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SPORTSBRIEFING

NASCAR racing in Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. — NASCAR is racing to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend with three races in two days.

Chase Elliott is on the pole for Sunday’s Cup Series. The 325-lap event will start at 3 p.m. (FOX). Interestingly, Elliott has never led a lap in four Cup starts at the track.

On Saturday, the Truck Series will race 130 laps beginning at 1 p.m. (FS1) and the Xfinity Series will race 163 laps at 4:30 p.m. (FOX).

Penske isn’t going to like it

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Roger Penske will watch the IndyCar season opener from a suite at Texas Motor Speedway — his first time off the pit stand and on the other side of the fence since his teams failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1995.

His relocation is partly for safety. At 83, Penske is considered at high risk for the coronavirus and he will avoid large crowds by working inside the paddock from a transporter separate from the rest of his team. But as the new owner of the IndyCar Series, he has also relinquished his role as a strategist for Team Penske to avoid conflicts of interest.

“I don’t know if I will be able to stand it. We’ll have a conversation after the show. I guess it will be like a NASCAR race,” Penske, who watches NASCAR events from a suite, said.

FCA golf outing slated

YOUNGSTOWN — The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Steel Valley Golf Outing will be held June 15 at the Youngstown Country Club.

Cost is $500 per foursome. Deadline to register is Tuesday.

Register online at conta.cc/3cSEnfc or call area representative Bob Kimpel at (330) 565-9274.

Memorial to have fans

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved a plan for Muirfield Village Golf Club to have at least some fans for the Memorial in July, which would make it the first PGA Tour event with a crowd since the tour was shut down March 13 by the coronavirus.

DeWine announced the decision Friday. He said on Twitter that casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks will be able to open on June 19.

“In addition, we received safety plans for the Memorial Golf Tournament to be held July 13-19,” he wrote. “We are approving that plan.”

The Memorial said it would have more details later.

Durant’s season is over

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant won’t play for the Brooklyn Nets if the NBA season resumes.

“My season is over,” Durant told The Undefeated on Friday. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”

Durant ruptured an Achilles tendon a year ago for Golden State in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against Toronto.

He also had COVID-19 this year.

Warriors moving forward

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After reaching five straight NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors couldn’t have foreseen such a strange, disappointing season as they debuted their snazzy new Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Warriors had the worst record in the NBA at 15-50 with a roster of largely unknowns taking the court night after night.

Kevin Durant had departed. Klay Thompson sat out recovering from surgery for a torn left knee ligament sustained in Game 6 of last year’s finals against champion Toronto. Stephen Curry broke his left hand.

Jordan donating $100 million

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are giving $100 million to organizations dedicated to promoting racial equality and social justice.

In a joint statement Friday on social media, Jordan and the Jordan Brand said money will be paid over 10 years with the goal of “ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

“Black lives matter,” the statement said. “This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our country’s institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of black people.”

Jordan, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls great, is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The Jordan Brand is a subsidiary of Nike, the shoe giant that earlier Friday committed $40 million over the next four years to support the black community.

Beginning of a new era

ALLIANCE — Vince Kehres’ first game as Mount Union’s head coach will be broadcast by WIVM on Saturday.

At 8 p.m., the Franklin (Ind.) at Mount Union 2013 football season opener will be shown.

Franklin scored 21 unanswered points to take a 27-23 lead with seven minutes to play. Junior quarterback Kevin Burke then engineered a seven-play, 79-yard drive that included a 31-yard scamper and a 22-yard completion to Sherman Wilkinson to get the ball to the Franklin 1-yard line. Mason Minnich scored the game-winning touchdown with 4:17 to play to give the Purple Raiders a 30-27 victory in front of 4,326 fans.

Burke had 266 yards passing and ran for 72 yards on nine carries.

The game is on Channel 29 over the air, Spectrum Channel 989 in Canton and online at WIVMTV.com.

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