Sports: In brief

July 12, 2014 

NASCAR

Kyle Busch takes pole for Camping World RV Sales 301

Kyle Busch went from upside down to top of the field.

Busch continued the seasonlong trend of track record qualifying speeds, turning a lap of 138.130 mph Friday to win the pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

It's the second pole of the season for Busch, who will be joined on the front row by reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Sprint Cup race.

Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray completed the top five. Points leader Jeff Gordon starts 11th. Daytona winner Aric Almirola starts 19th.

Busch starts first a week after he rolled over at Daytona. He was involved in a 25-car wreck that ended with Busch getting flipped upside-down in his No. 18 Toyota.

"I thought it was a little bit tight but I guess I was driving through it enough that it was still carrying good speed," Busch said. "Lap felt good. It didn't feel that good, but it felt good."

It was the 13th track record set this season.

"We knew the track record was going to fall, especially at one of the places where testing started," Johnson said. "I was very optimistic coming into qualifying today. I thought I had enough to get it there. Then I saw Kyle's lap. He definitely put one down."

The 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd made the race when a 44th entry dropped out, putting him in the field. In the No. 33 Chevrolet, he'll extend his mark as the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series.

Erik Jones led for 131 of 200 laps and won the NASCAR Trucks series race in Iowa on Friday night, giving Kyle Busch Motorsports its seventh win in nine races this season.

It's the second career win for the 18-year-old Jones and the sixth victory of 2014 for the No. 51 truck.

Ryan Blaney was second, followed by Matt Crafton, Joey Coulter and German Quiroga Jr.

GOLF

Montgomerie holds on to Senior Open lead

Colin Montgomerie thought it would be tough to keep his advantage from the first round at the U.S. Senior Open, and it was.

The Scotsman shot an even-par 71 on Friday and leads Scott Dunlap by one stroke after the second day of the tournament.

Montgomerie opened with a 65 on Thursday, and then held off the field in mid-90s heat and high humidity. He is at 6 under after two rounds.

"It's not easy to repeat a good round as yesterday's was, but this was as good, to be honest," he said. "Seventy-one out there was a good effort. Breezy conditions, windier than it was yesterday, warmer and with the pack coming at you — it's never easy."

Mo Martin had a plan for Royal Birkdale, and it's working better than she imagined at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

Martin took two putts from short of the green on the par-5 18th hole Friday for her 10th birdie in two rounds, and her second straight 3-under 69. That gave the American a three-shot lead over Beatriz Recari of Spain and former U.S. Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu going into the weekend.

Coming off her first major in the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2, Michelle Wie kept putting herself in tough spots and couldn't convert enough pars. She followed her highest score of the year (75) with one that was even worse, a 78 to miss the cut by three shots.

■ For the past five years, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker have had a near-monopoly on the John Deere Classic.

After 36 holes of this year's Deere, Johnson is a co-leader and Stricker is tied for sixth, three strokes back.

Johnson and William McGirt were tied at 12-under-par 130 after 36 holes, a stroke ahead of Steven Bowditch, Johnson Wagner and Brian Harman.

Stricker's 65 gave him 133 on the par-71 course, tied with Rory Sabbatini, Ryan Moore and Todd Hamilton.

Rory McIlroy surrendered the lead at the Scottish Open with his latest second-round meltdown on Friday, leaving three players tied for first place on a day when brutal winds played havoc with the field.

Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Marc Warren of Scotland were atop the leaderboard at 6-under, with just 17 of 150 players shooting below 70 on the par-71 Royal Aberdeen links course.

McIlroy shot a course-record 64 in the first round but followed it up with a 78, continuing a worrying trend this season that's seen the former world No. 1 fail to build on strong starts.

Tour de france

Trentin wins stage; Nibali still overall leader

Matteo Trentin of Italy won Friday's seventh stage of the Tour de France in a photo finish, after two top American hopefuls went down in the latest spills of a crash-marred edition this year.

Fellow Italian Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader's yellow jersey. U.S. rider Tejay van Garderen, a solid all-around rider with an outside shot at the title, crashed late in the stage and lost more than a minute in the title chase. Fellow American Andrew Talansky fell in the final sprint, rolling over and scuffing up his left arm and ripping his jersey after getting bumped by Australia's Simon Gerrans.

The sun finally broke through clouds that had dumped rain on riders in recent days for the 234.5-kilometer (146 mile) ride from Epernay, the capital of Champagne country, to the eastern city of Nancy. It was the second-longest stage of the race this year.

Trentin, a cheery 24-year-old who won a stage in the Tour of Switzerland this year, beat Slovakia's Peter Sagan by what looked like no more than a centimeter or two on the finish-line photo of the final sprint. The finish was so close that the Tour's website initially declared Sagan the winner.

TELEVISION

Documentary to profile former UK recruit

The cn|2 cable channel will air a documentary Sunday night about former University of Kentucky basketball recruit John Stewart, who collapsed and died during a high school game in 1999.

The documentary, titled Wildcat Forever: The John Stewart Story, includes interviews with Stewart's parents, brother, extended family, teammates and friends as well as then-Kentucky coach Tubby Smith and former Cat Wayne Turner.

Stewart, a 7-foot center, collapsed and died of a rare heart ailment during an Indiana state playoff game his senior season in high school after having committed to UK.

The documentary will be available throughout the state to Time Warner Cable customers beginning at 8 p.m. on cn|2.

SOCCER

Barcelona lands infamous biter Suarez

Barcelona prides itself in upholding high moral values and being "more than a club." The Catalan giants, though, have decided to overlook a litany of misdemeanors by Luis Suarez to sign soccer's most high-profile outcast.

The Uruguay striker is set to seal his transfer from Liverpool next week despite being unable to play, or even train with his new teammates, until the end of October when his latest biting ban expires.

FIFA on Thursday rejected Suarez's appeal against the four-month suspension from all football activity for sinking his teeth into an Italian opponent during a World Cup match last month.

The last word

Recently hired Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on the announced return of four-time MVP LeBron James to the team he played for from 2003-2010:

"To say I'm excited and happy would qualify as one of the great understatements of the millennium."

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