Sports briefs: Nationwide to end sponsorship of NASCAR's second-largest series
Auto racing • Nationwide will end its seven-year run as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's second-largest series at the end of the 2014 season and refocus its motorsports spending to other areas of the industry.
NASCAR announced a new deal Wednesday to extend Nationwide's contract as its official auto, home, life and business insurance partner through 2017. The insurer also becomes the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
Nationwide to spend more on track sponsorships and in the Sprint Cup Series, where it recently funded the car of two-time Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Bristol and Richmond. Nationwide has a three-race commitment with Stenhouse this season, and has agreed to sponsor four Sprint Cup races next year.
Andersen cleared of wrongdoing
NBA • Miami Heat forward Chris Andersen was the victim of a wide-ranging Internet hoax that resulted in a raid of his Denver-area home last year, his lawyer said Wednesday, and prosecutors confirmed Andersen was cleared of wrongdoing.
A spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office said the office is reviewing a 4,000-page report before charging decisions are made, but added "based on the information that we have been able to obtain and analyze, we are not pursuing charges."
Andersen's lawyer and agent, Mark Bryant, said his client was duped by a woman in Canada who sought a relationship and gifts and who threatened a female acquaintance of Andersen's in California while impersonating the tattoo-covered fan favorite known as "Birdman."
From wire reports