William Byron scores 3rd iRacing victory of NASCAR’s series

William Byron scores 3rd iRacing victory of NASCAR’s series
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — William Byron showed he’s the sharpest gamer in NASCAR’s iRacing Series with his third victory in four events. Byron passed Timmy Hill with seven laps remaining at virtual Dover International Speedway to win yet again on the iRacing platform. The Hendrick Motorsports driver has consistently been the best of the NASCAR professionals in simulated racing. Alex Bowman won last week at Talladega Superspeedway, so Hendrick drivers have now won four consecutive iRacing events.

NASCAR to resume season May 17 with seven races in 10 days

NASCAR to resume season May 17 with seven races in 10 days
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — NASCAR will resume its season without fans starting May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. The premier Cup Series will then race three more times in a 10-day span, with one more at Darlington and then two at the track outside Charlotte, North Carolina. NASCAR joins the UFC as the first major sports organizations to announce specific return to play plans since the coronavirus pandemic shut down U.S. sports in mid-March.

Little League World Series canceled for first time

Little League World Series canceled for first time
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — This year’s Little League World Series and the championship tournaments in six other Little League divisions have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Little League President Stephen Keener says it would be “impossible” to hold the events amid ongoing restrictions on large gatherings and travel. The Little League World Series has been held every August since 1947 and had never been canceled before. But Keener said there was reason for optimism that teams could play this spring and summer, depending on restrictions in states and localities. The annual major league game held during the event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, also has been canceled.

Secretariat is 7-2 early favorite in virtual Kentucky Derby

Secretariat is 7-2 early favorite in virtual Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Secretariat is the early 7-2 favorite for this weekend’s virtual Kentucky Derby, an animated race between all 13 Triple Crown winners. The computer-generated race will be shown on NBC on Saturday, the day the Derby would have been held before the coronavirus pandemic postponed it. The virtual Derby will use computer-generated imagery of the 13 horses running the 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs. Secretariat got the No. 3 post position in a random draw. He was a two-time Horse of the Year. In 1973, he swept the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, winning the last race by a record 31 lengths.

Steelers exercise 2021 option on All-Pro LB T.J. Watt

Steelers exercise 2021 option on All-Pro LB T.J. Watt
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have picked up the fifth-year option on All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Watt, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2017 draft, is coming off a stellar 2019 in which he had 14 1/2 sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time. Watt finished in the top five in the NFL in five categories last year, including sacks, quarterback hits and forced fumbles. He became the first player since 1990 to have at least two interceptions, four fumble recoveries and eight forced fumbles in a season.

Pirates temporarily suspend 401k benefits amid pandemic

Pirates temporarily suspend 401k benefits amid pandemic
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates are suspending retirement benefits for members of the team’s baseball operations staff in an effort to cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. General manager Ben Cherington says the team has been searching for ways to find savings with the 2020 season on hold indefinitely with much of the country locked down in hopes of stemming the spread of the virus. The temporary suspension of retirement benefits is part of an effort to avoid any potential personnel cutbacks.

Matt Kenseth back to NASCAR as Larson replacement at Ganassi

Matt Kenseth back to NASCAR as Larson replacement at Ganassi
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Former NASCAR champion Matt Kenseth will come out of retirement to compete for Chip Ganassi Racing. He is the replacement for fired driver Kyle Larson, who lost his job two weeks ago for using a racial slur while competing in a virtual race. Ganassi developement driver Ross Chastain was considered a replacement but the team instead went with Kenseth. He is a two-time Daytona 500 winner. Ganassi says the team will ask NASCAR for a waiver to make Kenseth eligible to race for the title this season.

Old school: Steelers focus on seniors in draft

Old school: Steelers focus on seniors in draft
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers went old school during the 2020 NFL draft. The team used five of its six selections on seniors, a rare move for a club that likes to draft underclassmen. General manager Kevin Colbert said the decision to focus on more experienced players was just coincidental and had nothing to do with the uncertain offseason brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool figures to make the most immediate impact while the rest of the incoming class will see time on special teams or provide depth along the offensive and defensive lines.

Byron wins 2nd NASCAR virtual race in a drama-free event

Byron wins 2nd NASCAR virtual race in a drama-free event
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Drivers were on their best behavior in NASCAR’s latest virtual race and no one did anything to get fired or lose a sponsor. The iRacing Series has had a sour taste since Bubba Wallace lost a sponsor for quitting a game in a rage and Kyle Larson was fired for using a racial slur during a race. Sunday’s event at virtual Richmond Raceway was low on drama and William Byron won for the second consecutive race. The most excitement came when Matt DiBenedetto was parked for intentionally crashing Ryan Preece and the two then engaged in a Twitter spat.

Halladay on drugs, doing stunts when plane crashed

NTSB: Halladay on drugs, doing stunts when plane crashed
By TERRY SPENCER Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A federal report says Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay had drugs in his system and was doing extreme acrobatics in his small plane when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico in 2017, killing him. The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that the former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies star had amphetamine levels about 10 times therapeutic levels in his system along with other drugs that can impair judgment. He was doing a series of maneuvers when the plane suddenly nosedived into the water on Nov. 7, 2017. The report said Halladay had sometimes come within 5 feet of the water before the crash.