Carl Edwards used two consecutive wins to take the Sprint Cup points lead for the first time in his career. Wednesday, NASCAR said his Las Vegas victory was tainted and slammed Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing team with its toughest penalty yet. Edwards was docked 100 points -- knocking him out of first place -- and stripped of the 10 bonus points he earned for the win.
Edwards would have carried those bonus points into the Chase for the championship, assuming he's one of the 12 to qualify for NASCAR's 10-race sprint to the title.
In addition to Edwards' penalty, crew chief Bob Osborne was fined $100,000 and suspended six weeks, and Jack Roush was docked 100 owner points. The penalties stem from a post-race inspection Sunday when NASCAR discovered the cover was off the oil tank in the race-winning No. 99 Ford.
Rival competitors circulated a photo via e-mail Tuesday of Edwards doing a celebratory backflip off his car, and the cover is clearly not attached to the oil tank. It's believed that by opening up the oil tank trunk, the air is able to circulate through the car and create as much as 10 percent more downforce.
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Edwards declined immediate comment. ...
Robby Gordon received a season-saving reprieve from a NASCAR appeals committee when the three-member panel restored the 100 points he'd been docked for an unapproved front bumper at Daytona.
Oakland clobbered San Diego 15-4 Wednesday in Phoenix, Ariz., as Mike Sweeney had three hits, including two doubles, and three RBIs in his bid to stick with Oakland. ... The Giants lost 3-1 to Kansas City in Scottsdale, Ariz. San Francisco's Barry Zito pitched three innings and gave up only two hits, including a solo homer to Ryan Shealy. ... The White Sox defeated Colorado 5-2 in Tucson as Chicago ace Mark Buehrle pitched four scoreless innings. ... New York Mets left fielder Moises Alou will have surgery for a hernia and miss the start of the season.
The Oakland Raiders have agreed to terms with free agent offensive tackle Kwame Harris. The former 49er is guaranteed $3 million in the first year of his deal that would pay him $16 million over three years, a person familiar with the contract said on condition of anonymity because the terms were not released.
The Raiders needed a tackle after cutting last year's starting left tackle Barry Sims. Cornell Green, the starting right tackle for most of last season, is a free agent. Harris, a first-round pick in 2003, started all 32 games in 2005-06 for the 49ers before being relegated to a backup role last season. ...
Joey Harrington, the third overall pick in the 2002 draft by Detroit who started 10 of Atlanta's games last season, was cut by the Falcons. That leaves Atlanta with only two quarterbacks on the roster -- Chris Redman, who has been re-signed to a two-year deal, and D.J. Shockley, who missed last season with a knee injury. They are likely to pick a quarterback in April's draft, perhaps Boston College's Matt Ryan with the third pick. ... New England re-signed wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, who had 36 catches for 449 yards and five touchdowns last season.
The runner-up in last year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has moved into the lead. Paul Gebhardt is the first musher to leave the checkpoint in the ghost town of Ophir, Alaska, about 450 miles into the race. Gebhardt, of Kasilof, spent only 10 minutes at the checkpoint, taking the lead from 2004 champion Mitch Seavey of Seward, who continues to rest.
The United States routed China 4-0 at the Algarve Cup, and Denmark upset Women's World Cup champion Germany 1-0 on the opening day of the tournament in Albureira, Portugal. Lindsay Tarpley put the U.S. in the lead in the fifth minute with a close-range volley. Tobin Heath, at 19 the youngest player on the team, came on at halftime and scored two minutes later with a chip over the goalkeeper for her first international goal. ...
The U.S. men's team is likely to play an exhibition game against England at Wembley on May 28, with negotiations nearing the final stages. ... Liverpool fans staged a protest during a Premier League match against West Ham, urging the club's American owners to sell the team to a consortium from Dubai.
Andy Roddick will face Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Roddick had 13 aces in his 6-3, 6-4 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu, and the second-ranked Nadal easily beat Mikhail Ledovskikh 6-4, 6-0 on Wednesday. "It's going to be a tough one," Roddick said. ... Serena Williams overcame a shaky start to defeat Tzipora Obziler 7-5, 6-0 and reach the quarterfinals of the Bangalore (India) Open. Playing in her first match since the Australian Open, Williams was broken twice in the first set.