Kenseth ends NASCAR drought

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Matt Kenseth won for the first time since 2013 on Sunday, when he took the checkered flag at NASCAR’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The race lasted 511 laps, 11 longer than scheduled, and was the longest race in the .533-mile track’s history. Kenseth beat runner-up Jimmie Johnson by 0.287 seconds. Jeff Gordon placed third.

Kenseth took the lead on the 477th lap and never relinquished it, winning for the fourth time at Bristol and for the 32nd time in his career.

The race was delayed early by rain for almost four hours.

 

Lunt throws TDs in spring game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Injuries forced the University of Illinois football team to rely on reserves Saturday during the team’s intra-squad spring game.

Looking to build off its first bowl appearance under Coach Tim Beckman, the Orange team held on to a 44-41 win in the scrimmage.

The Illini had just three healthy interior defensive linemen available for the game, so the teams were split into the starters (Orange team) and reserves (White team). In order to add a competitive element to the game, the White team was awarded a 17-0 lead to start the game and 17 more points at halftime to regain a 34-27 lead.

“We gave the White team a couple points, then a couple more, as the game got out of hand,” Beckman said. “I thought it was important for our team to compete.”

Quarterback Wes Lunt was sharp, completing 17 of 26 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and didn’t see the field in the second half.

 

Whiskey Ticket wins Ill. Derby

CICERO, Ill. (AP) — Whiskey Ticket held off fast charging Conquest Curlinate by a nose Saturday to win the $400,000 Illinois Derby for 3-year-olds at Hawthorne Race Course.

Ridden by Martin A. Pedroza, Whiskey Ticket ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.82 on the fast track and paid $6.40, $4 and $3.20 as the second choice in the eight-horse field.

Whiskey Ticket had a clear lead halfway down the stretch when Conquest Curlinate made a strong move from the outside and just ran out of track.

Whiskey Ticket, shipped in from California and a possible entrant for the Preakness Stakes, won his second consecutive race. He won March 19 at Santa Anita in his debut. 

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