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MORNING BRIEFING

Earnhardt is an awed man out on this day

September 15, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

What would winning NASCAR's Chase for the Cup mean to Dale Earnhardt Jr.?

Earnhardt, who has 18 race victories in his career and more than $52 million in winnings, was quick with his answer when asked by the Associated Press.

"It would improve my overall awesomeness," he said.

Awesomeness?

"Yeah. I worked on greatness for a while, but I tapped it out."

On Sunday, awesomeness took a slight dent as Earnhardt finished fifth in the first Chase race, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Trivia time

What odd trophy did Kurt Busch receive in Victory Lane when he won a NASCAR race at the same New Hampshire track in June?

Food fight

If only he had had a beer chaser . . .

English boxer Ricky Hatton flew to Las Vegas on Friday to make a promotional appearance for his Nov. 22 junior-welterweight fight with Paulie Malignaggi but was knocked out by a bout of possible food poisoning.

Hatton had a bite to eat and some lemonade and then became ill, forcing him to miss Saturday's event.

Said Hatton: "That's the last time I drink lemonade, I can tell you that."

Added his lawyer, Gareth Williams: "When he's eating burger, chips and beer, he's fine."

Info nugget

In a successful publicity stunt, KFC officials last week used an armored car to move a scrap of paper from one secure location to another.

Why? Because on it Col. Harland Sanders had scribbled his original chicken recipe, a trade secret so guarded that supposedly only two people have access to it at any one time.

Or, as Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper put it, "three if you count Bill Belichick, who captured the move and recipe on tape."

Keeping track

UCLA's 59-0 football humiliation at the hands of BYU on Saturday brought this observation from Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com: "Brigham Young didn't have that much scoring in all his combined honeymoons."

Trivia answer

A live, 25-pound, 80-year-old lobster, which Busch donated to an aquarium.

And finally

Golfer Paul Azinger, the U.S. Ryder Cup team captain, on his team's chances of upsetting heavily favored Europe: "If we win, I'll go down as having the lowest IQ of any genius who ever lived."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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