NASCARStewart sets record, but Kenseth wins pole at Texas
Tony Stewart was the fastest on Friday but Matt Kenseth earned the position that mattered most. Stewart, who won the pole for the spring race at Texas Motor Speedway, registered the fastest qualifying lap on a 1.5-mile speedway in NASCAR history with an average lap speed of 200.111 mph during the second round of Friday's knockout qualifying.
"It is always cool to be the first guy to be able to do anything. To be the first to run 200 mph average on a 1.5-mile is pretty cool," Stewart said. "We hit it the second round and I missed it in the third round, my fault."
But it was Kenseth who shined in Round 3, topping the 11 other drivers in the final session with an average lap speed at 199.299 mph to win the pole for Sunday's AAA 500. The pole, Kenseth's second of the season, couldn't come at a better time.
Kenseth is still searching for his first win of the year and a win in either of the next two races would guarantee him a chance to compete for the series championship in the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead, Fla.
"It was crazy fast. It's been a while since they paved the track and it's getting very abrasive," Kenseth said. "It was cold outside and you get a lot of grip. We haven't qualified that good this year most of the year. All three of those laps were all I could get."
Noel posts first NBA double-double
Philadelphia 76ers rookie Nerlens Noel was 7-for-11, scoring 14 points to go with 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in a 93-81 loss at Milwaukee. Fellow ex-Cat Brandon Knight had 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Bucks.
■ LeBron James scored 36 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Derrick Rose and the host Chicago Bulls 114-108 in overtime on Friday night.
James was at his best after struggling the previous night, scoring eight points in the extra period, and the Cavaliers picked up the win after opening with a loss at home to New York.
Derrick Rose scored 20 points for Chicago, but his first meaningful home game in about a year was spoiled by a sprained left ankle and a dominant performance by the Cavaliers' megastar. Rose, sidelined for most of the past two seasons by knee injuries, came up hobbling in the first half and headed to the locker room in the fourth quarter.
■ Zach Randolph scored 11 of his 22 points in the third quarter and added 13 rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 97-89 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Courtney Lee, a former Western Kentucky star who finished with 12 points, was diagnosed with a mild concussion after he left the game at the 2:03 mark in the second quarter.
Tayshaun Prince took Lee's spot in the starting lineup for the second half. It was the former Kentucky standout's first minutes of the season after not playing in the opener or the first half Friday. Prince came through with six points and a plus-15 in 18 minutes.
■ The Golden State Warriors signed Klay Thompson to a four-year maximum contract extension worth about $70 million. Thompson averaged 18.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season, helping the Warriors reach the playoffs for the second straight year. He shot 44.4 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from three-point range.
■ Ricky Rubio is getting a four-year, $56 million contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio is in his fourth season with the Wolves since coming over from Spain in 2011. He has yet to make an All-Star team, but has become the face of the franchise after they traded Kevin Love this summer. Rubio averaged 10.1 points, 8.1 assists and 2.3 steals but shot just 37 percent in his first three seasons.
■ Best known for his wild hair and hustle, Anderson Varejao's heart and hard work got him a new contract with the Cavaliers. Cleveland signed its starting center to a contract extension on Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately confirmed, but the sides had been discussing a three-year, $30 million contract.
Haas up by 4 shots in Charles Schwab Cup
Jay Haas birdied four of the last six holes Friday for an 8-under 62 and a four-stroke lead in the Champions Tour's season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Scottsdale, Ariz.
First-round leader Tom Pernice Jr. was second after a 67. Kenny Perry (Lone Oak, WKU) was third at 6 under after a 68.
■ Inbee Park shot a 10-under 62 at Miramar to take a three-stroke lead in the LPGA Taiwan Championship, her first event since regaining the No. 1 spot in the world Monday. The South Korean star played the first eight holes in 6 under, holing out from 82 yards for eagle on the par-4 eighth and making five birdies and a bogey. She birdied four of the first six holes on the back nine and closed with three pars.
■ Billy Hurley III made six birdies on his front nine en route to a 5-under 67 Friday that gave him a two-shot lead after the second round of the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Arkansas' men and women win SEC titles
Kentucky's men's cross country team finished fifth, while the women placed eighth, at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Friday at the Harry Pritchett Running Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Arkansas men's and women's teams both finished first. The Razorbacks also captured both the men's and women's individual titles — Dominique Scott repeated as women's champion and Stanley Kebenei won the men's race.
The Kentucky men's top finishers were Spencer Hrycay and Zack Beavin, who were 15th and 16th, respectively, with times of 24:55.7 and 24:58.60.
Aundrea Busse was the first UK women's runner to cross the finish line with a 20th-place time of 20:44.
Chicago Marathon champ fails drug test
Leading female marathoner Rita Jeptoo of Kenya failed a doping test a few weeks before winning her second consecutive Chicago Marathon, her agent and national federation said Friday.
Agent Federico Rosa said that Jeptoo tested positive in an out-of-competition test in Kenya in September. Athletics Kenya said later Friday that the test was on Sept. 25 — just over two weeks before the Chicago race. Rosa and the federation declined to identify the substance or substances.
The 33-year-old Jeptoo won the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12 in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 35 seconds, her fourth straight major marathon victory. She has also won back-to-back titles at the Boston Marathon, where she set the course record on April 21 in 2:18:57. Jeptoo currently leads the World Marathon Majors series, a two-year series that includes the biggest marathons in the world and culminates with Sunday's New York Marathon. Jeptoo was not scheduled to run in New York, but was still set to claim the $500,000 top prize.
The last word
Jimmie Johnson says NASCAR's new championship format has "seemed bizarre," but the eliminated six-time champion knows he has to think about the big picture for racing:
"This is really being put back in the fans' hands. At the end of the day, if there are more people tuning in and watching, we are creating the drama, sponsorship is in the sport, then it is what we need to do."