PRESS BOX: Fans hurt at NASCAR race, Pens' Malkin has concussion symptomsBy The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Feb 23, 2013 8:00 PM EST
Tony Stewart's win in Saturday's DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway was overshadowed by a heart-stopping wreck that saw parts from Kyle Larson's demolished car fly into the stands and injure several spectators. The front clip of Larson's car sheared off, ripping the engine out of its compartment, breaking through the catchfence and ending up along with the front suspension on the walkway at the bottom of the stands. A tire from Larson's car, as well as resulting debris, injured several spectators; NASCAR announced 15 fans had been transported to area medical facilities for treatment. Regan Smith led as the cars approached the checkered flag, but Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski, who was running second, and turned across the nose of Keselowski's car. In other news involving Keselowski, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, he met with NASCAR chairman Brian France and International Speedway Corporation chairman Lesa France Kennedy on Friday regarding recent comments he made to the media, ESPN reported. Keselowski was not disciplined for his remarks and refused to comment about the meeting. Keselowski said in a USA Today article that sponsors, teams and tracks don't always work together with NASCAR. The outspoken Keselowski was fined $25,000 in 2011 for criticizing NASCAR's move to fuel injection. ---In NHL news, Pittsburgh Penguins center and reigning league MVP Evgeni Malkin is experiencing concussion symptoms after taking a big hit on the boards during the third period of Friday night's home victory over the Florida Panthers. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Saturday through multiple sources that Malkin has severe headaches and mild disorientation. He is not expected to play Sunday against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Malkin left the game after Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson checked him hard into the boards. The back of Malkin's head appeared to bounce off the boards, and his neck snapped back in a whiplash-like motion. He did not get up for more than a minute after the hit, but eventually skated off the ice under his own power. ---In college football, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel filed a lawsuit in Texas last week against a man for selling T-shirts that the Heisman Trophy winner claims infringe on his trademark rights, the Southeast Texas Record reported. Manziel's corporation filed the suit against Eric Vaughan, who was selling T-shirts that read, "Keep Calm and Johnny Football," according to the legal journal. Manziel seeks damages for the unlawful sale of the "Johnny Football" T-shirts. The NCAA recently ruled that that a student-athlete can keep financial earnings from a legal action, but the quarterback's corporation cannot make money until Manziel's NCAA eligibility expires or he enters the NFL draft. ---Also in college football, ESPN retained television rights to Big East Conference football and basketball games for the next seven years, the network announced. ESPN said the $130 million deal gives it rights to televise seven years for men's basketball (2013-20) and six for football (2014-20). The Big East's $10 million annual figure for men's basketball is contingent on the "Catholic Seven" staying in the conference. DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova are planning to form their own basketball-only conference in 2014.
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