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Earnhardt has pole for Saturday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. set a Kentucky Speedway qualifying record Friday with a 183.636 mph lap to earn the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at the Sparta track.

Carl Edwards was second in qualifying at 183.306 mph.

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Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start in 20th and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start in 21st of 43.

Keselowski triumphs

Brad Keselowski took his final lead on the 156th lap and went on to a rain-shortened victory in the Feed the Children 300, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Showers halted the race at Lap 170 in the scheduled 200-lap event, but drivers were expecting it to resume before another pocket of rain forced officials to call it off.

Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Keselowski did victory spinouts, being careful to avoid sliding into the wall.

Elliott Sadler finished second.


Allen decides to return to Heat

Former Sonics guard Ray Allen, 37, exercised his $3.2 million player option to remain with Miami next season, when the Heat will seek a third consecutive league title.

Bickerstaff to work for Cavaliers

Bernie Bickerstaff, who has been a head coach for several teams including the Sonics, will be an assistant on Mike Brown’s new staff with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bickerstaff, 69, briefly took over as the Los Angeles Lakers’ interim coach last season after Brown was fired after five games.


2 million celebrate Blackhawks

From the jubilant parade to a boisterous rally, an estimated 2 million fans spent a sun-drenched day celebrating another Stanley Cup title for the Chicago Blackhawks.

“This shows how unbelievable this city is,” captain Jonathan Toews said, addressing the rapt crowd at Grant Park. “Unbelievable. Thank you.”

The Blackhawks rode to the rally in red, open-topped buses, passing waving and screaming fans of every age as the parade traveled from the United Center to the downtown party.

Toews hoisted the Stanley Cup over his head to show it off to the crowd, which was cooled by large water misters placed along the route with temperatures in the low 80s. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said 42 people were taken to hospitals with heat-related health problems.

Chicago also won the NHL title in 2010.

Report: Bylsma to coach U.S.

Dan Bylsma will coach the U.S. men’s team at the Sochi Olympics in February, The New York Times reported.

USA Hockey will announce the appointment of Bylsma, the 42-year-old coach of the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins, at a news conference Saturday, the paper reported.


Blatter pledges $100 million

FIFA President Sepp Blatter responded to criticism of the cost of staging next year’s World Cup in Brazil by pledging to give at least $100 million from profits back to the country.

Soccer’s governing body gave South Africa $100 million to invest in development projects after the 2010 World Cup, but had not previously said it would establish a similar “social fund” after the 2014 tournament.

The Confederations Cup, a World Cup warmup event in Brazil, has led to protesters denouncing billions of dollars spent to host the World Cup — money some say should be going toward improving public services.

San Jose signs Goodson

The San Jose Earthquakes have signed U.S. team center defender Clarence Goodson, 31. He has played in 36 matches for the national team.


Lindsay Whalen scored 20 points to help host Minnesota rout Los Angeles 88-64 in a matchup of the two top WNBA Western Conference teams. The Lynx are 7-2 and the Sparks are 5-3.

In other WNBA games, host Atlanta beat Washington 86-75 to improve to a league-best 9-1 and Indiana snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Tulsa 80-69.

• Clemson University Police have charged an 18-year-old North Carolina man with vandalizing the South Carolina school’s beloved Howard’s Rock; it seems he is a Tigers fan.

Micah Rogers, of Pisgah Forest, was arrested and charged with felony malicious injury to personal property and misdemeanor trespassing more than three weeks after the iconic college-football symbol was damaged on June 2, police said. A protective case was damaged and a piece of the stone chipped away.

Rogers released on $5,470 bond. Police found his truck had a Clemson tiger-paw sticker and other school memorabilia was found in his home.

Police have not yet found the missing piece of the rock.

• Vanderbilt has suspended four football players for a violation of team rules while Nashville, Tenn., police investigate whether a sex crime occurred in a campus dormitory.

• Frenchman Alain Mimoun, who won the 1956 Olympic marathon, died Thursday. He was 92.

• A bearded and much skinnier Oscar Pistorius was “overcome with emotion” as he pulled on his carbon-fiber running blades for his first track training since the killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, said his agent, Peet van Zyl.

The double-amputee Olympic sprinter from South Africa did some light jogging Thursday.

Pistorius was charged with premeditated murder for Steenkamp’s Feb. 14 shooting death. He denies murder and says he shot his girlfriend accidentally, believing she was an intruder in his house.

Missy Franklin won the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. national swimming championships in 58.67 seconds, a meet record. The 18-year-old has competed in five events at nationals and won four.

Seattle Times news services