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Bowyer beats Kahne, rain

March 16, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Clint Bowyer outraced Kasey Kahne and the rain to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee when it was stopped just past the halfway mark Saturday.

Rain delayed the start of the race by two hours, and when the field finally went green, the drivers knew they were running against the weather. With dark clouds rolling in, the goal was simply to make it to the halfway point -- when NASCAR considers a race official -- and be out front when the rain resumed.

So Bowyer used strategy. His Chevrolet was one of a handful of cars not to pit when Mike Bliss spun to bring out the sixth caution 100 laps into the event. Knowing the race needed to go only another 51 laps to be considered official, Bowyer gambled that the cars that did pit wouldn't be able to catch him before the rain came.

Kahne came close, moving right behind Bowyer. He looked briefly inside for a pass for the lead but didn't force the issue and was stuck in second when the race was stopped on Lap 171 of 300.

Pre-race favorite Ferrari is notably absent from the front of the grid for today's Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, with Felipe Massa fourth in qualifying and defending champion Kimi Raikkonen starting 15th.

After posting the fastest time in the first two practice sessions, his car coasted to a halt in the approach to pit lane with a fuel pressure problem on his first qualifying run, and had to be pushed back to the garage by crew members.

Because of that assistance, Raikkonen was not allowed to continue for the remaining phases.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton had the fastest times in the three-phase qualifying session around the 3.295-mile Albert Park circuit. He was timed in 1 minute 25.187 in the second phase and 1:26.714 in the third.

Porsche ended a 20-year drought at Sebring International Raceway, ending Audi's eight-year overall winning streak with a victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Driving the Roger Penske-owned Porsche RS Spyder, Romain Dumas took the checkered flag 12.9 seconds ahead of the Acura ARX-01B driven by Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz.

WINTER SPORTS

Herbst wins race, but Moelgg clinches title

Manfred Moelgg of Italy won the World Cup slalom title in the final race of the season at Bormio, Italy.

Moelgg led after the first run and finished in a tie for sixth place, good enough for the title after pre-race standings leader Jean-Baptiste Grange of France slipped during his second run and finished 16th.

Reinfried Herbst of Austria won the race, clocking a combined time of 1 minute 51.31 seconds. Overall World Cup champion Bode Miller of Bretton Woods, N.H., skipped the race after injuring his hand during Friday's giant slalom.

Moelgg finished the season with 531 points, and Grange had 512. Herbst moved into third at 450.

Elisabeth Goergl of Austria won the final World Cup giant slalom race of the season, edging Manuela Moelgg of Italy. Goergl finished in a combined time of 2 minutes 24.96 seconds at Bormio.

Moelgg, whose brother, Manfred, clinched the men's slalom title earlier in the day, was 0.07 of a second behind.

Overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., finished seventh, her second-best giant slalom performance of the season.

Miller's personal coach, John McBride, and U.S. men's coach Phil McNichol announced they were stepping down.

McBride, a former U.S. coach, said he wanted to spend more time at home with his newborn child. Also stepping down for family reasons were his assistant, Mike Kenney (Miller's uncle) and Robbie Kristan, Miller's ski technician the last six seasons.

McNichol resigned after American skiers wrapped up their best season. He too wanted more family time.

Miller and Vonn became the first Americans to sweep the men's and women's overall titles in the same year since Phil Mahre and Tamara McKinney 25 years ago.

Miller also won the men's combined title, Ted Ligety won the giant slalom title and Vonn the women's downhill crown.

TRACK AND FIELD

Arizona State wins two NCAA indoor titles

Jacquelyn Johnson set a collegiate record in the pentathlon, winning the event for the third consecutive year, to help Arizona State win the women's title at the NCAA indoor championships at Fayetteville, Ark.

Johnson was in second place entering the 800 meters, the last of the pentathlon's five events. She won by more than five seconds to finish with a record 4,496 points.

The Sun Devils finished with 51 points. Louisiana State was second with 43.

Arizona State used a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay to edge Florida State for the men's title. The Sun Devils finished with 44 points, three more than the Seminoles.

SOCCER

Manchester United leads Premier League

Manchester United returned to the top of the English Premier League after Arsenal drew, 1-1, with Middlesbrough.

United won its match, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring his 31st goal in the 76th minute for a 1-0 victory over last-place Derby.

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