Kenseth breaks track record, takes pole at Las Vegas
Matt Kenseth was all too aware of his lousy qualifying record, and even with a fast car, he figured he'd screw up his Friday lap around Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He didn't, though, instead turning a flawless lap at 188.884 mph to set a track record. It was the fifth pole of Kenseth's career, and first since Darlington in 2009.
"Five in 12 years? That's a little better than I thought," he deadpanned. "Qualifying is not my strong suit but I knew we had a really fast car. Honestly this is the most nervous I have been before qualifying in probably five years because I knew we had a shot at the pole. I didn't want to mess up a fast car."
Never miss a local story.
Kenseth, who broke Kurt Busch's year-old qualifying record of 188.719, will attempt to break his 72-race winless streak in Sunday's race. His last victory was in 2009 at California.
Marcos Ambrose qualified second, while Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle — Kenseth's teammates at Roush Fenway Racing — allowed Ford to sweep the top four spots. All of them are powered by Roush engines. Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano qualified fifth and sixth.
Stanley leads Honda Classic by a shot
Delighted to be 5-under par at the midway point of the windy Honda Classic, Rory Sabbatini predicted the score would be enough to win the tournament. A few hours later, his lead was gone.
The gusts of more than 20 mph abated some, and Kyle Stanley took advantage with his late tee time Friday, shooting a 4-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over Sabbatini in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Stanley, seeking his first PGA Tour title, was at 6-under 134. Sabbatini shot a 64, matching the tournament's best round since it moved to PGA National in 2007. Stanley had six birdies, including three in a row, to offset two bogeys. He was 1 under on holes 15 through 17, the daunting stretch known as the Bear Trap.
"The wind probably wasn't as strong as it was Thursday," Stanley said. "Late in my round it wasn't really a factor."
U.S., Chile tied after Davis Cup openers
The United States split its Davis Cup matches against Chile on Friday in Santiago, Chile, with Andy Roddick taking the opener and John Isner losing a five-set marathon to Paul Capdeville.
Capdeville, ranked 165th, gave Chile a big lift in the first round by rallying against Isner and winning 6-7 (5), 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-4. Isner served 38 aces to 11 for Capdeville, but his serve was not enough. Roddick opened with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Nicolas Massu, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in singles and doubles.
Doubles in the best-of-five World Group series is Saturday, with top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan facing Jorge Aguilar and Massu. Reverse singles is Sunday. The first-round winner plays Belgium or Spain in the quarterfinals.
Elsewhere in the first round of the World Group, four countries took 2-0 leads: Spain (over Belgium), Sweden (over Russia), Argentina (over Romania) and France (over Austria). Tied 1-1 were Serbia-India, Czech Republic-Kazakhstan and Germany-Croatia.
Men's tennis gets rare win in Oxford
The 12th-ranked Kentucky men's tennis team used a dominating performance in both singles and doubles to defeat No. 31 Mississippi 5-2 and earn its first win in Oxford since 1988. Kentucky (12-3, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) got singles victories from Eric Quigley, Alex Musialek, Alberto Gonzalez and Anthony Rossi.
■ Kentucky's women's tennis team dropped its first Southeastern Conference match of the season 7-0 to Mississippi at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Kentucky (2-8, 0-1 SEC) will play at home again Sunday against Mississippi State.
■ Kentucky's gymnastics team posted its best team score of the season, 195.650, and defeated George Washington and Bowling Green in its home finale Friday in Memorial Coliseum. Senior Andrea Mitchell won on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise en route to her second all-around title of the season.
WKU names new offensive coordinator
Western Kentucky Coach Willie Taggart announced two new additions to his staff with the hiring of Zach Azzanni and Alonzo Hampton. Azzanni will serve as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, while Hampton will coach defensive backs. Azzanni coached the Florida Gators' wide receivers last season. Hampton, who was Arkansas-Pine Bluff's defensive coordinator last year, played in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Phelps, Breeden win gold in Indianapolis
Michael Phelps took the early lead in the 200-meter butterfly Friday and held off Brazil's Kaio Almeida to win his third gold medal at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. The 14-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the event finished in 1 minute, 55.34 seconds. Phelps won the 200 free and 100 fly on Thursday.
Olympian Elaine Breeden, a Lexington native, won the women's 200 fly in 2:08.60, the second-best time in the world this year. "The world ranking was not on my mind," Breeden said. "My main goal was to be under 2:10, so 2:08, I'm very happy with that time."
Rose divorcing wife of nearly 27 years
Court records in Los Angeles show banned baseball star Pete Rose filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 27 years. The 69-year-old Rose cited irreconcilable differences for the split, but his petition did not offer any additional details. A phone message left for his attorney, Joseph Mannis, was not immediately returned.
Rose and his second wife, Carol, were married in April 1984. She was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles and he was playing for the Phillies when they were dating. The couple had a son and a daughter, now both in their 20s. His son from his first marriage, Pete Jr., briefly played in the major leagues and is currently a manager in the minors.
■ After 11 seasons at Louisiana State and 20 at Louisiana-Lafayette, her alma-mater, softball coach Yvette Girouard announced she will retire at the end of the 2011 season. Girouard ranks second in all-time NCAA victories with 1,257. In 2005, she was elected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
■ Edmonton Oilers rookie star Taylor Hall will miss the rest of the season after injuring his left ankle in his first NHL fight. An MRI Friday showed the 19-year-old Hall, the first overall pick in the June draft, sustained a high ankle sprain Thursday night when he fell at the end of the fight with Columbus forward Derek Dorsett. Hall had 22 goals and 20 assists in 65 games this season.
The last word
NASCAR driver Carl Edwards said he's over his anger toward Kyle Busch for the accident that wrecked Edwards' car at Phoenix. Edwards, though, had a range of emotions about the incident. After the accident, when shown a replay, Edwards indicated he wasn't upset with Busch. But once he returned his damaged car to the track, he raced Busch very hard and that aggression seemed to indicate he was indeed angry. Said Edwards:
"I wasn't sure what had happened, and the longer I thought about it, the more mad I got. The farther the day went on, I got to think more about how fast the race car was and I was just mad in general. Then once I saw how well he was running, it made me a little madder."