Byron takes Daytona pole…Ducks drop Carlyle…Pacers add guard…Lefty leafs Pebble Beach
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – William Byron has won the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500, giving Hendrick Motorsports the top starting spot for the fifth consecutive year. Byron and teammate Alex Bowman locked in the front row for “The Great American Race” during qualifying laps at Daytona International Speedway, while Casey Mears and Tyler Reddick secured two of the remaining spots in the Monster Energy Cup season opener. Jimmie Johnson won the rain-shortened exhibition Clash after triggering a wreck that wiped out nearly the entire field at Daytona.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Anaheim Mighty Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle following the team’s seventh straight loss and 19th in its last 21. General manager Bob Murray will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season as the Ducks try to vacate the cellar in the NHL’s Western Conference. Carlyle is the winningest coach in Ducks history and led the franchise to the 2007 Stanley Cup and three appearances in the conference finals during his two stints with the team.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Free agent guard Wesley Matthews has officially signed with the Indiana Pacers to help fill the void left when All-Star guard Victor Oladipo suffered a season-ending knee injury late last month. Matthews averaged 12.8 points and 2.3 assists in 45 games for the Mavericks this season before going to the Knicks in a trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas last week. He was dropped by the Knicks before clearing waivers on Saturday.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Phil Mickelson had a three-shot lead over Paul Casey with two holes remaining with the final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am was suspended yesterday. Mickelson was three strokes back before making his big run starting with a 9-iron to a foot behind the cup on the par-4 ninth. That was part of a five-hole stretch in which Mickelson made three birdies and Casey had two bogeys.
ARE, Sweden (AP) – Lindsey Vonn became the first female skier to win medals at six different world championships when she won the bronze medal in the downhill at the world championships in Sweden, the final race of her career. It’s also her fifth downhill medal at worlds, matching the record established by Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz. It came five days after Vonn crashed in super-G.