Harvick Wins Richmond After OT Sprint
Richmond, Va. — Kevin Harvick won last night’s race at Richmond International Raceway by plowing through traffic on a two-lap sprint to the finish.
Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first win since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining. It sent the race into two laps of overtime, and most of the field gave up track position to pit for tires.
Montoya came off pit road in sixth and Harvick was seventh for the restart. But Harvick rocketed through the field to snatch away the win.
Clint Bowyer was second, Joey Logano third, and Montoya settled for fourth.
Tony Stewart restarted in fifth, but was bumped out of the way by Kurt Busch and wound up 18th.
A parts review by Toyota after Matt Kenseth’s penalty led the manufacturer to pull three engines from Michael Waltrip Racing’s inventory as a precautionary move.
All three engines recalled were earmarked for Clint Bowyer. One was his engine for last night’s race at Richmond; the other two were his primary and backup engines for Talladega.
“We took every connecting rod in our inventory and removed anything that was too close for comfort,” Toyota Racing Development vice president David Wilson told The Associated Press.
The review found that there was at least one connecting rod in each of the three Bowyer engines that left TRD uncomfortable in the wake of Kenseth’s issue.
NASCAR found last week that one of the eight connecting rods in Kenseth’s race-winning engine from Kansas did not meet the minimum weight requirement. The engines are made by TRD out of Costa Mesa, Calif., and then shipped to Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing in North Carolina.
The teams unpack the engines and install them in the cars, and have no access to the parts or pieces inside.
Still, NASCAR levied harsh penalties against Kenseth and JGR that essentially stripped the team of everything but the trophy. Kenseth was docked 50 points, as well as the three bonus points he earned in Sunday’s win. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was fined $200,000 and suspended six races, and team owner Joe Gibbs had his license on the No. 20 Toyota suspended for six races.
Glover Leads in La.
Avondale, La. — Lucas Glover increased his lead to two strokes in the Zurich Classic to remain in position for his first victory in two years.
The 2009 U.S. Open winner shot a 2-under 70 yesterday to reach 14 under at TPC Louisiana.
Kyle Stanley, Jimmy Walker, Billy Horschel and D.A. Points were tied for second. Stanley had a 65, Walker and Horschel shot 66, and Points had a 70.
Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old Chinese amateur, shot a 77 to drop to 2 over — last among the 71 players who made the cut. He tied for 58th two weeks ago in the Masters after becoming the youngest player to make the cut at Augusta National, and will play in a U.S. Open qualifier in two weeks in Dallas.
Nadal in Final
Barcelona, Spain — Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 6-0 to reach the final of the Barcelona Open.
He will play for the title today against Nicolas Almagro in a match between Spaniards. Almargo defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-1 in the other semifinal to advance to his second clay-court final of the year.
Nadal has won 38 straight matches on the Real Club de Tenis’s outdoor red clay. His last loss in Barcelona came 10 years ago to Spain’s current Davis Cup captain, Alex Corretja. Nadal is now ranked fifth and has reached six straight finals — winning three — since returning from a seven-month knee injury layoff.
Vie for Title
Stuttgart, Germany — Defending champion Maria Sharapova will face Li Na in the final of the Porsche Grand Prix today in a matchup of the last two French Open winners.
Sharapova rallied in the third set to beat Angelique Kerber 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 before second-seeded Li followed with a 6-4, 6-3 win over qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States.
The top-seeded Sharapova committed two consecutive double-faults to drop her serve at the start of the decisive set. But Sharapova won the last eight points.