A NASCAR appeals panel rescinded the hefty points penalties levied against Hendrick Motorsports drivers Alex Bowman, William Byron and Kyle Larson for an illegally modified part on their Chevrolets discovered earlier this month.

It was only a partial victory for Hendrick Motorsports, though: although the three-person panel restored 100 points to each of the three drivers following Wednesday’s hearing, it upheld fines and suspensions for four Hendrick crew chiefs.

NASCAR initially hammered Hendrick Motorsports with the largest combined penalties for a single organization in series history. HMS was docked 100 regular-season points and 10 playoff points for the three drivers for modifying air-deflecting pieces at Phoenix Raceway earlier this month.

Hendrick was issued a combined $400,000 in fines – $100,000 to each of its four crew chiefs, along with four-race suspensions for the quartet.

Although NASCAR has issued larger monetary fines and suspensions, the Hendrick penalties were the largest combined punishment for one organization.


With the restoral of the points, Bowman moves to the top spot in the Cup Series standings. Byron is now third and Larson is ninth. Chase Elliott is out with a broken leg and his replacement driver, Josh Berry, was not penalized because he’s not racing for Cup points.

• NASCAR fined Daniel Suarez $50,000 for hitting another vehicle on pit road following Sunday’s race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The fine was classified as a behavioral penalty and cited “contact with another vehicle on pit road after the race.”


NBA: Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal is facing a possible misdemeanor charge in central Florida after a fan accused the NBA All-Star of hitting him during an argument after a game against the Orlando Magic.

Probable cause exists to charge Beal with simple battery for the March 21 confrontation, an Orlando police case report said.


Beal has not been arrested or charged as of Wednesday.


U-20 WORLD CUP: Indonesia was stripped of hosting the men’s Under-20 World Cup amid political turmoil regarding Israel’s participation.

It is unclear who could now host the 24-team tournament, which was scheduled to start May 20. Argentina, which did not qualify for the tournament, is reportedly interested in hosting.

Israel qualified last June for its first Under-20 World Cup. But the country’s participation in Friday’s scheduled draw in Bali provoked political opposition this month.

CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE: The defending champion United States will play Mexico in the semifinals on June 15 at Las Vegas.


The winner advances to the final against Canada or Panama on June 18, also in Las Vegas

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Barcelona cruised into the last four for the fifth straight year by routing Roma 5-1 in the second leg of the quarterfinals at Barcelona, Spain.

Arsenal also advanced after beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in London to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg and end the German side’s 14-match winning streak in all competitions.

Barcelona advanced 6-1 on aggregate and will face defending champion Lyon or Chelsea in April’s semifinals. Arsenal will play Paris Saint-Germain or Wolfsburg.


MIAMI OPEN: Sorana Cirstea advanced to her first semifinal of a WTA 1000 event in a decade, beating Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, 6-4, 6-4.


DAVIS CUP: The draw for the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals set up a possible meeting between No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz and No. 2 Novak Djokovic, as Spain and Serbia were placed in the group.

Spain will host Group C, which also includes the Czech Republic and South Korea, in Valencia in September.

The United States will face two-time champion Croatia, along with Finland and the Netherlands in Group D. That group will be hosted by Croatia.

Canada, which won the tournament for the first time last year, is in Group A along with host Italy, Sweden and Chile.

Group B consists of host Britain, last year’s runner-up Australia, France and Switzerland.

The top two teams in each group advance to the Final 8 tournament in Malaga, Spain, in November.



JOE LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD: Jim Nantz, Joe Mihalich, Tim Cluess and Gail Marquis are this year’s recipients of the Joe Lapchick Character Award.

Nantz has been the voice of March Madness since 1986 when he started calling early-round games for CBS. He became the Final Four studio host for five years before taking over play-by-play duties from Brent Musburger in 1991. This weekend is Nantz’s final broadcasts of the tournament. He will have called 354 NCAA Tournament games, including 32 championship contests.

Mihalich had a tremendous coaching career at both Niagara and Hofstra starting with the Purple Eagles in 1998. He had 265 wins at the school and led them to two NCAA Tournament bids, winning a game against Florida A&M in 2007. Mihalich’s teams were known for their up-tempo style, scoring 70 points a game in nine of his last 10 seasons at the school.

He then went on to coach at Hofstra from 2013-2020. Mihalich turned around the struggling program and the team went 26-8 in his final season there in 2020. The Pride qualified for the NCAA Tournament that year, but it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cluess coached at all levels from high school to junior college and Division II before getting the Iona job in 2010. Cluess went 199-108 at Iona, leading the team to the NCAA Tournament six times. He helped the Gaels get the second at-large bid ever for the MAAC conference in 2012. He stepped down in 2020 because of a health issue.

Marquis had an incredible playing career at Queens College where she earned All-American honors twice, averaging over 20 points a game her final two seasons. She was part of the team at Queens College that played the first women’s basketball game at Madison Square Garden when the team faced Immaculata in 1975.

She went on to make the U.S. Olympic team in 1976 — the first year that women’s basketball was contested in the Games. She won a silver medal as the Americans lost to eventual champion Russia.

This is the 15th year the award will be presented to those who have shown the character traits of Lapchick, who coached at St. John’s and with the New York Knicks. The quartet will be honored at a luncheon on Sept. 21 in New York.

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