Kahne sets a track record; the rest of the field follows
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Championship contender Kasey Kahne shattered the track record at repaved Kansas Speedway on Friday, turning a lap of 191.360 mph to take the pole for Sunday’s race.
Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer were next fastest, and all 43 cars in the field broke the previous record of 180.856 set by Matt Kenseth in 2005.
Keselowski, who holds the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship lead with five races to run, will start 25th after a lousy qualifying run. Jimmie Johnson is third in points and will start seventh, while Denny Hamlin will go off ninth.
NHL lops off another week, cancels games through Nov. 1
NEW YORK – The NHL wiped out the third week of the regular season Friday as the lockout dragged on, leaving no more wiggle room if the league hopes to play a full 82-game schedule.
A day after the NHL turned down three counterproposals from players, the league canceled 53 more games. A total of 135 games through Nov. 1 have been scratched, which amounts to 11 percent of the season.
In its third lockout since 1994, the NHL is sticking to its most recent proposal that stated a full 82-game-per-team schedule could be played if the season begins by Nov. 2. The league said a deal must be reached with the union by next Thursday for that to happen.
Two weeks ago, the league called off 82 games from Oct. 11-24.
On Thursday, the union rejected the NHL’s proposal made two days earlier that offered a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenues and ensured a full regular-season schedule. In brief talks, the players countered with their trio of offers that were, in turn, quickly dismissed by the league.
If next Thursday’s deadline passes, more games likely will be cut, including the New Year’s Day Winter Classic.
Zellous gets hot to help Fever to a win and a finals lead
INDIANAPOLIS – Shavonte Zellous scored a career-high 30 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx 76-59 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.
Tamika Catchings added 17 points, and Erlana Larkins had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Fever, who took a 2-1 lead in the series and can clinch their first WNBA title at home Sunday night.
Rebekkah Brunson, who scored 12 points, was the only Lynx player to reach double digits.
The Fever’s lead of 70-33 with 1:58 left in the third quarter was the largest lead by any team in WNBA Finals history.
Goodell appoints Tagliabue to hear player appeals
NEW YORK – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, to hear the appeals of four players suspended in the Saints’ bounties scandal.
Goodell said Friday he notified Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, as well as the players’ union, that Tagliabue would be the hearing officer to “decide the appeals and bring the matter to a prompt and fair conclusion.”
The union and the four players asked Goodell to recuse himself, contending he could not fairly rule. Their second set of appeals is expected to be heard Tuesday.
Dutch Rabobank ends cycling sponsorship after 17 years
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch bank Rabobank is ending its long sponsorship of professional cycling, saying “the trust in the cycling world has gone” after the publication of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Lance Armstrong.
The bank said Friday it will halt sponsorship of its men’s and women’s professional teams at the end of 2012 after 17 years.