Almirola con­tin­ues Ste­wart-Haas streak with Tal­ladega win

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS -

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).

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