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Sports Extra

FOX Sports

Coming soon to 90M homes, Fox Sports 1 to rival ESPN

NEW YORK – Fox said its new sports cable network will launch Aug. 17.

The network said Tuesday that Fox Sports 1, converted from Speed TV, will be in 90 million homes. The company has rights to college basketball and football, NASCAR, soccer and UFC for the channel.

Starting in 2014, FS1 will start broadcasting Major League Baseball games.

The Aug. 17 coverage will include a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan and a UFC event in prime time.

Regis Philbin will host a weekday sports talk show for the network.

Auto Racing

NASCAR teams up with NRA: ‘It’s not about politics’

FORT WORTH, Texas – The National Rifle Association is taking its relationship with racing to a new level as the title sponsor of a NASCAR Sprint Cup series race.

The deal with Texas Motor Speedway comes at a time when the NRA is involved in a renewed debate on gun violence in the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“It’s not about politics; it’s about sports marketing,” TMS president Eddie Gossage said Monday after the announcement of the one-year agreement with the NRA that includes a renewal option.

The April 13 race at Texas – the first scheduled night race in the Sprint Cup series this season – will be known as the NRA 500.

Cycling

Kittel wins Stage 2 in France; Viviani takes Paris-Nice lead

CERILLY, France – German rider Marcel Kittel won the second stage of the Paris-Nice race Tuesday in a sprint finish against Elia Viviani, who took the overall race leader’s yellow jersey.

Kittel completed the 124-mile flat trek from Vimory to Cerilly in 5 hours, 42 minutes, 18 seconds. Viviani and third-place Leigh Howard of Australia clocked the same time.

Viviani took the jersey from first stage winner Nacer Bouhanni of France, who was forced to pull out of the race with a bloodied face after crashing onto the pavement. He was taken away on a stretcher for a check-up.

Golf

McIlroy tells SI magazine walking off was a mistake

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Rory McIlroy told Sports Illustrated that walking off the course before finishing the second round at the Honda Classic was a mistake.

McIlroy quit after eight holes Friday when he was 7-over par and on his way to missing the cut. He told reporters his head was not in the right place but later issued a statement saying his wisdom tooth was causing pain.

The world No. 1 spoke to Sports Illustrated on Sunday night. He said he should have finished the 18th hole, played the front nine and tried his hardest, even if he shot 85.

McIlroy said his “reactive decision” was not good for the tournament, kids or the fans.

NBA

8 teams to play 8 preseason games at overseas venues

LONDON – The NBA is going overseas for eight preseason games in October, with stops in Asia, Europe and South America.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will open the proceedings by playing Turkish team Fenerbahce on Oct. 5 in Istanbul. The Philadelphia 76ers will follow a day later against Uxue Bilbao in Spain.

The Thunder and 76ers then will meet Oct. 8 in Manchester, England.

The Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers will meet Oct. 10 in Manila, Philippines, then again Oct. 13 in Taipei, Taiwan. Also in Asia, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers will play each other Oct. 15 in Beijing and then again three days later in Shanghai.

In South America, the Chicago Bulls will play the Washington Wizards on Oct. 12 in Rio de Janeiro.

Associated Press