Cup qualifying canceled; Kyle Busch gets pole

Sprint Cup qualifying for Sunday’s Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen, N.Y., was canceled because of rain for the fourth time in five years at the storied road course.

The cancellation puts Cup points leader Kyle Busch on the pole, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. alongside him. Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson will be in the second row, followed by Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Also: NASCAR denies a former official complained to her superiors about incidents of racial discrimination or sexual harassment in its response to her $225 million lawsuit.

NASCAR’s response was filed Friday in New York. It claims Mauricia Grant used several stereotypes in describing herself and repeatedly was reprimanded for tardiness and other behavioral issues. The organization also claims her firing in October was legitimate and not an act of discrimination or retaliation.

IndyCar Series leader Scott Dixon averaged 218.968 mph to win the pole position for today’s Meijer Indy 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky., his fifth pole of the season. Vitor Meira averaged 218.409 mph and will start outside the front row.

Andretti Green Racing of the IndyCar Series signed Tony Kanaan to a five-year contract extension through 2013.

Ashley Force topped the Funny Car field in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., with a run of 4.110 seconds at 299.40 mph. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle) led their divisions.

Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins raced to their second straight Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory, leading 78 of the 82 laps in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International at Watkins Glen, N.Y.


Big Ten clears veteran referee of wrongdoing

The Big Ten’s investigation of two football games involving an official with a history of financial troubles and casino gambling turned up no evidence to suggest the integrity of either 2007 game was compromised.

Yahoo! Sports reported in December that Stephen Pamon, a Big Ten official since 1988 and chief of a seven-man crew last season, and his wife filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and two of the creditors were casinos. Pamon’s sister-in-law, Gina Banks, told Yahoo! that Pamon regularly gambled in casinos and the gambling he and his wife did contributed to their bankruptcy. There was no evidence Pamon bet on sporting events.

Pamon’s crew came under scrutiny for its work in last season’s Penn State-Purdue game and reportedly was suspended. The Yahoo! article also questioned the officiating in last year’s Illinois at Ohio State game, worked by Pamon’s crew, though the reporting never alleged either game had been intentionally compromised by any officials.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants, Inc., was involved in the investigation, the Big Ten said.

Also: The Nevada Board of Regents approved a one-year contract extension for UNLV men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger during meetings Thursday and Friday in Reno. Kruger, 91-42 in four years at UNLV, is under contract through the 2012-13 season.

Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley, who started 33 games and averaged 12.1 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds last season, won’t play for the Razorbacks this season, the school said. No further details were given.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed restricted free-agent forward Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks to an offer sheet. Atlanta has seven days to match the offer for Smith, who averaged 17.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks last season.

Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller was released from a Salt Lake City hospital, almost two months after having a heart attack and subsequent setbacks that he said almost killed him.

Miller, 64, had a 90-minute news conference in which he described his heart attack, kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding that required eight pints of blood transfusions.

Philadelphia 76ers center Jason Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Smith, a second-year player out of Colorado State, averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds as a rookie.


Trojans QB Sanchez dislocates left kneecap

Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez dislocated his left kneecap and was carted off the practice field.

Sanchez, the projected starter, was injured after making a throw during practice and landing awkwardly. He was taken for X-rays and an MRI exam, and team doctors say there is no ligament, cartilage or bone damage. He is listed as day to day.

Sanchez said he hopes to be back in time for the Trojans’ opener Aug. 30 at Virginia.

Also: Quarterback Ben Mauk, one of the key components in Cincinnati’s rise to Top 25 prominence last season, had his third and final appeal for another year of eligibility rejected by the NCAA.

Mauk overcame career-threatening arm injuries to lead Cincinnati to a No. 17 ranking in the final poll, throwing for 31 touchdowns and 3,121 yards.

The Buffalo Sabres re-signed veteran defenseman Teppo Numminen to a one-year, $1.1 million contract.

The signing came after the Sabres were assured by their medical staff and doctors at the Cleveland Clinic that Numminen, 40, will be capable of playing at 100 percent after missing all but Buffalo’s final game last season following heart surgery to repair a faulty valve.

Orville Moody, the U.S. Army veteran who won the 1969 U.S. Open for his only PGA Tour title, died in Texas at age 74. The PGA Tour did not give a cause of death.

Duke star Amanda Blumenherst, a three-time national college player of the year, advanced to the U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinals, beating Spain’s Carlota Ciganda 4 and 3 in Eugene, Ore.

Blumenherst will play Erynn Lee, 15, of Silverdale, Wash. Azahara Munoz, the NCAA champion from Arizona State, and Belen Mozo will meet in the other semifinal.

French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt was banned from the men’s tour for two months and fined $12,000 after being found guilty of betting on matches.

The No. 152-ranked Montcourt bet on matches between June and September 2005. He did not bet on his matches, only those involving other players. The ATP found no evidence he tried to affect the outcomes of the matches.

Andy Roddick moved into the semifinals of the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Marc Gicquel of France.

Roddick next faces Denis Gremelmayr of Germany. American Mardy Fish and Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina will meet in the other semifinal.

Racing was canceled at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., after torrential rain and hail washed out part of the stretch turn. The last program canceled at Saratoga was on Aug. 2, 2006, because of extreme heat.

Front-running Sudan will miss today’s Arlington Million in Arlington Heights, Ill., with an injured tendon, reducing the field to seven.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United, as manager Alex Ferguson said he wants to extend the soccer star’s contract.

Ferguson also said Ronaldo, who played with an ankle injury as United won English and European titles in May, will begin full training in a month. He had surgery in early July.

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