Chicago Weather Toys With NASCAR, PGA Events
Kenseth Claims Rain-Marred Race; Golf Playoff Tourney Delayed
Joliet, Ill. — Matt Kenseth restored order to a chaotic week for NASCAR with a steely victory over teammate Kyle Busch in the opening race for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Kenseth went into Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway as the top seed in the field. But he flew completely under the radar while last week’s attempts by at least three teams to manipulate the results at Richmond took center stage of the opening race of the Chase.
He had to wait out two rain delays that totaled 6 hours, 30 minutes and passed Busch on a restart with 27 laps remaining.
Busch finished second for a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota.
Kevin Harvick was third as Chase drivers grabbed the top six spots.
Joey Logano went from the front to the back of the pack in the opening race of the Chase. The pole-sitter was forced to drop out of Sunday’s rain-delayed race when his engine quit with 91 laps remaining. About 50 laps later, Dale Earnhardt Jr., another Chase qualifier, wound up following him onto pit road with a race-ending problem of his own.
Logano finished 37th, a tough start to NASCAR’s 10-race, season-ending playoff series.
Logano qualified for the Chase for the first time this year, and was embroiled in the scandal-plagued race at Richmond last weekend. After a wide-ranging investigation, NASCAR officials punished Michael Waltrip Racing for its role in manipulating the race.
Logano wound up benefiting from the maneuvers by other drivers trying to aid a teammate. His Penske Racing team was placed on probation Friday for its role in bargaining for track position at Richmond to get Logano in the Chase.
But Logano’s problems Sunday night were all on the track. He had gone to pit road once before his exit, complaining of cylinder problems with his Ford.
PGA Postponed to Today
Lake Forest, Ill. — Jim Furyk will have to wait one more day to try to end three years without a PGA Tour victory.
The final round of the BMW Championship was suspended Sunday because of steady rain that left too much water on Conway Farms. Furyk, who has a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker, was still about two hours away from even teeing off.
Rory McIlroy found one small consolation to the end of his PGA Tour season — he was one of six players who finished. McIlroy had yet another double bogey — that’s 12 double bogeys and a triple bogey in three FedEx Cup playoff events — but holed out from 164 yards for eagle on the 12th hole and had his second straight 68.
It was the first time he had back-to-back rounds in the 60s in the same tournament this year on the PGA Tour.
Furyk was at 13-under 200 and in the final group with Stricker. Brandt Snedeker was two shots behind at 202, followed by Zach Johnson at 203 and Tiger Woods at 204. Woods was penalized two shots on Friday when his ball moved as he was removing a small branch next to it behind the first green.
Players will return to Conway Farms on this morning for the conclusion.
Kiwis Two Wins From Cup
San Franciaco — Dean Barker and Emirates Team New Zealand regained the momentum in the America’s Cup when it pulled ahead of defending champion Oracle Team USA on the fourth leg to win Race 10 by 17 seconds on Sunday.
Team New Zealand, which almost capsized during a 52-second loss Saturday, leads 7-1 and needs two more wins to claim the Auld Mug for the second time in 18 years. Today’s a rest day and the Kiwis could clinch on Tuesday, when the next two races are scheduled.
The Kiwis went from almost even with Oracle to about 200 yards ahead after the American boat chose to slow and dip behind on the downwind fourth leg rather than gybe onto Team New Zealand.
Oracle led wire-to-wire to win Race 9 by 47 seconds.