Weekend Sports in Brief
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Joey Logano busted up The Big Three and captured an improbable first NASCAR title by soundly beating a trio of champions.
Logano won the season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway to grab his first Cup championship in a season in which he barely contended until the playoffs began. The year was dominated by Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr., with Logano calling the final-four field “The Big Three and Me.” But Logano kicked it into another gear to steal the title.
He passed Truex with 12 laps remaining and pulled away to win for Roger Penske, the car owner who celebrated this year his election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a 17th victory in the Indianapolis 500 and now a second title in NASCAR’s top series.
It marked the first championship for Ford since 2004.
MACAU (AP) — Teenage driver Sophia Floersch was scheduled to undergo surgery for a spinal fracture after a spectacular airborne crash in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 17-year-old German tweeted: “Just wanted to let everybody know that I am fine but will be going into Surgery tomorrow (Monday) morning ... Update soon.”
Floersch has a spinal fracture, according to a medical report released by her team, the Netherlands-based Van Amersfoort Racing.
Video footage showed Floersch appearing to clip Japanese driver Sho Tsuboi’s car and flying off the track at high speed on a bend on lap four. Floersch’s car then went through a catch fence, hit a structure on the perimeter and dropped to the ground with safety officials immediately on the scene.
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns’ coaching search isn’t quite ready to cross gender or diplomatic lines.
General manager John Dorsey, who opened the possibility of hiring a woman to be Cleveland’s next coach, said Sunday that the team has not discussed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a candidate to become the club’s ninth coach since 1999.
ESPN, citing an anonymous league source, reported that the team would like to interview Rice, an ardent Browns fan since childhood, for its coaching job.
However, Dorsey said she is not on the team’s current list of candidates.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Former LSU coach Les Miles has been hired to lead Kansas’ downtrodden football program.
Kansas announced the hiring Sunday shortly after Miles arrived at the airport in nearby Topeka. Miles signed a five-year contract that will pay him $2,775,000 annually with retention bonuses of $775,000 due in November 2020 and $500,000 in November 2022.
The 65-year-old Miles spent 11 years at LSU, winning a national championship in 2007, before being fired four games into the 2016 season. His teams reached double-digit victories in seven seasons with the Tigers and reached another BCS title game in 2011. He also did a stint as head coach in the Big 12, rebuilding Oklahoma State and going 28-21 from 2001-04 in Stillwater.
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Colorado has fired coach Mike MacIntyre on Sunday with the Buffaloes on a six-game losing streak in his sixth season at the school, and two years after he won AP coach of the year.
Athletic director Rick George said in a statement he informed MacIntyre that the coach would not return and then met with the coaching staff and players. George said he will name an interim head coach for Colorado’s final game against California on Saturday.
MacIntyre is due about $10 million from the five-year extension he signed after the 2016 season, when he was voted AP college football coach of the year after leading the Buffaloes to a Pac-12 South title and 10 victories.
That was his only winning season at Colorado, going 20-40 overall and 6-38 in the Pac-12 in the other five.
TOKYO (AP) — Floyd Mayweather’s match against a Japanese kickboxer is once again on for New Year’s Eve as an exhibition fight with knockouts allowed but likely no decision granted on a win or a loss.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the head of Rizin Fighting Federation, which is putting on the three-round exhibition, told reporters Saturday at Tokyo’s Haneda airport that “a misunderstanding” was behind Mayweather, 41, appearing to back out.
The event, to be held at Saitama Super Arena in suburban Tokyo on Dec. 31, was initially announced earlier this month.
Sakakibara said the basic agreement had not changed from the initial contract, which did not allow kicking.
He said Tenshin Nasukawa, 20, will have a chance to knock out Mayweather, but the results will not go against either fighter’s win-loss record. Other details are still being worked out.
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Ariya Jutanugarn clinched the Race to the CME Globe trophy and the LPGA’s season scoring title.
Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 in Sunday’s final round of the season-ending tour championship to claim both prizes. She briefly fell out of the CME Globe race lead on Sunday, overtaken by Brooke Henderson, then rallied for her second Globe in the last three years.
The Globe comes with a $1 million bonus for Jutanugarn, the No. 1-ranked women’s player who already had clinched player of the year and the money title.
LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane and England advanced to the final four of the inaugural UEFA Nations League by avenging their World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia.
The England captain ended a seven-game goal drought to complete a comeback at Wembley, sealing a 2-1 victory Sunday in the final group game in European soccer’s newest competition. It came four months after England lost by the same score to Croatia in its first World Cup semifinal in 28 years.
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Two former Philadelphia-area high school hockey players have been placed on probation for a year and ordered to do 100 hours of community service after being convicted of assaulting members of a rival team during a playoff game last year.
The (Pottstown) Mercury reports that Montgomery County jurors deliberated for nearly 11 hours over two days before convicting 19-year-old Brock Anderson and 20-year-old Jake Cross of misdemeanor simple assault and conspiracy charges.
Judge Richard Haaz said they “disrespected the game of hockey” in what prosecutors called an attack on CB West players at a Hatfield ice rink in March 2017 during the Eastern Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey Association Class 2A quarterfinal game.
Defense attorneys accused prosecutors of trying to “criminalize” a hockey fight.