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Update on the latest sports

February 17, 2019


Byron, Bowman start from front row in 61st Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — William Byron will start from the pole in the 61st running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, combining with teammate Alex Bowman to create the youngest front row in the history of “The Great American Race.”

Byron is 21, and Bowman is 25. Both are driving Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports.

Six Ford drivers will line up behind the Hendrick duo, including defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano. He starts fourth, trying to become the first reigning champ since Dale Jarrett in 2000 to win the season opener.

Defending race winner Austin Dillon starts from the 10th row in the No. 3 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

Kyle Larson will start from the rear of the field because of a transmission change. He had been scheduled to start 26th in the 40-car field. Jamie McMurray, expected to retire from full-time racing after the 500, also went to the back of the field because of a gear change. McMurray won the 2010 Daytona 500 and had been slated to start 16th.

Eight drivers will make their Daytona 500 debuts, with most of them starting in the back of the pack.

It’s also the first Daytona 500 since 2011 that doesn’t include a female driver. Danica Patrick stepped away from NASCAR after last year’s opener.


The 68th NBA All-Star Game has arrived in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — All-Star Sunday has arrived.

The 68th edition of the NBA’s annual midseason showcase exhibition game gets played in Charlotte, with LeBron James set to start for the 15th consecutive year, Kemba Walker ready to excite his home crowd and legends Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade ready to bid the game farewell as their careers wind down.

After that, the true All-Star “break” begins. There are no games on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, which gives every player and coach a couple of needed days off before the real playoff push begins.

Play resumes Thursday night with six games, as the sprint to the end of the regular season begins.

About 2,000 people attended the 20th annual NBA Legends Brunch Sunday, including about 200 former NBA players. Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues, Alonzo Mourning and Glen Rice were honorees at the brunch, which is a tradition on the morning of the All-Star game.

Curry was presented a “hometown hero” award. Bogues was feted for his work as a community ambassador. Mourning received the Global Ambassador Award, and Rice was selected as the Charlotte Hornets Legend of the Year.


Hirscher wins 7th career gold, considers retirement

ARE, Sweden (AP) — Marcel Hirscher has led an Austrian sweep in the slalom by winning by 0.65 seconds for a record-tying seventh career gold medal at the world championships.

After producing what he said was one of the best runs of his career to get a lead of 0.56 seconds, Hirscher was able to coast to his third slalom win at a worlds Sunday, matching the record of the great Ingemar Stenmark.

Michael Matt, the brother of former Olympic and world slalom champion Mario Matt, took silver and compatriot Marco Schwarz was third, 0.76 seconds back.

The only other male skier to win seven career golds at the worlds was another Austrian, Toni Sailer, in the late 1950s.

Hirscher says he has likely skied in his last world championships and could even decide to retire at the end of this season. The Austrian says he will compete in 10 more races this season and then assess his options.


Wawrinka loses his 1st final since comeback from knee injury

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka (vah-VRINK’-ah) has lost his first final since his comeback a year ago from left knee surgeries.

Gael Monfils (GAH’-ehl mohn-FEES’) of France beat the unseeded Swiss 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 Sunday at the ABN AMRO World Tournament to win his eighth career title.

The final was Wawrinka’s first since the 2017 French Open, where he previously met Monfils in the fourth round.

Wawrinka was chasing his 17th career title and second in Rotterdam, after winning in 2015. Monfils also reached the Rotterdam final in 2016.