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Sports in brief

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Stewart says no to double of indy-sprint cup

INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Stewart is passing up a chance to race for Roger Penske in next year's Indianapolis 500.

The three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion said Wednesday he wouldn't attempt to race in the Indy 500 and Sprint Cup's Coca-Cola 600 on May 26.

"As much as I would like to do it, we just don't have the time to do it proper," Stewart said. "You're not going to just show up like drivers used to do in the past and be competitive."

Penske extended the invitation last week. Stewart has raced the Indy 500 five times. He twice has run the 500 and the 600 on the same day, in 1999 and 2001.

IndyCar: Ryan Hunter-Reay will recognize his series championship next year by using the No. 1 on his Andretti Autosport entry. He becomes the first defending champion to follow the open-wheel tradition of using No. 1 since Scott Dixon in 2004. He had been using No. 28.

Soccer

Champions: Chelsea out; Messi injured

Juventus knocked defending champion Chelsea out of the European Champions League with a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine, and Lionel Messi was taken off the field on a cart with a left knee bone bruise as Barcelona tied Benfica 0-0 in the final round of group matches.

Chelsea needed to better Juventus' result to finish second in Group E and thrashed FC Nordsjaelland 6-1. But Juventus' win got it the top spot. Chelsea is the first reigning champion to exit at the group stage.

With Barcelona assured of advancing, Messi entered as a reserve in the 58th minute. His left knee collided with the right hand of Benfica's Artur as he ran onto a long pass. After taking a shot, he fell to the field.

Manchester United, with advancement guaranteed, played reserves and lost to Romania's CFR Cluj 1-0.

Et cetera

Golf: Shanshan Feng and Florentyna Parker opened with 6-under 66 at the Dubai Ladies Masters for a one-shot lead over a group of three that included Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse.

Figure skating: John Coughlin, winner of this year's U.S. pairs title with Caydee Denney of Wesley Chapel, had surgery to repair a torn left hip labrum and is out indefinitely.

GREYHOUNDS: Flying Spectator and Tmc's Roxslide remained unbeaten, and Art Allen and Jack's Cruze also won second-race races in the $75,000 Holiday Distance Challenge at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Qualifying resumes Saturday.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 12/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:42pm]
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