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Bobby Ginn had grand plans to build a contender when he bought a NASCAR team last summer. But he learned quickly that winning takes a lot of money, and without solid sponsorships, it's almost impossible to do.

Faced with scaling back his program to a noncompetitive level, Ginn instead merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Wednesday to form a four-car team that will debut this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"We absolutely would have survived without merging, but what we would have wound up doing is taken on lesser sponsors," Ginn said.

Ginn driver Mark Martin will now pilot the No. 01 Chevrolet for DEI and split seat time with Aric Almirola of Tampa.

The deal makes Ginn a partner at DEI, which had been owned outright by Dale Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. She remains majority owner.

F1: League leader McLaren-Mercedes will answer charges today that its designer acquired confidential data from rival Ferrari.


Alinghi to defend America's Cup title in Valencia

Swiss syndicate Alinghi made it official, announcing as expected that it will defend its Auld Mug trophy in Valencia, where it won one of the most dramatic finals in the event's history. Also, Alinghi owner Ernesto Bertarelli announced Team New Zealand as the fourth challenger accepted for the next race - after South Africa's Shosholoza, Team Origin of Britain and "challenger of record" Desafio Espanol of Spain.


Monte Carlo tournament drops lawsuit against ATP

The Monte Carlo clay-court tennis tournament in Wilmington, Del., dropped its federal suit against the ATP Tour and agreed to forgo the mandatory player commitments other top-tier events require.

The change takes effect in 2009, when the ATP unveils a new calendar. As part of a settlement announced Tuesday, Monte Carlo will keep its current mid April spot on the calendar, and will have the same rankings points and prize money as eight other top-tier tournaments.

INDIANAPOLIS CHAMPIONSHIP: Top-seeded Andy Roddick took 67 minutes to beat Evgeny Korolev 6-3, 6-2 in the second round.

CROATIA OPEN: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic lost to qualifier Viktor Troicki 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round.


CYCLING: The 2008 Tour of California cycling road race will add 50 miles and stops in three new cities - Modesto, Palo Alto and Pasadena.

OLYMPICS: Britain will establish an independent panel to hear doping cases ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. Currently, each sporting governing body in Britain must set up its own disciplinary panel to deal with drug offenses by its athletes. UK Sport, which handles drug testing and punishment, said the system led to concerns about "lack of independence, consistency in the way cases are dealt with and potential conflicts of interest."

SOCCER: Liverpool submitted revised plans for a new soccer stadium that include a traditional single-tier terrace and space to expand beyond 60,000 seats in future. ... Bayern Munich beat Bundesliga champion Stuttgart 2-0 in the semifinals of the German League Cup in Frankfurt. ... Monarcas Morelia tied 1-1 with D.C. United in their opening match of the SuperLiga tournament in Washington.