NASCAR cancels qualifying with hurricane nearing

NASCAR postponed all track activity Friday and canceled qualifying for its Sprint Cup and Xfinity races at Darlington Raceway in anticipation of Hermine bringing inclement weather to the South Carolina track.

Hermine strengthened into a hurricane Thursday.

Both the Sprint Cup Series and the Xfinity Series had scheduled practices Friday and were supposed to qualify Saturday. Instead, both series will line up the field based on points in the standings.

Kevin Harvick will lead the Sprint Cup field from the pole position, followed by Brad Keselowski and defending Darlington champion Carl Edwards in Sunday night’s race.

The Xfinity race is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.


LPGA: Olympic gold medalist Inbee Park has withdrawn from the tour’s final major of the year, the Evian Championship in France in two weeks, because her thumb needs more rehabilitation.

 Chella Choi ended up on top of the LPGA Manulife Classic leaderboard Thursday at windy Whistle Bear when Belen Mozo unraveled with a closing triple bogey.

Choi shot a 6-under 66, finishing with a birdie on the par-5 ninth.

Mozo played the first 17 holes in 7 under before running into trouble on the par-4 18th. The Spaniard finished with a 68.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Danny Willett of England, the Masters champion on both sides of the Atlantic, shot a 5-under 65 to be one stroke off the lead after the first round of the European Masters in the Swiss Alps.

PGA: The FedEx Cup will stay with four playoff events next year, with EMC stepping in as title sponsor of the Boston-area tournament.

Deutsche Bank didn’t renew as sponsor after 14 years at the TPC Boston. There had been discussion about having only three playoff events.


FIFA INVESTIGATION: Soccer great Franz Beckenbauer is a criminal suspect in a World Cup fraud case.

Beckenbauer’s home in Austria was raided for evidence on behalf of Swiss federal prosecutors investigating corruption linked to FIFA. Switzerland’s attorney general’s office said they had opened criminal proceedings against Beckenbauer and three other German members of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee.

The four are suspected of fraud, money laundering, criminal mismanagement and misappropriation relating to a payment of 6.7 million euros ($7.3 million) to FIFA in 2005.


WORLD CUP: Sweden’s Henrik Zetterberg will miss the tournament because of an injury. Calgary Flames forward Mikael Backlund will replace him.