Petty Enterprises shuffles crew chiefs
Petty Enterprises hired two new crew chiefs Monday, as the team said it would use the final 10 races of this season to prepare for 2007.
Bill Wilburn, former crew chief for Rusty Wallace, was chosen to run Kyle Petty’s team, while championship crew chief Paul Andrews will handle the same duties for Bobby Labonte.
“We’re looking ahead,” Petty vice president Robbie Loomis said. “We feel we needed to make a change now to be best prepared going into next season. I think (this) is exactly the type of move that is going to energize Petty Enterprises for the remainder of this season and for 2007.”
Wilburn spent 14 years at Penske Racing, including a stint as Wallace’s crew chief. He was most recently the crew chief for the upstart Clay Andrews Racing team and guided rookie David Gilliland to his upset Busch Series win at Kentucky Speedway in June.
Andrews, who won the 1992 championship as crew chief for Alan Kulwicki, will move from Petty’s team to run Labonte’s.
Almost one month after he agreed to terms of a three-year, $23 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Drew Gooden signed the deal yesterday, giving the club a power forward it believes can get it further into the playoffs. In 79 starts, he averaged 10.7 points and 8.4 rebounds in 27 1/2 minutes last season.
Clemson received permission from the NCAA to provide assistance to a freshman football player who is taking care of his younger brother. Ray Ray McElrathbey, 19, has temporary custody of his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, because of his mother’s continuing drug problems and his father’s gambling addiction. The brothers have moved from foster homes and now share an apartment near the Clemson campus.
The attorney for Tour de France winner Floyd Landis submitted a motion to dismiss doping charges against the cyclist, claiming Landis’ positive testosterone tests were flawed and did not meet standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency for a doping offense.
The Nashville Predators signed goaltender Tomas Vokoun to a four-year extension and gave him the franchise’s richest contract ever at $22.8 million. Vokoun, who turned 30 in July, is 91-69-26 since taking over as the Predators’ starting goalie in December 2002.
• The Flyers re-signed free agent Simon Gagne to a five-year contract. Gagne, a former first-round pick, is coming off the best season of his career, scoring 47 goals and 79 points last season for Philadelphia.
• Trevor Linden re-signed with the Vancouver Canucks, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $600,000. Linden had seven goals and nine assists in 82 games with the Canucks last season, his 17th in the NHL.
• Frantisek Kaberle, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Carolina Hurricanes this year, had shoulder surgery yesterday and could miss up to six months.
John Ferguson, a buyer for Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, paid $8.2 million to land a dark bay or brown colt by Storm Cat, out of Awesome Humor, during yesterday’s opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Off the field
The Orlando Magic’s J.J. Redick pleaded guilty to drunken driving charges and received a one-year sentence of unsupervised probation. The former Duke basketball star also received a 60-day suspended license in North Carolina, $410 in fees and court costs and must perform 24 hours of community service, according to Candy Clark, administrative assistant to District Attorney Mike Nifong.
• The name of the California (Pa.) University football stadium has been changed from Adamson Field to Hapner-Bailey Field in honor of two distinguished alumni: The late Bill Hepner, a 1950 graduate, and Mitch Bailey (1953). Hepner taught at California for 40 years and was the football coach from 1962-69. Bailey taught for 47 years at Cal and coached the football and baseball teams.
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