National briefs: Just one title in NASCAR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó NASCARís competition applications for 2011 require drivers to select which series they will race for a championship in this season.
The declaration will prevent Sprint Cup drivers from racing for championships in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, and presumably fill NASCARís desire to give its second-tier series its own identity.
NASCAR has declined to discuss the policy change because officials plan to make all their competition announcements over the next few weeks.
The requirement to choose just one series first was reported by NASCAR.com, which spoke to driver Kenny Wallace about the application he filled out last weekend.
Wallace confirmed the requirement in a post on his Twitter page.
Designed to be a feeder series where young talent can develop, the Nationwide Series is instead dominated by NASCARís Cup stars. The last five champions were all full-time Cup drivers, and Justin Allgaier was the only non-Cup driver to win one of last seasonís 35 Nationwide races.
The change will likely only affect Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards, the only two drivers who had planned to run the full schedule in both series.
NASCAR likely will not limit the amount of Nationwide and Truck Series races that Cup drivers can enter. Doing so could be a deterrent to many fans, some of whom only get to see NASCARís stars race live in those lower-tier series.
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz.ó Recently retired manager Joe Torre says he is “definitely interested” in working for Commissioner Bud Selig.
Torre says he and Selig have had several discussions in recent weeks.
The 70-year-old former skipper of five major league teams, including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, was a major league player for 17 seasons. He says he has known Selig for decades and the commissioner has told him that when he’s finished with managing and would be interested in some kind of executive job to let him know.
n ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ó Free agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth is approaching an agreement on a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays. The deal could be agreed on today or Friday and will be worth about $3.25 million.
ARLINGTON, Texas ó AL MVP Josh Hamilton remains hospitalized while showing signs of getting better in a bout with pneumonia.
SALT LAKE CITY ó Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko still has the Russian accent though he sounded like an American citizen Wednesday talking about taxes. Kirilenko and his wife, Masha, both passed the citizenship tests and were sworn in as U.S. citizens.
Their two sons, both born in the U.S., now are citizens as well. He said their young daughter, adopted in Russia, still has visa issues because she was born in Russia. He said she has been able to stay in the U.S. only six months at a time and will return to Russia in a month.
MONTREAL ó Alex Goligoski scored twice and added an assist, and the Pittsburgh Penguins scored four power-play goals to end a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Lightning 3, Capitals 0
TAMPA, Fla. ó Dwayne Roloson made 23 saves for his second shutout this month against Washington. Dominic Moore, Sean Bergenheim and Simon Gagne scored for the Lightning, who have won seven of 10 to build a two-point lead over Washington.
Blackhawks 4, Avalanche 0
CHICAGO ó Corey Crawford made 24 saves for his second straight shutout and Dave Bolland and Fernando Pisani had a goal and an assist apiece for Chicago.
It was Chicago’s first win in four games against the Avalanche this season.