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National Sports Briefs

Associated PressINDIANAPOLIS ó Goodyear will test its NASCAR tires at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice in the next three weeks as it tries to solve the durability problem it had at the Brickyard this summer.
The manufacturer was criticized after tires it brought to the track in July wore out so often that NASCAR had to call cautions every 10 to 12 laps for tire changes in the Allstate 400. The longest run under the green flag was 13 laps.
The first test on the 2.5-mile oval will be Monday and Tuesday, with one car gathering data that Goodyear will use in making a new tire for the second test with up to 14 cars on Oct. 6-8.
“We’ve set a very aggressive schedule to come up with the right tire recommendation for the 2009 race at IMS,” Goodyear’s Stu Grant said Friday. “This is the first test of two we have scheduled for this fall, and our intention is to return again in the spring.”
NBA
DALLAS ó Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says forward Josh Howard realizes his comments about the national anthem were wrong and the player has apologized.
In his online blog, Cuban also responded to e-mails he has received commenting on the player’s remarks by saying Howard “will work with us” and “beyond that, it’s a private issue.”
– NEW YORK ó Boston Celtics forward Darius Miles has been suspended without pay for 10 games for violating the terms of the anti-drug program at the end of the 2007-08 season.
GOLF
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. ó Michelle Wie breezed through the final round of an LPGA Tour sectional qualifying tournament on a scorching Friday in the desert, shooting a steady 1-under 71 to tie for fourth.
Completing the first step toward earning her tour card, she was 8 under after 72 holes. The 18-year-old Stanford student needed only to finish in the top 30 to advance to final qualifying tournament in Florida in December.
NHL
TAMPA, Fla. ó All-Star center Vincent Lecavalier was named captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
The club’s career scoring leader, who will enter his 10th NHL season, signed an 11-year, $85 million contract extension in July.
– PHILADELPHIA ó The Philadelphia Flyers signed veteran goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin to a one-year contract Thursday.
– DETROIT ó Darren McCarty will return for his 13th season with the Detroit Red Wings after agreeing to terms of a one-year contract.

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