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F1 CEO dismisses NASCAR's concerns

Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone said Wednesday that his series and NASCAR won't compete for fans when they hold races 190 miles apart Nov. 2. Fort Worth's Texas Motor Speedway hosts NASCAR's Texas 500; Austin's Circuit of the Americas hosts the U.S. Grand Prix, F1's only U.S. race.

"The people at COTA … believe the NASCAR crowd is a different crowd to Formula One," Ecclestone said. "They run a domestic series in America. We run a world championship."

The comments came in response to Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage calling F1 "arrogant" for scheduling its race after his had been set.

"It's a shot fired by Formula One at NASCAR," Gossage said. "I can't say I was surprised because Bernie Ecclestone does a lot of foolish things. The thing he unfortunately doesn't recognize is there is an 800-pound gorilla when it comes to major American motorsports. The 800-pound gorilla is NASCAR."

COTA chairman Bobby Epstein defended F1.

"Although there is very, very little overlap, I do feel for the fans who have to make a choice," he said. "The reality is there are more than 30 NASCAR races in the U.S. and only one Formula One race. It's impossible not to bump into them."

Indy 500: Jacques Villeneuve, 42, will compete for the first time since winning the race in 1995. He drove in F1 from 1996-2006 and has run in a variety of series since.


Browns release Seminole High grad

The Browns cut linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson, a Seminole High star who made 96 starts over eight seasons, was due a $4.1 million roster bonus in March.

Eagles: Receiver Riley Cooper, a Clearwater Central Catholic star, will re-sign for four years, reported. … Two-time All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters signed a four-year $41.3 million deal ($19.55 million guaranteed) effective in 2015.


Ex-Hurricanes safety dies after car crash

JoJo Nicolas, a Miami safety from 2007-11, died a day after a car he was driving crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer. The crash came after a party in South Beach for his 25th birthday, which is Monday. Miami Beach police said it still is investigating.

Swimming: Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike, Connor Knight and Paul Murray set an FSU record (1:24.72) in finishing second in the 200 medley relay at the ACC meet in Greensboro, N.C. FSU sat fourth after the first of four days.

Honored: Flagler 2B Andrew Brodbeck was the National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association Division II hitter of the week. The former Dunedin High standout hit .600 with a 1.000 slugging percentage and .652 on-base percentage in four games last week.

Et cetera

Olympics: Russian skicross racer Maria Komissarova, who broke her spine in a training run Feb. 15, is confident of walking again despite having no feeling in her legs. "I am strong, and I know that I'll be able to stand on my legs again some day," Komissarova, 23, wrote on Instagram.

Tennis: Novak Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3 in 57 minutes to reach the quarters of the Dubai Championships in the United Arab Emirates. Roger Federer beat Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3.

Soccer: Visiting Real Madrid beat Schalke 6-1 and host Galatasaray and Chelsea tied 1-1 in the openers of second-round Champions League matchups.

GREYHOUNDS: Joey Ice and Kiowa Zabia won the last qualifying races for the $64,000 Sprint Classic at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. The final is Saturday.

Times wires

Sports in Brief 02/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 11:39pm]
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