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Auto racing

Earnhardt wins pole

Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned a track-record lap of 161.849 mph Friday to win the pole for Sunday’s AAA 400, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

Earnhardt earned his second pole of the season, the first time he has won multiple poles since 2002.

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The AAA 400 is the third of 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Points leader Matt Kenseth was second in qualifying at 161.805 mph.

Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 19th in qualifying, one spot in front of Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw.

Izod to exit IndyCar

Apparel company Izod will end its deal as title sponsor of the IndyCar Series at the end of the season.

Izod officials said the company is shifting its product focus.

In other IndyCar news, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan will not return to KV Racing next season and is finalizing a deal to join Chip Ganassi Racing, sources told The Associated Press.

College basketball

McGary has back pain

The season opener is about six weeks away, and Michigan already has an injury concern.

Sophomore forward Mitch McGary, a key to the Wolverines’ Final Four run last season, is dealing with an unspecified lower-back condition that is limiting him in practice.

“It’s been day to day pretty much all fall,” coach John Beilein said. “I’m very hopeful that it’s gone before too long.”

The 6-foot-10 McGary averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in the NCAA tournament.

Many programs have started practice earlier than usual because of a rule change that allows them to hold 30 days of practice during the six weeks before their first regular-season game.


Union wins MLS match

Conor Casey scored in the 36th minute of Philadelphia’s 1-0 victory over host Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer.

Casey’s goal, his 10th of the season, ended the team’s scoring drought at 345 minutes.

Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who leads the league with 11 shutouts, made five saves.

Sporting Kansas City could have tied New York for the best record in MLS with a victory.


Cookson to head UCI

Brian Cookson was elected president of the UCI, defeating incumbent Pat McQuaid of Ireland after a contentious campaign to take over cycling’s governing body in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Cookson beat McQuaid 24-18 in a secret ballot in Florence, Italy.

“It is a huge honor to have been elected president of the UCI by my peers, and I would like to thank them for the trust they have placed in me,” Cookson said.

Armstrong sent a one-word tweet that said, “Hallelujah.”

Cookson, 62, announced as a result of the UCI vote he will step down as president of British Cycling, which he has led since 1997.

“My first priorities as (UCI) president will be to make anti-doping procedures in cycling fully independent, sit together with key stakeholders in the sport and work with WADA to ensure a swift investigation into cycling’s doping culture,” he said.

McQuaid was first elected in 2005 and was seeking a third four-year term despite accusations that UCI covered up Armstrong’s doping during his tenure. American Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year and banned from the sport for life after acknowledging he doped.

“That’s life, that’s the way it goes,” McQuaid said. “Congress has decided.”


• Seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic rallied to defeat unseeded American Venus Williams 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) and advance to the Pan Pacific Open tennis final in Tokyo.

Fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany beat fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the other semifinal.

Williams, a former No. 1 player, was seeking her first title since October, when she won in Luxembourg.

• Reigning junior world champion Elena Radionova of Russia made a triumphant debut at figure skating’s senior level, winning the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Radionova finished with 188.21 points, more than 25 points in front of runner-up Miki Ando, a two-time world champion from Japan.

This was the first competition in about two years for Ando, who announced in July she had a baby daughter three months earlier.

American Ashley Cain placed third.

• Swimmer Britta Steffen, a German who won two Olympic gold medals, announced her retirement. She is 29.

Steffen won the 50- and 100-meter freestyle at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Seattle Times news services