Jeff Gordon, with a nagging back injury, a young family he wanted to spend more time with and a phenom waiting in the wings at Hendrick Motorsports, knew midway through last season that he had one more year in him.
NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has fined Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch $20,000 for making an obscene gesture during last Sunday's NFC championship game, a person with knowledge of the fine told The Associated Press on Thursday.
LA QUINTA (AP) - Phil Mickelson got most of the attention in his return to competition after a four-month break. Blake Adams got a lot more out of his comeback round.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The University of California's governing board tabled a policy on Thursday that would have made the public college system the nation's second to tie bonuses awarded to winning athletic coaches to how well their players do in the classroom.
OAKLAND (AP) - Stephen Curry got involved in a rare altercation before finishing with 22 points and 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 126-113 on Wednesday night for their franchise-record 17th straight home win.
SAN JOSE (AP) - Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored power-play goals to send the San Jose Sharks into the NHL All-Star break on a winning note with a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
SACRAMENTO (AP) - Brook Lopez had 22 points and six blocks and the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-100 on Wednesday night for only their second win in the last 10.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Second baseman Marco Scutaro was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday as he recovers from back surgery.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Andre Ward wrote out his retirement speech a few times in the last two years. With his usual fastidious style, the super middleweight champion laid out every reason he felt he had to end his unblemished boxing career in his prime.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - An agitated Roger Federer spat out the question that Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova easily could have asked the players who pushed them to the limits in the second round of the Australian Open.
PHOENIX (AP) - The NFL is taking its extra-point experiment to the Pro Bowl.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The New England Patriots are brushing off and even finding humor in questions about whether they used under-inflated footballs in the game that put them in the Super Bowl.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - As a first-time dad with a baby at home, Novak Djokovic could see merits in the tale of Serena Williams' mid-match espresso that has been brewing in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
The Chicago Bears hired Vic Fangio as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday, hoping the veteran coach who spent the last four seasons with San Francisco can breathe some life into the once-storied unit.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Jack Del Rio picked the same offensive coordinator to start his tenure in Oakland as he did more than a decade ago in Jacksonville.
MAUREPAS, France (AP) - Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski won the prologue of the Paris-Nice race on Sunday, beating Australian Rohan Dennis by a tiny margin.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Leonardo Mayer defeated Joao Souza in the longest Davis Cup singles match ever, converting his 11th match point to win 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 5-7, 15-13 and keep Argentina's hopes alive against Brazil in their first round series on Sunday.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Kruize Pinkins and Tim Derksen scored 14 points and eighth-seeded San Francisco held off ninth-seeded Pacific 62-58 on Friday in the opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Close games haven't turned out well for the Orlando Magic over the past few weeks.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Despite a cast on his left arm, the perennially optimistic Hunter Pence arrived upbeat in the San Francisco clubhouse on Friday.
AKLAND (AP) - Stephen Curry had 22 points and seven assists, Klay Thompson scored 16 points and the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 104-89 on Friday night.
ALAMEDA (AP) - Two of the Oakland Raiders' big free-agent acquisitions from last season are no longer with the team.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Armed guards patrolling the gym where Manny Pacquiao trains. Stealthy attempts to disrupt Pacquiao's sparring. And a bit of trash talking just to spice things up two months before the big fight.
DORAL, Fla. (AP) - J.B. Holmes never liked the old Blue Monster at Doral because he thought it was too easy for a World Golf Championship.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett notes on his Twitter page header that he will be "2016 comeback player of the year."
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Joe Maddon gushed about the ballpark and the fans. He praised starter Travis Wood and said he liked the performance by his team.
OVER, Del. (AP) - NASCAR driver Kurt Busch will not face criminal charges over claims by his ex-girlfriend that he smashed her head into a bedroom wall and choked her, Delaware prosecutors said Thursday.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The San Antonio Spurs are back home and beginning to show signs of returning to their old form.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Buster Posey got off to a strong start as he doubled in two runs and walked in his first appearance of the spring.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry needed just over a minute to turn a rough shooting night into a good one.