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SPORTS
November 11, 2012 | By Jim Peltz, Los Angeles Times
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is poised to repeat as NASCAR Nationwide Series champion after his closest challenger, Elliott Sadler, found trouble Saturday. Joey Logano won the Great Clips 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, but Stenhouse took a 20-point lead over Sadler in the Nationwide standings with only one race remaining. The two had arrived in Phoenix tied for the series lead. But with two laps left in the 200-lap race, Sadler crashed into the outside wall along with Cole Whitt and Brendan Gaughan.
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SPORTS
November 11, 2012 | By Lance Pugmire
Jack Beckman and Ron Capps impressively stared down their moments of truth in NHRA qualifying. Now, the funny car teammates have one last day at the Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway to decide who'll claim their first season points championship. Capps moved within two points of Beckman on Saturday, using his fourth and final qualifying run to move from 16th place to first with a time of 4.007 seconds at 319.29 mph. "This week has been a roller coaster just like our season," said Capps, a three-time points runner-up from Carslbad.
SPORTS
November 11, 2012 | By Lance Pugmire
NHRA top-fuel driver Antron Brown became the first African American to win a major motor racing title Sunday, leaning on the big points lead he took into a race day that ended prematurely. Brown was beaten in the first round of Sunday eliminations at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona, then waited more than six hours before seven-time top-fuel champion Tony Schumacher's furious rally was extinguished by Brandon Bernstein in the final. It was Bernstein's first win of the season, and it left Schumacher seven points shy of Brown - who won five top-fuel events this year.
SPORTS
November 8, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Brad Keselowski not only is a talented NASCAR driver, he's also confident, aggressive and self-assured. Good thing, because standing between Keselowski and his first Sprint Cup Series championship is perhaps the most daunting challenge he could face: Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, seeking a remarkable sixth Cup title in the last seven years, has a seven-point lead over Keselowski in the title standings with two races left, starting with Sunday's AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
SPORTS
October 28, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
Randy Bernard stepped down as the Izod IndyCar Series' chief executive Sunday after three seasons of trying to revitalize the struggling sport that includes the legendary Indianapolis 500. Bernard's departure came after a special meeting of directors of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., the series' parent that is led by the Hulman-George family, which said both sides agreed "the timing was right to pursue separate paths. " Jeff Belskus, chief executive of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., was named interim chief executive of IndyCar, whose 15-race season this year was capped by a return to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in September.
SPORTS
September 26, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
Only two races into NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the Cup title playoff and already there's talk that Dale Earnhardt Jr. might be out of the running. Earnhardt doesn't buy it. "I feel like we're still in the hunt," Earnhardt said Tuesday in a conference call. "We're not giving up. There's a lot of racing left. " The popular driver is seventh in the Chase standings, 26 points behind leader and teammate Jimmie Johnson, a five-time Cup champion, after Earnhardt opened the playoff with finishes of eighth at Chicagoland Speedway and 13th on Sunday at New Hampshire.
SPORTS
September 18, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
When Dodge announced last month it was leaving NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series after 2012, the automaker was careful to say it would still help its sole Cup team, Penske Racing, try to win a title this year. Dodge might just get that done. Penske's Brad Keselowski has the early lead in NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the Cup championship playoff after winning the Chase opener last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. And although Keselowski, 28, is only in his third full year in the Cup series, few discount his ability to keep pace with his more experienced Chase rivals, including five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and reigning titleholder Tony Stewart.
SPORTS
September 15, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
Will Power stood in Victory Lane - but not for the reason he had hoped. Heartbroken but gracious, the Australian driver was there to congratulate Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the IndyCar championship Saturday night by only three points over Power after Power found disaster early in the race. As owner-driver Ed Carpenter was on his way to winning the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, the season finale of the Izod IndyCar Series, Power - who started the race 17 points ahead of Hunter-Reay - crashed only 55 laps into the 250-lap race.
SPORTS
September 5, 2012 | By Eric Sondheimer
Jockey Rafael Bejarano saved the best for last on Wednesday's final day of the 37-day Del Mar meeting. He guided Rolling Fog to a 11/4-length triumph over Know More in the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Futurity, giving him a record 13 stakes victories, the most by any jockey in a Del Mar meeting. "Sweet. Oh, so sweet," Bejarano said. He also won the jockey title. It was the 11th Futurity win for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whose father and mentor, Bill Baffert Sr., died Monday at his home in Nogales, Ariz.
SPORTS
September 3, 2012 | By Jim Peltz
Blunt as usual, Kyle Busch explained in no uncertain terms what it means for a driver to miss NASCAR's title playoff. "We're just going to be another race car … running around in circles for the rest of the year," Busch said. "That's how I feel about it. " At least Busch still has a strong shot to qualify as one of the 12 drivers in NASCAR's 10-race Chase for the Cup that decides the Sprint Cup Series champion. The same can't be said for several other top drivers, including 2011 title contender Carl Edwards, as the series heads to Richmond (Va.)
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