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M 1 • MOnDAy • 06.25.2018

Crew chief’s trick helps Truex win at Sonoma

FRONTIER LEAGUE BASEBALL • HOME GAMES GATEWAY GRIZZLIES Mon. 7/2: vs. Windy City, 6:35 p.m. Tue. 7/3: vs. Windy City, 7:05 p.m.

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Martin Truex Jr. leads Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer (left) through a turn during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race Sunday in Sonoma, Calif.

College World Series finals (best of three) Game 1: Arkansas vs. Oregon State, ESPN

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among active drivers to the four wins on non-oval tracks by Kyle Busch, who finished fifth in Sonoma. “I enjoy them,” Truex said. “I think it’s fun to do something different.” Here are more things to know about the race in wine country:


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S O N O M A , C A L I F. • Martin

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DIGEST Cilic beats Djokovic in Wimbledon tuneup

Marin Cilic has gone from Queen’s Club runner-up 12 months ago to being the 2018 champion. Now he wants to do the same at Wimbledon. The top-seeded Croat saved match point on his way to defeating Novak Djokovic 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the final Sunday to claim his second title at the west London tournament. Cilic was on the losing end of a similar result in last year’s final, as he failed to win a match point in a loss to Feliciano Lopez, before greater disappointment followed as he lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. Cilic said he was “feeling really confident about Wimbledon,” which starts July 2. “Hopefully,” said Cilic. “You know, if those things go like that every single time, that would be great.” Although it was Djokovic’s first final in just short of a year, Cilic faced a formidable challenge as the Serb produced the kind of tennis that helped him amass 12 Grand Slam titles. Having saved six break points, Djokovic struck with the first chance of his own to clinch a draining 67-minute first set, before a reversal of fortunes in the second. The three-time Wimbledon champion wasted an early opportunity to break before Cilic saved a match point at 4-5 and then won six points from 4-1 down in the tiebreaker to level the match. Despite soaring temperatures, neither player backed off in a tense deciding set, with Cilic finally earning the first break point opportunities in the eighth game. Djokovic saved the first but Cilic quickly earned a second with the shot of the match, a dipping forehand passing shot up the line, and Djokovic then wilted with a tame backhand into the net. Kvitova keeps title • Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down to beat Magdalena Rybarikova and retain her grass-court Birmingham (England) Classic title as the Czech player continued her impressive form ahead of Wimbledon. Kvitova hadn’t dropped a set in Birmingham but was tested by Rybarikova before eventually prevailing 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. The two-time Wimbledon champion turned on the style after losing the first set and sealed the match with an ace at the end of a love service game. Federer loses final• Borna Coric defeated defending champion Roger Federer 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2 to win the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle, Germany. The 21-year-old Croat saved three of the four break points he faced and took his second match point to end Federer’s 20-match winning streak on grass for his second career title. As a result of Federer’s loss, Rafael Nadal will reclaim top spot in the ATP rankings Monday. Schweizer finishes third • Shelby Houlihan became just the second runner to win the women’s 1,500 and 5,000 in the same national championship meet, taking the 5,000 in 15:31.03 at the USATF outdoor championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Houlihan hung within a few paces of leader Karissa Schweizer — the former Mizzou star, in her pro debut — before making her move with about 250 meters to go. Rachel Schneider moved into second, and Schweizer ended up in third place. Blackhawks, Canucks make trade • The Vancouver Canucks have acquired center Tanner Kero from the Chicago Blackhawks for center Michael Chaput. The 25-year-old Kero split last season between the Blackhawks and the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs. He had a goal and two assists in eight games with Chicago and eight goals and 12 assists in 36 games with Rockford. The 6-foot, 185-pound center from Michigan has appeared in 72 career NHL games. The 26-year-old Chaput was scoreless in nine games with Vancouver last season. He played 55 games with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica, N.Y., putting up 17 goals and 25 assists. The Montreal native has six goals and 11 assists through 135 career NHL games between Columbus and Vancouver. Capitals give Carlson new deal • The Washington Capitals have re-signed John Carlson to a $64 million, eight-year contract that allows the Stanley Cup champions to keep the do-it-all defenseman. Carlson will count $8 million against the salary cap through the 2026-27 season. Associated Press

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Truex Jr. was running second as the laps dwindled in Sonoma, and crew chief Cole Pearn didn’t think they were as fast as Kevin Harvick. Pearn told his team to prepare for a pit stop on the 73rd lap, and he told Truex over the radio to bring in the car. It was all trickery. Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers, called in his driver for tires and fuel in anticipation of Truex’s stop — but Pearn’s driver actually stayed out for seven more laps. When Truex finally pitted, he got the fresh tires he needed to blow past Harvick for a sweet victory. “I called him off at the last second,” Pearn said with a sly smile. “As far as he knew, we were pitting. I’d like to say we’re smart enough to use codes, but we’re not. We’d probably mess it up.” Truex won the NASCAR Cup Series race in Sonoma on Sunday because of that clever pit bluff, cruising to his second career victory on the challenging road course. Truex easily held off Harvick for his second win in three weeks and his third victory of the season in his Furniture Row Racing Toyota. Truex led 62 laps and won by a whopping 10.513 seconds. “The last 10 laps of the race were easy,” Truex said. “A little stressful. I was just hoping for no cautions, because I had a big lead. This place is so tricky and so technical, but when you start to take care of your equipment and have time to think, it’s almost harder. You can overshoot a corner easily.” The defending Cup Series champion didn’t make a mistake after he waited to pit until the 81st lap, a full eight laps later than Harvick’s Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. With fresh tires, Truex passed Harvick for the lead around the final hairpin turn with 19 laps to go. “That was all Cole,” Truex said. “I’ll do whatever he wants to do. Awesome job by him today. ... Honestly, all you’re doing is begging, hoping that the caution doesn’t come out and hope the engine stays together.” Truex’s victory in his manufacturer’s title race was the 18th of his career. He earned his second career victory at Sonoma in 2013 for Michael Waltrip Racing, making him the only racer to win twice in the past decade at Sonoma. Cup Series leader Harvick went to the pits shortly after Truex

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. is all smiles after winning Sunday’s race. NASCAR CUP SERIES Sonoma 350 results Sunday | Sonoma, Calif. Lap length: 1.99 miles (Start position) Driver car laps pts 1. (2) Martin Truex Jr Toyota 110 40 2. (6) Kevin Harvick Ford 11 35 3. (19) Clint Bowyer Ford 110 34 4. (3) Chase Elliott Chevrolet 110 49 5. (9) Kyle Busch Toyota 110 32 6. (23) Kurt Busch Ford 110 31 7. (20) Erik Jones Toyota 110 30 8. (24) Aric Almirola Ford 110 38 9. (17) Alex Bowman Chevrolet 110 32 10. (21) Denny Hamlin Toyota 110 37 11. (7) Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 110 42 12. (25) Chris Buescher Chevrolet 110 29 13. (10) Brad Keselowski Ford 110 40 14. (1) Kyle Larson Chevrolet 110 29 15. (16) Daniel Suarez Toyota 110 25 16. (27) Austin Dillon Chevrolet 110 21 17. (30) Matt DiBenedetto Ford 110 20 18. (18) Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 110 19 19. (12) Joey Logano Ford 110 18 20. (26) Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 110 18 21. (22) Michael McDowell Ford 110 19 22. (28) David Ragan Ford 109 15 23. (34) Parker Kligerman Toyota 109 0 24. (14) Ryan Newman Chevrolet 109 19 25. (8) William Byron Chevrolet 109 12 26. (15) Paul Menard Ford 109 11 27. (13) Trevor Bayne Ford 109 10 28. (33) Justin Marks Chevrolet 109 0 29. (35) Bubba Wallace Chevrolet 109 8 30. (29) Gray Gaulding Toyota 109 7 31. (36) Chris Cook Chevrolet 109 6 32. (37) Tomy Drissi Chevrolet 108 5 33. (31) Ty Dillon Chevrolet 106 4 34. (11) Ryan Blaney Ford 104 9 35. (32) Cole Whitt [acc.] Chv. 57 2 36. (38) Cody Ware [pump] Chv. 42 1 37. (4) J. McMurray [garage] Chv. 33 1 38. (5) AJ Allmendinger [eng] Chv. 33 11 RACE STATISTICS Winner’s speed: 82.882 mph. Time: 2:38:28 Margin: 10.513 seconds. Cautions: 3 for 8 laps. Lead Changes: 11 among 7 drivers. Lap Leaders: K.Larson 1-2; M.Truex 3-22; A.Allmendinger 23-27; M.Truex 28-41; K.Harvick 42-47; D.Hamlin 48-51; K.Harvick 52-72; M.Truex 73-80; Ku.Busch 81; E.Jones 82; K.Harvick 83-90; M.Truex 91-110 Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Truex, 4 times for 62 laps; K.Harvick, 3 times for 35 laps; A.Allmendinger, 1 time for 5 laps; D.Hamlin, 1 time for 4 laps; K.Larson, 1 time for 2 laps; E.Jones, 1 time for 1 lap; K.Busch 1 time for 1 lap.

passed him but never got the caution that would have been necessary for him to catch up. Clint Bowyer finished third and Chase Elliott was fourth. Truex began his racing career as a kid running go-karts on road courses, and those lifelong skills are showing. After winning at Watkins Glen last year and taking Sonoma this year, his three career road course victories are second

Bigger worries • Harvick wasn’t angry about the pit strategy that probably decided the race. “The call was one thing, but I think I was too hard on the car the first couple of stages,” Harvick said. “The brake pedal was long after qualifying and never really came around during the race. It progressively got worse.” Losing fight • Pearn turned heads on pit row even before his strategy decisions thanks to a nasty-looking vertical scar running down his forehead. The crew chief said he needed stitches earlier in the week after he got hit in the face by a large corner post while building a treehouse for his family. The blow cut his forehead down to the skull — but he went home from the hospital and finished the treehouse anyway. “I wish I (had been) fighting a bear or a cougar, or something like that,” he said. Dinger dinged • A.J. Allmendinger won the first stage and had dreams of getting a rare victory — until he missed a shift and blew his engine on the 33rd lap. Allmendinger is a standout road course racer, but he made a key mistake. “I haven’t missed a shift on a road course in 10 years,” Allmendinger said. “It was just me. I was trying to be so patient and so smooth. It was unexpected. It’s on me. I let everybody down here.” Pole sitter • Kyle Larson finished 14th after starting on the pole for the second consecutive year at his home track in his native California. He lost several positions early when he couldn’t keep his rear end under control but managed to keep it together for his secondbest finish in five Cup Series races on the Sonoma course. He has never finished better than 12th. Little contact • The Sonoma race featured little of the contact and grinding damage that usually characterizes this 11-turn ordeal. Truex’s car had remarkably little damage, and the race’s only caution came after Allmendinger blew up. “I think the entire field is definitely better (at road racing),” the 37-year-old Truex said. “Just in general in stock car racing, you come up with more experience on road courses today than I did.”

MOTOR SPORTS ROUNDUP Newgarden cruises to win

Josef Newgarden put in a lot of work to make his win at Road America look easy. With no caution flags all afternoon to slow him down, the pole-sitting Newgarden finally pulled away late from Ryan HunterReay for a comfortable victory in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Newgarden led 53 of 55 laps, crossing the finish line with a 3.38-second cushion over secondplace finisher Hunter-Reay for his third win of the season. “We had our work cut out for us today,” Newgarden said. “We had to be perfect.” The defending series champion savored the victory in the 222-milelong Kohler Grand Prix on his cool-down lap, taking in the crowd at the rural Wisconsin road course. Newgarden has such a devoted following there that fans planted a garden in his honor in time for this weekend’s race. The victory might have been more satisfying. It completed an impressive weekend for the Team Penske driver at the 14-turn track,

where Newgarden’s No. 1 Chevy registered the top speed in practice. Points leader Scott Dixon finished third. He was part of the threecar pack led by Newgarden that separated from the field with about 13 laps left. They couldn’t catch Newgarden. He returned to the podium following a five-race stretch finishing no higher than eighth. NHRA • Blake Alexander raced to his first Top Fuel victory in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Alexander had a 4.011-second pass at 297.81 mph to beat Terry McMillen in the final. Matt Hagan won in Funny Car, Tanner Gray in Pro Stock, and Eddie Kraweic in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Hagan edged points leader Courtney Force with a 4.094 at 288.21 in a Dodge Charger R/T for his first victory of the season. Gray won for the third tiome this season and eighth overall, topping Erica Enders with 6.615 at 209.62 in a Chevrolet Camaro. Krawiec raced to his third victory at Summit

Motorsports Park. He beat Jerry Savoie with a 6.923 at 195.05 on a Harley-Davidson. Formula One • Lewis Hamilton capitalized on a mistake by rival Sebastian Vettel to enjoy a wire-towire victory at the French Grand Prix and retake the lead in the series title race. Starting third behind Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, Vettel tried to use his faster set of tires to make a good start. But the German’s lunge on the inside of the first corner crunched his Ferrari into the back of Bottas, damaging both cars and sending them into the pits for repairs. Vettel emerged with a new front wing and the entire field to fight through, and even though he made quick work of the slower cars he had to settle for a fifth-place finish. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari crossed second and third to complete the podium at the Paul Ricard Circuit. Associated Press