Earnhardt, Johnson to start at the back at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson will start at the back of the pack in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Earnhardt snapped a four-year losing streak in June with a victory at MIS. He rubbed against the wall in Saturday’s practice and will have to go to a backup car. Johnson, the series points leader, changed engines.
Johnson was third in qualifying Friday. Earnhardt was 22nd.
Earnhardt tested his backup car at MIS back in June.
Johnson said his team discovered an issue before practice Saturday and decided to change the engine instead of risking a crash.
Allgaier bumps Villeneuve out of the way for victory
MONTREAL – Justin Allgaier bumped past Jacques Villeneuve on the final lap during a green-white-checkered finish to win the Nationwide race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, depriving the French Canadian of his first victory at any level in NASCAR.
Villeneuve, who started third on the track named in honor of his late father, survived three late restarts in a wild race that went six extra laps and saw Danica Patrick lead 20 laps. But Villeneuve, who had been saving fuel, seemed to slow briefly on the final one, and Allgaier bumped him and slid past for his second win of the season and third of his career.
Sam Hornish Jr. finished second, and Villeneuve was third, giving Dodge two in the top three. Elliott Sadler and Ron Fellows rounded out the top five.
Hornish’s finish put him in a tie for second in the points with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was strong with the laps winding down but spun out challenging for the lead and finished 12th.
USC brushes off sanctions for a No. 1 in the AP Top 25
NEW YORK – Southern California is No. 1 in the AP Top 25, tossing off the weight of NCAA sanctions and returning to a familiar place in the rankings – with a boost from LSU’s problems.
USC earned the top spot in the Associated Press’ preseason college football poll for the seventh time in school history and the first time in five seasons, edging out No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 LSU.
The Trojans received 25 of a possible 60 first-place votes from a media panel in a close vote. USC received 1,445 points. Defending national champion Alabama had 17 first-place votes and 1,411 points, while LSU, the Crimson Tide’s SEC rival, got 16 first-place votes and 1,402 points.
Oklahoma was fourth with a single first-place vote, and Oregon was fifth.
Michigan, at No. 8, received the only other first-place vote.
The Tigers were poised to start the season No. 1 before Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu got kicked off the team a week ago. In light of that development, the AP extended the voting deadline. Before Mathieu was dismissed, reportedly for failed drug tests, LSU had received 28 of a possible 60 first-place votes. USC was a close second with 22 first-place votes, and Alabama was third with nine.
The USA Today coaches’ poll, which was released Aug. 2, had LSU at No. 1, followed by Alabama and USC.
Rounding out the top 10 in the AP rankings, Georgia was No. 6, followed by Florida State and Michigan. No. 9 South Carolina and No. 10 Arkansas give the Southeastern Conference half of the first 10 teams.
Dodgers manager Mattingly suspended two games
ATLANTA – Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was suspended for two games, beginning with Saturday night’s game against the Braves.
Mattingly also was given an undisclosed fine “for excessive arguing” with home plate umpire Angel Campos in Thursday’s 10-6 loss in Pittsburgh. Mattingly and outfielder Matt Kemp were ejected in the game.
No suspension or fine was announced for Kemp.
Dodgers bench coach Trey Hillman will fill in for Mattingly.