National sports briefs
CHARLOTTE — Danica Patrick will be guaranteed a spot in the Daytona 500 via a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing.
TBR will officially field Patrick’s No. 10 Chevrolet in all 10 of her Sprint Cup Series races this season. It will begin the season with the points Dave Blaney earned last season for the No. 36 car.
Because Blaney finished 33rd in points last season, his car is guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races of the season. Teams can transfer or sell the points to another team, and Stewart-Haas Racing acquired them so Patrick is guaranteed to race in the Feb. 26 season opener.
TBR will field the No. 10 for David Reutimann in the 26 races that Patrick does not have on her schedule.
• HUNTERSVILLE — Joe Gibbs Racing says no employees were injured when a fire broke out in its machine shop.
A few employees were treated on site for smoke inhalation, but were not transported to the hospital.
All employees are back in the building following the Tuesday fire.
It’s the second fire at the Gibbs race shop in about a year.
Joe Gibbs Racing fields Sprint Cup Series cars for Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.
CHARLOTTE — New Charlotte 49ers coach Brad Lambert says he expects to hand out about 23 or 24 scholarships on signing day Wednesday.
All of those players will be redshirted this fall.
The 49ers are starting up a new football program and don’t begin play until 2013.
Lambert says this year’s class will be comprised almost exclusively of high school recruits.
• COLUMBUS, Ohio — The son of an Ohio auto dealer says his parents have purchased the suburban Columbus home of former Ohio state coach Jim Tressel.
ABU DHABI — Tiger Woods earned $137,041 at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Throw out the majors and World Golf Championships, and it was his highest paycheck from an official tournament since he made $148,929 at the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Jim Caldwell is back in the NFL, this time as the Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks coach.
COVINGTON, Ky. — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson pleaded not guilty to marijuana trafficking. A grand jury indicted hom on one count of marijuana trafficking in excess of eight ounces on Jan. 19.
DETROIT — Victor Martinez had knee surgery and will need a second operation, making it likely he will miss the entire 2012 season.
The Detroit Tigers star had microfracture surgery to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee and is projected to have anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery on the same knee in six-to-eight weeks.
• HOUSTON — New Houston Astros owner Jim Crane says he won’t change the team’s name. Crane said last week he was considering a switch. But he emailed a video message to season-ticket holders saying, “one thing that we are not going to change is the name.”