Keselowski emerges late to win at Dover and grab points lead
Brad Keselowski had fuel to spare for a couple of victory burnouts. Those few splashes of gas left down the stretch were just enough for a checkered flag — and a sign Keselowski is a championship favorite. With other contenders battling fuel woes and limping toward pit road, Keselowski had enough gas in the No. 2 Dodge to win Sunday at Dover International Speedway in Delaware for his second victory in three weeks.
Keselowksi's stout start to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship allowed him to swipe the points lead from Jimmie Johnson.
Keselowski holds a five-point lead over Johnson as the Chase shifts to Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
He held off a late push from runner-up Jeff Gordon to match Denny Hamlin for the season victory lead with five.
"I can't state loudly enough how much longer this battle is," Keselowski said.
Keselowski, Johnson and Hamlin have staked their claim through the first three of 10 Chase races as the drivers to beat.
Johnson and Hamlin each led a chunk of laps on the mile concrete oval, but failed to stretch their fuel to the end. Johnson, who has seven career wins at Dover, was ordered to back off the gas and salvaged a fourth-place finish. Hamlin pitted with 10 laps left, opening the door for Keselowski, and denying him his first win at the Monster Mile. Hamlin faded to eighth after starting from the pole.
"They're not going to beat us on the track, that's just plain and simple," Hamlin said. "We're just too fast right now and I feel like everything is going well. These strategy games, and the way these cautions are falling, it's ill-timed."
There was a caution at the end of a cycle of green-flag pit stops only 69 laps into the race that quickly dropped drivers a lap back. Amazingly, most of the field couldn't ever get that lap back, and only six drivers finished on the lead lap.
There are seven races left in the Chase.
"By no means, do I feel like we're the favorite," Keselowski said. "Certainly, we're not the underdog."
While crew chief Paul Wolfe didn't want to reveal too much of his fuel-saving strategy, he conceded the car was "within a lap or two" or running on fumes. Keselowski raced the last 89 laps without a stop.
"There's always some risk in calls like that," Wolfe said. "We know where we stand. We know what we need to do. We know the guys are racing right now for the championship. I felt like we were as good as anybody on mileage."
Lee picked Celtics over bigger paycheck
Courtney Lee said he turned down more money to join the Boston Celtics. The former Western Kentucky standout said Sunday he came to Boston from Houston after a sign-and-trade deal because of "the core group of guys they had here."
"The expectations every year for this team is to win big and that's one thing I want to do is win big," he said. "Speaking with (Rajon) Rondo during the whole free agency period, he had the same goals that I had in mind — we want to win big, get to the championship and win. And not only for one year but continue to do it.
"We're about the same age — me, him, Jeff (Green) and a couple other guys on the team. ... So we've got the core group here of veterans and we've still got the young guys that can keep pushing for years to come."
Lee said his friendship with Rondo played a large role in the move to Boston. Rondo went to Kentucky, Lee to WKU.
"There were other teams out there. There were teams that offered me more money, but my goal is to win and there's nothing better than winning," he said. "I got a little taste of that my rookie year (with Orlando), with going to the finals, and that route was unbelievable. My other years can't compare to that, but now that I'm here we're trying to get on that same race and that same track and win."
Asked what Lee brings to the floor, Rondo said "athleticism."
"What I'm expecting to see is just an all-around player," Coach Doc Rivers said. "I think he does a lot of things well and that helps our team. He can play multiple positions — terrific shooter, terrific defender, terrific team player."
Volleyball team wins its third straight
Whitney Billings got her third straight double-double — a season-high 19 kills and 15 digs — and Kentucky's volleyball team rolled to a 3-1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17) win against Auburn on Sunday in Memorial Coliseum. Billings adadded four blocks and a pair of aces in her team's third straight victory.
Alexandra Morgan added a career-high 15 kills and Christine Hartmann had 45 assists and 12 digs.
Kentucky will play at Mississippi on Friday night before an early season rematch at No. 12 Florida on Sunday.
■ Kentucky's men's soccer team got goals from Tyler Riggs and Charley Pettys and a five-save outing from goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale in a 2-2 draw with Memphis in the Conference USA opener for the Wildcats on Sunday afternoon at the UK Soccer Complex.
Kentucky (5-4-1, 0-0-1 C-USA) appeared to have scored the game-winner with 10 seconds left in double overtime, but Riggs' socre was disallowed because he was offsides.
Matt Lodge broke the UK career record for shots, passing Riley O'Neill for first place all-time with his 168th career shot attempt.
■ Alabama's Pia Rijsdijk scored four minutes into overtime to give the Tide a 2-1 victory over the UK women's soccer team. Cara Ledman socred the goal for the host Cats (8-3-1, 3-2-1 SEC).
Kentucky will play at Missouri at 8 p.m. Friday.
Pletcher sweeps both stakes at Belmont
Trainer Todd Pletcher won both stakes at Belmont Park as Kauai Katie and Overanalyze won the $200,000 races for 2-year-olds on Sunday in Elmont, N.Y.
Rosie Napravnik was aboard as Kauai Katie, the 1-5 favorite, improved to 3-for-3 with a dominant 71/2-length triumph over Baby J in the Matron for fillies. Overanalyze rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga to capture the Futurity with a last-to-first rally, beating Carried Interest by 31/4 lengths.
The last word
Buffalo Coach Chan Gailey was embarrassed by his team's 52-28 loss to the New England Patriots. At one point, the Bills led 21-7:
"I don't like to play like that, and I don't like to think that's who we are. But that's who we were today. You can't sugarcoat it."