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Championship driver Kyle Busch takes top pit stall from Denny Hamlin

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 17, 2018, 3:52 p.m.

Kyle Busch will have the coveted No. 1 pit stall as he races for the NASCAR Cup championship after Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin and pole winner passed on the spot. Hamlin had the first choice of pit stalls because he posted the fastest practice qualifying lap. The JGR team surrendered the spot to Busch at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Team owner Joe Gibbs says it was an organizational decision. Hamlin isn’t one of four drivers racing Sunday for the championship.

Kyle Busch leads title contenders in qualifying for finale

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 16, 2018, 6:41 p.m.

Kyle Busch will lead NASCAR’s title contenders at the start of Sunday’s championship finale. Busch was the highest qualifying driver of the four championship contenders at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was second. Martin Truex Jr., the reigning series champion, qualified third in his final race with Furniture Row Racing. Joey Logano qualified fifth for Team Penske and Kevin Harvick was 12th, lowest of the title contenders.

Women’s Top 25 Capsules: No. 4 Baylor routs Southern

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 15, 2018, 10:32 p.m.

Freshman guard Honesty Scott-Grayson scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting to lead seven Baylor players in double figures as the fourth-ranked Lady Bears easily got past Southern University 94-49 on Thursday night even without All-America post player Kalani Brown.

Charles Howell opens with 64 for lead at Sea Island

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Charles Howell III had an advantage of playing the right course for the cold, windy conditions Thursday at the RSM Classic. He made the most of it with a game so complete that he never played from the rough and had a birdie putt on every hole. Howell bundled up from the cold and shot 8-under 64 on the Plantation course at Sea Island Resort, giving a two-shot lead to par in the opening round of the final PGA Tour event of the calendar year.

College basketball Top 25 Capsules: No. 4 Duke pulls away from Army

Zion Williamson had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and No. 4 Duke pulled away to beat Army 94-72 on Sunday at Durham, N.C. Cameron Reddish finished with 25 points and a third freshman – RJ Barrett – had 23 while Williamson added six blocked shots and four assists for the Blue Devils (2-0).

Kevin Harvick on mission to silence his critics after penalty

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 10, 2018, 11:45 p.m.

Kevin Harvick was penalized by NASCAR this week for using an illegal car to win at Texas. The punishment cost him a berth in the championship race. But Harvick is determined to get it back. He’ll need a good run at ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. Harvick starts from the pole and was fastest in the final practice session before the race. Seven drivers are vying for three spots in NASCAR’s championship race.

NASCAR champion Martin Truex moving to Joe Gibbs Racing with crew chief

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 7, 2018, 9:45 a.m.

NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. and his crew chief will move to Joe Gibbs Racing next season to remain in the Toyota organization after their race team folds in two weeks. Truex won his first Cup title last year driving for Furniture Row Racing. Barney Visser had funded the team out of pocket for most of its existence but received relief help the last few seasons from sponsorship. Truex will replace Daniel Suarez.

Kevin Harvick’s championship berth spoiled by NASCAR inspectors

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 7, 2018, 5:46 p.m.

Kevin Harvick has been stripped of his berth in NASCAR’s championship race because his winning car failed inspection after Texas Motor Speedway. The No. 4 Ford had an illegally modified spoiler. The discovery negates the automatic berth Harvick earned into the finale at Homestead. He now enters this weekend’s race at Phoenix fourth among the remaining eight playoff drivers vying for three playoff spots.

Accelerate wins $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 3, 2018, 11:05 p.m.

Accelerate came on at the top of the stretch and outraced Gunnevera to win the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by one length, strengthening his bid for Horse of the Year over Triple Crown winner Justify. The 5-year-old won his fifth consecutive Grade 1 race and sixth of seven overall.

Kurt Busch vying for 2nd Cup title amid uncertain future

Kurt Busch knows he would appreciate winning a second NASCAR Cup championship 14 years later. Busch won his title in 2004. He is now 40 years old and has an uncertain future after this season with Stewart-Haas Racing. He arrives for this weekend’s race at Texas fifth in the standings. Busch is among seven drivers still in contention for one of the three spots remaining to drive for the championship at Homestead in two weeks.

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov win Skate America pairs short program

Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morosov of Russia won the pairs short program by a wide margin at Skate America. Performing to “I Got You” by James Brown, the Russian pair earned 71.24 points. That was nearly nine points better than Russian teammates Alisa Efimova and Alexander Korovin, who totaled 62.38 points.

Joey Logano earns pole for elimination race at Kansas Speedway

Joey Logano won the pole for the Cup Series elimination race at Kansas Speedway. He heads into Sunday’s event in solid position to advance to the round of eight, but the chance to start up front only help those hopes. Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski rounded out a top-five of playoff contenders.

Kyle Larson facing playoff elimination after NASCAR penalty

Kyle Larson has been docked 10 points by NASCAR for a rules violation that could bring an end to his championship chances. Chip Ganassi Racing was penalized for breaking NASCAR’s policy on damaged vehicles during the race at Talladega Superspeedway. The points deduction drops Larson to 36 points below the cutoff for the final transfer position to the third round of the playoffs. NASCAR will cut the playoff field from 12 to eight drivers following Sunday’s race at Kansas.