INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still on the hunt for major sponsorship for 12 Sprint Cup races.
Earnhardt says he’s not worried about locking up a sponsor, a sign that perhaps Hendrick Motorsports has a deal on the horizon.
Owner Rick Hendrick and Earnhardt would love to find a primary sponsor that would fund what’s left on this season’s slate as well as 2014, and possibly beyond. With 16 races left, putting together a multi-year deal with a committed corporate backer seems almost impossible to pull off.
Earnhardt is somewhat hindered in finding the right fit because of conflicts with committed corporate sponsors. For example, his Pepsi deal is the reason he ditched Budweiser when he signed with Hendrick for the 2008 season.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly agreed to a contract with Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.
Gonzalez defected to Mexico earlier this year and worked out for scouts in Tijuana. His deal reportedly is worth $60 million over six years, which would make him the highest paid international player.
A hard-throwing righty, the 26-year-old Gonzalez has a fastball that reached the upper 90s.
The Phillies have lost a season-worst six straight games and are falling rapidly out of postseason contention.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs, bringing back the seven-time All-Star to give a power boost to a team that desperately needs more pop.
Soriano immediately went into the starting lineup, batting cleanup and playing left field against Tampa Bay. The Cubs got minor league pitcher Corey Black and are also sending almost $17.7 million to the Yankees to cover the rest of Soriano’s rich contract.
Soriano, who went 0 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI in the Yankees’ 10-6 loss to the Rays, outhomered the Yankees all by himself (10-8) in the four weeks prior to the deal. Overall, the 37-year-old was hitting .254 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs with the Cubs.
CHICAGO (AP) — Stan Bowman wanted to keep Joel Quenneville in Chicago, and the coach had no desire to leave. After two Stanley Cup titles in four seasons, this was a no-brainer.
The Blackhawks announced a three-year contract extension for Quenneville, kicking off their sixth annual fan convention with a crowd-pleasing move.
The 54-year-old Quenneville is 222-106 in five seasons in Chicago. He led the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup in 2010, ending a 49-year drought, and then coached them to another title this year.
OAKVILLE, Ontario (AP) — Hunter Mahan birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Canadian Open.
Coming off a ninth-place tie last week in the British Open, the five-time PGA Tour winner had eight birdies in his bogey-free round at Glen Abbey to reach 13-under 131.
John Merrick was second after a 62. He tied the course record set by Leonard Thompson in 1981 and matched by Andy Bean in 1983 — both when Glen Abbey played to a par of 71 — and Greg Norman in 1986. Merrick had an eagle and 10 birdies, playing the back nine in 6-under 31.
Bubba Watson was 9 under after a 67. Aaron Baddeley and Patrick Reed shot 68 to reach 8 under, and Tommy Gainey (64), Chris Kirk (69) and James Hahn (68) followed at 7 under.
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — American Mark Wiebe shot at 5-under 65 at Royal Birkdale for a share of the lead with Germany’s Bernhard Langer after the second round of the Senior British Open.
Langer, the 2010 champion at Carnoustie, had a 67 to match Wiebe at 5-under 135.
South Africa’s David Frost was a stroke back after a 68. First-round leader Gene Sauers had a 70 join Peter Fowler (69) and Mark McNulty (67) at 3 under.
CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. soccer team will be missing a key figure for the Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday: their coach.
Jurgen Klinsmann was suspended for one game by CONCACAF’s disciplinary committee, the result of his ejection in the 87th minute of a 3-1 victory over Honduras in the semifinals Wednesday.
Klinsmann was dismissed “for showing dissent towards the referee by throwing the ball in a violent manner,” the disciplinary committee found, and said FIFA rules require anyone ejected from a match to be suspended for the following game.
The decision cannot be appealed.
UNDATED (AP) — Sprinter Tyson Gay failed more than one drug test this year, recording one of his positives at the U.S. championships in June, where he won the 100 and 200 meters, The Associated Press learned Friday.
Earlier this month, Gay revealed he tested positive in an out-of-competition test he took May 16.
Three people familiar with the case told the AP that Gay had multiple positives this year. One of those people said one positive came at nationals and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has notified him of that result.
The sprinter has already surrendered his spot at next month’s world championships. If a positive test from nationals is confirmed by his “B” sample, those results would be vacated, though it’s likely they would be anyway because of his May 16 positive. The May 16 test has been confirmed by a test of the “B” sample, one of the people familiar with the case said.
A first-time offense for doping usually brings with it a two-year ban, though athletes who cooperate with USADA sometimes get reduced penalties.
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Hagan raced to the qualifying lead Friday night in the NHRA Sonoma Nationals with a run that matched the second-quickest and sixth-fastest passes in Funny Car history.
Hagan finished in 3.986 seconds at 320.51 mph in his Dodge Charger.
David Grubnic led the Top Fuel field, Mike Edwards was the Pro Stock leader, and Hector Arana Sr. was fastest in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Grubnic had a track-record time of 3.765 at 324.28. Edwards finished in 6.526 at 212.23 in a Chevy Camaro, and Arana had a 6.894 at 190.86 on a Buell.