* Biffle leads Chase drivers in Charlotte qualifying: Greg Biffle won the pole for Saturday night’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, one that won’t include an Earnhardt for the first time in 33 years. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is sitting out the next two races after sustaining his second concussion this year during a 25-car crash last week at Talladega. Regan Smith, who will drive Earnhardt’s No. 88 Chevrolet, qualified 26th. Biffle turned a track-record lap of 193.708 mph in his No. 16 Ford and will start alongside Mark Martin on the front row for the fifth race in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. Ryan Newman was third, followed by Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson.
* NHL, union talk again — but not about money: NHL and players’ association representatives met for four hours Thursday but there was no major breakthrough in negotiations to end the league’s lockout. Both sides say talks were cordial. The problem is that they aren’t discussing core economic issues. Instead, they talked about drug testing and other items such as free agency. Thursday should have been opening day of the regular season. Last week, the league canceled regular-season games through Oct. 24.
* Leipheimer suspended: The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step Cycling Team has provisionally suspended American rider Levi Leipheimer after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its report on Lance Armstrong. The team said Thursday the 38-year-old veteran was “placed on non-active status" while the USADA report and Leipheimer’s statements are reviewed. USADA used evidence from 26 people, including Leipheimer, for a report that presented doping evidence against Armstrong.
* 49ers to play Jaguars in London in 2013: The San Francisco 49ers will return to Wembley Stadium to play an NFL regular-season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. The Jaguars, who have a deal to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2013, will face the 49ers on Oct. 27, 2013.
— From wire reports