August 23, 2009 in Sports

In brief: Busch breaks slump, sweeps at Bristol

From Staff And Wire Reports
 
Associated Press photo

Kyle Busch celebrates after his second win at Bristol this season.
(Full-size photo)

Auto Racing: Kyle Busch saved his season Saturday night by winning a gutsy side-by-side sprint to the finish against Mark Martin at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.

Fighting hard for a berth in the Chase for the championship, Busch drove a steady and smooth race at one of the toughest tracks in NASCAR to climb off the ropes and keep his Sprint Cup title hopes alive. His fourth win of the season – and second at Bristol – jumped him two spots in the Chase standings to 13th.

With two races to go before the 12-driver field is set, Busch trails 12th-place driver Matt Kenseth by just 34 points.

Busch was silent for a few seconds before celebrating with a smokey burnout on the frontstretch and his traditional bow to the crowd. He then grabbed the checkered flag from a NASCAR official.

Martin, the pole-sitter, finished second in the 1,000th start of his career. Just like Busch, he improved his Chase chances and moved up two spots to 10th.

•Franchitti comes back to win pole: Dario Franchitti made an impressive comeback on his final qualifying lap to capture the pole for the Sonoma Grand Prix in Sonoma, Calif.

Franchitti turned in a lap of 76.7987 seconds on the tough 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course at Infineon Raceway, narrowly beating out Ryan Briscoe for his fourth pole of the season. It was an unlikely finish considering Franchitti left the pits late and then missed a turn near the end of the final session.

•Hamilton captures pole for Euro GP: Lewis Hamilton took the pole position for the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain.

Hamilton had a best lap of 1 minute, 39.498 seconds around the Valencia street circuit to give the defending Formula One champion his first pole of the season.

Riley, Garcia share lead at Wyndham

Golf: Sergio Garcia and Chris Riley were both 13 under par through 10 holes to share the clubhouse lead when play was stopped midway through the third round of the rain-plagued Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

Steve Marino, Fred Couples, Kevin Stadler and Justin Rose were 12 under and Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas were 11 under through varying stages of their rounds when play was suspended due to darkness.

•Solheim Cup tied heading into singles: Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie overcame two ragged final holes to salvage a 1-up foursome win at the Solheim Cup in Sugar Grove, Ill., keeping the Americans tied with Europe going into today’s all-important singles matches. The way the Americans have played in singles, that’s almost like having the lead.

The United States has only lost three times in singles over the course of the tournament. The last was in 2003, also the last time Europe won the Solheim Cup.

Bryant leads Tradition after third round: Brad Bryant shot a 5-under 67 to take a two-stroke advantage over Mike Reid into the final round of the Jeld-Wen Tradition at Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Ore.

Bryant padded his lead to go 15 under after three rounds. He has stayed atop the leaderboard after shooting a career-best 10-under 62 in the opening round, matching a tournament record.

Federer snaps streak against Murray

Tennis: Roger Federer, the world’s No. 1 player, snapped a four-match losing streak against second-ranked Andy Murray to reach the finals of the Cincinnati Masters in Mason, Ohio.

Federer won 6-2, 7-6 (8) and will face fourth-ranked Novak Djokovic in today’s final. Djokovic earned his second consecutive appearance in the final and snapped his own five-match losing streak against No. 3 Rafael Nadal with a 6-1, 6-4 win in the other semifinal.

Sharapova advances to Rogers Cup final: Maria Sharapova advanced to the final of the Rogers Cup with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Russian compatriot Alisa Kleybanova in Toronto.

Sharapova will face fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the tournament’s first all-Russian women’s final. Dementieva beat second-seeded Serena Williams 7-6 (2), 6-1 in the first semifinal.

Cavendish wins stage two in Ireland

Miscellany: Britain’s Mark Cavendish has won the second stage of cycling’s three-day Tour of Ireland, with Lance Armstrong 26 seconds behind the overall leader.

Armstrong also received Cavendish’s time of 5 hours, 7 minutes, 33 seconds. The Texan finished 74th and is in 20th place overall.

Russell Downing kept the race leader’s yellow jersey by 5 seconds over Russia’s Alexander Kolobnev.

Puget Sound wins Babe Ruth title: Puget Sound defeated Hammond, Ind., 9-0 to win the Babe Ruth 16-18 World Series in Moses Lake. Puget Sound broke open a close game with seven runs in the top of the seventh.

Georgia, California pound out LLWS wins: Justin Jones homered for the second straight day to lead Warner Robins, Ga., past Staten Island, N.Y., 6-3 at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

In early games, Willemstad, Curacao, defeated Maracaibo, Venezuela, 2-1; and Reynosa, Mexico, edged Vancouver, British Columbia, by the same score.

Later, Chiba City, Japan beat Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, 5-2; and Chula Vista, Calif., smacked seven homers in defeating Russellville, Ky., 15-0. It was the most homers by one team in a game since the tournament expanded from eight to 16 teams in 2001.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email