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Sports at a glance

Sponsorship for McDowell

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell was rewarded Friday with a sponsorship increase from CarParts.com.

The online parts sales company was already part of McDowell’s program at Front Row Motorsports but was still working on its 2021 budget when the NASCAR season began Sunday with the Daytona 500. McDowell earned his first victory in 358 Cup races by overcoming 100-1 odds in winning NASCAR’s biggest race.

CarParts.com will be McDowell’s primary sponsor on the No. 34 Ford at Watkins Glen, Indianapolis, at McDowell’s return to Daytona in August and finally at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in September. Las Vegas is a playoff race, the only one open for sponsorship in FRM’s inventory. The company will also be an associate sponsor all season.

Packers cut two starters

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers released linebacker Christian Kirksey and offensive tackle Rick Wagner, two of their main veteran free-agent additions from a year ago.

Releasing both starters opens about $10 million in cap space.

Kirksey, 28, started all 11 regular-season games he played this season for the Packers, and he started one of their two playoff contests. He missed five games with a chest injury in 2020 after injuries limited him to seven games in 2018 and only two in 2019.

His 78 tackles for the Packers tied for second place on the team. Wagner started 11 of the team’s 16 games at right tackle.

AP: Bills allow Milano to walk

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Starting linebacker Matt Milano will explore free agency next month because of Buffalo’s salary-cap constraints, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

Milano has been a starter since his rookie season in 2017, and his decision is based on the Bills not being in position to match the offers he is expecting to receive once the NFL’s signing period opens on March 17.

An assortment of injuries limited him to appearing in just 11 regular-season games and six starts this past year in which Milano still posted career-bests with 4 sacks and nine quarterback pressures. Including playoffs, the Bills had a 12-1 record with Milano in the lineup last season.

Burns has Genesis lead

LOS ANGELES — Sam Burns wanted to pay respect to tough Riviera by playing it safe. It led to a 5-under 66 on Friday to tie the 36-hole record at the Genesis Invitational and build a five-shot lead going into the weekend.

Among those chasing is Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world and a past winner at Riviera. Another shot back was Jordan Spieth, who is starting to make himself at home near the top of the leaderboard.

Burns kept his bogey-free day intact toward the end of the round when he came up short of the eighth green, his 17th of the morning. He chipped it about 10 feet short — anything too strong could lead to big trouble — and made the par putt.

He also handled two of the par 5s, and picked up so much roll on the firm turf at the 476-yard 12th hole that he had only a pitching wedge into the green and made a 5-foot putt.

Burns was at 12-under 130, matching the record last set in 2004 by Mike Weir and Shigeki Maruyama.

The Associated Press

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