National Sports Briefs
Associated PressCONCORDó Matt Kenseth signed a multiyear contract extension with Roush Fenway Racing to continue driving the No. 17 Ford.
The deal comes at the end of one of Kenseth’s most disappointing seasons: He failed to win a race for the first time since 2001, and his 11th-place finish in the standings was his lowest since that season.
But the 2003 series champion has been with Roush since 1998, winning 16 Sprint Cup races and 24 Nationwide Series races. His championship was the first for owner Jack Roush at the Cup level.
Roush also re-signed Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle this year, and the extension for Kenseth means either David Ragan or Jamie McMurray will have to leave the organization at the end of 2009.
– LINCOLNTON ó NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham says he is negotiating to buy a small track in North Carolina so he can “get back into grassroots racing.”
The Lincoln Times-News reports that Evernham said Thursday that he and partner Bob Mack plan to buy the East Lincoln Speedway. Evernham said he has sold most of his interest in the Gillett-Evernham Motorsports racing team, and plans to retire from the highest level of the sport.
PHILADELPHIA ó Three-time All-Star Chase Utley, who anchored the middle of the lineup for the World Series champion Phillies, will have surgery and may not be ready for the start of the 2009 regular season.
Utley will have surgery next week to repair any bone or cartilage damage he may have in his right hip.
Utley had 18 home runs and 47 RBIs through the end of May but hit just 15 home runs the rest of the season.
RALEIGH ó North Carolina State point guard Farnold Degand has tendinitis in his left knee and may be sidelined two weeks.
RICHMOND, Va. ó Former NFL star Michael Vick is back in Virginia to plead guilty to state dogfighting charges, a move he hopes will expedite his return to society and, eventually, pro football.
The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback is being held in protective custody at the Hopewell Regional Jail, superintendent Darnley Hodge said Friday.
Vick arrived Thursday afternoon from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., where he’s serving a 23-month sentence for a dogfighting conspiracy conviction.
Vick is isolated from the jail’s approximately 1,200 inmates to avoid disruptions, but will be treated like any other prisoner, Hodge said.
Vick, 28, is due to appear Tuesday in Surry County Circuit Court.- ASHBURN, Va. ó Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis was limited in practice Friday with his sprained knee and is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Seattle.
– IRVING, Texas ó The NFL confirmed Friday that suspended cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones can join the Dallas Cowboys on Monday and that he can play again Dec. 7 against Pittsburgh ó but only if he stays on his best behavior.