Written by Associated Press
Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:05 PM
W L T Pct PF PA
N.England 7 2 0 .778 234 175
N.Y. Jets 5 5 0 .500 183 268
Miami 5 5 0 .500 213 225
Buffalo 4 7 0 .364 236 273
W L T Pct PF PA
Indianapolis 7 3 0 .700 252 220
Tennessee 4 6 0 .400 227 226
Houston 2 8 0 .200 193 276
Jacksonville 1 9 0 .100 129 318
W L T Pct PF PA
Cincinnati 7 4 0 .636 275 206
Pittsburgh 4 6 0 .400 216 245
Baltimore 4 6 0 .400 208 212
Cleveland 4 6 0 .400 192 238
W L T Pct PF PA
Kansas City 9 0 0 1.00 215 111
Denver 8 1 0 .889 371 238
Oakland 4 6 0 .400 194 246
San Diego 4 6 0 .400 228 222
W L T Pct PF PA
Philadelphia 6 5 0 .545 276 260
Dallas 5 5 0 .500 274 258
N.Y. Giants 4 6 0 .400 192 256
Washington 3 7 0 .300 246 311
W L T Pct PF PA
N.Orleans 8 2 0 .800 288 183
Carolina 6 3 0 .667 214 115
Tampa Bay 2 8 0 .200 187 237
Atlanta 2 8 0 .200 214 292
W L T Pct PF PA
Detroit 6 4 0 .600 265 253
Chicago 6 4 0 .600 282 267
Green Bay 5 5 0 .500 258 239
Minnesota 2 8 0 .200 240 320
W L T Pct PF PA
Seattle 10 1 0 .909 306 179
San Fran 6 4 0 .600 247 178
Arizona 6 4 0 .600 214 212
St. Louis 4 6 0 .400 224 234
Indianapolis 30, Tennessee 27
Chicago 23, Baltimore 20, OT
Oakland 28, Houston 23
Buffalo 37, N.Y. Jets 14
Tampa Bay 41, Atlanta 28
Pittsburgh 37, Detroit 27
Philadelphia 24, Washington 16
Cincinnati 41, Cleveland 20
Arizona 27, Jacksonville 14
Miami 20, San Diego 16
Seattle 41, Minnesota 20
New Orleans 23, San Francisco 20
N.Y. Giants 27, Green Bay 13
Kansas City at Denver, 8:30 p.m.
Open: Dallas, St. Louis
New England at Carolina, 8:40 p.m.
BALLOT BREAKDOWN: Iron Bowl frenzy; Baylor or OSU?
Written by Associated Press
Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:04 PM
By RALPH D. RUSSO
Breaking down The Associated Press college football poll after Week 12 of the regular season.
LONG STAY. LONG WAIT
Alabama’s stay at No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll has reached rare territory as the Crimson Tide head toward an Iron Bowl against No. 6 Auburn that is big enough to fill two weeks of hype — at least in the Deep South.
Alabama remained top-ranked in the Top 25 released Sunday, with 55 first-place votes from the media panel. No. 2 Florida State has five first-place votes.
Oregon was fifth and Auburn was sixth, the Tigers moving up one spot after a miraculous victory kept them in the championship hunt — both Southeastern Conference and national.
Alabama slogged through a 20-7 victory at Mississippi State but paid virtually no price at the polls, the benefits of being 2-time defending BCS champs. The Tide is Teflon when it comes to the type of picky criticism that teams such as Ohio State and Baylor get.
Alabama has been No. 1 since the preseason, a total of 13 polls. Only six preseason No. 1 teams have had longer uninterrupted stays in a single season than the Tide, including Southern California (16 polls) in 2004 and Florida State (17 polls) in 1999, the only wire-to-wire champions.
The other four preseason No. 1 teams that have spent longer at No. 1 than Alabama all either lost in a bowl game (Nebraska, 1983; Southern California, 2005; Ohio State 2006) or lost in a conference title game (Oklahoma, 2003). Those four were No. 1 for 15 straight polls.
The Tide faces Chattanooga this week, part of the SEC’s scheduling strategy to work in a late-season breather. Florida State has embraced it as well. The Seminoles play Idaho.
So it’s safe to pencil in the Tide for 14 straight polls at No. 1. To get to 15, will be much tougher.
Auburn’s remarkable turnaround season reached new heights in unfathomable fashion with a 43-38 victory over Georgia. The Tigers (10-1, 6-1), who are off this week, can win the SEC West by beating Alabama and make their way into the national championship discussion by winning the SEC title. This is big stuff.
Baylor slipped past Ohio State and into No. 3 in the latest Top 25. For Buckeyes fans, it’s just another slight. For Bears’ backers, a small bit of vindication for a team that started the season unranked and has now matched the best ranking in program history. The Bears were No. 3 in 1953.
Baylor has 1,351 points and Ohio State has 1,343 in the poll after the Bears beat Texas Tech 60-34 and the Buckeyes won 60-35 at Illinois.
The gap between the two has been shrinking for weeks, though the Buckeyes held onto third in the BCS standings — but for how much longer? Still, it does seem like an odd time for Baylor and Ohio State to switch spots.
The Buckeyes got sloppy against a bad Illinois team but otherwise continued to plunder the Big Ten.
Baylor is coming off its best two victories of the season against Oklahoma and now fading Texas Tech, which has lost four straight.
Neither Baylor nor Ohio State has played a particularly daunting schedule. Ohio State’s rates No. 72 in Division I, according to the Sagarin ratings. Baylor’s is No. 85. Wisconsin is the best team either has faced and the Buckeyes beat the Badgers 31-24 back in late September. The Bears continue to lead the country in margin of victory (43.8). Ohio State is at 30.6.
The Bears play No. 11 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday, their toughest test yet. Win that and they could start pulling away from the Buckeyes, who have won a school-record 22 straight games but get graded on a tougher scale than any team in the country.
Sorry Coach K but Jabari Parker and your latest stellar Duke basketball team will have to share top billing in Durham, N.C., for a few weeks with David Cutcliffe and Blue Devils football.
No. 25 Duke moved into the rankings for the first time since 1994 after crushing Miami 48-30 on Saturday. The victory also puts the Blue Devils in control of the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal division race.
If the Blue Devils (8-2) win their last two games (at Wake Forest and at North Carolina), they’ll play Florida State in Charlotte for the ACC title on Dec. 7.
Just getting there would be enough to make a case for Cutcliffe as coach of the year.
Stanford dropped five spots to No. 10 after losing 20-17 to Southern California, which moved back into the rankings at No. 23.
The Cardinal relinquished control of the Pac-12 North to Oregon, a week after beating the Ducks, but a BCS at-large bid is still a possibility if they don’t win the conference.
As for USC, interim coach Ed Orgeron has orchestrated quite a turnaround since Lane Kiffin was fired, going 5-1. Is Coach O a candidate to get the full-time gig? Highly unlikely. The Denver Broncos confirmed USC athletic director Pat Haden interviewed Broncos defensive coordinator and former Trojan Jack Del Rio about the job. Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin also has been mentioned as a candidate, along with Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.
FROM THE ARCHIVE
The last time Duke was ranked, Notre Dame wasn’t — just like this week.
NASCAR Sprint Cup-Ford EcoBoost 400 Results
Written by Associated Press
Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:03 PM
At Homestead-Miami Speedway
Lap length: 1.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 267 laps, 130 rating, 47 points, $322,350.
2. (1) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 267, 139.9, 44, $293,251.
3. (21) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 267, 122.5, 42, $203,860.
4. (8) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267, 104.8, 40, $174,235.
5. (25) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 267, 96.5, 39, $167,968.
6. (4) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267, 110.4, 39, $156,701.
7. (11) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267, 109.2, 37, $140,293.
8. (3) Joey Logano, Ford, 267, 98.7, 36, $119,518.
9. (7) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 267, 109.1, 35, $134,221.
10. (6) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 267, 91.7, 35, $126,246.
11. (26) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 267, 102.4, 33, $123,596.
12. (18) Carl Edwards, Ford, 267, 87.5, 32, $115,435.
13. (13) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 267, 88.1, 31, $94,060.
14. (10) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 267, 74.8, 0, $88,110.
15. (20) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267, 77, 0, $107,593.
16. (19) Aric Almirola, Ford, 267, 78.4, 28, $116,421.
17. (15) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 267, 78.1, 27, $113,343.
18. (27) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 267, 65.6, 26, $105,999.
19. (22) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 267, 79.3, 25, $121,585.
20. (24) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 267, 61.4, 24, $80,935.
21. (2) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 267, 74.1, 24, $104,255.
22. (9) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 267, 66.7, 22, $122,396.
23. (14) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 267, 65.9, 21, $85,360.
24. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 267, 70.7, 20, $91,660.
25. (30) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 267, 55.7, 0, $93,543.
26. (23) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 267, 57, 18, $103,724.
27. (31) David Gilliland, Ford, 266, 48, 17, $90,368.
28. (40) Casey Mears, Ford, 266, 49.4, 16, $95,568.
29. (29) David Ragan, Ford, 266, 48.8, 16, $93,157.
30. (28) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 265, 51.4, 14, $103,230.
31. (32) David Reutimann, Toyota, 265, 38.5, 13, $74,685.
32. (37) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, 264, 40.5, 12, $71,960.
33. (39) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 264, 39.7, 0, $71,760.
34. (41) Ken Schrader, Ford, 263, 34.6, 10, $71,560.
35. (42) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 263, 31.9, 0, $71,360.
36. (36) A J Allmendinger, Toyota, 257, 48.9, 8, $79,135.
37. (33) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 248, 27.9, 7, $78,912.
38. (38) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 242, 36.5, 6, $65,750.
39. (12) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, accident, 229, 76.8, 5, $91,741.
40. (17) Trevor Bayne, Ford, engine, 223, 53.8, 0, $57,750.
41. (35) Josh Wise, Ford, rear gear, 119, 31.2, 0, $53,750.
42. (43) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, vibration, 104, 26.9, 0, $49,750.
43. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, brakes, 63, 27.8, 1, $46,250.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 130.693 mph.
Time of Race: 3 hours, 3 minutes, 52 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 0.799 seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 37 laps.
Lead Changes: 22 among 8 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M.Kenseth 1-11; D.Hamlin 12-13; M.Kenseth 14; K.Harvick 15; M.Kenseth 16-25; D.Ragan 26; K.Harvick 27; Ku.Busch 28-31; M.Kenseth 32-91; K.Larson 92; M.Kenseth 93-139; D.Earnhardt Jr. 140; M.Kenseth 141-142; D.Earnhardt Jr. 143-153; M.Kenseth 154-166; D.Hamlin 167-207; K.Harvick 208-213; B.Keselowski 214-222; D.Hamlin 223; D.Earnhardt Jr. 224-235; D.Hamlin 236-239; D.Earnhardt Jr. 240-243; D.Hamlin 244-267.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Kenseth, 7 times for 144 laps; D.Hamlin, 5 times for 72 laps; D.Earnhardt Jr., 4 times for 28 laps; B.Keselowski, 1 time for 9 laps; K.Harvick, 3 times for 8 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 4 laps; K.Larson, 1 time for 1 lap; D.Ragan, 1 time for 1 lap.
Top 13 in Points: 1. J.Johnson, 2,419; 2. M.Kenseth, 2,400; 3. K.Harvick, 2,385; 4. Ky.Busch, 2,364; 5. D.Earnhardt Jr., 2,363; 6. J.Gordon, 2,337; 7. C.Bowyer, 2,336; 8. J.Logano, 2,323; 9. G.Biffle, 2,321; 10. Ku.Busch, 2,309; 11. R.Newman, 2,286; 12. K.Kahne, 2,283; 13. C.Edwards, 2,282.
NASCAR Driver Rating Formula
A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.
The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.
Jimmie Johnson wins 6th NASCAR championship
Written by Associated Press
Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:02 PM
HOMESTEAD, Fla. — Back on top with only two NASCAR greats left to catch, Jimmie Johnson won his sixth championship in eight years Sunday and staked his claim as one of the most dominant competitors in sports history.
Johnson, needing only to finish 23rd or better to spoil Matt Kenseth’s career season, was on cruise control most of the day at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Johnson’s lone hiccup came when traffic stacked-up on a restart and he and Kenseth made slight contact, causing Johnson to plunge 15 spots in the field with damage to his fender.
He rallied to finish ninth and beat Kenseth for the title by 19 points.
Now looming large in Johnson’s windshield is the mark of seven titles held by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt. Johnson barely got to finish his celebratory burnouts before the debate began: Where does “Six-Pack” rank among the greats in NASCAR?
“I have six and we’ll see if I can get seven,” Johnson replied. “Time will tell. I think we need to save the argument until I hang up the helmet, then it’s worth the argument. Let’s wait until I hang up the helmet until we really start thinking about this.”
Kenseth, needing a Johnson collapse to have any shot at the title, positioned himself to pounce should anything go awry. Kenseth led a race-high 144 laps and finished second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin.
“It was just unbelievable year for us. Obviously, we wanted to win the championship as good as we ran all year,” said Kenseth, winner of seven races in his first season with JGR.
Kenseth’s effort just wasn’t enough against a Hendrick Motorsports team that wouldn’t be denied for a third consecutive year.
“If Jimmie would have got a flat or something, that would have been all right,” Kenseth lamented. “Never seen anything like this in the sport and probably never will again. … Maybe he’ll retire.”
Johnson won a record five straight titles from 2006-10, was mathematically eliminated before the 2011 finale and was back in the title hunt last season. Only he had a tire failure in the penultimate race at Phoenix and then a mechanical failure in the finale to lose the championship to Brad Keselowski.
His 2-year drought is over and his crew was ready for the party on the South Beach.
“You better get a sip of that (water) bottle; it’s the only healthy liquid you’re going to get all night,” crew chief Chad Knaus radioed Johnson after he crossed the finish line.
Johnson planned to savor every moment of the celebration and his championship reign.
“This is extremely sweet. I feel like those five years were a blur. And things happen so fast,” Johnson added. “It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it or appreciate it or respect what happened. It just went by so fast it seems like. Now, I’m really going to slow things down here and enjoy it. This is so, so sweet.”
It was just as special for Hamlin, who bounced back from a fractured vertebra earlier this season that sidelined him for over a month. Hamlin hasn’t been the same since and Sunday’s victory, his first of the year, extended his winning streak to eight seasons.
“Is the year over yet?” a grinning Hamlin asked in Victory Lane. “Man, I wanted to keep that streak alive.”
Hamlin’s celebration was brief as the victory stage was cleared for Johnson. Hamlin nearly stood atop the podium in 2010, when he took Johnson down to the wire, only to fade in the finale as Johnson claimed his record fifth consecutive title.
So Hamlin could commiserate with new teammate Kenseth, who won set career marks this year in wins, poles, laps led and average start.
“Unfortunately, we’re racing during the Jimmie Johnson era,” Hamlin added. “We’re just unlucky in that sense. I think being out there and racing with him, I can say he’s the best that there ever was. He’s racing against competition that is tougher than this sport’s ever seen.”
The numbers back up Hamlin’s claim.
— Johnson is the youngest driver to win six titles, beating Petty to the mark by 83 days. He’s also the fastest to six titles, as neither Petty nor Earnhardt did it in an 8-year span.
— His 66 Sprint Cup wins since 2002 are 30 more than any other driver has won in the last 11 years.
But his crew chief Knaus isn’t too shabby, either.
Knaus ranks second on the all-time championship list behind Dale Inman, who won eight. But Knaus is the only crew chief to win more than two titles in a row. His 64 career wins are all with Johnson.
Darian Grubb, who was part of three of Johnson’s titles and won his own championship in 2011 as Tony Stewart’s crew chief, said the No. 48 team never settles.
“Its consistency, always being there at the finish,” added Grubb, now Hamlin’s crew chief. “You have to be able to get that top-10 run, just have to be able to do that.”
Indeed, Johnson won the title this year with a 5.1 average finish over the 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup championship races. The mark was second only to the 5.0 average he posted in 2007 when he beat teammate Jeff Gordon for his second title.
It was 4-time champion Gordon that discovered Johnson racing in the Nationwide Series in 2001 and convinced team owner Rick Hendrick to hire him for a new fourth team.
“You know, they are unbelievable and they proved it again this year just how good they are as a group, as a team,” Gordon added. “Jimmie as a driver, Chad as a crew chief, Hendrick Motorsports, everybody is just so good. But specifically, the No. 48, they just have a chemistry and a way to make incredible things happen especially at the right times. That is unbelievable — six championships.”
Hamlin wins Cup race for 8th consecutive year: Hamlin’s victory in NASCAR’s season finale salvaged something from an otherwise forgettable season.
Hamlin says “as bad as the year is, we can take a little solace in this finish.”
Little went right in 2013. Hamlin broke a vertebra in his lower back in a last-lap crash at California in March, sat out four races and then dealt with pain and discomfort for months. He started to “turn the corner” around the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship in early September but figured the streak would end along with the season.
Mark Martin treating Homestead as his final race: The greatest driver to never win a NASCAR championship is treating the season finale as if it’s the last race of his career.
Mark Martin has no plans to race beyond Sunday’s Sprint Cup finale. If he follows through, it will end a career that began with his 1981 Cup debut and covered 40 victories and five runner-up finishes in the championship standings.
“For nearly 40 years, I have measured myself against the best stock car drivers of the era,” he tweeted early Sunday. “It’s been (hashtag) 1HellOfaRide.”
Martin was flooded with praise on Twitter from fellow drivers. Jeff Burton called him an “intense competitor with an equal amount of values. Made entire sport better through his actions” and Joey Logano wrote he was his favorite driver as a kid.
Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti, who spent half a season in NASCAR, paid his respects from Scotland, calling Martin in a tweet “a total legend and one on the best people I’ve ever met.”
Martin has said he’s done racing before, only to be lured back into the car. His partial schedule this year was even expanded when he agreed to drive 12 races as Tony Stewart’s injury replacement.
Martin has not used the word retirement in discussing his future plans but he’s turned down every driving offer brought to him for 2014 and just needs some time away right now.
“I’m kind of tired. I might not make the best decisions right now,” he added. “I’ll still have an opportunity to satisfy my competitive fire and still be able to be involved in the sport at whatever level I want to be. And we’ll let that kind of materialize as we move forward past Homestead.”
The opportunities will be with Stewart-Haas Racing, where Stewart has a ton of projects for Martin to work on in a role that has yet to be formalized.
Since breaking his leg in August, Stewart has been able to watch his drivers from the sidelines and offer input. He believes Martin will be a tremendous asset in a similar role, particularly with Danica Patrick.
Martin also can be a sounding board for SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli, Stewart said.
“I think Mark is a great liaison between us as drivers and the crew chiefs and Zippy,” Stewart added. “Mark’s got so much practical knowledge and experience. Mark is good with people and I think that is a lot of value to me. I think it’s a little easier for Mark to help Danica.
“But I think Mark can make me better. You’re crazy if you’re a driver and think you can’t learn and that you can’t be better. Having someone like Mark do that, if he sees I’m not driving in the corner hard enough or I’m arcing my entry too much or not enough, whatever. Mark can see that and tell you to think about this.”
Penske, Hornish part ways after decade together: Roger Penske and Sam Hornish Jr. have been together for nearly 300 races over the last decade.
They have celebrated an IndyCar championship as well as wins in two series across nine states. They have been dominant and disappointed. They have turned a working relationship into a lifelong friendship.
So parting ways won’t be easy.
Hornish drove his final race for Penske when he finished 12th in the Nationwide Series season finale Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hornish came up three points shy of going out with a championship.
He ended up second to Austin Dillon in the final standings. Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch won the race. Hornish was near the front for much of the 200 laps but faltered down the stretch on worn tires.
Now, he faces an uncertain future.
“To see Sam race at the level he did with Kyle, right there all night, shows what a great racer he is,” Penske said. “My issue with myself is I started him in the Cup level with no practice. One of the greatest open-wheel racers we had in IndyCar, I think maybe I started his career backwards.”
So far, Hornish has no ride set up for 2014. He declined to even talk to Chip Ganassi Racing about replacing Dario Franchitti, the 4-time IndyCar champion who abruptly retired earlier this week because of injuries and health concerns.
With Hornish committed to stock-car racing, some wonder where he will land next season.
Penske, though, doesn’t believe Hornish’s NASCAR career is over.
“I think people want him,” added Penske, who still managed to win the Nationwide owners’ championship. “I think he’s going to have a chance to drive something next year. A couple things out there look quite promising. I would support him always.
“He needs to have a good ride because he’s a quality guy, a family man. Remember, he won an Indy 500 for us. That’s pretty special.”
Indeed, Hornish won the 2006 Indianapolis 500. He won seven other times for Penske in IndyCar. He moved to NASCAR full time in 2008 but has mostly struggled while learning the nuances of stock cars.
He had eight top-10 finishes and led just 55 laps in three years — and he was out of a ride in 2011 when Penske ran out of sponsorship for the project. Hornish ran just 14 races, only one in the Sprint Cup series, that entire year.
He got another shot came when Penske began piecing together sponsorship packages. There was enough money for 20 Cup races in 2012 and a full Nationwide Series schedule. He ran another full Nationwide schedule this year.
But Penske told the 34-year-old Hornish he needs to be racing in the Cup series, where he doesn’t have a spot for his longtime driver.
Hornish hasn’t even hinted about his future, only saying he’d rather be a NASCAR test driver than an IndyCar regular
Dillon edges Hornish for Nationwide title: With tears in eyes and three fingers in the air, Richard Childress hardly had words to describe his latest NASCAR championship.
His grandson, Dillon, won the Nationwide Series title in the famed No. 3 and by three points.
“Hard to believe,” Childress said. “I couldn’t be more proud of Austin. He drives with his heart every lap. What can you say? He’s just a great competitor, a great grandson. I’m proud, really proud of him. He ran good and hard tonight.”
Sprint Cup regular Brad Keselowski won the season finale Saturday, moving up 10 spots in the closing few laps to give an otherwise typical race a wild and wacky finish.
But the night belonged to Dillon, who overcame a sluggish start and a scrape against the wall to finish 12th. It was good enough to hold off Hornish by three points. Hornish crossed the line eighth.
“It was ugly,” said Dillon, who won the Truck Series title in 2011. “Probably the worst car we had all year. But we fought. My guys kept me positive in the car.”
Hornish looked as if he would overcome an eight-point deficit in the standings for much of the 200-lap race but a lengthy caution late posed problems. NASCAR slowed the race for 12 laps — tied for the longest caution of the year — and it turned out to be a setback for Hornish.
NASCAR defended its decision to keep the race under caution.
“When you’re in situations like that, the most important thing is getting the track race ready,” explained Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president of competition. “You know, you can look at, you can use your hindsight every chance that you want to, but in this particular time, we did the best we could to do, and it was more important to get the track ready.”
Keselowski got new tires during the final caution and used them to weave his way through traffic. He went from 11th to first in a 2-lap span after the restart. And once he was out front, no one was catching him.
Certainly not Dillon and Hornish, who were stuck on old tires because they had used their allotment.
Keselowski finished the season with seven victories, all in the last 10 of his 16 series starts.
Rookie Kyle Larson finished second, followed Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Trevor Bayne.
Busch closing Nationwide team because of funding: Kyle Busch said he is closing his Nationwide Series team because of a lack of sponsorship.
Parker Kligerman ran the entire season for Busch in the No. 77 Toyota and had 13 top-10 finishes.
Busch drove the car in 2012, when he went winless in the Nationwide Series. He went back to driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s cars in Nationwide this year — winning 12 times — and used Kligerman in his Kyle Busch Motorsports car.
Busch also fields three entries in the Truck Series and won Friday night’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It clinched the owners’ championship for Busch, who won eight races as an owner. Busch had six victories; Darrell Wallace Jr. and 17-year-old Erik Jones also won for the team.
Written by Associated Press
Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:01 PM
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Lexi Thompson won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her second victory in her last four starts, birdieing the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by a stroke.
The 18-year-old Thompson made a 5-foot putt on the par-5 18th, then won when Lewis missed her 5-foot try.
Ochoa won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring in 2010.
Thompson closed with a 3-under 69 to finish at 16-under 272 at Guadalajara Country Club. She won the 2011 LPGA Navistar Classic at 16 and took the LPGA Malaysia last month for her second tour title.
Thompson 2-putted for the victory.
The third-ranked Lewis, a 3-time winner this year, had a 68.
So Yeon Ryu was third at 13 under after a 69.
Top-ranked Inbee Park finished fourth at 11 under to wrap up the points-based player of the year award with one event left. She is the first South Korean player to win the award.
Park shot 69.
Lewis birdied Nos. 12-14 to take a 1-stroke lead but dropped into a tie with Thompson with a bogey on the par-3 17th.
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Harris English won the rain-delayed OHL Classic for his second PGA Tour title, pulling away for a 4-stroke victory in a 29-hole Sunday finish at Mayakoba.
English closed with a 6-under 65 after completing the third round in the morning with a 68. He moved into contention Saturday morning in the second round, matching the lowest round of his tour career with a 62.
The 24-year-old former University of Georgia star finished at a tournament-record 21-under 263.
He won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June in Tennessee for his first PGA Tour victory.
English and Rory McIlroy are the only current players under 25 with multiple PGA Tour victories.
Brian Stuard shot a 67 to finish second.
Third-round leader Robert Karlsson had a 72 to drop into a tie for sixth at 15 under.
Jason Bohn (68), Chris Stroud (68) and Rory Sabbatini (70) tied for third at 16 under. Justin Hicks (67), Justin Leonard (67) and Charles Howell III (69) joined Karlsson at 15 under.
More than 4½ inches of rain hit the course from Wednesday to Friday. Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to use preferred lies.
World Tour Championship
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Henrik Stenson won the season-ending World Tour Championship on Sunday after shooting an 8-under 64 in the final round.
The Swede became the first golfer to win the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and European Tour’s Race to Dubai in the same season.
Stenson had six birdies in the final round before finishing with an eagle at the 18th hole left him at 25 under for the tournament. It was his first victory of the season on the European Tour.
Poulter birdied his closing two holes to shoot a 66 and finish second at 19 under. He also finished in second in the Race to Dubai.
Victor Dubuisson of France shot a 71 to claim third place at 17 under. Rory McIlroy continues to show signs of returning to form, closing with a 67 to share fifth place at 15-under par.
Rose shot a 70 in the final round and shared 10th place with Sweden’s Peter Hanson.
MELBOURNE, Australia — Adam Scott successfully defended his Australian Masters title for his second victory in two weeks, scrambling Sunday for an even-par 71 and a 2-shot victory over Matt Kuchar at wind-swept Royal Melbourne.
Scott won the Australian PGA last week in his first event in Australia since winning the U.S. Masters in April.
American Matt Kuchar, ahead by two strokes with four to play and even with Scott with one to go, double-bogeyed the 18th after taking two shots to get out of a bunker. Kuchar had a 68 to finish second.
Vijay Singh, one of four players tied for second at the start of play, finished third after a 71, four behind playing partner Scott. The 50-year-old Fijian was attempting to win for the first time since 2008.
Scott, who finished at 14-under 270, began the day with a comfortable lead, lost it on the back nine, then wrestled it back.
He will now try to win the so-called Australian Triple Crown at the Australian Open at Royal Sydney in two weeks. Before that, he will partner Jason Day for Australia at the World Cup next week, again at Royal Melbourne.
Kuchar took the lead when Scott made a double bogey on the 14th as he dealt with a plugged lie in a bunker, while Kuchar in the preceding group made a birdie at the 15th.
The situation was reversed a hole later when Scott also birdied the 15th and the American bogeyed the 16th.
Scott had led by four strokes at the start of the round and by five shots late on the front nine. His faltering on the back nine revived memories of the 2012 British Open when he bogeyed the final four holes to lose by a shot, but this time he was able to recover and finish on top.
His day got off to an ominous start. His birdie putt from three feet lipped out while Singh had a tap-in birdie to reduce the lead to three, but a Singh bogey on the second restored the four-shot gap.
While Scott and Singh dueled in the final group, Kuchar, who will team with Kevin Streelman for the United States at the World Cup, moved up the leaderboard.
The American bogeyed the first hole but birdies on five of the next eight left him as Scott’s closest pursuer. He birdied the 11th and then the 15th to take the lead for the first time in the tournament before his late collapse.
Jarrod Lyle, playing in his first tournament in 20 months since his recovery from his second bout of leukemia, finished with an 8-over 79, including bogeys on his final three holes. He didn’t expect to make the cut.
At the 18th, the large gallery applauded, even playing partner Michael Long, as Lyle walked gingerly around the green.
“I played five days in a row, including the pro-am, and the last nine holes I started to feel it,” Lyle said. “I got around and it’s not the end I wanted. But it’s better than I thought it would be: three good rounds and one shocker, that’s golf.”
MANILA, Philippines — Liang Wen-chong won the inaugural Manila Masters in a playoff Sunday, then donated half of his earnings to help victims from Typhoon Haiyan.
The Asian Tour staged the tournament despite the ongoing humanitarian crisis in neighboring areas of the Philippines.
Liang birdied the final hole for a 3-under 69 to force a playoff with Prom Meesawat of Thailand. In the playoff, Meesawat found a bunker on the par-5 closing hole. Liang rolled his long eagle attempt to within inches of the cup for a tap-in birdie and the win.
Liang earned $135,000 and said he was giving half of it away to relief efforts.
“Before coming over to the Philippines, I was really affected by what I saw of the damage and victims suffering from the aftermath of the typhoon on television,” Liang said on the Asian Tour’s website. “I’ve decided to donate 50 percent of my winnings to do my part and support the relief efforts.”
The Asian Tour decided to go through with the tournament at the Southwoods Golf and Country Club after consulting with local golf associations, authorities and relief agencies. Chief executive Mike Kerr said the tour felt the best way it could help was by staging the competition and supporting aid and relief programs.
8 relatives of golfer Day die in typhoon
GOLD COAST, Australia — Jason Day’s mother says eight of the Australian golfer’s relatives died in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, including his grandmother.
Day’s mother, Dening, told the Gold Coast Bulletin on Monday that the player’s uncle and six cousins also died in the typhoon, which has killed nearly 4,000 people and left more than a thousand missing.
“I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan,” Day said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. “My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.
“We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media’s interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Philippines, I hope that all will respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you.”
Day’s mother, who migrated from the Philippines to Australia 30 years ago, told the newspaper “my daughter has been updating him but I don’t want to bother him because he has commitments,” adding many of her family members lived in the area around Tacloban, the capital of hardest-hit Leyte province.