OFFICIATING SIDESHOW OVERSHADOWS INDYCAR MOMENTUM: WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — Once again, IndyCar put on a pretty good show.
And once again, a sideshow threatens to upstage it.
Ryan Hunter-Reay won Saturday's race at Milwaukee, bringing home a trophy for team owner Michael Andretti — the man who saved big-time racing at the historic but financially troubled track by agreeing to take over as the event's promoter to get it back on the IndyCar schedule this year.
But confusion reigned afterward, as an IndyCar official had to explain a mistaken penalty to driver Scott Dixon earlier in the race. Although officials gave a full public explanation right away, they now must cross their fingers and hope their mistake doesn't end up figuring prominently as Dixon continues to contend for a championship.
Next comes a race at Iowa Speedway, where recent aerodynamic issues may come up again and officials are experimenting with short "heat" races instead of traditional qualifying to determine the starting field.
Given all the off-track controversy the past couple weeks, Andretti hopes people focus on the idea that the racing has been good.
"We have a great series," Andretti said. "We have great drivers, great personalities. If you like racing, how do you not like what's been happening this year in all the races? It's been flat-out great racing. I think our product's great. That's important. Hopefully people are going to take notice."
But Dixon — and his fans — couldn't help noticing that what already had been a rough week for series officials didn't get any better Saturday.
IndyCar penalized Dixon for jumping a restart. Race director Beaux Barfield acknowledged later that officials were mistaken because a failure in their timing and scoring system caused them to look at the wrong replay.
According to Barfield's explanation, what officials looked at was a replay of a previous restart — one that was waved off by officials at the time and didn't count.
Dixon finished 11th, slipping from second to third in the series points standings. Barfield said there wasn't anything officials could do to undo the mistake, but that officials would work to resolve the problem.
TOMLINSON TO CALL IT QUITS AFTER 11 NFL SEASONS: SAN DIEGO (AP) — LaDainian Tomlinson's brilliant NFL career will officially end when he ceremoniously rejoins the San Diego Chargers for a day.
The Chargers said Sunday that Tomlinson, who was the NFL MVP in 2006 with San Diego and is the fifth-leading rusher in league history, will re-sign with the team on Monday and then announce his retirement.
Tomlinson was drafted in the first round by San Diego in 2001 and became one of the biggest stars in team history, helping revive the Chargers after the devastating Ryan Leaf years and turning them into a force in the AFC West. He spent the first nine years of his career in San Diego. He played the last two seasons with the New York Jets.
Tomlinson won the MVP in '06, when he set NFL single-season records with 31 touchdowns, including 28 rushing, and 186 points. He ran for a career-high 1,815 yards that year, giving him the first of two straight league rushing titles.
Tomlinson finishes his career with 13,684 yards and 145 touchdowns.
MELANIE OUDIN RECEIVES WILD CARD INTO WIMBLEDON: LONDON (AP) — American Melanie Oudin has received a wild card into Wimbledon.
The 20-year-old was a quarterfinalist at the 2009 U.S. Open but has struggled to regain that form. On Sunday, she reached the final at the Aegon Classic.
Wimbledon officials announced Sunday that Grega Zemlja of Slovenia had received the final men's wild-card spot in the tournament, which starts June 25. Players already announced included former champion Lleyton Hewitt and Tommy Haas, who beat Roger Federer in the Halle final Sunday.
On the women's side, Ashleigh Barty of Australia was also added.