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Kahne Wins in Atlanta; Stewart Crashes in Return

Kahne Wins in Atlanta; Stewart Crashes in Return

Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images(HAMPTON, Ga.) — With only two races remaining before the NASCAR “Chase for the Cup,” Kasey Kahne cemented his spot in the new postseason format, winning the Oral B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Kahne had to hold off Matt Kenseth on a green-white checkered, but got a good jump on the restart to take the checkered flag. Kenseth did end up qualifying for the Chase on points by finishing second. Denny Hamlin finished third while Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-5.

The 34-year-old first took the lead off a restart with 23 laps remaining and again surged to the front of the pack on the final restart. Harvick, who won the Nationwide race on Saturday, led 195 laps but made contact with Joey Logano on the final restart, denying him a weekend sweep.

Making his return to NASCAR three weeks after a crash that killed Kevin Ward, Jr. at a dirt track race in upstate New York, Tony Stewart blew out his right front tire on lap 172, ending his night in 41st place. 

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Logano Earns First Ever Win at Bristol

Logano Earns First Ever Win at Bristol

Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(BRISTOL, Tenn.) — Joey Logano had never won more than one race in a single Sprint Cup season. On Saturday he took his third checkered flag of 2014, holding off Brad Keselowski to win the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I feel like the Bristol night race is maybe the third- or fourth-biggest race of the year,” Logano said after his first-ever win at the track. “Just the atmosphere before the race, if it doesn’t pump you up, nothing does. It’s just the baddest mamma jamma race track ever built.”

The 24-year-old passed Matt Kenseth with 44 laps remaining but had to hold off a late charge by Keselowski to earn the victory. Logano became the fifth driver this season to win three different races, joining Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Kenseth ended up finishing third and is still looking for the win that will clinch a spot in the “Race to the Chase.” There are just two races remaining before NASCAR’s playoff begins and Kenseth sits fifth in points standings, tops among non-winners looking to qualify.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/22/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/22/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Chicago Cubs 4 (56-72) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (73-53)

Tampa Bay Rays 8 (63-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 0 (65-63)

Philadelphia Phillies 5 (57-71) – St. Louis Cardinals 4 (69-58)

San Francisco Giants 10 (68-59) – Washington Nationals 3 (73-54)

Houston Astros 5 (55-75) – Cleveland Indians 1 (64-62)

New York Yankees 4 (65-61) – Chicago White Sox 3 (59-69)

Seattle Mariners 5 (69-58) – Boston Red Sox 3 (56-72)

Kansas City 6 (71-56) – Texas Rangers 3 (49-78)

Atlanta Braves 3 (68-61) – Cincinnati Reds 1 (61-68) 12 Innings

Pittsburgh Pirates 8 (66-62) – Milwaukee Brewers 3 (71-57)

Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (54-75) – San Diego Padres 1 (59-68)

Minnesota Twins 20 (57-70) – Detroit Tigers 6 (68-58)

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (73-57) – New York Mets 2 (60-69)

Oakland Athletics 5 (75-52) – Los Angeles Angels 3 (76-51)

Miami Marlins 13 (64-63) – Colorado Rockies 5 (50-77)

NFL Preseason: New England Patriots 30 (2-1) – Carolina Panthers 7 (1-2)

Detroit Lions 13 (2-1) – Jacksonville Jaguars 12 (1-2)

New York Giants 35 (4-0) – New York Jets 24 (2-1)

Green Bay Packers 31 (2-1) – Oakland Raiders 21 (1-2)

Seattle Seahawks 34 (2-1) – Chicago Bears 6 (2-1)

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Ryan Blaney wins the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Jeff Gordon Is Looking Forward to Bristol

Jeff Gordon Is Looking Forward to Bristol

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Fresh off his third win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Jeff Gordon hopes to continue one of the best seasons of his career on Saturday night.

Gordon has five wins, five poles, and 16 top five finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway and has an average starting position of 7.4.

“Bristol provides the teams with a lot of challenges, but I love the input a driver can give to help influence the setup,” Gordon said on his website.  “It’s a track that most drivers seem to enjoy racing at. It’s a track the fans love, as well.”

“(No. 24 crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) and the crew are giving me great cars each week. It’s a lot of fun going to the track right now, and this week is no exception. I love racing at Bristol and we’re really looking forward to this Saturday night’s race,” Gordon continued.

Only three races remain before NASCAR’s chase for the championship begins.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/17/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/17/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: St. Louis Cardinals 7 (66-57) – San Diego Padres 6 (58-65)

Miami Marlins 10 (62-62) – Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (53-71)

Chicago Cubs 2 (53-70) – New York Mets 1 (59-66)

Chicago White Sox 7 (59-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 5 (64-61)

New York Yankees 4 (63-59) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (61-63)

Houston Astros 8 (52-73) – Boston Red Sox 1 (56-67)

Seattle Mariners 8 (67-56) – Detroit Tigers 1 (66-56)

Baltimore Orioles 4 (70-52) – Cleveland Indians 1 (62-61)

Texas Rangers 3 (48-76) – Los Angeles Angels 2 (72-50)

Kansas City Royals 12 (68-55) – Minnesota Twins 6 (55-67)

San Francisco Giants 5 (65-58) – Philadelphia Phillies 2 (54-70)

Milwaukee Brewers 7 (70-55) – Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (70-56)

Colorado Rockies 10 (48-75) – Cincinnati Reds 9 (61-62)

Washington Nationals 6 (69-53) – Pittsburgh Pirates 5 (64-60)

Atlanta Braves 4 (64-60) – Oakland Athletics 3 (73-51)

Colorado Rockies 10 (49-75) – Cincinnati Reds 5 (61-63)

IndyCar: Will Power won the IndyCar ABC Supply Wisconsin 250

NASCAR: Jeff Gordon won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400

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Jeff Gordon Wins the Pure Michigan 400

Jeff Gordon Wins the Pure Michigan 400

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Not only did Jeff Gordon win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, he won at Michigan International Speedway for the first time since 2001, as he won the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday.

It was Gordon’s 91st NASCAR Sprint Cup win. This is his first three-win season since 2011.

Gordon remains at the top of the points standings over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon holds a three-point lead in the standings.

“It wasn’t easy, it’s never easy to win at any of these tracks, especially when aerodynamics and track position mean so much,” Gordon said after the race. “I thought we learned a lot the last time we were here on track position so Allen called a perfect race.”

Kevin Harvick finished second in the race, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With three races left in the regular season, barring any attempt to not qualify the races, the 12 drivers have been determined in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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Jeff Gordon Wins Pole for Michigan

Jeff Gordon Wins Pole for Michigan

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) — Jeff Gordon set the track record and won the pole for Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Gordon has two wins this season and had a speed of 206.558 mph for the record.

“I don’t know where to start,” Gordon said. “You can point at the repaving of the racetrack. This track is smooth — has a tremendous amount of surface area where the tire can get a lot of grip to it. The next thing is the cars.”

Joey Logano finished with the second fastest time and was followed by Carl Edwards.

“It has nothing to do with the racetrack picking up speed,” said Logano, who qualified second behind Gordon. “It has (to do with) what we’ve been doing to the race cars to go faster. … I believe it’s cooler out, too. So I think between those two things, that’s why we went faster again, but the racetrack itself isn’t picking up speed. The racetrack, if anything, is maintaining to getting slower. But it’s widening out, so it’s becoming a better race.”

Edwards, who has two wins this season, said that doesn’t mind the new paved track.

“It’s fast — that’s the simplest way to describe it,” Edwards said. “I wish you guys could ride in that car with me there. That is screaming.”

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NASCAR Institutes New Rule to Keep Drivers in Car

NASCAR Institutes New Rule to Keep Drivers in Car

Todd Warshaw/Getty Images(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) — NASCAR vice president Robin Pemberton instituted a new rule on Friday that will not allow drivers to get out of their car until told to do so by a NASCAR official.

The announcement comes in the wake of Tony Stewart’s fatal sprint car crash that killed Kevin Ward Jr. in upstate New York on Saturday.

“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” Pemberton said. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority No. 1 at NASCAR.”

The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be effective immediately. Here’s the rule below:

During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:

  • Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
  • Do not loosen , disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
  • At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle

All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.

The Sprint Cup series will be in Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

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Tony Stewart Will Not Race at Michigan This Weekend

Tony Stewart Will Not Race at Michigan This Weekend

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images for NASCAR(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — Tony Stewart has decided not to race this Sunday in the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. It will be the second consecutive Cup event he will sit out since his involvement in a fatal accident in a sprint car race in New York that took the life of Kevin Ward, Jr.

Stewart’s NASCAR team, Stewart-Haas Racing, announced Thursday that Jeff Burton will drive the No. 14 car in Stewart’s place at Michigan. It also stated, “Stewart’s plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.”

Stewart struck and killed Ward Jr. during a sprint car race in Canandaigua, New York, last Saturday night. He missed the Cup event at Watkins Glen the next day.

A funeral for Ward Jr. was held Thursday in Turin, New York.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

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AJ Allmendinger Wins At Watkins Glen

AJ Allmendinger Wins At Watkins Glen

Phil Cavali/ESPN(WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.) — After eight years and 213 starts, AJ Allmendinger can finally call himself a winner after he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Cheez-It 355 on Sunday.

The day began when Tony Stewart withdrew from the race about 12 hours after he struck and killed 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. in a race after Ward climbed from his car on a small dirt track.

“It’s a tough time for everybody,” Allmendinger said. “This NASCAR community, as a whole, we’re a family. When anything like that happens, it’s something that you don’t get time to erase and forget about. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Ward family and what happened.

“And it also goes to Tony. It’s not like he’s sitting there and forgetting about it.”

The race did serve as a much-needed distraction, as Allmendinger held off Marcus Ambrose and Kurt Busch.

“I dreamed about this moment and I’m not going to forget it,” said Allmendinger, making his 213th Cup start. “It’s just a dream come true.”

Allmendinger’s first Sprint Cup race was back in 2007.

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Tony Stewart Involved in Deadly Crash

Tony Stewart Involved in Deadly Crash

Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR(CANANDAIGUA, N.Y.) — NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was involved in a wreck that killed one person at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in the late hours of Saturday night. While authorities have not released the name of the victim, many witnesses identified him as Kevin Ward, Jr.

Video of the crash shows Stewart and Ward colliding, spinning out the 20-year old. Ward then proceeded to get out of his car and point at Stewart. As the 42-year old came around the turn again, Ward walked closer and was then struck by Stewart’s tire and thrown 50 feet.

Stewart-Haas Racing released a statement early Sunday morning.

“A tragic accident took place last night during a sprint car race in which Tony Stewart was participating,” the statement read. “Tony was unhurt, but a fellow competitor lost his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We’re still attempting to sort through all the details and we appreciate your understanding during this difficult time.”

The Ontario County Sherrif’s Department did not release the name of the victim but did confirm he was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Stewart was “fully cooperative” during his questioning according to Sherrif Philip Povero. The current investigation is not a criminal one.

Canandaigua Motorsports Park cancelled all remaining races on Saturday as the investigation began. Stewart is still scheduled to race in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen, about an hour away from Canandaigua.

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Ambrose Wins at Watkins Glen

Ambrose Wins at Watkins Glen

BananaStock(WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.) — Marcos Ambrose competes in one Nationwide race per year, and he usually wins it. That was the story on Saturday as Ambrose took the checkered flag at Watkins Glen for a fourth time in his career.

Ambrose won the race for the fourth time in as many starts, the first since winning his third in a row in 2010. The 38-year old won three in a row from 2008-2010 before missing the last three because he failed to find a sponsor.

It was an up-and-down day for Ambrose and his crew. After starting the race in a heated battle with Kyle Busch, the No. 9 crew fell well off the pace but was able to rebound and hold off Busch for the win. The Australian’s win was his fifth Nationwide victory, all of which have been on road courses.

Joey Logano finished third behind both Ambrose and Busch while Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth finished out the top five. Ambrose now looks for a weekend sweep as he will start second in the Sprint Cup race on Sunday.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 8/3/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 8/3/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: San Franicsco Giants 9 (60-51) – New York Mets 0 (53-58)

Cincinnati Reds 7 (56-55) – Miami Marlins 3 (54-57)

Baltimore Orioles 1 (62-48) – Seattle Mariners 0 (57-54)

Detroit Tigers 4 (61-47) – Colorado Rockies 0 (44-67)

Washington Nationals 4 (60-49) – Philadelphia Phillies 0 (49-63)

Houston Astros 6 (47-65) – Toronto Blue Jays 1 (60-53)

Cleveland Indians 4 (56-55) – Texas Rangers 3 (43-68) – 12 Innings

St. Louis Cardinals 3 (59-51) – Milwaukee Brewers 2 (61-51)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7 (66-44) – Tampa Bay Rays 5 (54-57)

Kansas City Royals 4 (57-53) – Oakland Athletics 2 (67-43)

Minnesota Twins 16 (50-60) – Chicago White Sox 3 (54-58)

Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (49-63) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (59-52) – 10 Innings

Chicago Cubs 7 (47-63) – Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (63-49)

San Diego Padres 4 (51-60) – Atlanta Braves 3 (58-54) – 10 Innings

New York Yankees 8 (57-53) – Boston Red Sox 7 (49-62)

NFL Preseason: New York Giants 17 (1-0) – Buffalo Bills 13 (0-1)

NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Golf: Rory McIlroy won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Completes Pocono Sweep

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Completes Pocono Sweep

Jamie Squire/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived a multi-car crash on lap 117 and then went ahead on the final restart to take home the checkered flag at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.

Earnhardt Jr. completed the Pocono season sweep with the victory and was followed by a late charging Kevin Harvick.

Earnhardt credited the hard work by his team and crew chief Steve Letarte during the last restart.

“We had a fast car all day,” Earnhardt said. “Steve’s strategy was perfect at the end. I don’t know if anyone knew what was going on there, but it was pretty awesome.”

Earnhardt won his third race of the season, which is the most since he won six times back in 2004.

Denny Hamlin last completed the Pocono sweep back in 2006.

Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/27/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/27/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB: Philadelphia Phillies 4 (46-59) – Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (45-60)

Toronto Blue Jays 5 (56-50) – New York Yankees 4 (54-50)

Washington Nationals 4 (57-45) – Cincinnati Reds 2 (52-52)

Boston Red Sox 3 (48-57) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (51-54)

St. Louis Cardinals 1 (56-48) – Chicago Cubs 0 (42-61)

Miami Marlins 4 (51-53) – Houston Astros 2 (42-63)

Minnesota Twins 4 (47-57) – Chicago White Sox 3 (51-55)

Cleveland Indians 10 (52-53) – Kanas City Royals 3 (53-51)

New York Mets 2 (50-55) – Milwaukee Brewers 0 (59-47)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2 (63-41) – Detroit Tigers 1 (57-45)

Baltimore Orioles 3 (58-46) – Seattle Mariners 2 (54-51) – 10 Innings

Atlanta Braves 8 (57-48) – San Diego Padres 3 (46-58)

Pittsburgh Pirates 7 (55-49) – Colorado Rockies 5 (43-61)

Oakland Athletics 9 (65-39) – Texas Rangers 3 (41-64) 

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (59-47) – San Francisco Giants 3 (57-48)

NASCAR: Sprint Cup Series: Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Jeff Gordon Wins the Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon Wins the Brickyard 400

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) — Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in his rookie year and took home his fifth on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 43-year-old has competed in all 21 Brickyard 400s in his career and passed Kasey Kahne at lap 144 during a restart to grab the lead for good.

“Never know when your next win is going to come,” Gordon said.  

“We’ve been close a couple times, to getting number five,” Gordon continued. “Everytime I come here to Indianapolis, I feel like we have a shot at winning.

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Denny Hamlin.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR(INDIANAPOLIS) — Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday’s Brickyard 400 on Saturday.

Harvick was followed by Jeff Gordon, and Brad Keselowski for the top three spots.

“I think that we certainly look at all the Hendrick cars and the Stewart-Haas cars … and Penske, to me, is the team to beat outside of what we have,” Gordon said. “I’m pretty sure all those groups have their best stuff here.”

Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson have three wins this season.

“When you think you really understand what’s going on, you never know what somebody else has in their hand — much like if you were playing a game of poker,” Keselowski said. “We think that we have the two strongest hands with Penske and Hendrick, and certainly that’s been the case to this date in the season, but you just don’t know what’s out there.”

Gordon is the points leader and has one win this season.

“To be on the front row, 20 years after my first win, I get excited about that,” Gordon said.

Indiana native Ryan Newman won last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Elliott Victorious at Chicagoland

Elliott Victorious at Chicagoland

Todd Warshaw/Getty Image(JOLIET, Ill.) — Chase Elliott needs no adjustment period to new tracks. In his rookie season, the 18-year-old has already won three times on the Nationwide circuit, including a dominating win at Chicagoland on Saturday.

Elliott led 85 laps, taking the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 ahead of Trevor Bayne and Kyle Larson. The win puts the rookie back atop the points standings, leading Reagan Smith by seven points.

“We had an awesome race going,” Elliott said. “I try to make the most of my practice laps. They gave me a good car. That gives me time to learn the track in practice.”

The son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, Chase has also picked up victories at Texas and Darlington, his first trip to either track. 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — World Cup Final: Germany 1 – Argentina 0 – F/OT

MLB: Cleveland Indians 3 (47-47) – Chicago White Sox 2 (45-51)

Tampa Bay Rays 3 (44-53) – Toronto Blue Jays 0 (49-47)

New York Mets 9 (45-50) – Miami Marlins 1 (44-50)

Washington Nationals 10 (51-42) – Philadelphia Phillies 3 (42-53)

Kansas City Royals 5 (48-46) – Detroit Tigers 2 (53-38)

Boston Red Sox 11 (43-52) – Houston Astros 0 (40-56)

Atlanta Braves 10 (52-43) – Chicago Cubs 7 (40-54) 

Milwaukee Brewers 11 (53-43) – St. Louis Cardinals 2 (52-44) 

Cincinnati Reds 6 (51-44) – Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (49-46)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10 (57-37) – Texas Rangers 7 (38-57)

Oakland Athletics 4 (59-36) – Seattle Mariners 1 (51-44)

San Francisco Giants 8 (52-43) – Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (40-56)

Los Angeles Dodgers 1 (54-43) – San Diego Padres 0 (41-54)

Minnesota Twins 13 (44-50) – Colorado Rockies 5 (40-55)

Baltimore Orioles 3 (52-42) – New York Yankees 1 (47-47) F/5 Innings

NASCAR: Brad Keselowski won the Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire.

Golf: Brian Harman won the John Deere Classic.

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Brad Keselowski Wins at New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski Wins at New Hampshire

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(LOUDON, N.H.) — Brad Keselowski took home his third Sprint Cup victory of the year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Keselowski, who won the Nationwide race on Saturday, was never tested all day long.

“It is every driver’s dream,” Keselowski said. “Every once in a while, you get these cars and thankful and try like hell to not screw them up.”

Kyle Busch won the poll headed into the race and took home second.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in 10th, but clinched a spot in the Chase.

NASCAR will head back to New Hampshire in September during the Chase for the championship.

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