TRUEX GETS POLE AF­TER LAR­SON FLUNKS NAS­CAR IN­SPEC­TION

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - Den­ver Post staff and wire ser­vices

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.

Foot­notes.

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.

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