Almirola continues Stewart-Haas streak with Talladega win
Aric Almirola capped an absolute Stewart-Haas Racing rout at Talladega Superspeedway with an overtime victory that earned him an automatic berth into the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
Almirola was part of the four-car SHR contingent that was untouchable at Talladega. The Fords swept qualifying, won every stage Sunday and used teamwork to pull away from the field.
SHR had the race in control until a caution with three laps remaining sent the race into overtime. Then the fuel pressure light on Kurt Busch’s car began to flicker. Kevin Harvick’s light followed. As the field roared to the green flag, Harvick pulled off the track for enough gas to reach the finish. Busch stayed out as the leader with Almirola and Clint Bowyer looking for a slot to slip past him. Then Busch ran out of gas and Almirola zipped past for his first victory since joining SHR this year. Bowyer finished second, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a Roush Fenway Ford. Busch faded to 14th and Harvick to 28th.
Golf: Marc Leishman shot a 7-under 65 in the final round in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to win the CIMB Classic by five strokes and equal the tournament course record of Justin Thomas (26under 262 in 2015).
■ Eddie Pepperell won his second European Tour title with a two-shot victory at the British Masters and likely secured a place in next year’s Masters at Augusta National. The Englishman shot even-par 72, finishing on 9-under 279.
■ Bernhard Langer ran away with the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C., to take the points lead into the PGA Tour Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup playoffs. Langer shot a bogey-free 7-under 65 for a six-stroke victory in the regular-season finale. The 61-year-old German finished with a tournament-record 22-under 194 total at Prestonwood Country Club.
■ In Gee Chun fired a 6-under 66 to win the KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea, and clinch her third LPGA Tour victory. In finished at 16-under 272, three strokes ahead of Charley Hull (71).
Tennis: Juan Martin del Potro has a fractured right patella bone after retiring Thursday at the Shanghai Masters with the injury. Novak Djokovic won a record fourth Shanghai Masters title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 13th-seeded Borna Coric.
■ In other tournament finals, Italy’s Camila Giorgi won her second career WTA title by defeating Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-1 at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz; Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska won her maiden WTA title by upsetting Wang Qiang of China 6-2, 6-1 at the Hong Kong Open; and Caroline Garcia won her first tournament of the year, 7-6 (7), 6-3 over Karolina Pliskova in the Tianjin (China) Open.
Boxing: Terence “Bud” Crawford used an uppercut to Jose Benavidez’s chin to knock him down the first time in the 12th and final round and then consecutive rights to put him down a second time, prompting referee Celestino Ruiz to stop the fight with 18 seconds left Saturday in Omaha, Neb. Next up for Crawford (340, 25 KOs) could be a WBO welterweight belt unification bout with IBF champ Errol Spence Jr. Benavidez fell to 27-1 (18 KOs).