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Originally published July 12, 2013 at 10:26 PM | Page modified July 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

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Brad Keselowski earns pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event

Defending series champion Brad Keselowski turned a lap of 135.922 mph to set a track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in qualifying for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup event.

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Auto racing

Keselowski leads qualifiers

Brad Keselowski is back on top of NASCAR.

Well, for a race, at least.

But he is running out of time to make it back to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and defend his series title.

His first pole of the season might give his season the boost he needs to become a contender. Keselowski turned a lap of 135.922 mph Friday to set a track record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

With eight races left until the 12-driver Chase field is set, Keselowski is winless and sitting in an uncomfortable 13th place in the standings.

“There is a sense of urgency but not a sense of panic,” Keselowski said.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson seemingly qualified in second but his No. 48 Chevrolet failed inspection after his attempt because both sides of the front were too low. He will start in the rear, in 43rd.

Johnson will start behind 71-year-old Morgan Shepherd, who will become the oldest driver to start a Sprint Cup race.

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw will start in eighth and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start in 22nd in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301.

College football

Penn State has agreements

Penn State could soon be paying out millions of dollars to victims of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky after disclosing it had tentative agreements with some of the young men who say he sexually abused them.

School officials do not plan to comment on specifics until the deals are made final. University president Rodney Erickson called getting approval for settlement offers “another important step toward the resolution of claims from Sandusky’s victims.”

Sandusky, 69, was convicted a year ago of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including violent attacks on boys inside school facilities. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term and maintains he was wrongfully convicted. He is pursuing appeals.

More than 30 claimants have made sexual-abuse allegations involving the longtime assistant to late coach Joe Paterno. A university spokesman said the school plans to release the total amount it pays to settle lawsuits but will not provide amounts for individual cases.

Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011 touched off a massive scandal that led to the dismissal of Paterno, then Division I football’s winningest coach, along with criminal charges against other high-ranking school officials and NCAA sanctions against the program.

LSU’s Hill gets probation

Running back Jeremy Hill of Louisiana State admitted in state district court in Baton Rouge to punching a man in the head outside a bar in April.

Judge Michael Erwin allowed Hill to remain out of jail, on probation, after Hill pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge. Hill, 20, got a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation. He remains suspended indefinitely from the football program.

Hill rushed for 755 yards and 12 touchdowns last season as a freshman.

NHL

Bergeron signs extension

Patrice Bergeron, 27, one of the league’s best two-way forwards, is under contract for the next nine seasons and hopes to retire with the only team he has played for, the Boston Bruins.

Bergeron signed an eight-year, $52 million extension that starts once his existing three-year, $15 million deal expires after next season.

ELSEWHERE

Shad Khan, owner of the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars, bought the English Premier League soccer team Fulham, previously owned by Mohamed Al Fayed. Al Fayed’s son, Dodi, died in a 1997 car crash in Paris along with Princess Diana.

• In CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B soccer matches in Miami Gardens, Fla., Haiti beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 and Honduras edged El Salvador 1-0.

• The host Philadelphia Union defeated Chivas USA 3-1 in a Major League Soccer match.

• Rookie Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points as visiting Chicago beat Connecticut 83-70 in a WNBA game.

In another league game, the Washington Mystics defeated host San Antonio 83-73.

Oday Aboushi, a New York Jets rookie offensive lineman who is one of the few Palestinian-Americans to play in the NFL, defended himself against a website’s article that called him a “Muslim extremist.”

Aboushi was angered by the story, published Tuesday by FrontPage Magazine.

• Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova said she and coach Thomas Hogstedt have decided to “part ways” after nearly three years working together.

• The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 85-77 in the championship game of basketball’s Orlando Pro Summer League in Florida.

• On the opening day of play in the NBA Summer League Las Vegas, ex-Washington Huskies standout Jon Brockman helped the New Orleans Pelicans beat the New York Knicks 77-72. Brockman contributed nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Jessica Moore pitched a one-hit shutout as the U.S. team beat Australia 4-0 in a World Cup of Softball game in Oklahoma City. The Americans play Japan on Saturday.

• The U.S. team beat Japan 25-17, 26-24, 18-25, 25-20 in a USA Volleyball Cup match watched by 3,500 in Long Beach, Calif.

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