Sports Extra

Auto Racing

Hunter-Reay wins IRL pole, but Franchitti will run 1st

EDMONTON, Alberta – Ryan Hunter-Reay bounced back from a rough opening day at Edmonton by winning the pole in Saturday’s qualifying.

But the IndyCar Series points leader will start 11th because he’s being penalized for an unapproved engine change. The penalty is 10 spots on the starting grid for today’s race.

Dario Franchitti now will start first because of Hunter-Reay’s penalty.

Hunter-Reay has won the last three IndyCar races to move into the points lead. He’s the first American since 2006 to lead the IndyCar standings, and he takes a 34-point lead over Will Power into today’s race.

Slippery when wet: Alonso slips into F1 pole position

HOCKENHEIM, Germany – Championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari secured pole position Saturday for the German Grand Prix, while two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel was second in his bid to win his home Formula One race for the first time.

Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber of Australia, who won the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, was third fastest, but he’ll drop five places on today’s grid because of a gearbox change.


Nuggets liked what they saw April 11 out of Randolph

DENVER – The Denver Nuggets signed free agent forward Anthony Randolph to a multiyear contract.

Randolph averaged 7.4 points and 3.6 rebounds in 34 games with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, including a season-high 28 points at Denver on April 11 when he pulled down six rebounds and blocked five shots.

The 23-year-old pro joined the Timberwolves in the three-team Carmelo Anthony trade in 2011 after playing for the New York Knicks. Randolph spent his first two NBA seasons in Golden State.

USA Basketball

Bird’s back as U.S. women fly 109-55 past Croatia

ISTANBUL – Sylvia Fowles scored 15 points, and Candace Parker added 14 to lead a balanced U.S. offense in the Americans’ 109-55 win over Croatia in an exhibition game Saturday.

The contest marked the return of Sue Bird to the team. She left the women’s basketball squad Sunday after the death of her stepfather Dennis and missed the team’s exhibition wins over Brazil and Britain.

Bird got to Istanbul early Saturday morning but didn’t look jet-lagged at all. She didn’t start but entered the game four minutes in. Her first play was a nifty no-look pass to Tamika Catchings, but she couldn’t convert the shot.

Bird then hit a 3-pointer a few minutes later as the U.S. went on a 24-3 run to take a 38-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. She finished with eight points and five assists in 19 minutes.


Former refs still have a job; replacement refs on the way

NEW YORK – The NFL said nine former on-field officials have not been fired from part-time jobs.

Former NFL referee Jerry Markbreit said Friday that he and eight other retired officials were asked to hand in their NFL-issued laptops and had been fired. The league wanted the nine men to train replacement officials after the league locked out the current officials.

The NFL said in a statement that the nine “are seasonal employees who have decided not to work at this time. We asked for their NFL-issued laptops back so that those who are working right now can use them.”

The other eight ex-officials are Ron Botchan, Red Cashion, Tom Fincken, Dean Look, Ben Montgomery, Jim Quirk, Bill Schmitz, and Sid Semon.

The regular officials’ contract ran out May 31, and the NFL has been lining up replacements.

The league responded Wednesday it began the process of hiring replacements when the officials told the NFL of their intention to authorize a strike.

Associated Press