expired.
Also, Mistie Bass made a layup with 11 seconds remaining as the host Connecticut Sun kept the Atlanta Dream (17-15) from clinching the second seed in the East with a 78-77 victory.
Point guard picks USC
UCLA’s drought in attracting top-rated talent at point guard continues. Jordan McLaughlin, a 6-footer from Etiwanda (Calif.) High, announced he has committed to accepting a scholarship from USC, choosing the Trojans over the Bruins.
Oracle calls on Ainslie
Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor ever, subbed for struggling tactician John Kostecki during Oracle Team USA’s training session for the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.
Syndicate CEO Russell Coutts said skipper Jimmy Spithill will make the decision whether Ainslie replaces Kostecki for Races 6 and 7 on Thursday against Emirates Team New Zealand.
The Kiwis lead 4 to minus-1 and need five wins to claim the oldest trophy in international sports.
• The BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill., begins Thursday and is the third FedEx Cup playoff event. The field has been reduced to 70 players, so for the first time during golf’s version of the postseason there is no cut.
• Inbee Park of South Korea is looking to become the first professional golfer to win four majors in a year. She gets her shot beginning Thursday at the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains, France.
• The Buffalo Sabres re-signed center Cody Hodgson to a six-year contract.
• Bauke Mollema of Netherlands won the 17th stage of the Spanish Vuelta in a sprinting finish in Burgos, and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy retained his overall lead.
Seattle Times news services