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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

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

06/12/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:47pm]

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