DENNY HAMLIN

Denny Hamlin won NASCAR’s first Wednesday race since 1984.

NASCAR

Hamlin wins NASCAR’s first Wednesday race since 1984

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Denny Hamlin won NASCAR’s first Wednesday race since 1984 when rain stopped the Toyota 500 with 20 laps remaining at Darlington Raceway.

The Daytona 500 winner was out front but out of fresh tires and trying to hang on when he got unintended help from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. The reigning Cup champion caused Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution.

A furious Elliott waited for Busch on the apron of the track and flipped Busch the middle finger as he passed. As NASCAR cleaned the track, it started to rain and the cars were called to pit road under red-flag.

As the drivers sat in their cars waiting for NASCAR to pull the plug, a handful of Elliott’s crew members sat on the pit wall staring down Busch. One of Busch’s crew members sat between them on the wall and NASCAR eventually ordered everyone back over the wall.

Eight minutes later, the race was called and Busch was greeted by Alan Gustafson, Elliott’s crew chief and Busch’s former crew chief when he drove for Hendrick Motorsports, for a conversation between two masked competitors.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

NCAA lifts moratorium on football, basketball workouts

The NCAA Division I Council voted to lift a moratorium on voluntary workouts by football and basketball players effective June 1 as a growing number of college leaders expressed confidence that fall sports will be possible in some form despite concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

This decision clears the way for individual workouts by athletes, mostly on their own, subject to safety and health protocols decided by their schools or local health officials..

NCAA officials noted that the workouts could go on as long as all local, state and federal regulations are followed. The status of voluntary workouts for other sports will be determined later.

From Notre Dame to LSU and more, a number of schools have announced plans to reopen campuses for the fall semester and conferences have begun setting up plans for how to play football amid the pandemic. The latest came this week with the Florida State system announcing plans for its 12 schools and more than 420,000 students.

Many questions remain, including specific safety protocols and whether fans would be allowed if games proceed.

NBA

NBA still working toward returning in 2020

The NBA is continuing to work through multiple return-to-play scenarios, with two people with knowledge of the situation saying that Orlando — which has been talked about for several weeks — along with Las Vegas and Houston remain under consideration. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league has made no final decisions.

More than half of the league’s teams have now opened facilities for voluntary player workouts, with Minnesota expected to be the next to do so on Thursday.

Also Wednesday, Jared Dudley of the Los Angeles Lakers said he is “90% confident” that the NBA is coming back this season and that he believes players owe it to the fans to try and finish the year.

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