Former NASCAR driver fatally stabbed, Phoenix soccer player dies after hit-and-run: top sports stories

A former NASCAR driver was stabbed to death by a suspect at a California gas station, a soccer player who grew up in Phoenix died following a hit-and-run crash in Georgia, and Deandre Ayton is staying with the Suns after all – these are the top stories from the world of sports from July 11-17.

1. Bobby East murder: California police shoot, kill suspect wanted in former NASCAR driver's death: California SWAT police shot and killed a man accused of fatally stabbing former NASCAR driver Bobby East at a gas station. After the stabbing, police found the race car driver on the ground suffering from a "serious chest wound" and transported him to a nearby trauma center, where he was pronounced dead.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 9: Bobby East, driver of the #21 Ford during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series media day at Daytona International Speedway on February 9, 2006 in Daytona, Florida. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images)

2. Phoenix soccer player dies following hit-and-run crash in Georgia: Statesboro Police say Carter Payne was crossing a road on a Lime electric scooter when he was hit by a car. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Payne, 20, grew up in the Phoenix area and attended Shadow Mountain High School. He was in his first year with Tormenta FC 2, appearing in eight games this season.

Carter Payne

Carter Payne (Tormenta FC)

3. Suns match Pacers’ offer for Deandre Ayton, keeping nucleus intact: The Phoenix Suns quickly decided to match a $133 million, four-year offer sheet that Deandre Ayton agreed to with the Indiana Pacers. The move means the Suns — at least for now — keep their nucleus of Ayton and the All-Star backcourt of Devin Booker and Chris Paul.


PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the final moments of the NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 04, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 114-105. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

4. LeBron James critical on his show of US efforts to get Brittney Griner home: "Now, how can she feel like America has her back?" James said in a trailer for an upcoming episode of his television show. "I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’" Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner pleaded guilty after being detained in Russia after vape cartridges were found in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

5. Kyler Murray’s contract situation the talk of Cardinals camp: The Cardinals need to keep Kyler Murray happy and the easiest way to do that is by signing the quarterback to a long-term deal that could be worth considerably more than $200 million. Until (or if) that happens, it will probably dominate the news surrounding camp.


FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 29: Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts against the New England Patriots during the second quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie We

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.

Continuing coverage

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top sports stories collage jul11_17

Clockwise from top left: Former NASCAR driver Bobby Fish (Credit Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images); Carter Payne (Credit Tormenta FC); Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (Credit Billie Weiss/Getty Images); Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (Credit Christian