Press Box

In Briefin Briefsin Brief

November 22, 2009

AUTO RACING: Kyle Busch made it a double dose of celebration, winning the Nationwide Series championship before completing a lap and capping his night at Homestead-Miami Speedway with his ninth trip to Victory Lane. Busch held off a hard-charging Carl Edwards to win the 300-mile race. The two NASCAR stars finished 1-2 in the final standings. ... The head of Volkswagen's motor sports program is at Homestead-Miami Speedway, fueling speculation that automaker is interested in joining Toyota as the second foreign manufacturer in NASCAR. Top NASCAR officials confirmed that Hans-Joachim Stuck plans to meet with the sanctioning body.

GOLF: Lee Westwood maintained his two-shot lead at the Dubai World Championships after shooting a 6-under 66 in the third round. The Englishman made six birdies to take his total to 15-under 201. England's Ross McGowan was second after a 66. ... More rain at The Houstonian Country Club washed out play at the LPGA Tour Championship on Saturday, forcing officials to cut the season-ending event to 54 holes.

SOCCER: Seattle Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was hospitalized after being diagnosed with pneumonia. ... Michael Essien scored twice in Chelsea's 4-0 romp over Wolverhampton to stay five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Arsenal tumbled 1-0 at Sunderland and Manchester United moved into second with a 3-0 victory over Everton.

RUGBY: The United States qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup with a 27-6 win over Uruguay. In New Zealand in two years, the U.S. will play in Pool C with two-time champion Australia, Ireland, Italy and a European team yet to be determined.

ALSO: Shani Davis set the track record at the Olympic rink in Hamar, Norway, with a 1:44.27 time in the 1,500 speedskating race on the World Cup circuit. ... The Austrian cycling federation says Christian Pfannberger has been banned for life by the national anti-doping agency after a second doping offense. Pfannberger, a two-time Austrian national champion, pulled out of the Giro d'Italia and was suspended by his Katusha team in May after he tested positive for the banned drug EPO in an out-of-competition check on March 19.... Sprint stars Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Tyson Gay of the United States will race each other at least three times at elite Diamond League meets next year. Track and field's governing body said on Saturday that the two fastest men in history are contracted to compete in seven of the 14 cities.

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