National Sports Briefs
CHARLOTTE,) ó Kyle Busch is entering team ownership with two entries next season in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.
Kyle Busch Motorsports will field the No. 18 Toyota and drive it himself in companion races to the Sprint Cup Series. Brian Ickler will drive the truck when Busch has other obligations.
Tyler Malsam will run the full season in the second entry, the No. 56 Toyota.
“Everyone knows how much I love to race, and the Camping World Truck Series is one of my favorite places to race, so to be a team owner in this series is a perfect match,” Busch said.
Busch has 16 career wins in the Truck Series, including seven wins in 15 starts this past season for Billy Ballew. Despite skipping 10 races, Busch kept Ballew in the running for the owner’s championship all the way through the season finale.
Busch was able to build his team by purchasing the assets of Xpress Motorsports. KBM will use Xpress Motorsports’ shop in Mooresville until construction is completed on a new building.
Rick Ren will oversee the organization as director of competition. Ren was crew chief at Kevin Harvick Inc. for Ron Hornaday’s championships in 2007 and 2009 in the Truck Series.
“A person can work their whole career in any profession and not get an opportunity like this,” Ren said. “I’ve been involved in some other startup, ground-floor programs, but not of this magnitude. It’s a great opportunity for me, and everyone who will be a part of Kyle Busch Motorsports.”
– LOUISVILLE, Ky. ó A federal appeals court on Friday rejected claims by the former owners of a Kentucky race track that NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. violated federal antitrust laws by keeping it off the premier racing circuit.
The decision by a three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ends, for now, the ownership group’s legal efforts to force NASCAR to bring a Sprint Cup race to the track in Sparta, in northern Kentucky.
The panel said the group failed to prove NASCAR and International Speedway Corp., worked together with other tracks to keep the 1.5-mile tri-oval from getting a coveted Sprint Cup race.
NEW YORK ó The lead negotiator and spokesman for the NBA’s referees says Tim Donaghy made threats against him, and that the disgraced former official’s accusations about his colleagues shouldn’t be believed because he is a “compulsive liar.”
Lamell McMorris said Thursday that Donaghy also threatened fellow referees, whom he has accused of misconduct during a series of interviews this week.
“His attacks have been malicious and his claims continue to be unfounded,” McMorris said in a statement. “Donaghy is a convicted felon and a compulsive liar with loyalty to no one but himself.”
McMorris declined to give specifics of the threats, but indicated to The Associated Press they came when Donaghy called his office after McMorris put out statements on behalf of the referees after the Donaghy betting scandal broke in 2007.
WASHINGTON ó Ivan Rodriguez has signed a $6 million, two-year deal with the Washington Nationals after passing a physical.
The 38-year-old catcher said on Friday that he wants to be an everyday player. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, however, wants Rodriguez to split time with Jesus Flores, who is recovering from shoulder surgery and is supposed to be ready for spring training.
– NEW YORK ó Looking to fill two big holes and add much-needed power to their lineup, the New York Mets have made contract offers to a pair of free agents: left fielder Jason Bay and catcher Bengie Molina.
– CHICAGO ó Reliever J.J. Putz agreed Friday to a one-year, $3 million contract with the Chicago White Sox and will fill a setup role in the bullpen.
Putz is 23-19 with a 3.24 ERA and 103 saves in 337 relief appearances over seven major-league seasons with Seattle and the New York Mets.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ó In-Kyung Kim shot a 5-under 67 Friday to take a three-stroke lead, while Michelle Wie dropped into a tie for fourth after three rounds of the Dubai Ladies Masters.
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina senior guard Marcus Ginyard will not play in today’s game against Presbyterian as a precautionary measure as he completes a medical evaluation for pain in his left foot.
“Marcus has some ‘early’ pain in his left foot in an area unrelated to the stress fracture he had last year in his fifth left metatarsal,” says Dr. Tom Brickner.
The Tar Heels (7-2) play host to Presbyterian at 7:30 p.m. at the Smith Center.
WRENSHALL, Minn.ó A Minnesota high school girls basketball team was shutout 65-0 this week.
Moose Lake-Willow River beat Wrenshall easily and coach Andrew Miller said says the Wrenshall team played hard, but missed 11 layups among their chances to score.
The halftime score was 40-0.