SPORTS DIGEST || Bell holds off Gragson to win Xfinity race
Christopher Bell grabbed the lead from Noah Gragson shortly after a restart to begin the final stage and held off his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate after a late challenge to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway on Friday night.
Bell led by nearly 0.6 seconds at one point during the final stage, then had Gragson close onto his rear bumper with about 10 laps to go. But just as quickly as Gragson mounted a challenge in his first career start, Bell again pulled away for his second career victory in the series.
Bell climbed from fifth to second in the points race, 29 behind Sadler and two ahead of Tyler Reddick, who finished 11th.
Gragson seemed more distressed at having come up short than having had an impressive debut.
Points leader and Virginia native Elliott Sadler finished third and won a $100,000 bonus as the top finisher in the Dash for Cash.
Capitals' Burakovsky out rest of first round
Washington Capitals winger Andre Burakovsky will have minor surgery to repair an upper-body injury and miss the rest of the first-round series against Columbus.
Coach Barry Trotz says Burakovsky could return if his team advances deeper in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Burakovsky was injured in Game 2 Sunday on a hit by Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner.
The 23-year-old Burakovsky had been playing in a top-six role for the Capitals in the first round after putting up 12 goals and 13 assists in 56 regular-season games. His absence pushed Chandler Stephenson up the lineup to play alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
Stephenson skated a regulation career-high 17:02 in the Capitals’ Game 4 victory on Thursday that tied the series at 2. Game 5 is Saturday afternoon in Washington.
Karolyis denies knowledge of Nassar
Former USA Gymnastics women’s national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and husband Bela tell NBC they were unaware of the abusive behavior by a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison.
Martha Karolyi led the national team for 15 years before retiring after the 2016 Rio Olympics. She tells Savannah Guthrie in “no way” did she suspect Larry Nassar was sexually abusing athletes under the guise of treatment.
The Karolyis spoke as part of a Dateline NBC special entitled “Silent No More” scheduled to air Sunday. The one-hour special, the first prime-time event hosted by Guthrie, takes a look at the fallout from revelations about years of abuse by Nassar involving hundreds of former athletes, including several members of the U.S. Olympic team.
The Karolyis have been named as co-defendants in several civil lawsuits filed against Nassar and USA Gymnastics. Several victims, including two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney, say they were abused at the Karolyi’s Ranch near Houston. The ranch served as the training home for USA Gymnastics during most of Martha Karolyi’s highly successful tenure running the national team.
Martha Karolyi denied having any knowledge about Nassar’s pattern of abuse.
USA Gymnastics reached a confidential settlement in a Georgia lawsuit that spurred a newspaper investigation into the organization’s practices for reporting child abuse.
Curry cleared to return to modified practice
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been cleared to take part in modified practices but will be out at least one more week with a left knee injury.
The Warriors said Curry was examined by the team’s medical staff Friday and is making progress in recovering from the grade 2 left MCL sprain that has sidelined him since March 23.
Curry will be allowed to take part in modified practices beginning Saturday and increase his on-court rehabilitation. He will be re-evaluated again in one week.
The Warriors lead San Antonio 3-0 in their first-round series. If they advance, the second round could start as early as April 28.