Sports briefs: Ricky Rudd to retire

Ricky Rudd said he plans to retire from the NASCAR Nextel Cup series after this season. The 50-year-old Rudd, in his 28th season as a full-time driver in the Cup series, told the (Hampton Roads, Va.) Virginian-Pilot that he has informed car owner Robert Yates of his decision to step out of the No. 88 car. “It’s time for me to step back from the active schedule,” Rudd said.

Culpepper making a case to be the starter

While we wait to see what will become of the JaMarcus Russell negotiations, the Raiders have been getting some good looks at Daunte Culpepper. The former Vikings star outplayed Andrew Walter and Josh McCown in Saturday’s loss to the 49ers, throwing two touchdown passes and showing he can still run a little on his reconstructed knee. “Daunte has done a great job and really is performing well,” coach Lane Kiffin said. “It’s great to see him out there on the field and the way he is on a game-day environment. He couldn’t be more serious about winning this job.”

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