Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Battle on tap for Sprint Cup's final Chase spots

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — And then there were five.

Five spots, that is, still up for grabs in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.

Among those jockeying for a berth is Martin Truex, who gamely finished third Sunday night at Atlanta while driving with a broken right wrist.

Truex rose from 18th after an unscheduled pit stop with just more than 100 laps left in Sunday's Advocare 500 to check on a potential loose wheel. Most impressive was this: Truex's cast appeared to be melting late in the race, won by Kyle Busch.

"The cast just inside my hand here got all soft," Truex said. "It hurts like hell when you're in there just steering the car. … (It) felt like every time I moved it, somebody was hitting it with a hammer."

But Truex, with one win on the season and 13th in points, is in decent shape headed to Richmond, where the Chase field will be decided Saturday night. He holds the second wild card.

Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth clinched Chase berths Sunday.

Not in as a great a spot is four-time champ Jeff Gordon, who is winless and 11th in points — six points out of 10th. There was some postrace tension with Carl Edwards that apparently began when Gordon slid in front of Edwards early. Gordon tried to discuss it later, twice.

"I have a problem with a guy when I apologize for sliding him and he proceeds to tell me all the things that I did wrong in the race," Gordon said after the first conversation with Edwards. "…I tried to have a regular conversation and that didn't seem to be possible with him."

NHRA: Langdon twice

INDIANAPOLIS — Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon had a double-win weekend, racing to the U.S. Nationals victory on Monday in the NHRA's most prestigious event.

A day after winning a special $100,000 eight-car Top Fuel shootout, Langdon earned another $100,000 after his run of 3.818 seconds at 320.97 mph beat Steve Torrence.

Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners.

"This is definitely the biggest win of my career," Hight said after ending a 35-race drought.

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