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Persistent rain pushes Pocono race to today

Jimmie Johnson’s White House visit will have to wait. So will the start of the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

Steady rain postponed Sunday’s race, and it was rescheduled for 9:15 a.m. PDT today (ESPN, Channel 30).

Heavy rain hit the track Sunday morning. It let up about an hour before the scheduled 2 p.m. EDT start and the sky brightened for driver introductions. The rain returned about 3:30 p.m. and soaked the surface again. There was light rain the rest of the afternoon, forcing the postponement.

There also was some concern about “weepers” — water that seeps up through the track following heavy precipitation on the triangle track. Pocono does not have lights and faced a time crunch to start the race.

Johnson, the three-time defending Cup champion, was among a group of NASCAR drivers to be honored at the White House by President Barack Obama today. Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet was going to be parked at the White House.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is on the mend with only some swelling near his left eye and will fly home to Brazil today, nine days after fracturing his skull in a high-speed crash in Hungary.

Massa will travel to Sao Paulo on a medical plane with his wife Raffaela, who is six months pregnant with their first child, and family doctor.


Venus Williams upset in Bank of West final

Venus Williams was upset by France’s Marion Bartoli 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the championship match of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.

Williams, making her first appearance at the event since 2005, reached her seventh final in eight appearances at Stanford. She’s won two titles but none since 2002.

The eighth-seeded Bartoli, who lost in last year’s final, played a steady match against the second-seeded Williams and will likely move up two places into 12th when the next world rankings are released. Williams is expected to remain third.

Also: American Sam Querrey ended a string of final round frustrations by beating Carsten Bell 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to claim the L.A. Open title.

Querrey, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, was playing in his third straight final and fourth of the season, but he had yet to win.

No. 1 seed Nikolay Davydenko routed former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-0 to win the Croatia Open in Umag.

Qualifier Thomaz Bellucci won his first ATP Tour title, beating Andreas Beck 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the Swiss Open final in Gstaad.

Vera Dushevina of Russia beat Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-1 in the Istanbul Cup final to win her first WTA title.


McCain tweets about disappointing Ortiz

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is lamenting the latest report of a baseball player linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

Last week the players’ union confirmed that Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was among the 104 major leaguers who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.

In response to the revelation, McCain sent a message on his Twitter account that read, “David Ortiz tested positive for steroids, ‘where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?’ “

Also: Clara Guerrero of Colombia beat Korea’s Hwang Sun-Ok three games to two in the masters finals of the Women’s World Championships at Cashman Center.

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