Report: Penske to announcefiring of Kurt Busch on Monday
For the second time in his Sprint Cup Series career, an off-track issue has cost Kurt Busch his job. Busch will not return next season to drive Penske Racing's No. 22 Dodge, multiple sources confirmed to the Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com on Sunday night.
An official announcement of Busch's departure from the organization is expected from Penske on Monday.
Associated Press auto racing writer Jenna Fryer reported Sunday night that legal counsel for Busch said the report was "not accurate."
Just over a week ago NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for the use of an obscene gesture and a profanity-laced tirade directed toward a media member during the Cup series finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The incident with ESPN reporter Jerry Punch, which took place in the garage after Busch's car broke its transmission, was caught on video and posted on YouTube.
At the time, Penske Racing officials issued a statement saying they were reviewing the matter internally.
Asked if he could confirm Busch as the driver of the No. 22 team in 2012, Penske spokesman Jonathan Gibson referred to its previous statement and said the organization would have no further comment at this time.
In November 2005, less than one year after winning his first Cup series championship, Busch was fired by Roush Fenway Racing after he was cited for criminal reckless driving in Avondale, Ariz., in what police described as an alcohol-related incident.
Busch sat out the remaining two races of the 2005 season. He began driving for team owner Roger Penske in the 2006 season.
Since joining Penske, Busch has won 10 races and his highest finish in the series standings was fourth in 2009.
This decision comes very late in the year and puts both Busch and Penske in a difficult position. There are no quality rides available for next season for Busch to pursue, and no drivers with a résumé on the track similar to Busch's presumably available for Penske to hire. Several drivers who competed in the Cup series this season remain without rides, including David Ragan, Brian Vickers and David Reutimann.
UK's NCAA match moved to 7 p.m. Friday
The Kentucky volleyball team's Sweet 16 match has been moved to 7 p.m. Friday, the school said Sunday in a news release.
Originally scheduled for 5 p.m., the NCAA Tournament contest at Memorial Coliseum is now the late match of a doubleheader and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com.
The Cats take on No. 1 overall seed Texas. The first game, at 5 p.m. and also available on ESPN3.com, features ninth-seeded UCLA against eighth seed Penn State, the four-time defending national champion. The winners advance to Saturday's regional finals in Lexington at 4:30 p.m. for a shot at the Final Four.
Full-session tickets are available now by calling the UK ticket office at (859) 257-1818. Single-match tickets will go on sale Friday.
Admission is free for UK students with a valid ID. Other prices are as follows:
Full session — $14 reserved (all ages), $12 general admission, $8 students/seniors, $4 children younger than 12
Single match — $8 reserved (all ages), $7 general admission, $5 students/seniors, $4 children under 12
Gulyanamitta wins LPGA's Q-school
Thailand's Junthima Gulyanamitta won the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 in windy and rainy conditions on LPGA International's Champions Course in Daytona Beach, Fla., for a two-stroke victory over Christine Song. The 23-year-old Gulyanamitta, a member of Purdue's 2010 NCAA championship team, had a 10-under 350 total in the five-round event.
"It's a good feeling to accomplish my goal," Gulyanamitta said. "Now I have my card to play on the LPGA."
The top 20 players earned full 2012 LPGA membership, with Lizette Salas of Azusa, Calif., birdieing all three holes in a nine-player playoff for the last spot. Twenty-one other players also earned 2012 LPGA membership, with 10 gaining Category 16 status by finishing 21st through 30th, and 11 more earning Category 20 membership by finishing 31st through 40th.
Fathauer makes charge in PGA qualifier
Marco Dawson shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday on PGA West's TPC Stadium Course to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament in La Quinta, Calif. The 48-year-old Dawson had a 17-under 343 total. He made three PGA Tour starts this year and also played in 21 Nationwide Tour events.
The top 25 in the six-round event will earn PGA Tour cards.
Former University of Louisville golfer Derek Fathauer shot a 5-under 67. He is tied for 19th after entering Sunday's play tied for 41st. Fathauer birdied five of the first 11 holes and had no bogeys.
■ Lee Westwood finished with two bogeys and a 1-over 73 but it was still enough to retain his title by two strokes at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. The No. 3-ranked Westwood ended with a 15-under 273 total to stay clear of Robert Karlsson in second, despite a final-round charge from the Swedish player that cut Westwood's commanding seven-shot overnight lead.
■ Rory McIlroy rallied to win the Hong Kong Open, holing out from a greenside bunker on the final hole for a 5-under 65 and a two-stroke victory.
Nadal leads Spain to Davis Cup victory
Fresh from helping host Spain win its fifth Davis Cup, Rafael Nadal said he won't play in the event next year and will instead focus on defending his gold medal at the London Olympics.
Nadal rallied to beat Juan Martin del Potro 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (0) Sunday to give Spain a 3-1 series victory over Argentina and his third Davis Cup title since first winning it in 2004.
Report: Marlins signing All-Star Reyes
The suddenly splurging Miami Marlins landed their second big free agent, agreeing to a six-year contract with All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, a source told The Associated Press. All-Star closer Heath Bell recently signed for $27 million over three years.
The last word
Sideline bathroom breaks? Better not miss wide right. Chargers kicker Nick Novak told the San Diego Union-tribune after CBS cameras caught him in the act during a recent NFL game:
"I usually go two or three times a game. If guys pay attention to that, you'll see quite a few guys go to the bathroom. We can't really go inside to do it. You just take a knee, have teammates hold up towels."