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Hamlin wins at Darlington…NBA contingency plans…NFL working on mask designed for pandemic concerns

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Rain wiped out the final 20 laps of last night’s NASCAR Cup race at Darlington, allowing Denny Hamlin to come away with the victory. Hamlin was out of fresh tires when the race was stopped, but he received help when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch caused a hard-charging Chase Elliott to crash eight laps earlier to bring out the caution. Busch finished second in NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years. Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones completed the top five.

UNDATED (AP) — As the NBA continues to work through multiple return-to-play scenarios, two people with knowledge of the situation say Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston remain under consideration as cities that could host regular-season and playoff games. Wednesday marked the end of the 10th week since the NBA shut down on March 11. The pandemic halted the regular season with 259 games remaining, but none of those contests have yet to be officially canceled.

UNDATED (AP) — The NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face. The medical director of the NFL Players Association tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are already testing prototypes of the modified mask.

UNDATED (AP) — The LPGA Tour will not have its qualifying events at the end of the year and will keep the same roster of players it has on all of its tours. The LPGA already has canceled seven events, plus the UL International Crown team event, because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has shut the tour down since Inbee Park won the Women’s Australian Open on Feb. 16. It hopes to resume on July 23-26 with the Marathon Classic in Ohio.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres are suing to obtain a green card for their British-born strength and conditioning coach. The Sabres say federal immigration officials wrongly denied a petition by the team to secure the card for Ed Gannon. The team maintains U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services misstated facts and arbitrarily failed to follow its own rules in denying permanent residency status to Gannon, who has worked for the team since 2015.

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