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Sports in brief


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Nascar hammers Penske Teams over parts

FORT WORTH, Texas — NASCAR came down hard on Penske Racing on Wednesday, handing out six-race suspensions for seven crew members of defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano along with $200,000 in fines for bringing unapproved parts to Texas Motor Speedway last weekend.

Each driver and car owner was docked 25 championship points, dropping Kese­lowski from second to fourth in the Cup standings and Logano from ninth to 14th.

Along with the $100,000 fine each got, Keselowski crew chief Paul Wolfe and Logano crew chief Todd Gordon were suspended for the next six points races and placed on probation for the rest of the calendar year. Also suspended and put on probation were Travis Geisler, who serves as team manager for both cars, and the individual car chiefs and team engineers.

Penske Racing vowed to appeal, putting the suspensions on hold.

NASCAR inspectors confiscated the original rear-end housing with suspension parts from Keselowski's No. 2 Ford and Logano's No. 22 before Saturday's race, causing a prerace scramble for both teams. Logano finish fifth and Keselowski ninth.

Logano said the fines and penalties won't be a distraction for Penske Racing.

"We can definitely move ahead," Logano said. "Penske Racing has a lot of depth inside the company, and we can make adjustments to make sure we still run well."


Learn takes PGA50 opener

Bob Learn Jr. of Erie, Pa., overcame a back injury from qualifying and won the season-opening Pasco County Suncoast Open in New Port Richey for his second career PBA50 Tour title.

Learn, 51, beat PBA Hall of Famer Wayne Webb 226-206, in the title match after ousting Hall of Famer and reigning PBA50 player of the year Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala 229-216 in the semifinals. The series is for PBA bowlers age 50 and older.

Female amateur Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, who qualified third, was eliminated in the Round of 16 by Mike Dias 3-1.


Nadal, Djokovic advance

Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal extended his Monte Carlo Masters winning streak to 43 matches and top-ranked Novak Djokovic won despite a balky ankle in Monaco.

Nadal cruised past Marinko Matosevic 6-1, 6-2 and plays Philipp Kohl­schreiber in the third round.

Djokovic needed 2 hours, 15 minutes, to defeat Mikhail Youzhny 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 and plays Juan Monaco in the third round.

Djokovic twisted his ankle playing for Serbia in the Davis Cup on April 7. "Today was a big test. My ankle survived, I'm in the next round," he said.


Soccer: Costa Rica wants to move a World Cup qualifying match against the United States from National Stadium to smaller and older Ricardo Saprissa, which has artificial turf. FIFA, the sport's world governing body, would have to approve the change. … FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke acknowledged there is no backup plan if National Stadium in Brasilia, the venue scheduled to host the opener of the Confederations Cup, isn't ready in time. Brazil and Japan are to play there June 15, but the date for the venue's completion was pushed back to May 18. The tournament is a test event for the 2014 World Cup.

Times wires

Sports in brief 04/17/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:58pm]
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  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person


    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    The Rays still talk about having a shot to make the playoffs. But recognizing and correcting mistakes will help them next year, such as Mallex Smith trying to steal third in the first. "Those are the little things we've got to find how to eliminate real quick," manager Kevin Cash said.

  5. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”