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Newman gets a Chase berth after NASCAR penalizes MWR

Ryan Newman replaced Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship on Monday night when NASCAR officials penalized the Michael Waltrip Racing team for manipulating the outcome of Saturday’s race in Richmond, Va.

Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000, and general manager Ty Norris received an indefinite suspension. Truex, Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers were docked 50 points apiece.

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“As the sport’s sanctioning body, it is our responsibility to ensure there is a fair and level playing field for all of our competitors and this action today reflects our commitment to that,” Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition, said in a release.

The 10-race Chase begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

Newman was leading with seven laps remaining in the Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond, where a victory would have given him the final spot in the 12-driver Chase field. But Bowyer spun and out came a caution, setting in motion a chain of events that led to Newman losing his lead and Bowyer teammate Truex earning the final Chase berth. Carl Edwards won the race.

While examining the situation, NASCAR reviewed communication between Bowyer and his Michael Waltrip Racing crew that seemed to indicate the spin was deliberate, as well as additional evidence that suggested MWR had Bowyer and Vickers take a dive over the final three laps so Joey Logano would knock Jeff Gordon out of Chase contention in yet another attempt to help Truex.

Bowyer has denied he intentionally spun.

Earlier in the day, Newman announced he has reached a deal with Richard Childress Racing to replace Jeff Burton next season in the No. 31 Chevrolet. Newman drives for Stewart-Haas Racing.


U.S. men have chance to clinch 2014 World Cup berth Tuesday

While U.S. fans are outnumbered by visiting supporters at many venues in this country, the team has found a home at cozy Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio.

It has become the traditional site of the U.S. team’s World Cup qualifier against regional rival Mexico after 2-0 victories in 2001, 2005 and 2009.

And Tuesday the U.S. team hopes to emulate its performance of four years ago, when it clinched a World Cup berth by beating Mexico.

The United States can assure its seventh straight World Cup appearance if it beats Mexico and Honduras defeats or ties visiting Panama — a match that starts about the time the second half will begin in Columbus.

Mexico will be playing its first match since manager Chepo de la Torre was replaced by Luis Fernando Tena after Friday’s 2-1 home loss to Honduras.

“You can’t expect many changes in the team that played a game three days ago and now has to play again,” Tena said.

After this in Cup qualifying, the U.S. team plays Jamaica in Kansas City, Kan., on Oct. 11 and finishes four days later at Panama.

The United States is 23-0-2 in home qualifiers since losing to Honduras in September 2001.

“We want to punch our ticket, man,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We want to get this thing finished.”

Portland gets Urruti in trade

Toronto FC traded forward Maximiliano Urruti to the Portland Timbers for forward Bright Dike, a first-round Major League Soccer draft choice in 2015 and allocation money. Toronto also sent an international roster spot in the deal.

The international roster slot in the deal expires on Dec. 31.

Toronto gets to hold 20 percent of Urruti’s rights, so it will profit if he is sold.

MLS team hires Pernetti

Ousted Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has been named the chief business officer of the New York City Football Club, a Major League Soccer franchise set to start play in 2015.

Pernetti served four years as Rutgers’ athletic director before being forced to resign in April for his handling of a scandal involving basketball coach Mike Rice, who verbally abused his players and threw basketballs at them in practice.

“I relish the opportunity to be part of a global organization, and also to use my experience to create a first-class club for New Yorkers and one in which they will always have a voice,” Pernetti said. “This is a tremendously exciting time for all involved and interested in soccer in New York.”


Bach is favored in IOC election

Thomas Bach of Germany goes into Tuesday’s International Olympic Committee vote as the strong favorite among the field of six candidates vying to be president.

Bach, a 59-year-old lawyer and IOC vice president who heads Germany’s national Olympic body, has long been considered the front-runner to succeed Jacques Rogge, a 71-year-old Belgian who is stepping down after 12 years in office.

Richard Carrion, 60, a Puerto Rican banking executive who heads the IOC’s finance commission, and IOC vice president Ng Ser Miang, 64, of Singapore are perceived as the top challengers.


• French cyclist Warren Barguil of the Argos-Shimano team won the mountainous 16th stage of the Spanish Vuelta and Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana team kept the overall lead.

• Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, 36, announced his retirement from the NHL Calgary Flames. His franchise records include victories (305) and shutouts (41).

Seattle Times news services