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National Sports Briefs: David Starr penalized for fight

Associated Press
CHARLOTTE ó NASCAR fined David Starr $10,000, suspended three crew members and penalized several others Wednesday for fighting on pit road following a Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Starr spun Todd Bodine with seven laps left in Saturday’s race, and Bodine retaliated by tapping the back of Starr’s truck after the race. That led to a full fight on pit road, where Bodine’s crew confronted Starr and crew members from both teams had to be separated by NASCAR officials.
David Reutimann, who was Bodine’s teammate on Saturday, also spun during the race after contact with Starr and his crew chief was penalized, too.
Mike Hillman Jr., Bodine’s crew chief, was fined $2,500 and suspended until Sept. 24.
NHRA DEATH
TRENTON, N.J. ó Engine failure at 300 mph triggered a crash that killed top Funny Car driver Scott Kalitta in June.
The New Jersey State Police said investigators determined that “catastrophic mechanical failure” caused a fuel-fired explosion in Kalitta’s Toyota Solara during a qualifying race at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
PURNELL
CLEMSON, S.C. ó Clemson men’s basketball coach Oliver Purnell is having his high school jersey retired.
Purnell is a 1971 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, Md. Clemson said Wednesday that Purnell would be presented a framed No. 22 jersey during halftime the school’s Friday home football game.
GOLF
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. ó Michelle Wie shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 on Wednesday in the second round of an LPGA Tour sectional qualifying tournament, putting her in second place in a field of 164.
Displaying the ability that has put her in contention in major championships, Wie birdied five of her final nine holes on the Palmer Course at Mission Hills Country Club to finish at 9-under 135.
– RALEIGH ó There’s a new link between Jim Valvano and North Carolina State.
Officials at the V Foundation for Cancer Research said Wednesday that the charity golf tournament that bears the late Wolfpack coach’s nickname is moving to the new course at N.C. State.
“We missed the sense of community,” said foundation CEO Nick Valvano, the coach’s brother. Raleigh “was Jim’s home, and it was very, very important for us after two years to say we have to go back to where it was created, where we got our identity.”
BASEBALL
NEW YORK ó Derek Jeter broke Lou Gehrig’s record for hits at Yankee Stadium, singling in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox.
The hit off Gavin Floyd was Jeter’s 1,270th in the 85-year-old ballpark, scheduled to close Sunday. It came in Jeter’s 8,002nd major league at-bat, passing Gehrig for second on the Yankees’ career list behind Mickey Mantle (8,102).
NHL
RALEIGH ó Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams could miss up to six months after tearing his Achilles’ tendon.
The 26-year-old Williams ó one of the team’s most durable players, and a key member of the No. 1 line that also includes star center Eric Staal and left wing Ray Whitney.

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