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Penske refutes a claim by driver Keselowski

Roger Penske refuted driver Brad Keselowski’s claim that some of their employees were poached by other NASCAR teams.

Penske said Saturday “I think Brad had some misinformation,” when the defending Sprint Cup Series champion accused Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing of luring away Penske employees in an effort to steal information.

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Keselowski’s comments led to a stern rebuke from Rick Hendrick and Joe Gibbs, as both team owners blasted the driver for spreading false information.

“We didn’t lose any employees who were under contract or who weren’t free to go elsewhere as part of our engine reorganization,” Penske said.

Keselowski was at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., on Thursday, when he said his Penske Racing team has been reluctant to share information with Roush Fenway Racing on their Ford cars.

“What keeps it from going too far is the fact Hendrick and (Joe Gibbs Racing) have this nasty little habit of going to our teams and outbidding different people and taking those employees and stealing our information,” said Keselowski, according to

In a statement, Hendrick said, “Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class.”

Gibbs said, “We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations.”

Smith holds off Larson

Points leader Regan Smith won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway, holding off Kyle Larson in the final 10 laps.

It was Smith’s second victory of the year and 11th top-10 finish in 13 starts.

IndyCar Series

Hunter-Reay repeats

Ryan Hunter-Reay continued Andretti Autosport’s domination at the Milwaukee Mile, winning the IndyCar Series Milwaukee IndyFest race in West Allis, Wis., for the second consecutive year.

Defending series champion Hunter-Reay is the first driver to win back-to-back races at the Milwaukee Mile since Tony Kanaan in 2006 and 2007, when he was driving for Andretti.


Harbaughs would find father is ready to advise

Jack Harbaugh is the father of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who competed in last season’s Super Bowl. John’s Ravens won 34-31.

Former college coach Jack Harbaugh said he watches every one of John’s and Jim’s games, gets the coaches’ tapes on Tuesday and breaks them down. But he said he gives advice only if asked.

“I grind for three hours with the tapes, take notes, so if they call and ask something, I am ready,” Jack Harbaugh said. “They don’t call often, but I have a tremendous amount of information if they do.”

Horse racing

Fort Larned romps

Fort Larned led virtually all the way and beat runner-up Golden Ticket by 6¼ lengths in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Fort Larned, a 5-year-old trained by Ian Wilkes and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., ran 11
8 miles in 1 minute, 47.45 seconds and paid $8.60 to win in the $536,300 race. In November, Fort Larned won the $4.545 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.


• In mixed martial arts, Rashad Evans outpointed Dan Henderson in a split decision in a heavyweight bout at UFC 161 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Henderson, 42, was tired in the third round against the 33-year-old Evans.

“I have nobody to blame but myself,” Henderson said.

• Top-seeded Andy Murray of Britain and defending champion Marin Cilic of Croatia will play in the tennis final at Queen’s Club in London.

Murray beat fourth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Fifth-seeded Cilic defeated Lleyton Hewitt of Australia 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Donna Vekic, a 16-year-old from Croatia, reached her second career WTA final when she beat 2009 champion Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-3 in the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England.

Vekic will face Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia in the final.

Warren Blake, the head of Jamaican track and field, said one of the sprinting powerhouse’s athletes has failed a doping test and officials are awaiting the result of the backup sample.

Seattle Times news services