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Matt Kenseth wins Southern 500

Kyle Busch dominates much of the race at Darlington, but his car gives way late.

May 11, 2013|Staff and wire reports
  • Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane and holds up three fingers to signify his third win this year.
Matt Kenseth celebrates in Victory Lane and holds up three fingers to signify… (Mic Smith / Associated Press )

Matt Kenseth passed his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch with 13 laps to go to win his first Southern 500 on Saturday night at Darlington, S.C.

Busch had the strongest car for much of the race and led for 265 of the 367 laps at Darlington Raceway. But his machine appeared to fall away at the worst possible time and he faded to sixth.

Denny Hamlin completed his first full race since suffering a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back on March 24. He finished second. Jeff Gordon would up third in his 700th straight career start.

Points leader Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Kevin Harvick fifth.

Kenseth's victory came without crew chief Jason Ratcliff, who was suspended for the No. 20 Toyota having an illegal part in a win at Kansas.

Carl Edwards finished seventh, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10.

Antron Brown raced to the top fuel victory at the weather-delayed NHRA Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.

Brown earned his second victory of the season and his fifth win at the Georgia dragstrip, powering past Brandon Bernstein in the final round.

Brown covered the distance in 3.801 seconds at 321.25 mph, while Bernstein lost traction at the start and finished in 7.105 at 90.64 mph.

Johnny Gray (Funny Car) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) also were winners at the NHRA Drag Racing Series event.

Etc.

Serena, Sharapova to meet in Madrid final

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will meet for the No. 1 ranking and the women's title at the Madrid Open after winning their semifinal matches in straight sets.

The top-ranked Williams will have a chance to win her 50th title after beating Sara Errani of Italy, 7-5, 6-2. No. 2 Sharapova got her 500th win at all levels after defeating Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 6-3.

Sharapova has won all 10 sets she has played on Madrid's outdoor red clay court. Williams, however, boasts a 12-2 record against the Russian.

Rafael Nadal, meantime, reached his seventh consecutive final since returning from a knee injury, brushing aside wild-card entry Pablo Andujar, 6-0, 6-4, at Madrid.

Nadal had little trouble extending his winning streak in clay-court semifinals to 46 matches, quickly finishing his overmatched countryman after winning the first six games.

The Spaniard will play Stanislas Wawrinka after the 15th-ranked Swiss recovered late to defeat Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Amy Trask, Oakland Raiders chief executive and among the highest-ranking women in professional sports, resigned Saturday after 25 years with the NFL franchise. She had held her current role since 1997, and for years was second in command to longtime Raiders owner Al Davis, who died in 2011. Neither Trask nor the Raiders gave a specific reason for the resignation, but she said in an email: "Having honored a commitment that I made to effectuate a smooth transition and transfer of control, I no longer wish to remain with the organization."

— Sam Farmer

George Sauer, who had a huge day in the biggest game in New York Jets history, then surprisingly walked away from football a few years later, has died. He was 69.

The team and Moreland Funeral Home in Westerville, Ohio, confirmed Saturday that he died Tuesday after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Sauer played a key role in the Jets' 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. He caught eight passes from Joe Namath that day in one of the greatest upsets in pro football history.

He played for the Jets in the AFL and then the NFL from 1965 to 1970, but left the game after the 1970 season still in his prime because, he said at the time, he was unhappy with the way the game treated players. Sauer briefly returned to football in 1974 with the New York Stars and Charlotte Hornets of the World Football League before retiring from playing for good.

Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame defensive back Jack Butler died Saturday morning following a lengthy battle with a staph infection. He was 85.

A Pittsburgh native, Butler made the Steelers as an undrafted rookie free agent out of St. Bonaventure in 1951. He developed into one of the top defensive backs of his era. He played nine seasons with the Steelers, collecting 52 interceptions.

California's leading jockey, Rafael Bejarano, achieved a milestone Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, riding to his 3,000th career victory in the first race aboard Ondine, a 3-year-old filly trained by Bob Baffert.

Bejarano, 30, a native of Peru, has become the go-to rider on the Southern California horse racing circuit.

"I'm really happy for this moment," he said. "A week ago somebody told me I only needed seven or eight to get to 3,000, so I was starting to get excited and preparing for it.

"Nobody can get to 3,000 that easy, and I'm really honored to be here."

Bejarano won his first race on Dec. 8, 2000, in Lima. He has won four riding titles at Hollywood Park and is leading the jockey standings.

— Eric Sondheimer

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