NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing after seven years of marriage.

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Driver Patrick is divorcing

Danica Patrick and her husband are divorcing after seven years of marriage.

Patrick announced the split with Paul Hospenthal on her Facebook page Tuesday.

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“I am sad to inform my fans that after seven years, Paul and I have decided to amicably end our marriage,” she wrote. “This isn’t easy for either of us, but mutually it has come to this. He has been an important person and friend in my life, and that’s how we will remain moving forward.”

Hospenthal is a physical therapist who met Patrick while treating her for a nonracing injury. The two were married in 2005, and he is 17 years older than the 30-year-old driver.

Patrick recently completed her first full season in NASCAR, running the full Nationwide schedule and 10 Sprint Cup Series races after leaving IndyCar.

On Monday night, Patrick won the Nationwide Series’ most popular driver award, which is voted on by fans, and she is one of the most recognizable people in auto racing.


Chelsea is blanked in Italy

Chelsea of England could become the first defending UEFA Champions League winner not to reach the knockout rounds, after losing 3-0 at Juventus of Italy. Fabio Quagliarella, Arturo Vidal and Sebastian Giovinco scored in the Group E match.

Chelsea (2-2-1) dropped into third place in its group and can advance only if it beats Nordsjaelland of Denmark (0-4-1) on Dec. 5 and Shaktar Donetsk (3-1-1) of Ukraine beats visiting Juventus (2-0-3).

“It’s a big disappointment,” Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said.

Shaktar beat Nordsjaelland 5-2 to advance

Lionel Messi scored twice and Barcelona of Spain won 3-0 at Spartak Moscow in Group G to reach the knockout rounds for the ninth straight season.

Bayern Munich of Germany and Valencia of Spain also advanced; they played to a 1-1 draw in Group F.

Already assured of a berth in the round of 16, Manchester United of England rested many regulars in a 1-0 loss at Galatasaray of Turkey.

Besler earns MLS honor

American Matt Besler of Sporting Kansas City has been voted Major League Soccer’s defender of the year.

Besler, 25, is a former Notre Dame standout.


Connecticut fires Thibault

Mike Thibault, who coached the Connecticut Sun to eight playoff appearances but no league championships in his 10 seasons, was fired by the team.

Thibault, 62, is a former Sonics scout and NBA assistant coach. He is a graduate of Saint Martin’s University in Lacey.

Thibault had been the Sun’s only coach, hired when the team relocated from Orlando, Fla., before the 2003 season.

He had a 206-134 regular-season record with the Sun and was named WNBA coach of the year in 2006 and 2008.

Thibault said he thought the Sun, 25-9 this year, was getting close to a title.

Thibault said he has not ruled out returning to the WNBA with another team, but wants to take his time to consider options before making his next career move. He said he turned down a chance to return to the NBA earlier this year.


Union proposal is possible

The NHL and the players association are to meet Wednesday in New York in an effort to resolve the lockout.

On Monday, league officials asked the union to put together a comprehensive proposal of its positions on the core economic issues. Tuesday was the 66th day of the lockout and 327 games have been wiped out. Many observers expect the union to make the proposal Wednesday.


Ex-champ Camacho is shot

Former world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho, 50, was shot in the face as he sat in a car in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Doctors said he was in serious condition but expected to survive.

Another man in the car, whose relationship to Camacho wasn’t immediately known, died in the attack in which at least one gunman opened fire on their vehicle, according to a statement from police.


• German Martin Kaymer is the latest European golfer to join the PGA Tour.

Kaymer, 27, has been eligible to become a Tour member since he won the PGA Championship in 2010. A former No. 1 player, Kaymer is ranked No. 30 in the world.

• USA Water Polo has made Jovan Vavic the interim coach of the national team. He is USC’s coach and has led the Trojans to 10 NCAA titles.

Christopher Ramsey, USA Water Polo chief executive officer, said the plan is for Vavic to lead the team through qualification for next summer’s world championships in Barcelona, Spain.

The U.S. men finished eighth at the London Olympics in August, after going into the Games with hopes of gold after winning silver in 2008.

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