NASCAR announced sweeping changes to the Hall of Fame election process Thursday, including tweaks that make

Bill Elliott


Mark Martin

immediately eligible.

Among the six changes: Drivers are now eligible if they have competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR or turned 55 in the calendar year before nominating day.

Martin, winner of 96 races, has no plans to race next year after 31 seasons. Elliott, winner of the 1988 Cup title, is 58 but raced in 2012.

GOLF Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., fired a 68 for a 12-under-par 130 and increased her lead to 5 strokes after two rounds of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament Finals at Daytona Beach, Fla. Joanna Coe of Mays Landing, N.J., was tied for 92d after shooting a 76 for 148, and Brittany Benvenuto of Langhorne was tied for 152d with a 77-158 score. The top 20 players will receive tour cards, while those finishing 21st to 45th will earn conditional status on the tour.

Zach Johnson birdied four of the five par 5s on a chilly afternoon at Sherwood Country Club, sending him to a 5-under 67 and a 1-shot lead over Matt Kuchar in the World Challenge in Thousand Oaks, Calif. They joined tournament host Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan, and Bubba Watson as the only players in the elite 18-man field to break par 72.

BASEBALL The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee, which means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to right field. . . . Reliever Brian Wilson has reportedly agreed to terms on a $10 million, one-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers. . . . Former Phillie Jose Contreras signed a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers. . . . Sources told the AP that infielder Rafael Furcal and the Miami Marlins have agreed to terms on a contract.

SWIMMING Sixteen-year-old Katie Ledecky posted a time of 4 minutes, 32.37 seconds to beat Olympian Missy Franklin in the 500-yard freestyle at the Winter Nationals in Nashville.

RUNNING Inspired by fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, the first annual 50-kilometer Rocky Run will start at Wolf and South Lambert Streets at 7 a.m. Saturday, near the house that served as the celluloid champ's abode in Rocky II, and finish with a run up the Art Museum steps.

FOOTBALL The Milano Seamen of the Italian league have offered former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow a four-month, $200,000 contract.

- Staff and wire reports