March 5, 2013

Sports Digest

From staff and news service reports

AUTO RACING

National Rifle Association to sponsor NASCAR Sprint Cup race -- the NRA 500

The National Rifle Association is taking its relationship with racing to a new level as the title sponsor of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Texas Motor Speedway announced Monday that its April 13 race, the first night race on the Cup schedule this season, will be known as the NRA 500.

TMS President Eddie Gossage said the NRA is a generous supporter of Speedway Children's Charities, donating more than $500,000 to the Texas chapter since 2000.

The deal comes while the NRA is involved in a renewed debate on gun violence, sparked by the school shootings at Newtown, Conn., in December.

TENNIS

HALL OF FAME: Five-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Hingis leads the 2013 class for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The other new members are Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell and Ion Tiriac.

Hingis won 15 major titles; the first came at Wimbledon in women's doubles in 1996 at 15 years, 9 months, making her the youngest Grand Slam champion ever.

DOGSLED RACING

IDITAROD: Four-time champion Martin Buser had the early lead, pulling into the scenic Rainy Pass checkpoint at 5:38 a.m. and spending just two minutes there before getting back on the trail of the 1,000-mile trek to Alaska's wind-scoured western coast.

He was followed by another musher with impressive Iditarod credentials -- four-time champion Lance Mackey.

The defending champion is Dallas Seavey, who became the Iditarod's youngest winner ever at age 25, using a tactic of not charging to the front until later in the race.

CYCLING

DOPING: Lance Armstrong faces the prospect of losing his Legion of Honor medal after French officials said they will open an inquiry following his admission that he doped during his Tour de France wins.

Armstrong was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in 2005 in recognition of his seven consecutive Tour victories.

HOCKEY

AHL: The Phoenix Coyotes reassigned veteran forward Rob Klinkhammer back to the Portland Pirates, their AHL affiliate. Klinkhammer, who leads the Pirates in scoring with 14 goals and 30 assists, was called up Friday but didn't dress for the Coyotes' 5-4 shootout win over Anaheim on Saturday night.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP: The 2014 tournament in Brazil is set to be the first to offer special seats for obese fans.

The seats will be offered to conform to Brazilian legislation, although fans from other nations also will be entitled to them. FIFA said it will be the "first time tickets for obese people are offered at a FIFA event."

 

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