USA TODAY's Nate Ryan reports NASCAR is "encouraging Sprint Cup drivers to undergo baseline concussion testing and likely will make it mandatory for the 2014 season." NASCAR Senior Dir of Communications for Competition Kerry Tharp on Thursday said that NASCAR had been "providing information during competitors' annual preseason physicals about the imPACT test." The 30-minute computerized test is "mandatory" in IndyCar but "hasn't been required in NASCAR" (USA TODAY, 2/15).
A NEW KIND OF SIN: In Las Vegas, Steve Carp writes it is "hard to blame MLS for being cautious about" adding a team in the city, despite the area's "population of close to 2 million, diverse ethnic makeup that embraces the game and a rising TV and radio market that still trails any MLS city." The "lack of a suitable soccer-specific facility might be the biggest obstacle to putting a team in Southern Nevada." Carp notes of the "19 MLS franchises, 15 play in soccer-specific stadiums." Friday's preseason match between the Rapids and Chivas USA at Sam Boyd Stadium "will be played on grass," and organizers would be "happy with a crowd of 7,000 to 8,000" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 2/15).
RESPECT SHE DESERVES? Golf Channel's Gary Williams said 15-year-old Lydia Ko is the "buzz of social media" after she became the youngest winner ever on the Ladies European Tour last week. Golf Channel's Damon Hack said if Ko were a 15-year-old boy "winning professional golf tournaments, it would be the story of golf." Williams said Ko is "not getting the kind of attention that maybe she would" because she is "not American" and she is female. Williams: "If she were American we'd be falling all over ourselves to talk about her at great lengths" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 2/14).
ON THE STARTING GRID: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin wrote barring a "surprise, the IndyCar Series will have 25 full-time car-and-driver combinations for the season that begins next month." There are the "23 confirmed entries plus two yet-to-be solidified programs from Dale Coyne Racing" (INDYSTAR.com, 2/14).