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Sports in brief

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EARNHARDT JR. RAVES ABOUT NEW CUP CAR

CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR spent almost a year developing its 2013 car in hopes the "Gen 6" model will dramatically improve the racing.

After his first test drive Tuesday, NASCAR's most popular driver approved.

"This sport is going to be revolutionized again with this car," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said.

That's a ringing endorsement for NASCAR, which stumbled out of the gate with the launch of its 2007 Sprint Cup car and never recovered. Drivers were mixed on the "Car of Tomorrow" during its development and the messaging reflected the varying opinions.

When Kyle Busch won the CoT's debut race at Bristol, he panned the car in his victory celebration on live television. He didn't let up in postrace interviews, likening the car to driving a milk crate.

NASCAR worked on orders from chairman Brian France to develop a racier 2013 model, which will officially debut at the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

CYCLING

Armstrong sought sealing of records

Lance Armstrong resisted turning over records sought by U.S. Postal Service investigators, then tried to keep the inquiry under seal and out of the public eye, according to released court documents. In 2011, Postal Service officials investigating Armstrong and his teams for doping wanted records from his team management groups, financial statements, training journals and correspondence with former training consultant Michele Ferrari. He eventually complied with the subpoena but as recently as October asked the courts to keep the inquiry private.

BASEBALL

Youkilis headed to ex-team's enemy

Kevin Youkilis and the Yankees reached a deal, AP reported, returning the hard-nosed three-time All-Star to the AL East. The one-year contract for $12 million is pending a physical. Youkilis was a star for the rival Red Sox for nearly a decade before being traded to the White Sox last season.

THREE-TEAM TRADE: The Indians traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds and acquired prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer from the Diamondbacks. Centerfielder Drew Stubbs went from Cincinnati to Cleveland as part of the nine-player swap. The Indians also got right-handers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from Arizona, sent infielder Jason Donald and about $3.5 million to the Reds and shipped lefty reliever Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona. The Diamondbacks got shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati.

GOLF

Ryder Cup captain revealed Thursday

The PGA of America is bringing a mystery guest to the Today show: Its next Ryder Cup captain. Golf Digest reported on its website that it would be Tom Watson. The PGA of America said it would reveal the U.S. captain for the 2014 team during a segment Thursday of NBC's morning show, followed by a news conference. NBC is the longtime broadcast partner of the Ryder Cup.

ET CETERA

TENNIS: Rafael Nadal said he'll play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi this month after a six-month break to recover from a knee injury. Nadal has not played since a stunning second-round loss to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June.

Times wires

Sports in brief 12/11/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:30pm]
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  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)

    Tranckandfieldpreps

    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return

    Bucs

    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits

    Colleges

    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.