TRUEX GETS POLE AFTER LARSON FLUNKS NASCAR INSPECTION
LOUDON, N.H.» Kyle Larson has made a habit of flunking NASCAR inspection.
Knocked from the top of the points standings this week because of an inspection failure, Larson was stripped of his pole Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and had his winning time tossed out for yet another infraction. He will start at the rear of the field in Sunday’s Cup race.
Furniture Row’s Martin Truex Jr. will lead the field to green for the first time this season.
“Not the way we wanted to get our first pole of the year but looking forward to starting up front,” Truex said.
Larson’s time was disallowed because of an unapproved rear deck fin lid. NASCAR said there would be no additional penalties.
He had raced to the top of the field without his suspended crew chief, turning a lap of 133.324 mph to win his fourth pole of the season. Larson’s team was penalized 35 points this week by NASCAR, erasing what had been a one-point advantage over Truex in the driver standings. Crew chief Chad Johnston was suspended for three races because of a rear brake cooling assembly that did not meet standards.
Vikings’ Floyd suspended.
EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN.» The NFL has suspended Minnesota wide receiver Michael Floyd without pay for the first four games of the regular season for violating its substance-abuse policy.
The Vikings’ announcement gave no details of the violation. But an Arizona judge last month ordered Floyd to serve one day in jail for failing alcohol tests after a traffic stop last year. He blamed the results on a type of fermented tea called kombucha.
The case stemmed from a 2016 drunken driving arrest when Scottsdale police found him passed out behind the wheel. He pleaded guilty in February to extreme drunken driving. He had a blood-alcohol level of more than 2½ times the legal limit in Arizona.
Lightning signs Palat.
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman completed his offseason to-do list by signing “model player” Ondrej Palat to a $26.5 million, fiveyear deal.
The Lightning and Palat avoided arbitration. The Czech left winger will count $5.3 million against the salary cap through the 2021-22 season.
The 26-year-old Palat had 17 goals and 35 assists in 75 games last season.
Yzerman said his two biggest offseason priorities were re-signing Palat and fellow restricted free-agent Tyler Johnson, who got a $35 million, seven-year deal before an arbitration hearing was necessary.
• The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a one-year deal with defenseman Erik Gustafsson. The 25-year-old Gustafsson made his NHL debut in 2015 and collected 14 assists in 41 games with the Blackhawks.
• The Los Angeles Kings have resigned Kevin Gravel to a one-year, $650,000 contract extension, avoiding arbitration with the restricted free-agent defenseman.
The Kings also signed restricted free agents Justin Auger, Andrew Crescenzi, Zachary Leslie and Kurtis MacDermid.
Former NFL player Kevin Michael Sampson was released on bond after he was arrested in El Reno, Okla., with more than one pound of marijuana and a stolen shotgun in Oklahoma. A police report says officers found 21 large clear plastic bags containing marijuana in the trunk of Sampson’s car as well as a shotgun stolen in Missouri and digital scales. … Emma Meesseman scored 15 points and the Washington Mystics beat the Indiana Fever 72-58 in the WNBA. … Stefanie Dolson scored 23 points and Chicago beat New York 78-68 for the Sky’s third consecutive win.