The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)

Rain washes out practice, qualifying for NASCAR at Fontana


NASCAR has canceled practice and qualifying sessions for the weekend races at Fontana because of ongoing heavy rains.

Both the Cup Series and Xfinity Series drivers will race without practice on the track east of Los Angeles, with the starting orders determined by the metric used to set the qualifying order.

The Xfinity race scheduled for Saturday afternoon has not yet been postponed or canceled, but officials are monitoring the rain to determine whether it’s possible to run the second race of the new season.

Christophe­r Bell will be on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race, with Daytona 500 champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. joining him on the front row.

This is the final race weekend on the famously weathered asphalt of the 2-mile track at Auto Club

Speedway. A half-mile track will be built on the site over the next two years, which means NASCAR won’t race in Southern California next year. RED BULL’S PEREZ LEADS

FINAL DAY OF F1 TESTING >> Red Bull driver Sergio Perez moved up the leaderboar­d as the sun went down to lead the third and final day of Formula One testing on Saturday.

It underlined how strong Red Bull looks heading into next weekend’s season-opening race on the same Sakhir desert circuit in Bahrain. Defending world champion Max Verstappen led the first test day.

“A very successful end to the test with another day of uninterrup­ted running,” Red Bull head of race engineerin­g Gianpiero Lambiase said. “Checo (Perez) was able to complete a variety of test items, including a chance to get a feel for the car under conditions closer to qualifying and the race.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was .36 seconds behind Perez in second but the twitchy W14 again experience­d problems with balance and traction.

“We’re not quite where we want to be but it’s a good platform to start from,” Hamilton said. “We don’t know where we will be next week, but we will stay positive.”

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was .52 behind Perez in third ahead of Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc — who led after the morning session — and Carlos Sainz Jr. The Ferraris were around .7 seconds off Perez’s pace but showed good reliabilit­y.


KREJIKOVA IN DUBAI FINAL >> Top-ranked Iga Swiatek was upset by Barbora Krejcikova 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Dubai Championsh­ips

on Saturday.

Krejcikova closed the tournament by beating the top three players in the WTA rankings: No. 3 Jessica Pegula in the quarterfin­als, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals, then Swiatek. No. 8 Daria Kasaktina was also overcome in the second round.

The Czech is the fifth woman in the Open era to beat the world’s top three at the same event.

Krejcikova dominated the final, breaking Swiatek five times. The Pole earned two breaks back in the first set, but Krejcikova then played out a love break and held to love for the set.

In the second, she broke for 2-1 and 5-2 and easily held serve to win her sixth singles title.

Her previous title was in October, when she beat Swiatek for the first time in the Ostrava final. MEDVEDEV BEATS MURRAY

IN FINAL TO WIN DOHA >> Daniil Medvedev won the Qatar Open on debut when he defeated Andy Murray 6-4, 6-4 in a final matchup of former No. 1s on Saturday.

Medvedev converted fast starts in each set. He reached 4-1 in the first and 3-1 in the second.

Murray fought but was too far back, and Medvedev won his 17th singles title.

“Sometimes we were playing bad, then suddenly both of us were playing amazing,” Medvedev said. “I’m happy to win.”

Medvedev also won in Rotterdam last weekend and his winning streak is nine matches.


TRADE KRAVTSOV, WAIVE LESCHYSHYN >> The New York Rangers have begun the machinatio­ns necessary if a trade for Patrick Kane were to materializ­e.

They traded winger Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver

Canucks and put forward Jake Leschyshyn on waivers on Saturday. That could clear the cap space to get Kane from Chicago.

The Blackhawks are holding Kane out of their game at San Jose in preparatio­n for a trade.

New York received minor leaguer William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round draft pick for Kravtsov in what’s essentiall­y a salary dump. More will come off the cap Sunday when Leschyshyn is either claimed by another team or clears waivers and is sent to the minors.

An injury to defenseman Ryan Lindgren during the Rangers’ game at Washington also could make room. Lindgren took a hard hit into the boards with his left shoulder first and did not return.

If Lindgren is expected to be out for more than 10 games and 24 days, he could be placed on longterm injured reserve.

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