The biggest gripe about NASCAR's new 10-man Chase for the Nextel Cup championship was that the drivers not in the title battle would be ignored.
Nobody could ignore Joe Nemechek on Sunday after he held off Ricky Rudd to win the Banquet 400 at Kansas City, Kan., and finish off a weekend sweep at Kansas Speedway.
"The guys in the championship chase have more to lose than we do," Nemechek said. "We're on the offense, not on defense."
This one was almost as close as his half car-length victory over Greg Biffle in the Busch Series event Saturday, with Nemechek and Rudd racing side-by-side and bumping once with a lap to go before Nemechek took control again in his Chevrolet and beat Rudd to the finish by 0.081 seconds -- about 1 1/4 car-lengths.
Rudd raced to only his second top-10 finish of the year.
Biffle finished third Sunday, followed by Sadler, Mayfield and Kurt Busch, who came into the race with a 12-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Nextel Cup standings and finished Sunday leading Earnhardt, who finished ninth, by 29 points.
(For Nextel Cup point leaders, see page D14.)
Michael Schumacher won his 13th Formula One race of the season and first since August when he returned to his dominating form and captured the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
He was 14 seconds ahead of his brother, Ralf, who finished the 53 laps on the 3.609-mile Suzuka circuit in second place in a Williams-BMW.
BAR-Honda had Jenson Button and Takuma Sato in third and fourth, to nearly clinch second in the team standings.
Tony Schumacher clinched his second NHRA Top Fuel championship at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., then tied the record for victories in a season.
Schumacher clocked a 4.475-second run at 329.99 mph in the final to tie Gary Scelzi (2000) and Larry Dixon (2002) for the record.
Andre Stolz played like a veteran instead of a struggling rookie when it counted most, shooting a five-under-par 67 to win the Michelin Championship at Las Vegas by a shot over Tom Lehman and two others.
Stolz two-putted from 45 feet on the final hole to win for the first time on the PGA Tour.
Tag Ridings, who tied the course record with a final-round 61, tied for second along with Lehman (69) and Harrison Frazar (67).
Liselotte Neumann won her first LPGA Tour title in six years, holding off a late charge by Grace Park for a three-stroke victory in the LPGA Asahi Ryokuken International Championship at North Augusta, S.C.
Neumann closed with a final-round 68 for a 15-under 273 total.
Larry Nelson rallied from far off the lead and made a five-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Hale Irwin and win the Administaff Small Business Classic at Spring, Texas.
Nelson, who started the final round seven shots back, closed with an eight-under 64 and tied Irwin (67) at 14-under 202, winning his second Champions Tour event of the year.
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher won for the first time on the European tour, beating Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell on the first playoff hole in the Dunhill Links Championship at St. Andrews, Scotland.
Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic settled his game after a rocky start and beat Taylor Dent, 5-7, 6-1, 6-3, to win the Japan Open at Tokyo for the sixth title of his career.
Dent broke Novak three times in the first set and looked poised for a quick victory, but Novak broke three times in the middle set to turn the match around.
Lindsay Davenport won the Porsche Grand Prix at Filderstadt, Germany, when top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo quit after losing the first set because of an injured left thigh.
Mauresmo will undergo tests to see if she can play in this week's Kremlin Cup. If the Frenchwoman were to withdraw, Davenport would need to win only one match to gain the top spot.
Davenport trails Mauresmo in the WTA rankings by 15 points.
Robin Soderling won his first ATP singles title, using a strong serve to defeat Xavier Malisse, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, in the Lyon Open final at France.
Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago moved closer to spots in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
The Mexicans beat St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1-0, the second time they've topped the Caribbean team in the last five days, while Trinidad crushed St. Kitts and Nevis, 5-1.
Cindy Parlow scored twice, and Mia Hamm had a goal and an assist to lead the U.S. women's national team over New Zealand, 6-0, in an exhibition game at Cincinnati. The crowd of 18,806 was the largest to watch the U.S. women play in 28 matches this year -- including the Olympics.
David Beckham could be sidelined up to six weeks after cracking a rib during England's 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Wales in which he scored a goal and drew a suspension for the next game.
Ian Crocker set a world record in the 50-meter butterfly and the United States avenged an earlier loss to Australia with a victory in the women's 400 freestyle relay at the Short Course World Championships at Indianapolis.
Crocker touched first in 22.71 seconds, lowering the mark of 22.74 by Geoff Huegill of Australia at the 2002 championships in Berlin.
Brooke Hanson of Australia won the 100 breaststroke (1:05.36) and 200 individual medley (2:09.81), tying the record for most golds at a short course championships with five. American Kaitlin Sandeno won four golds.