Busch says retaliation wouldn’t be a surprise
Kyle Busch is apparently expecting retaliation from Brad Keselowski for wrecking him in a NASCAR Nationwide Series race last weekend at Kansas Speedway.
“Probably for Brad being who Brad is, I guess I should be worried because he’s stupid enough to do something,” Busch said on SiriusXM NASCAR during Joe Gibbs Racing’s fan day Friday. “But in all reality, to myself, I don’t know, I guess I had more respect for drivers than that.”
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They were racing side by side in the closing laps of the Kansas Lottery 300 when contact from Busch sent Keselowski’s car into the outside wall. Keselowski angrily jumped out, jogged over the grass toward pit road and gestured wildly at Busch’s crew.
Keselowski later accused Busch of being a dirty driver and hinted he can retaliate because he is not eligible to win the championship in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR’s highest level.
Keselowski won the title last year.
Busch, who is fifth in the Sprint Cup standings, can’t afford any on-track incidents with Keselowski. He indicated he is not concerned about payback.
“If he pays it back, he pays it back and that will just bring on a heck of a lot more fireworks,” Busch said.
The Bank of America 500 is on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. There are six races left in the 13-driver, 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship and Matt Kenseth is the points leader.
Busch wins from pole
Busch warmed up for Sprint Cup activity with a spectacular day in the Nationwide Series.
Busch earned the pole in qualifying for the Dollar General 300 and raced to his series-best 11th Nationwide victory of the year and the record 62nd of his career. Busch has started from the pole in nine Nationwide races this year, winning eight.
Series points leader Austin Dillon was second, 0.459 seconds behind, and Sam Hornish Jr. finished third. Hornish is eight points behind Dillon in the points race.
Canucks’ Edler receives 3-game suspension
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler has been suspended three games for an illegal check to the head of San Jose forward Tomas Hertl, league officials announced.
The illegal check came late in the second period of Vancouver’s 4-1 loss to San Jose on Thursday night.
Edler popped Hertl’s helmet off as the 19-year-old was reaching for the puck. There was no penalty called on the play.
Edler was suspended for charging in March and is considered a repeat offender. He will forfeit $182,926 in salary, which goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Stuckey has surgery
Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, a former standout at Eastern Washington and Kentwood High School in Covington, had surgery on his broken right thumb.
Team officials said Stuckey, 27, will wear a splint on the thumb for two weeks before being re-evaluated. Stuckey’s thumb was inside the door jamb of his vehicle while the door was closing.
Stuckey averaged 11.5 points in 76 games last season.
Top draftees compete
Cleveland forward Anthony Bennett, the first player drafted this year, scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help the Cavaliers beat the host Orlando Magic 110-105 in an exhibition game.
Guard Victor Oladipo, the second player taken in the draft, led Orlando with 18 points.
Bennett played college ball at UNLV; Oladipo went to Indiana.
In another exhibition game, second-year guard Damian Lillard scored a game-high 23 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 on 8-for-9 shooting to lead Portland past Utah 96-86 in Boise, Idaho.
Thaddeus Young scored 20 points and ex-Washington Husky Spencer Hawes added 17 as Philadelphia beat Boston 97-85 in Newark, Del.
Nadal, Djokovic win
Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia won quarterfinal matches at the Shanghai Masters in China.
Top-ranked Nadal saved three set points and closed out a 20-minute tiebreak in the first set against Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka before winning 7-6 (12-10), 6-1.
Defending champion Djokovic outlasted Gael Monfils of France 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4.
USOC revises policy
The U.S. Olympic Committee board revised its nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation, a nod to its disapproval of the Russian anti-gay law recently passed by the host country for the 2014 Winter Games.
At his annual address to the USOC Assembly, chief executive officer Scott Blackmun said the federation is not in the business of trying to influence Russian policy.
“The fact that we do not think it is our role to advocate for a change in the Russian law does not mean that we support the law, and we do not,” Blackmun said.
• Notre Dame finalized a three-year agreement calling for NBC Sports Network to televise 12 of the Fighting Irish’s home hockey games each year of the deal, starting with this season.
Seattle Times news services