Ricky Stenhouse Jr. threw a right hook at Kyle Busch, and suddenly, an otherwise boring All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway had NASCAR fans buzzing heading into next weekend’s marquee Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.

Busch had wrecked Stenhouse on the second lap of the $1 million race Sunday night in a move that looked like retaliation for how Stenhouse had raced him earlier. Stenhouse drove his damaged Chevrolet to Busch’s pit stall and parked it, and with no way to get out of the track while the race was going on, stewed in street clothes for hours until Busch arrived at his hauler.

That’s when Stenhouse, after a brief conversation, threw a right hook at the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet, setting off a brief melee that involved members of each driver’s crew — and Stenhouse’s father. The brawl was eventually broken up, but not before more words were exchanged from both sides and Stenhouse vowed, “I’m going to wreck you at Charlotte.”

“Bring it,” Busch replied. “I suck as bad as you,” implying that both drivers are not having great seasons.

The antics could result in a suspension for Stenhouse, the 2023 Daytona 500 champion, other crew members and possibly his father. Busch also could face a penalty if NASCAR determines that he deliberately caused the wreck.



U.S. OPEN: Patrick Reed’s streak of playing every major since the 2014 Masters ended when he withdrew from U.S. Open qualifying, leaving the LIV Golf player no other avenue to earn a spot at Pinehurst No. 2.

Reed did well enough in the Masters (tie for 12th) to move enough into the top 100 in the world, and the PGA Championship gave him an invitation to play last week at Valhalla.

The U.S. Open took the top 60 in the world from this week’s ranking. Reed is at No. 92 — he would have needed third place at Valhalla to crack the top 60, and he finished in a tie for 53rd. His only other avenue was to go through a 36-hole qualifier. He chose the Dallas site held Monday, and withdrew.

The USGA did not disclose why Reed and nine other players pulled out.



FRENCH OPEN: Rafael Nadal returned to Roland Garros to practice and try to figure out whether to compete at the French Open, a tournament he has won a record 14 times.

The 37-year-old Spaniard showed up late in the afternoon with his coach, Carlos Moya, and a couple of sparring partners at Court Philippe Chatrier, which was open to the public.

The training session gave Nadal a chance to reacquaint himself with the red clay at Roland Garros — he hasn’t played a match there in two years — and test his fitness.

The tournament begins on Sunday and it remains uncertain if Nadal will enter.

WTA: Saudi Arabia’s move into tennis will now include a multiyear deal to sponsor the WTA women’s rankings.

The WTA released word of its partnership agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), a move that follows last month’s news that the kingdom will host the tour’s season-ending championships in Riyadh starting this year and February’s announcement that it will sponsor the ATP men’s rankings.


Both tours’ rankings deals are for five years.

GENEVA OPEN: Needing a win to face Novak Djokovic next at the Geneva Open, Andy Murray was saved by a heavy rainstorm when he trailed unseeded Yannick Hanfmann 7-5, 4-1 in a first-round match.

Murray and top-ranked Djokovic both got wild cards to enter the last clay-court event to prepare for the French Open, and were drawn to meet in the second round. They have not faced each other on tour since February 2017.

The winner is expected to play Djokovic on Wednesday, the 37th birthday for the record 24-time Grand Slam singles champion. Murray, who has a 2-5 career record against Djokovic in Grand Slam finals, turned 37 last Wednesday.


WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Defending national champion South Carolina will take on Michigan at the Hall of Fame Series Las Vegas on Nov. 4 to tip off the season.


•  Seimone Augustus, who led LSU to three straight NCAA Final Fours from 2004-06 and won three Olympic gold medals, will return to the Tigers as an assistant, Coach Kim Mulkey announced.

The 40-year-old Augustus in 2023 became the first LSU female athlete to have a statue built in her honor, and she will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in August. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame last month.

Augustus was 2006 WNBA rookie of the year after being the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx. She won four WNBA championships and was named MVP of the 2011 WNBA Finals and was an eight-time All-Star. She retired as a player following the 2020 season.

Augustus, an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks in 2021, will fill the vacancy created by Johnny Derrick’s retirement.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Sweden beat France 3-1 to preserve a perfect record and clinch a group top spot at Prague.

Lucas Raymond scored and added an assist, defenseman Erik Karlsson scored his fourth goal of the tournament on a power play, and Andre Burakovsky had an empty-net goal for Sweden to record a sixth win in six Group B matches.

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