Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief: Reutimann to drive during Busch's suspension; owner's patience wears thin

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reutimann to step in during suspension

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — David Reutimann will replace suspended driver Kurt Busch at Pocono Raceway, but Busch's future with Phoenix Racing appears murky, at best.

Busch was suspended by NASCAR on Monday for verbally abusing a reporter after the Nationwide Series race at Dover. NASCAR said his behavior was in violation of the probation Busch was placed on last month, and he's not eligible to return to a NASCAR-sanctioned event until June 13.

Tommy Baldwin Racing will let Reutimann drive Busch's No. 51 Chevrolet on Sunday at Pocono. There is no Nationwide Series race this weekend, so Busch was not scheduled to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports, his younger brother's race team.

It's assumed Busch will be back with Phoenix and KBM after his suspension, but Phoenix owner James Finch said Tuesday their partnership will be on a race-by-race basis going forward.

"Here's the deal: Quit wrecking the cars, get a good finish, be nice to people. That's not real hard to do," Finch told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "It's affecting me. If I can't get a sponsor, I can't keep running without a sponsor. That's a slow death. I don't want to do that."

Finch said Busch has wrecked 14 cars this season, and at least three were beyond repair. With limited sponsorship money, and Busch's behavior interfering with the potential to land funding, Finch said something has to give.

"Hopefully if we can get Kurt's mind right, we can win some races," he said. "If we can't get his mind right so we can race into the future, then I'll go do something else. It's just that simple."

Busch's latest penalty stems from a confrontation with a Sporting News reporter after Saturday's race. Contact on the track with Justin Allgaier led to a discussion on pit road after the race, and Busch was asked if being on probation affected the way he raced Allgaier.

"It refrains me from not beating the (expletive) out of you right now because you ask me stupid questions. But since I'm on probation, I suppose that's improper to say as well," Busch replied.

et cetera

WNBA: Cappie Pondexter scored 26 and Leilani Mitchell added 18 to help host New York to a 79-74 victory over Atlanta. The Liberty held the Dream to just six points over the final 4:53.

Olympics: Jay Berger and Mary Joe Fernandez have been chosen the men's and women's coaches for the 2012 U.S. tennis teams. Berger is head of tennis for USTA player development. Fernandez is captain of the U.S. Fed Cup team and has led it to the final in two of the past three years.

Golf: Casey Martin, 40, again will be riding a cart for the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club, qualifying for the championship six years after ending his professional career. Martin, who successfully sued the PGA Tour in 2001 for the right to ride a cart because of a degenerative circulatory disorder, was the medalist in sectional qualifying in Memphis. He made a 5-foot par on the last hole.

Horses: Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was hospitalized after one of his horses reared up and kicked him in the head. Lukas, 74, said from the hospital that he will be fine and he expects to return to the track today. Jockey agent Ron Anderson says Lukas was in his barn at Belmont Park in New York, when Hamazing Destiny reared up and struck him. Anderson says Lukas was conscious and talking but will need stitches.

Times wires

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