Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Autos

NASCAR Chase filtering to lower levels

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR is expanding its Chase for the Championship format to include its feeder series, meaning the champions from the Xfinity and truck series will now be crowned in a four-driver shootout at the season finale.

The format, announced Tuesday by NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, mostly mirrors the playoff-style setup used to determine the Sprint Cup champion the past two years. That system has 16 drivers race through three rounds of eliminations to establish a field of four in which the highest finisher in the finale wins the championship.

The Xfinity and truck series will use a seven-race Chase to decide their champions. The Cup series uses a 10-race format.

All three series will end at Homestead-Miami Speedway. However, the three playoffs will begin at different tracks: Chicago (Sprint Cup), Kentucky (Xfinity) and New Hampshire (trucks).

There will be 12 drivers eligible for the Xfinity Chase, which will then be whittled to eight drivers and conclude with a final four at Homestead. In Trucks, the format is eight drivers cut down to six, then a final four at Homestead.

NASCAR said the 16 Sprint Cup drivers who made last year's Chase won't be eligible for lower-tier championship races. That eliminates Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano — all often moonlight in at least the Xfinity series — from participating in the season finale.

Gibbs changes: Joe Gibbs Racing moved Dave Rogers from crew chief for Hamlin to the same post with Carl Edwards' team. Mike Wheeler was promoted from the Xfinity series to replace Rogers.

Horses

Pharoah earns global honor

Triple Crown-winning Horse of the Year American Pharoah was named World's Best Racehorse by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in London. The award was the latest for the champion colt who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes before capping his career with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Et cetera

Soccer: Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini accused Napoli counterpart Maurizio Sarri of using anti-gay slurs during their teams' Italian Cup quarterfinal, which visiting Inter won 2-0. Mancini and Sarri were sent off in stoppage time after an argument on the sideline. "Sarri is a racist. Men like him cannot be in football," Mancini told Rai Sport. "I went to find him in the locker room and he apologized, but I replied that he has only to be ashamed." Sarri said he "lost clarity of thought" after Napoli player Dries Mertens was dismissed and added, "Am I homophobic? That seems over the top."

Olympics: Ticket sales for the Rio de Janeiro Games are disappointing to organizers. Only about half of the 4.5 million tickets aimed at the domestic audience have been sold.

Sailing: The scheduled Day 2 at the Key West regatta was canceled because organizers deemed the winds to be too high to safely sail in.

Times wires

Comments

Overtime favors Countryside in girls hoops bout with Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Two similarly successful teams in Clearwater and Countryside combined for one exciting game.Facing each other Tuesday night in a brilliant, all-out girls basketball battle, one unfortunate play turned the tide.Leading by two p...
Updated: 5 hours ago
UNC streak over Clemson at 59-0

UNC streak over Clemson at 59-0

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Graduate transfer Cameron Johnson scored a season-high 21 to help No. 15 North Carolina hold off No. 20 Clemson 87-79 on Tuesday night, improving its all-time home record against the Tigers to 59-0. It’s the longest home winning s...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 16

Tuesday’s scoreboardGirls soccerLennard 8, Blake 0Osceola 1, Clearwater Central Cath. 0Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 4, Bishop McLaughlin 0
Updated: 6 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulsa at Temple6 p.m.ESPNewsVillanova at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1Dayton at St. Joseph’s6:30 p.m.CBSSNArkansas at Florida7 p.m.ESPN2; 1250-AMSMU at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPNUAuburn at Alabama7 p.m.SECUSF at East Carolina7 p.m.820-AM...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

BOSTON — Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, died Tuesday. He was 71 and had been battling cancer in recent years, though no cause of death was provided. In a statement, the Cel...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

NEW YORK — Rick Nash scored twice while the Rangers notched five straight goals in a 5-1 victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night. Jordan Weal put Philadelphia up 1-0 before Nash, J.T. Miller, Paul Carey and Michael Grabner combined to make it 5-1 by...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Updated: 6 hours ago

Largo rallies past Palm Harbor University 3-2, wins PCAC north

LARGO — Prior to Tuesday night's game against Palm Harbor University, Largo coach Dan Flynn gave his team a pep talk that may have been slightly embellished. He told his team that he talked to fellow coaches, who told him they had little chance...
Updated: 7 hours ago

MAKING NEWSNASSAR VICTIM: ‘YOU ARE A REPULSIVE LIAR’One of the dozens of victims expected to testify at the sentencing hearing of a disgraced former Michigan sports doctor Tuesday described the sexual abuse Larry Nassar inflicted on her as a child an...
Updated: 7 hours ago
A win, a few doubts

A win, a few doubts

MELBOURNE, Australia — One fine match does not make a comeback.Novak Djokovic’s elbow or some other body part may get sore again as the rallies and the serves pile up. His confidence, rattled before he took his involuntary six-month break from the ga...
Updated: 8 hours ago