Tony Stewart will miss the start of his final NASCAR season after fracturing his back in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing said Thursday.

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Stewart fractures back, will miss start of NASCAR season

Tony Stewart will miss the start of his final NASCAR season after fracturing his back in an accident on an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing said Thursday.

The three-time NASCAR champion suffered a “burst fracture of the L1 vertebra” when he crashed on an ATV on Sunday and he had surgery Wednesday, the team said. A timetable for Stewart’s return has not been determined, but SHR said he is expected to make a full recovery and race this year.

Drivers report to Daytona next week to begin preparations for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 21. An interim driver for the No. 14 Chevrolet was not named.

Stewart will miss what was expected to be his final Daytona 500. He is 0-17 in the prestigious race and spoke last month about how it’s one of the few glaring holes on his résumé. Stewart, who turns 45 in May, plans to retire from NASCAR competition at the end of this year.


Canucks fall in shootout

Alex Wennberg scored the only goal in a shootout as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the host Vancouver Canucks 2-1.

Scott Hartnell had a power-play goal in the third period for the Blue Jackets (20-28-5), who are last in the NHL and were coming off a 5-1 loss in Edmonton on Tuesday.

Joonas Korpisalo stopped 37 shots for Columbus.

Linden Vey scored in the first period for Vancouver (20-19-12), which has lost three straight. Ryan Miller made 27 saves.

Henrik Sedin returned to his spot on Vancouver’s top line after missing four games with a shoulder injury.


Smyly wins arbitration case

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Drew Smyly has won baseball’s first salary arbitration case this year.

The three-person panel dealt the Rays their first loss in seven arbitration hearings.

The 26-year-old lefty asked for a raise from $2.65 million to $3.75 million during a hearing. The Rays argued for $3.2 million.

In other news:

• The Baltimore Orioles reached agreement with left-hander Brian Matusz on a $3.9 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

• Alex Romero, Jose Martinez and Sandy Leon drove in runs to lead Venezuela’s Aragua Tigers to a 3-1 victory over Cuba’s Ciego de Avila and advance to the semifinals of the Caribbean Series in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Mixed-martial arts

Rousey likely to fight again in November

UFC president Dana White believes former female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will return to action in November.

During a radio show, White said Rousey will face the winner of a March 5 championship bout between defending titleholder Holly Holm and Miesha Tate.

Rousey (12-1) hasn’t fought since she suffered a second-round knockout loss to Holm (10-0) at UFC 193 in November. Rousey has not provided a hard time frame for a return, but has stated she intends to fight sometime in 2016.


Women’s information disclosed

The U.S. Soccer Federation’s original lawsuit against the union for its champion women’s national team has been sealed after the governing body realized it had disclosed the home addresses and email accounts of many players.

A day after the original complaint was filed, the USSF filed a motion to seal it, saying “private, personal contact information of individual members” included in the exhibits “is wholly irrelevant to the merits of the dispute.”

The clerk of the Chicago court was directed to seal the original complaint pending a decision on the motion by U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman.

The USSF’s lawsuit sought a ruling that its collective-bargaining agreement with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Players Association runs through Dec. 31. The union complains the memorandum of understanding agreed to in March 2013 can be terminated at any time.

The original suit included email addresses and home addresses for several stars, including Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Hope Solo.

In other news:

• Belgium has kept the No. 1 spot in the FIFA men’s rankings among an unchanged top 18 for February. The United States remained in 32nd place.

The Big 12 is unlikely to play a football championship game this year even though the NCAA approved a plan last month that would allow the 10-team league to do so.

There are also not any immediately pending decisions to be made on possible expansion or a league-wide television network.

“Frankly some of the data we saw today causes us to continue to question whether or not we have a better chance of getting in the playoff without a championship game than we do with a championship game,” said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, whose league is the only one of the five power conferences without a title game.


Jack Riley, the Army coach who in 1960 guided the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in hockey, has died. He was 95. Riley died Wednesday on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the U.S. Military Academy said. Riley compiled a 542-343-20 record at West Point during a 36-year college coaching career that began in 1950.

• Third-seeded Gilles Simon of France lost his opening match at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Dustin Brown of Germany.

• Second-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia reached the Sofia Open quarterfinals in Bulgaria after defeating German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-4, 6-3.

• Police in Greenville, N.C., said veteran X Games biker Dave Mirra has died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 41.