No. 1 and 2 cars to start 1-2 for 1st time in NASCAR history
Martin Truex Jr. bounced back from a midweek NASCAR penalty with a pole-winning run at Phoenix International Raceway. Truex turned a lap of 135.120 mph Friday to qualify first in his No. 1 Chevrolet. It was a huge lift for his team, which failed post-race inspection last week at Texas to draw a 50-point penalty. Crew chief Kevin Manion also was fined $50,000.
"That's how you can sum up our season," Truex shrugged.
Kurt Busch qualified second for Sunday's race with a lap of 134.589 in his No. 2 Dodge. It's the first time in NASCAR that the Nos. 1 and 2 will start next to each other on the front row for a Sprint Cup race.
Defending three-time series champion Jimmie Johnson qualified third. Mark Martin, who trails Johnson by 71 points in the standings with two races remaining, qualified 10th.
Hornaday wins record fourth trucks title
Ron Hornaday won a NASCAR-record fourth trucks series championship with a fourth-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night. The 51-year-old Hornaday started the race with a 197-point lead over Matt Crafton, and needed only to finish ahead of Crafton to lock up the title. Hornaday did it by overcoming an early pit road penalty, giving him his first championship since 2007. Hornaday also won titles in 1996 and 1998, and finished second last season. Crafton, meanwhile, finished eighth.
The race was won by Kevin Harvick, owner of Hornaday's truck team. Kyle Busch finished second, snapping his streak of five wins in his last five series starts.
Ochocinco fined $20,000 for $1 'bribe'
Chad Ochocinco's pretend $1 bribe is going to cost him a lot more. The Bengals receiver was fined $20,000 and reprimanded by the NFL for taking a dollar bill onto the field during an officials' review of one of his catches last Sunday. Ochocinco held the dollar in his right hand at his side but didn't give it to the official, who motioned for him to stay away. Ochocinco said he was just having fun, but the league didn't like it. Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations, sent Ochocinco a letter that said: "The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player."
■ The NFL said Friday that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had been fined $20,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official during a 41-21 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. The fine came one day after Cutler threw five interceptions during a 10-6 loss at San Francisco. Cutler has thrown an NFL-worst 17 interceptions this season for the Bears (4-5), who have lost four of five. The NFL also fined defensive lineman Tommie Harris $7,500 for punching Cardinals offensive lineman Deuce Lutui on the fourth play from scrimmage. Harris was ejected and later apologized.
■ The Bengals moved up first-year wide receiver Maurice Purify from the practice squad for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh. Receiver Chris Henry is out for the season with a broken left forearm. Purify, who played for Nebraska, was on the Bengals' practice squad last season. Also Friday, the Bengals placed eighth-year safety Roy Williams on injured reserve after he missed three of the last four games with a forearm injury.
■ Short-handed at outside linebacker, the Packers are turning to an untested rookie against the Cowboys. Coach Mike McCarthy said Friday that Brad Jones would make his first NFL start. Jones will start in place of Aaron Kampman, who will miss his first game because of injury since October 2003. Kampman is recovering from a concussion he sustained in the Packers' loss at Tampa Bay last Sunday.
Leonard leads Disney; Duval to lose card
Justin Leonard shot an 8-under 64 in the second round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic on Friday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., surging to the top of the leader board in the final Tour event of the season. Leonard had 11 birdies and three bogeys on a sun-baked day at Disney World, where the 15 mph winds caused problems for some players.
Former world No. 1 David Duval missed the cut and was among those who likely will lose their PGA Tour cards. Duval finished 5-over par and near the bottom in the tournament. Duval's runner-up finish at the U.S. Open this year and his 2001 British Open championship will get him into the first three majors next year. But losing his full status on tour is a demoralizing blow in a once shining career that has sputtered for nearly a decade. "It's not a position you want to be in," Duval said. "It's not fun, but really, I haven't been focusing on it a whole lot."
According to ShotLink, the PGA's statistical computation system, Kentuckian Steve Flesch is projected to finish 125th on the money list. If that holds true, Flesch will keep his card despite missing the cut on Friday.
■ Back in Australia for the first time in 11 years, Tiger Woods is in a familiar place. He opened with two birdies that revved up another massive crowd, saved his second round with two par putts in the middle and kept bogeys off his card on his way to a 4-under 68 that gave him a three-shot lead at the Australian Masters. It was the fourth straight tournament that Woods has been atop the leader board going into the weekend. The trick now is to finish it off, even with no one among the top 50 in the world chasing him. Woods has failed to win the last two times, at the Tour Championship and HSBC Champions, both won by Phil Mickelson.
■ Jiyai Shin has shot a 6-under 66 for the second-round lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico. The South Korean was three strokes ahead of Americans Michelle Wie (66) and Paula Creamer (69). Lorena Ochoa was seven strokes off the lead after a 69.
Two hit milestones in volleyball's win
Junior outside hitter Sarah Mendoza got her 1,000th career kill and senior libero BriAnne Sauer became the second player in UK history to total 1,500 digs in a career in No. 11 Kentucky's 25-21, 25-22, 25-14 sweep at at Georgia on Friday. Mendoza led Kentucky (25-2, 15-1 SEC) with 12 kills. Sophomore Blaire Hiler had 10.
Aaron receives Louisville Slugger award
Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron was to receive an award from the makers of the bats that he used to hit more than 700 home runs. The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory planned to honor Aaron with its 2009 Living Legend Award on Friday night. Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey Jr. have also received the Living Legend Award.
■ Rafael Nadal set up a semifinals matchup against Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday. Gael Monfils gave French fans hope of a home champion by reaching his first Paris semifinals with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic of Croatia. Monfils will play former finalist Radek Stepanek, who advanced when U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro retired trailing 4-0 with a groin injury from his previous match. The third-seeded Djokovic made the semifinals by defeating Robin Soderling 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
The last word
After hearing that four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon was among a group of drivers who lobbied NASCAR officials to prohibit all bump-drafting through the corners at Talladega, Ala., fellow driver Denny Hamlin said all the series' drivers should have an equal say in shaping policy. Hamlin said of Gordon:
"It's just frustrating he has that much pull with NASCAR. The Talladega thing just bugged me. When I heard someone influenced them, it got on my nerves. ... I just wish NASCAR would ask my opinion sometimes."