Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief: NASCAR driver Leffler dies in dirt-track accident

AUTOS

NASCAR driver dies at dirt track

BRIDGEPORT, N.J. — NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, 37, died after an accident Wednesday in a heat race at a dirt-car event at Bridgeport Speedway, a 0.625-mile, high-banked oval.

"For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed," NASCAR said in a statement.

After losing his NASCAR ride, Leffler had been racing dirt-car events most of this year, including the 410 Sprint Car race Wednesday that promised a $7,000 prize to the winner. On Sunday, Leffler finished last at Pocono in his lone Sprint Cup start of the year.

From Long Beach, Calif., Leffler made 423 starts in NASCAR's three national series but won just the two Nationwide races and one Truck Series event in a career that began in 1999. He also made three IndyCar Series starts, finishing 17th in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.

Soccer

Spain accuses Messi of $5.3M tax fraud

Spanish prosecutor Raquel Amado filed a fraud complaint in Madrid against four-time FIFA world player of the year Lionel Messi, alleging the Barcelona and Argentina star owes $5.3 million in back taxes.

The complaint names Messi, 25, and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi as defrauding returns in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

"We are surprised," Messi wrote on Facebook, "because we have never committed any infringement. We have always fulfilled all our tax obligations."

The complaint says Messi use shell companies in tax havens such as Belize and Uruguay. Forbes rated Messi as the world's 10th highest-paid athlete. He reportedly earned $41.3 million to June this year, with $20.3 coming from club salary and $21 million from endorsements.

NFL

Eagles lineman arrested for racing

Five-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Jason Peters of the Eagles was arrested in north Louisiana for allegedly drag racing and trying to flee from police, authorities said. A sheriff's deputy saw a Camaro and a sedan in what appeared to be a race at 4:45 a.m., an arrest affidavit said. The Camaro driver, identified as Peters, led the deputy on a chase at speeds exceeding 100 mph before stopping.

Colleges

Dome requirement for NCAAs nixed

The NCAA has decided that, beginning with 2017, it will lift the restriction that cities wanting to host a Final Four had to host a region final in a dome prior, ESPN reported. Mark Lewis, the vice president in charge of championships, said using domes for regions was a trial run for future Final Fours. But the upcoming sites (Arlington, Texas, 2014; Indianapolis, 2015; Houston 2016) have had the test run, so the practice will cease and arenas will be considered.

ET CETERA

Swimming: The support team for Australian Chloe McCardel, 28, said she ended her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida after 11 hours due to a "debilitating" jellyfish sting. She was trying to become the first to swim across the Straits of Florida nonstop without a shark cage.

Times wires

Comments
Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Is Alex Colome telling us something about Rays’ plans with his Instagram account?

Closer Alex Colome was not traded by the Rays to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.But he appeared to be either prepping for or having some fun with the possibility.On his alexcolome37 verified Instagram account, Colome started following the Cardinals o...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Boys basketball: St. Petersburg 62, Countryside 61

CLEARWATER – St. Petersburg already had Serrel Smith, an Ole Miss signee who is the reigning Pinellas County player of the year.The lineup became even better in the summer with the addition of Tampa Catholic transfers Tai and Terrell Strickland...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 2 – with some news

UPDATE, 8:45: Tommy Hunter parlayed his solid 2017 season with the Rays into a two-year deal with the Phillies.UPDATE, 7:13: Unexpected sighting in the meetings lobby: Luke Scott, who looked in great shape at 39 and is at least talking about playing ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Bucs’ problem isn’t how they finish; it’s how they start

The Bucs’ problem isn’t how they finish; it’s how they start

For the second straight week, the Buccaneers had the ball in the final minutes of a tie game.For the second straight week, they could not finish.As disappointing as that might be, they have a larger problem, and one that has existed all season: The B...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Despite injury, Gerald McCoy wants to play this season

Even dealing with a biceps injury and his Bucs at 4-9, Gerald McCoy isn't giving up on playing this season."I'm a fighter," McCoy said Tuesday night. "Y'all know me. I don't quit. I give it everything I have. Even the slightest possibility of being a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

Lightning opens road trip with shutout of Blues

ST. LOUIS — This showdown was supposed to be about the best team in the East versus the best in the West. In reality, the Lightning’s 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night pretty much came down to this:Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalies ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

Bucs’ defensive line surprises families with Christmas spree

The West Club at Raymond James Stadium was packed on Tuesday night with 75 needy local families who thought they were getting a holiday dinner and stadium tour with Bucs players.The defensive line stepped up to give the families a much bigger surpris...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Blues

Andrei Vasilevskiy might have made the save of the year. With the Lightning leading by one midway through the second, an Alex Steen dump-in took a wild carom off the boards. Vasilevskiiy somehow sprawled out for a right-toe save. Then, on his back, V...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 12

Tuesday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 5, Tarpon Springs 0Palm Harbor U. 8, Alonso 0Boys soccerShorecrest 2, Indian Rocks Chr. 0Palm Harbor U. 3, Alonso 0Girls basketballNortheast 65, Dixie Hollins 25...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Leonard makes season debut in Spurs defeat

Leonard makes season debut in Spurs defeat

DALLAS — Spurs star Kawhi Leonard made his season debut Tuesday night, getting the start in a 95-89 loss at Dallas after missing 27 games with a quadriceps injury. Leonard has been recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that cause...
Updated: 4 hours ago