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Sports in brief: Drivers exceed 200 mph during testing at repaved Michigan track

autos

drivers exceed 200 mph at repaved track

BROOKLYN, Mich. — After four drivers posted laps of more than 200 mph during a morning test session, Greg Biffle was asked if the fast new track at Michigan International Speedway might be good for the sport.

"Certainly this doesn't hurt us," he said. "We don't want to kill anybody, either, so we've got to walk that fine line of killing people and creating excitement."

After being repaved in the offseason, the 2-mile track at MIS was the talk of the Sprint Cup drivers Thursday. Four drivers exceeded 200 mph in the morning, then seven did it during the second test session, including Tony Stewart, who set the day's standard at 201.896 mph.

The track record for qualifying is 194.232 mph, set by Ryan Newman in 2005. All 43 drivers surpassed that speed Thursday afternoon. Qualifying is Saturday for Sunday's 400-mile race.

No driver in the series has qualified at more than 200 mph since Bill Elliott in 1987 at Talladega. "It's been quite a rush for the drivers," driver Jimmie Johnson said.

gymnastics

Book questions Karolyis' methods

Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu no longer has a relationship with former coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi, and wishes USA Gymnastics didn't, either.

In her memoir, Off Balance, Moceanu repeats criticisms of the Karolyis and their training methods that she first made four years ago. She said she thinks Martha Karolyi should be removed from her role as national team coordinator.

"She's the maker or breaker of people's Olympic dreams," Moceanu said. "She holds unchecked power. The governing body has handed it to them."

The Karolyis retired from coaching after Moceanu and her teammates won gold in Atlanta in 1996. Martha Karolyi has overseen the U.S. women's team since 2001. The United States has won 59 medals in international competition under Martha Karolyi's guidance.

In her book, Moceanu, now 30, contends the Karolyis created a toxic environment that made training under them difficult and left her with issues that took years to sort out.

Et cetera

NHL: The Kings celebrated their first Stanley Cup at a packed Staples Center in Los Angeles. Coach Darryl Sutter pumped up the fans with out-of-character fist pumps, and forward Anze Kopitar riled them up even more. "It's too much fun not to win it again, so let's go get it," Kopitar said.

Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga might miss Wimbledon after injuring his right hand during a 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) third-round loss to Ivan Dodig at Queen's Club in London. Tsonga hurt the little finger on his dominant hand during the final set. "I think it's serious," he said. Last year, Tsonga upset Roger Federer in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. … Rafael Nadal defeated Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-1 at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany. Federer downed Florian Mayer 6-4, 7-5. Also, Nadal will lead Spain's team at the London Games.

Horses: Churchill Downs simplified the path leading to the Kentucky Derby, announcing a new points system pegged to three dozen races that will set the field. Derby hopefuls can start accumulating points as 2-year-olds, but the greatest number of points will be awarded for the traditional prep races in the weeks leading up to the Run for the Roses. Those races include the Florida Derby, Louisiana Derby, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes.

Times wires

Sports in brief: Drivers exceed 200 mph during testing at repaved Michigan track 06/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 12:35am]
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