An appeal by Matt Kenseth was rejected on Thursday after he challenged his two-race suspension by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano over the weekend during the race at Martinsville Speedway.

Kenseth will miss the next two races, at Texas and Phoenix, and be eligible to return for the Nov. 22 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Final appeals officer Bryan Moss did reduce his probation period from six months until the end of this year. Moss' decision is binding.

Kenseth defiantly vowed Thursday to race as he always has and accused NASCAR of "unfairly" making an example out of him.

"I am not going to change who I am, I'm not going to change what I stand for, I'm not going to change how I race," Kenseth said.

Kenseth was spun out three races ago by Logano as both raced for the win at Kansas, ruining a chance to advance in NASCAR's championship playoffs. On Sunday, he deliberately crashed into Logano, who is still alive in the title chase.


New Seattle GM makes big splash

New Seattle Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto wasted little time in the official baseball offseason before making a major move to retool his team's 40-man roster.

On late Thursday evening, he completed a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, acquiring righthanded pitcher Nate Karns, outfielder Boog Powell and lefthanded reliever C.J.Riefenhauser in exchange for utility player Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and reliever Danny Farquhar.

• Texas Rangers DH Prince Fielder and New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey were named the AL and NL comeback players of the year.


Adidas reaches out to schools

Adidas is offering to help high schools nationwide drop Native American mascots.

The athletic shoe and apparel maker said it will provide free design resources to schools looking to shelve Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery or symbolism. The German company also pledged to provide financial support to ensure the cost of changing is not prohibitive.

around the horn

Golf: Branden Grace of South Africa, a month removed from his sterling performance in the Presidents Cup, shot a 9-under 63 on the first day of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai. Rory McIlroy, who spent most of the previous two days in bed with food poisoning, shot 68. Jordan Spieth returned from his longest break without touching his golf clubs and also had a 68. … Roberto Castro shot a 10-under 62, his lowest score on the PGA Tour, to take a two-shot lead in the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss. … Bernhard Langer shot a 7-under 63 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Tennis: American John Isner defeated Roger Federer 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round of the Paris Masters. The 13th-seeded Isner called it one of the "top five" wins of his career.

Soccer: Five years after missing the World Cup amid his involvement in a prostitution probe, Karim Benzema was charged with conspiracy to blackmail as part of an investigation over a sex tape involving France teammate Mathieu Valbuena. … Belgium moved up to No. 1 in the FIFA rankings for the first time.

Minnesota Scene: The Gustavus volleyball team defeated St. Mary's 25-11, 25-20, 25-18 to advance to the MIAC championship for the first time since 2008. The top-seeded Gusties (26-2), who have won a program-record 26 matches in a row, will host second-seeded Bethel (22-8) at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Royals beat St. Benedict 25-17, 25-20, 17-25, 25-19.

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