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Biffle Makes Ford Proud With Sprint Cup Victory

Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle's pit crew celebrate his win in the NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, June 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle's pit crew celebrate his win in the NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, June 16, 2013 in Brooklyn, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Brooklyn, Mich. — Greg Biffle gave Ford a milestone victory — right down the road from company headquarters.

Biffle raced to his second straight Sprint Cup win at Michigan International Speedway, easily holding off Kevin Harvick after points leader Jimmie Johnson smacked the wall in the final laps yesterday. It was the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Company across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide and Truck.

“What a great moment this is,” said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “We couldn’t be prouder to have this moment come here today at Michigan in front of so many of our Ford friends. What a great race and a great day for Ford.”

It was Biffle’s first win since he overtook Johnson to win at MIS in August. Johnson’s engine faltered with six laps left in that race. This time, he was about a second behind Biffle with three laps to go — but a tire gave way, and he dropped all the way to 28th.

“I don’t want to see anybody wreck,” Biffle said. “It makes you feel good when you push the guy over the edge. He made a mistake, and that’s what makes you feel good. You outsmarted him, or you beat him at his game.”

Harvick was second, 3 seconds behind Biffle. Martin Truex Jr. was next, followed by Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart.

Johnson wasn’t the only big name who ran into trouble. Jeff Gordon was out of contention almost immediately when he hit a spinning Bobby Labonte less than 10 laps into the 200-lap, 400-mile race. Gordon finished 39th, one spot behind Kasey Kahne, who led at the halfway point but appeared to blow a tire and went sliding into the wall.

Kahne’s car caught fire, but he was able to climb out quickly.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at MIS last June, finished 37th Sunday. He led for 34 laps, but his engine acted up about two-thirds of the way through the race.

There were eight cautions for 38 laps.

Biffle cruised to the finish in his No. 16 Ford. He finished second to Johnson the previous weekend at Pocono, but this time there was nobody left to challenge him at the end.

It was Ford’s third Cup victory of the year — Carl Edwards and David Ragan won at Phoenix and Talladega. Sunday was Ford Motor Company’s 110th birthday.

NCAA Baseball

NC State 8, UNC 1

Omaha, Neb. — North Carolina State’s Carlos Rodon pitched eight shutout innings and the Wolfpack knocked ACC pitcher of the year Kent Emanuel out of the game early in an 8-1 victory in their College World Series opener.

Rodon (10-2) held the No. 1 national seed Tar Heels hitless into the fifth inning. He allowed five hits and struck out eight.

Soccer

Spain, Italy Win
At Confed Cup

Recife, Brazil — Spain dominated its Confederations Cup opener against Uruguay, winning 2-1 on first-half goals by Pedro and Roberto Soldado.

Spain had a bit of luck with the first goal, which deflected off Uruguay defender Diego Lugano to beat goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. The second was perfect finishing by Soldado, who was left unmarked and scored from just inside the area.

Luis Suarez scored with a delicately curling free kick for Uruguay in the 88th.

In Rio de Janeiro, Mario Balotelli showed his strength and rapidly developing talent, scoring in the 78th minute to lead Italy past Mexico, 2-1. in the Confederations Cup.

Tennis

Murray Wins Queen’s

London — Top-seeded Andy Murray rallied to beat defending champion Marin Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 to win the Queen’s Club tournament for the third time.

The match was delayed for more than three hours by rain.

It is the 27th career title for the Briton, who also claimed the trophy in 2009 and ‘11, and his second of the season after winning at Miami in March.

Murray’s victory came in his first tournament since he was forced to withdraw from the French Open with a back injury.

Federer Takes
First of Year

Halle, Germany — Roger Federer won his first title of the year, overcoming a sluggish start to beat unseeded Mikhail Youzhny 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 at the Gerry Weber Open.

Returning to grass in his favorite warm-up for Wimbledon, the top-seeded Federer looked lethargic until the middle of the second set, when he started hitting shots with confidence.

Federer won his first title since Cincinnati in August and his sixth in Halle, the first since 2008. Four of Federer’s seven Wimbledon titles have come after victories in Halle.

The former top-ranked player, who is now No. 3, won his 77th career title.

Federer will be looking to extend his record of 17 Grand Slam championships when he defends his title at Wimbledon.

Hantuchova Prevails

Birmingham, England — Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova won her sixth career title, beating Croatian teenager Donna Vekic 7-6 (5), 6-4 in the final of the Aegon Classic.

The 16-year-old Vekic stayed close against Hantuchova, who is 14 years older.

Down a break in the first set, Vekic broke back to force a tiebreaker. The 60th-ranked Hantuchova went ahead 5-2 in the tiebreaker and held off Vekic’s comeback to clinch the first set.

A late break in a tight second set allowed Hantuchova to capture the title.