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Helio Castroneves takes pole at Indy 500

The defending 500 champion and three-time race winner wrapped up a wild qualification day by topping 228 mph on two of his four laps to win his fourth Indianapolis 500 pole.

May 22, 2010

Helio Castroneves put his foot down Saturday and proved he's still the one to beat at Indy.

The defending 500 champion and three-time race winner wrapped up a wild qualification day by topping 228 mph on two of his four laps, averaging 227.970 mph to win his fourth Indianapolis 500 pole. Nobody, including Castroneves, had touched 227.9 in practice even on one lap.

Fans were so shocked by the burst of speed that they gave Castroneves standing ovations after his second, third and fourth laps.

The other eight drivers in the new pole "shootout" were relegated to taking aim at the No. 2 spot.

Castroneves tied A.J. Foyt and Rex Mays with his fourth Indy pole and will be joined on the front row by Penske teammate Will Power and Target Chip Ganassi driver Dario Franchitti.

Meanwhile, Danica Patrick experienced a new sensation in Indianapolis — getting booed.

IndyCar's most popular driver heard fans' displeasure when her comments blaming a poor qualifying performance on her car's setup were broadcast over the racetrack public address system.

Kurt Busch sailed past feuding teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch to win NASCAR's annual All-Star race and its $1-million prize at Concord, N.C.

GOLF

Spieth, 16, is still in the hunt

High school student Jordan Spieth shot a three-under-par 67 to reach six-under 204 in the Byron Nelson Championship at Irving, Texas, and have a legitimate chance to win in his U.S. PGA Tour debut.

He is tied for seventh, sixth shots behind leader Jason Day.

The 16-year-old Spieth on Friday became the sixth-youngest player to make a U.S. tour cut.

Top-ranked Jiyai Shin knocked out Michelle Wie in the Sybase Match Play Championship quarterfinals 2 and 1 on another hot, humid day at hilly Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, N.J.

Shin will play South Korean compatriot Sun Young Yoo, a 2-and-1 winner over fourth-seeded Yani Tseng of Taiwan, in the semifinals on Sunday.

In the other quarterfinals, 10th-seeded Angela Stanford of the United States beat Catriona Matthew of Scotland, 5 and 3, and No. 30 Amy Yang edged Haeji Kang, 1-up, in an all-South Korean duel.

TENNIS

Sharapova wins at Strasbourg

Maria Sharapova won her 22nd career title after a two-month layoff because of a right elbow injury, defeating Kristina Barrois,7-5, 6-1, in the Strasbourg International final in France.

Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania has successfully defended her Warsaw Open title, beating Zheng Jie of China, 6-3, 6-4, in the final.

Richard Gasquet of France edged Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5), in the final of the Nice Open in France for his sixth career title and first since 2007.

ETC.

UCLA advances in softball

UCLA's softball team pulled out a 4-3 victory over San Diego State at home to earn a spot in the regional championship game Sunday at noon.

UCLA (42-11), seeded fifth in the NCAA tournament, got a bases-loaded single from Andrea Harris in the bottom of the seventh to win the playoff game.

Megan Langenfeld hit a pair of home runs for UCLA. San Diego State is scheduled to play the winner of an elimination game between St. Mary's and Fresno State later Saturday night. The survivor will need to defeat the Bruins twice on Sunday to win the regional.

—Eric Sondheimer

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been fined $100,000 by the NBA for comments made about free-agent-to-be LeBron James that violated the league's anti-tampering rules.

NFL Hall of Famer Stan Jones, a standout for the Chicago Bears in the 1950s and '60s and an innovator of weight training in professional football, has died. He was 78.

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