Johnson still fuming about Pocono altercation with Busch
Jimmie Johnson is about as mild-mannered as a racer can be, but he wasn't about to take any lip from Kurt Busch. The two drivers had a confrontation at last week's NASCAR Cup at Pocono after slamming into each other on the final lap. Johnson accused Busch of trying to run him down, while Busch contended Johnson made the first move. Busch finished third, one spot ahead of Johnson.
Johnson said at a news conference at Watkins Glen International on Friday that he was angered by Busch's remarks after their argument in the pits. "When he got out of the car, we're talking, and the crowd started to build and his bravery started to build," Johnson said. "I walk away and he keeps talking. That's the part that frustrates me. That's when you saw me engage like that. If you're going to say something, say it to a man's face. I don't know about you, but that really makes me mad. He just started running his mouth."
Johnson said there were two parts to the altercation — what happened on the track and then on pit road.
"We come off turn one and Kurt gets to me side drafting," Johnson said. "I tried to break the side draft, and from there he felt it was necessary to run into the side of my car and tear my car up. I was mad at that point. I never touched him."
It wasn't the first dustup between the five-time Cup champion and Busch. The latest still simmers.
"There's no secret about it that there's no love lost between the two of us," Johnson said. "We can deal with it. We have done it. We didn't have wrecked race cars at the end of Pocono. I could have easily gone down into the Tunnel Turn and done something stupid.
"Issues that develop through the course of the year, some last longer," Johnson said later. "You've just got to take it as it is. The way that things are handled on the track sets the tone. If it turns into wrecking cars, man, that's the worst situation you can have going into the Chase."
Busch will hold a news conference on Saturday, and he probably will be asked about the situation with Johnson.
At least one driver likes the prospect of an ongoing feud.
"If it carries over for those guys all throughout the last 15 races of the year, it wouldn't bother me a bit," said younger brother Kyle Busch, who is third in the standings. "But I certainly wouldn't want any part of it. It's something that they've kind of had going on for the past few years, I guess. Whatever it is, it's not my beef, not my problem."
Mullin, Rodman enshrined in hoops hall
Chris Mullin was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday in Springfield, Mass., to begin the ceremony for the class of 2011, earning basketball's highest individual honor after being recognized with the Dream Team last year. A five-time All-Star with one of the game's best jump shots, Mullin also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. The left-hander followed a decorated amateur career by scoring more than 17,000 points in the NBA. He played in college at St. John's and was presented for enshrinement by his coach, Lou Carnesecca.
Dennis Rodman was the other headliner in the 10-person class, arriving in a gray suit with a feather-lined cowboy hat and giant white sunglasses. The class also included coaches Tara VanDerveer, who has led Stanford to two national championships and won more than 800 games, Tex Winter and Division II Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee, the career leader at the collegiate level with more than 900 wins. Eight-time NBA champion Tom "Satch" Sanders, big men Artis Gilmore, a former Kentucky Colonel, and Arvydas Sabonis; the late Reece "Goose" Tatum of the Harlem Globetrotters, and women's star Teresa Edwards, who won five Olympic medals — four golds — also were honored.
NCAA hears Ohio State violations case
Ohio State's hearing before the NCAA took only four hours. Now it must wait up to 12 weeks to find out how it will be penalized for rules broken by its football program. A memorabilia-for-cash scandal that resulted in player suspensions, coach Jim Tressel's forced resignation and the departure of star quarterback Terrelle Pryor also led to Ohio State's hearing before the NCAA's committee on infractions on Friday. No one from the public or media was allowed into a guarded meeting room in a downtown hotel in Indianapolis. The NCAA committee will determine if Ohio State's sanctions went far enough.
Arkansas tailback to miss season
Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino confirmed that running back Knile Davis is expected to miss the season because of a left ankle injury. The injury is a major blow to the pre-season expectations for the Razorbacks, who were 10-3 and reached their first BCS bowl game last season. Davis suffered the injury early in the scrimmage portion of practice on Thursday and was carted off the field without being able to put weight on his left leg. Davis led all Southeastern Conference running backs with 1,322 yards rushing last season.
Four-time NFL champ Chandler dies
Don Chandler, a kicker and punter who was part of four championship teams with the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, died. Chandler, 76, played 12 NFL seasons, nine with the Giants and three with the Packers. He won an NFL championship with the Giants as a rookie in 1956, and three titles with Vince Lombardi's Packers.
■ Sherman White, a 1950s college basketball star at Long Island University who served jail time for point shaving, died. The 6-foot-8 White, 82, was one of the nation's best college players for LIU in the late 1940s, and led the nation in scoring in 1951. White appeared destined for a successful NBA career, but he was arrested in 1951 for taking money to fix the outcomes of games. White served about eight months in jail and was barred from the NBA.
South Lexington Major/60s win 8-0
Jackson Boggs pitched four hitless innings and also hit a home run to lead South Lexington past Raynham, Mass., 8-0 in the Cal Ripken World Series Major/60 division for 12-year-olds. Boggs walked two and struck out nine at the tournament in Visalia, Calif. Martin Gonzalez knocked in three runs. South Lexington (1-0) will play Bakersfield, Calif., on Sunday.
■ Michael Hixon won his first senior national title, claiming the 1-meter springboard at the U.S. national diving championships in Los Angeles. Hixon totaled 392.20 points in the six-dive finals at UCLA. Samuel Dorman finished second at 376.20, while the University of Kentucky's Greg Ferrucci was third at 371.50 in the non-Olympic event. Ferrucci was named the Southeastern Conference's men's freshman diver of the year this past season.
■ Defending champion Danielle Kang beat Demi Frances Runas 4 and 3 to advance to the semifinals in the U.S. Women's Amateur at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, R.I. The 18-year-old Kang, a Pepperdine player from Westlake Village, Calif., will face Alabama's Brooke Pancake on Saturday. In another quarterfinal matchup, LSU's Austin Ernst, the NCAA champion from Seneca, S.C., routed Stephanie Kono of Honolulu and 5 and 4.
The last word
Road courses have replaced short tracks as the nexus of aggression and contact between race cars. Denny Hamlin said Friday at Watkins Glen, site of Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race:
"Honestly, I think that people think they can run over guys on road courses and not have repercussions like they do on the ovals. ... After the last road-course race in Sonoma, I told my crew chief, 'Build me a tank — build me something I can hit guys and slam into guys, and I can be hit without my car falling apart.' You just know that it's part of racing nowadays."