Clint Bowyer's race-winning car at New Hampshire failed an intense NASCAR inspection, officials said Wednesday, earning the driver a 150-point penalty that could wipe out his championship chances.
NASCAR also fined crew chief Shane Wilson $150,000, and suspended him for the next six Sprint Cup races. Car chief Chad Haney was also suspended six races, and team owner Richard Childress was docked 50 owner points.
Bowyer won Sunday's opening race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship to vault from 12th to second in the standings. The penalty drops him back to last place, 185 points behind leader Denny Hamlin with nine races left to determine the champion.
NASCAR said the No. 33 Chevrolet from Sunday's race had been altered and did not meet its strict specifications.
The car passed its initial inspection at New Hampshire on Sunday, but was taken by NASCAR back to its North Carolina research and development center. It was there that NASCAR found the rear end of the car had been manipulated by Richard Childress Racing.
Francisco Rodriguez is charged in contempt case
Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez was charged in a New York courtroom with seven counts of criminal contempt for sending his girlfriend dozens of text messages begging for forgiveness, violating a restraining order issued after he was accused of attacking her father at Citi Field.
Rodriguez, who wore a studded T-shirt and a gold chain, did not enter a plea at his arraignment. He posted the $7,500 bail almost immediately and left Queens court without speaking. A new protection order was issued barring him from contacting Daian Pena and her family.
The 28-year-old former Angels reliever was accused of grabbing Pena's father, 53-year-old Carlos Pena, hauling him into a tunnel near the family lounge beneath the team's new ballpark and hitting him in the face after a game Aug. 11.
Rodriguez was told to keep away from Carlos Pena and his daughter. But a week after he appeared in court, he sent her two text messages and kept going, sending 56 in all.
U.S. to face Chile in Davis Cup play
The United States will travel to Chile in the first round of World Group play in the 2011 Davis Cup, its second South American opponent in a row.
The U.S. or Chile will face the powerful Spaniards or outsider Belgium in the quarterfinals.
Former champion Tommy Robredo of Spain beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Open de Moselle quarterfinals in Metz, France.
Robredo will next play Richard Gasquet, who rallied from a set down to get the better of Paul-Henri Mathieu 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).
Top-seeded Nadia Petrova advanced to the second round of the Korea Open in Seoul with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jarmila Groth of Australia.
American veteran Jill Craybas lost to second-seeded Akgul Amanmuradova,7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-2, in the Tashkent Open in Uzbekistan.
Former Lakers trainer O'Neill dead at 81
Frank O'Neill, Lakers trainer from 1960 to 1974, died Tuesday at his home in Playa del Rey from congestive heart failure. He was 81.
O'Neill joined the team's staff when the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. He previously worked with the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles and USC.