Ryan Newman shattered the Phoenix International Raceway record yesterday in Avondale, Ariz., during qualifying for tomorrow's Checker Auto Parts 500, notching his fourth straight NASCAR Nextel Cup pole and ninth this season to go with two victories.

The Phoenix pole starter in 2002 and '03, Newman hustled his Dodge around the odd-shaped mile-long track at an average speed of 135.854 mph on his fast lap.

Brian Vickers was second-fastest at 133.879 in a Chevrolet.

* COURTS: A judge in Compton, Calif., declared a mistrial in the case of one of two men charged in the September 2003 slaying of the half-sister of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. The jury reported it was 9-3 in favor of acquitting Aaron Michael Hammer.

Hammer, 25, was accused of shooting at Yetunde Price with a .22-caliber handgun. Prosecutors said the shot that killed Price wasn't from that weapon, but state law allows a murder charge for taking part in a crime in which a person is killed by someone else.

* HOCKEY: An autopsy confirmed that Sergei Zholtok died from heart failure after playing a game this week in Belarus.

Zholtok, 31, a forward for the Nashville Predators, was playing for a club in his native Latvia during the NHL lockout. He previously had an irregular heartbeat diagnosed, a condition that forced him to miss seven games for the Minnesota Wild in January 2003.

Zholtok left Wednesday's game near the end. He collapsed and died in the locker room.

* BOXING: Ex-heavyweight champ Riddick Bowe will fight on Nov. 27 in Louisville, his second bout after an eight-year retirement.

Bowe, 37, will face Kenny Craven in the 10-round featured bout of a seven-fight card at the 6,000-seat Louisville Gardens. Bowe, 41-1 with 33 knockouts, knocked out Marcus Rhode on Sept. 26, his first fight since December 1996.

* TENNIS: Venus Williams and Jennifer Capriati lost their shots at qualifying for the WTA Tour Championships with quarterfinal losses in the Advanta tournament in Villanova, Pa. Top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo beat Williams, 7-5, 5-7, 6-1, and Vera Zvonareva ousted Capriati, 6-0, 6-1.

Zvonareva next faces Nadia Petrova, who knocked off Anastasia Myskina, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Maria Sharapova defeated Alicia Molik, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3, to reach the semis. . . .

Marat Safin beat Lleyton Hewitt, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2), to reach the Paris Masters semifinals. Safin will meet Guillermo Canas, who defeated Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 6-3.

Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek will play Max Mirnyi in the other semifinal. Stepanek beat Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, and Mirnyi slipped past Robin Soderling, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

* COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UCLA point guard Cedric Bozeman tore a ligament in his right knee during practice and will miss his entire senior season.

* HORSE RACING: Dale Baird, 69, became the first North American trainer to saddle 9,000 winners when Frazee's Folly took the eighth race at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W. Va. Jack Van Berg is No. 2 all-time with 6,334 wins.

* OBITUARY: Al Onofrio, ex-head football coach at Missouri who also helped design defenses for Dan Devine from 1958 to '70, died in Mesa, Ariz. He was 83.

-- From News Services

Maria Sharapova of Russia pulls out a three-set win over Alicia Molik to reach the Advanta Tennis Championships semifinals in Villanova, Pa.