SPORTS digest


Horse entries are not available

AUSTINTOWN

Today’s entries for Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course were not submitted prior to The Vindicator’s publication deadline.

Chip Ganassi earns 200th victory

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

In a 24-hour race of attrition, it was only fitting for the most seasoned sports car teams to control the podium at Daytona International Speedway.

Action Express Racing won its third Rolex 24 at Daytona overall title, and Chip Ganassi Racing celebrated the organization’s 200th victory with a win in the GT Le Mans class.

Both two-car teams finished first and second in their respective classes.

The Action Express team of Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi drove Cadillac to the overall victory Sunday, and it’s other car finished second. It’s the second consecutive Rolex overall victory for Cadillac but came from the team that finished second last year.

Ganassi’s two Ford entries dominated the GT Le Mans class and defended last year’s victory.

The team of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon won and defeated its sister car, which was the defending class champion. The car of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais finished second.

Ganassi, the grand marshal of this year’s race, now has eight wins in 15 Rolex appearances. His teams won six overall titles and now have two class victories. He’s the only team owner in history to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex and 12 Hours of Sebring.

Snowboarding champion injured

ASPEN, Colo.

Olympic snowboarding champion Iouri Podladtchikov slammed hard into the top edge of the halfpipe at Sunday night’s Winter X Games and was taken off the course on a stretcher.

No immediate update was given on Podladtchikov’s injury, which halted action for more than 10 minutes, as medical personnel stabilized his head and neck.

The snowboarder known as the I-Pod won the Sochi Games on the strength of the Yolo Flip, a 1440-degree trick he patented in the leadup to those Olympics.

The 29-year-old, rounding into form for the Pyeongchang Games after a knee injury, was attempting a 1260-degree jump on his last trick in the halfpipe when he slammed against the lip, snapping his neck backward, as he fell limp to the center of the pipe.

Phillies sign F. Rodriguez

PHILADELPHIA

The Phillies have signed six-time All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

K-Rod ranks fourth on the career list with 437 saves, including the single-season record of 62 in 2008 for the Angels. But the 36-year-old right-hander is coming off his worst season in the majors. He had a 7.82 ERA in 28 appearances with Detroit last season.

Rodriguez was 44 for 49 in save chances just two years ago. He gives Philadelphia another option in the late innings along with Hector Neris and Pat Neshek.

Rodriguez has a 2.86 career ERA in 948 games with 1,142 strikeouts in 976 innings. The Phillies are his sixth team in 17 seasons.

Brewers’ Braun willing to switch

MILWAUKEE

Ryan Braun willing to do whatever it takes to help the Milwaukee Brewers get back to the playoffs, even if it means learning a new position after 11 years in the big leagues.

The six-time All-Star outfielder will get work at first base during spring training as the Brewers try to ease an outfield logjam after the team traded for Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins and signed free agent Lorenzo Cain.

“We’ll communicate about it and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of dialogue as we go, see how things are going, see how our roster develops,” Braun said.

Staff/wire report

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