When Travis Kvapil got the call Friday, he figured someone on his race team was playing a joke.
"They said there was trouble with the car," Kvapil said. "I thought we could figure it out when we got in the garage area. They're like, 'No, the car is gone.'"
The No. 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup car owned by small-budget Team XTREME was stolen from a hotel parking lot near Atlanta Motor Speedway, police said, forcing Kvapil to withdraw from this weekend's race before he even got a chance to qualify.
The car hauler with the red race car inside was hitched to a pickup truck parked outside a hotel in Morrow, Ga. Surveillance video showed the truck and trailer being driven out of the parking lot around 5:30 a.m. The $250,000 race car was still missing late in the afternoon.
"It's really bizarre," Kvapil said. "You can handle maybe getting a flat tire, or getting caught up in a wreck, or a blown engine, something that actually happens on the racetrack. Or you don't qualify, because you don't have enough speed. But to not even get a chance ... that's pretty disheartening."
Logano takes Sprint Cup pole
•Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano won the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after a qualifying session in which 13 drivers didn't get on the track because their cars failed to pass inspection.
Earl Lloyd, NBA race pioneer
Earl Lloyd was a player and coach, an NBA champion and later a Hall of Famer. Within the basketball world, he's something much bigger. He was a pioneer.
Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday at 86. He lived in Crossville, Tenn.
"The NBA family has lost one of its patriarchs," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "Earl Lloyd … was known as a modest gentleman who played the game with skill, class, and pride."
Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first NBA games.
Browns add QB McCown
The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who had also been in contract talks with the Buffalo Bills.
McCown went 1-10 as Tampa Bay's starter last season. His signing likely means the Browns will not re-sign Brian Hoyer, who won 10 games for them the past two seasons and is poised to become a free agent next month.
It's not clear if the Browns view McCown as their starter for next season or as a mentor for young quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel entered a rehab facility last month.
•The Arizona Cardinals released defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, allowing the three-time Pro Bowl lineman to test the free-agency market. He had played 11 seasons for Arizona.
•The Washington Redskins released defensive end Stephen Bowen and defensive lineman Barry Cofield, each of whom spent the past four years with Washington and started for most of three seasons.
McIlroy flops, will miss cut
Rory McIlroy's first PGA Tour event in five months lasted only two days. The world's No. 1 player shot a 4-over 74 in the PGA Tour's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the first time in nearly a year he had consecutive rounds over par.
The cut will not be made until Saturday because of a rain delay of nearly four hours, but he knew the score. "I don't like missing cuts," McIlroy said. "I'm not going to be playing this weekend, which is not nice."
Patrick Reed was the leader after shooting a 67 for a 134 total. Brendan Steele birdied all four holes he played and was at 8 under.
Lewis leads LPGA tournament
•Stacy Lewis shot an 8-under-par 64 for a three-shot advantage over Amy Yang (66) after the second round of the LPGA Thailand in Chonburi.
•Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot a course-record 11-under 61 and took a second-round lead in the New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch.
AROUND THE HORN
Men's tennis: Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will face defending champion Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Championships after a 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 win over Tomas Berdych. Federer beat Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals.
Women's tennis: Victoria Azarenka defeated Venus Williams for the first time, rallying for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory to reach the final at the Qatar Open in Doha. Azarenka will face Lucie Safarova, who beat Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-2 in the other semifinal. … Top-seeded Maria Sharapova withdrew before her Mexico Open semifinal against Caroline Garcia because of a stomach virus.
Cross-country skiing: Petter Northug rallied on the last leg, leading Norway to the men's cross-country relay gold medal for the fifth straight time at the world championships in Falun, Sweden. Sweden was 0.6 seconds back to take silver.