Edwards outruns Montoya for pole at Richmond
Carl Edwards will start from the pole position in the final race of NASCAR's "regular season" on Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. The Roush-Fenway Racing driver turned a fast lap at 127.762 mph in qualifying Friday night. He edged Juan Pablo Montoya, whose lap came at 127.455 mph.
The pole is the sixth of Edwards' career and his second this season, and it puts him in prime position to go for broke in one of the few stress-free races of the season.
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"There's really no pressure," said Edwards, winless since the 2008 season finale. "It's just go out and have fun and try not to run into Clint Bowyer or one of those guys that's got a lot on the line."
A.J. Allmendinger earned the No. 3 starting spot, followed by Bowyer and David Reutimann for the final race before NASCAR begins its 10-race Chase for the championship.
The starting spot is especially important for Bowyer, who holds down the No. 12 spot in the standings and needs only to finish 28th or better to secure a spot in the Chase.
While having fun on the track, Edwards does have the opportunity to improve his Chase position, as do all the others already locked into the 12-driver field for the title push. Each victory is worth 10 bonus points when they reset the field for the playoffs.
"I think the key for us is just to go out and win a race," Edwards said. "While the pressure is off, you can go out and take risks and you can race harder, and I think sometimes you get a chance to perform really well when that pressure is off. Hopefully with this good pit stall and good starting spot, we maybe get a win and get those 10 bonus points.
"That'd be huge. That's just what we need to start the Chase."
■ Kevin Harvick passed Brad Keselowski for the lead with just over 50 laps to go Friday night and won the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond, Va. Harvick earned his third victory of the season and the 37th of his career in the series.
Hampered by interference on pit road that caused him to park awkwardly in his stall under a green flag, Keselowski went two laps down before the midpoint of the 250-lap event at Richmond International Raceway. Trevor Bayne finished third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Reed Sorenson.
IndyCar series returning to Milwaukee
The IndyCar series is returning to the historic Milwaukee Mile and series officials are hoping a new event promoter can succeed after past efforts led to sagging attendance and unpaid bills.
IndyCar unveiled its 2011 schedule in an event at the Mile on Friday, including an announcement that the series will return to Milwaukee next June 19 after a one-year absence. Milwaukee has been a fixture on the IndyCar schedule, but the track withdrew from hosting major racing events after its promoter had financial problems and a suitable replacement could not be found.
IndyCar will have 17 events in 2011, beginning at St. Petersburg on March 27. The Indianapolis 500 is May 29, and the series is adding events at New Hampshire International Speedway Aug. 14 and a street circuit in Baltimore Sept. 4. Kentucky Speedway's date is scheduled for Oct. 2.
The site of the season finale, however, remains up in the air.
Riley unhappy with knocks on Heat
Pat Riley and LeBron James already have one thing in common. They're keeping track of what's been said about how this Miami Heat team got put together this summer.
It seems to be fueling both of them.
Speaking at length with reporters for the first time since the Heat acquired James and Chris Bosh to play alongside Dwyane Wade this summer, Riley revealed he thought some critics of Miami's roster moves should "get a life." He is also certain it'll be a motivating point for his team throughout the season.
"I know one thing," Riley said. "We will show up and we will play games. And our team will be ready. And I think that's the way we can answer all the critics."
Riley specifically cited Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith and former NBA star turned analyst Charles Barkley as examples of people who took what the Heat president thought were unwarranted shots at the way the Heat went about business this summer.
On the day after Miami signed James to a six-year contract that lured him away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith said, "I thought he was, I guess, more of a competitor."
Riley responded to that Friday, saying Smith made "an absolutely stupid remark. He never made any kind of comment like that when he signed Rashard Lewis and he brought him down from Seattle with a $128 million contract."
Riley said last season that Miami's plan for the long-awaited off-season of 2010 was "to build a dynasty." Step one in that process was convincing Wade to re-sign, something that wouldn't have happened unless either James or Bosh decided to join the Heat.
"We were ready for the worst-case scenario," Riley said, "and the best-case scenario happened for us."
The summer has been about talking. Riley is longing for games.
"I'm actually bored stiff," Riley said. "I can't wait for it to start."
Argentina, Spain win at worlds
Luis Scola scored 27 points, Carlos Delfino added 26 and Argentina pulled away late for a 73-61 win over Russia in a consolation game at the world championships in Istanbul.
Juan Carlos Navarro scored 26 points and Spain used a big fourth quarter to beat Slovenia 97-80 in Friday's other game.
Argentina and Russia will play for fifth place.
U.S. women's team routs Australia
Maya Moore scored 16 points and Kara Lawson added 15 to help the U.S. women's national basketball team beat Australia 89-56 in an exhibition game Friday night in Hartford, Conn.
The U.S. was missing a number of key players for the upcoming women's basketball World Championships that begin Sept. 23 in the Czech Republic. Sue Bird, Swin Cash and former Louisville star Angel McCoughtry are playing in the WNBA Finals that begin Sunday.
■ Alyssia Brewer, a starter at forward for the Tennessee women's basketball team, had successful Achilles' tendon surgery.
The school said in a news release Friday that her leg was cut Aug. 19 by a shard of glass when a candle base broke on the floor in her apartment.
Brewer, a junior, is expected back in action this season.
She averaged 10 points and about six rebounds last year. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Men's soccer loses in overtime
Kentucky's and Loyola Marymount's men's soccer match remained scoreless until 20 seconds into the first overtime when LMU's David Ponce scored his first goal of the season and handed the host Wildcats (2-1) their first loss of the season on Friday night.
It snapped Kentucky's streak of 301 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal, dating to the season finale at Tulsa in 2009.
■ Seventeenth-ranked Florida State defeated No. 16 Kentucky in five sets — 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 15-6 — Friday at Memorial Coliseum. Freshman Whitney Billings had a career-high 23 kills for Kentucky (4-4). Senior Blaire Hiler added 15 kills and sophomore Stephanie Klefot had 22 digs.
The last word
Ex-first baseman Kent Hrbek, struggling with his pants before playing in the Twins Legends game last Sunday:
"Can anybody get me a can of Crisco so I can get into this uniform?"