National Sports Briefs
INDIANAPOLIS ó The Richard Petty racing experience is coming to a new venue next month ó the Indianapolis 500.
And this is no ride-along, publicity stunt or gimmick.
The King of NASCAR plans to take his first crack at winning IndyCars’ crown jewel by putting one of his former drivers, John Andretti, in the cockpit of an open-wheel car co-owned with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
“I’m not here just to be having fun,” Petty said during Monday’s announcement. “I’m serious about this stuff. So we come here for a serious deal.”
To Cup fans, seeing Petty with an IndyCar will be a strange sight.
Petty won seven points titles in NASCAR and retired as the series’ all-time leader in victories (200) and poles (127). He won a record seven Daytona 500s and in 1967 incredibly won 27 races including 10 straight.
Clearly, the 71-year-old North Carolina native is a born-and-bred NASCAR man. His late father, Lee, won three Cup titles. His son, Kyle, was still driving last season, and Petty also gives paying Cup fans thrills with those ride-alongs.
So why is he suddenly getting involved with IndyCars?
After merging his family owned Petty Enterprises with Gillett Evernham Motorsports this season, Richard Petty started looking for new opportunities. Indianapolis, which he always considered hallowed ground, was the top option.
In fact, if Andretti drives well May 24, it might be enough to delay Petty’s arrival at one of the Cup series biggest races ó the Coca-Cola 600, which will be run the same day in Charlotte.
“If he (Andretti) is leading the race, I ain’t leaving, OK?” Petty said.
SAN ANTONIO ó Manu Ginobili is out for the rest of the season and the playoffs.
The Spurs guard underwent scans on Monday that showed his troubled right ankle has gotten worse. Ginobili missed 19 games after the All-Star break before coming back late last month.
– LOS ANGELES ó The Los Angeles Clippers suspended forward Zach Randolph for two games on Monday after he was arrested for investigation of drunken driving hours after the team’s 88-85 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
– WALTHAM, Mass. ó Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo left practice after turning his ankle, but coach Doc Rivers said it did not appear that the injury was serious.
Meanwhile, Rivers said Kevin Garnett was making improvement as he rehabs his sprained right knee.
BUFFALO, N.Y. ó Marian Hossa scored twice and Chris Osgood tied Dominik Hasek for 10th on the NHL career wins list in helping the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-1 victory over Buffalo on Monday night.
Hossa, who reached the 40-goal plateau for the third time, added an assist. Brad Stuart and Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for the Central Division-leading Red Wings.
The Sabres’ playoff chances grew slimmer as Buffalo lost its second straight.
Osgood made 32 saves, picking a fitting game to earn his 389th victory and tie Hasek, the former Red Wings starter who spent most of his career with Buffalo. He lost a bid for his 50th NHL shutout with 10:06 left, when Paul Gaustad made it 3-1.
Senators 3, Canadiens 2
MONTREAL ó Dany Heatley scored two goals 38 seconds apart to put Ottawa ahead with 7:59 remaining in the third period, and the Senators dealt a big blow to Montreal’s playoff chances.OLYMPICS
TORONTO ó Ron Wilson has coached American hockey teams from the World Cup to the world championships to the Olympics.
The squad he will take into next year’s Vancouver Games will look nothing like any over the past two decades.
Wilson, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ bench boss and a USA Hockey fixture as a player and coach for over 30 years, was chosen Monday as coach of the 2010 men’s Olympic team and the club that will participate in the world championships this month in Switzerland.
SEOUL, South Korea ó North Korea has accused rival South Korea of making its players ill with “adulterated foodstuff” before last week’s World Cup qualifier.
The North’s association also claimed in a statementthat the alleged food-poisoning is part of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s “moves for confrontation” with the North.
North Korea coach Kim Jong Hun raised the allegation after losing 1-0 to South Korea on April 1.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has indefinitely suspended senior wide receiver Rod Owens on Monday after the player’s weekend drunk driving arrest.