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Sports briefs

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, BRIAN LANDMAN, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001


Nemechek injured in crash during testing

Lakeland's Joe Nemechek broke his right shoulder and bruised his lungs Tuesday in a crash while testing at Dover Downs International Speedway in Delaware in the Busch Grand National car he owns.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened, but the right front tire went down and I had a ferocious hit at Turn 3," Nemechek told a representative of the track at Kent General Hospital, where he was being held overnight.

"I may have run over something and cut the tire, or the tread came loose, but it was definitely one of the hardest hits I've ever had," he said.

Andy Petree, owner of the Winston Cup team for which Nemechek drives, said no decision had been made about Nemechek's status for the Winston Open this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

MORE AUTO RACING: The founders of the Team Racing Auto Circuit, announced Tuesday, want to attract a national TV package and plan to race on at least some of the tracks where Winston Cup cars run. TRAC plans to have 8-12 two-car teams and concentrate on racing at oval tracks. ... McLaren's Mika Hakkinen posted the fastest lap time on the first day of Formula One testing in Valencia, Spain.

MEDIA: Keith Olbermann is leaving Fox Sports, his third departure from a TV network in four years. "All I can say is, ultimately, it's their network, and it's their money," he said. Fox described the move, effective immediately, as "by mutual agreement." "Both parties agree that, long-term, our goals are divergent," Fox Sports chairman David Hill said.

OLYMPICS: Beijing is still the city to beat in the race for the 2008 Summer Games. In a report on the five candidate cities, the International Olympic Committee praised Beijing's "excellent" bid and cited the opportunity to leave a "unique legacy" to China by taking the Games to the world's most populous country for the first time. Paris and Toronto, which have been pushing hard to challenge Beijing, also received strong endorsements. "It's still obvious that Beijing is the leader," Canadian IOC member Paul Henderson said.

TENNIS: Defending champion Gustavo Kuerten was beaten by Max Mirnyi 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) in the first round of the German Open in Hamburg. ... Two weeks before she is to defend her French Open crown, Mary Pierce lost 6-2, 6-4 to Nadia Petrova in the first round of the Italian Open in Rome. Top-seeded Martina Hingis routed Tatiana Panova 6-2, 6-3 in the second round, and third-seeded Conchita Martinez breezed into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 win against Janette Husarova. ... Anna Kournikova withdrew from the French Open, to be played May 28-June 10, because of a foot injury, organizers said.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Former Penn State quarterback Rashard Casey has sued Hoboken, N.J., police, saying he received hate mail and death threats after being charged last spring with assaulting an off-duty officer.

COLLEGES: USF outfielder Dan Boyd was selected to the All-Conference USA first team. Third baseman Myron Leslie and pitcher John Vigue were named to the second team, and Leslie and Jon Uhl were named to the all-freshman team. ... Three Eckerd athletes were named All-Sunshine State Conference. Softball player Kelly Jackson was named to the second team, and baseball players Justin Loop and Steve Williams were honorable mention. ... Northeast High's Ted Bradley and Plant's Christie Pesce headline a group of 17 swimmers and divers who signed with Florida State, coach Neil Harper said. ... "Monty Montezuma," San Diego State's red-faced, spear-throwing mascot, got the heave-ho by school president Stephen Weber, who said he wants a more dignified portrayal of the Aztec leader.

GOLF: Ely Callaway, the 81-year-old founder of Callaway Golf Co., retired as chief executive officer and president of the equipment-making company.

BUSINESS: Cablevision announced Dave Checketts' resignation as president and chief executive officer of Madison Square Garden, calling it a mutual decision.

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