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Sports Log

NASCAR’s Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin expect to duel at Brickyard 400

Driver Chase Briscoe kisses the yard of bricks on the start/finish line after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Driver Chase Briscoe kisses the yard of bricks on the start/finish line after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

NASCAR’s extravagant weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — where the back-and-forth battle between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin should continue — has been rocked by its first driver testing positive for the coronavirus. Jimmie Johnson will miss what was supposed to be his final Brickyard 400 as he quarantines following the Friday test result. Sunday will be NASCAR’s 12th Cup race since live racing returned in May. No fans will be in the stands. Johnson had hoped to tie Jeff Gordon and Michael Schumacher as the only drivers with five victories at Indianapolis. Instead, Justin Allgaier will drive the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet. Harvick, meanwhile, will attempt to win a second consecutive Brickyard, and a win on Indy’s oval would tie NASCAR’s points leader with Hamlin at four wins each. The duo has combined for seven victories in 15 Cup races, including four of the last six and consecutive 1-2 finishes last weekend at Pocono . . . Chase Briscoe put on four new tires during a late pit stop, then held off AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric over the final five laps to win the first Xfinity Series race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Briscoe beat Justin Haley by 1.717 seconds.

Dixon wins IndyCar Grand Prix

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon won his second career title at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, beating Graham Rahal by a dominant 19.9469 seconds at the IndyCar Grand Prix. Dixon got some help when pole-winner Will Power stalled in the pits. And he had to pass Rahal, whose team-owning father won the Indy 500 in 1986. Otherwise, it was a relatively easy drive for Dixon, whose 48 IndyCar wins rank third behind A.J. Foyt (67) and Mario Andretti (52) … IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway made an active effort to increase diversity throughout the industry with a $1 million donation to a new “Race for Equality & Change” initiative. The initiative will support both internal and external programs that “create a more diverse and inclusive INDYCAR community that fundamentally transforms our sport,” said Mark Miles, President and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp. IndyCar does not have any Black drivers. Bubba Wallace is the only Black full-time Cup Series driver in NASCAR … Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for Formula One’s season-opening Austrian Grand Prix Sunday. The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by .012 seconds at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

Soccer

Bayern claims German Cup

Bayern Munich consolidated its domestic dominance with another double by beating Bayer Leverkusen, 4-2, in the first German Cup final to be held without fans. Bayern, which had already won its eighth straight Bundesliga title, retained the cup with goals from David Alaba, Serge Gnabry and two from Robert Lewandowski. It was Bayern’s 20th cup title. Supporters were excluded from Berlin’s 75,000-capacity Olympiastadion due to the coronavirus pandemic … Ross Barkley set up the opening goal before scoring himself late in the game as Chelsea eased past relegation-threatened Watford in a 3-0 win to consolidate fourth place in the English Premier League … Jamie Vardy passed 100 career goals in the Premier League by scoring twice as Leicester beat Crystal Palace, 3-0, to ignite its ambitions to qualify for next season’s Champions League … Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set an outright Serie A record on Saturday with his 648th appearance in Italy’s top flight. The derby game against Torino moved the 42-year-old Buffon one ahead of AC Milan great Paolo Maldini, who set the record in 2009. Buffon matched this record on Dec. 18 against Sampdoria.

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Horse racing

Serpentine wins English Derby

The first English Derby to take place without spectators took a surreal turn as 25-1 shot Serpentine went out effectively as a pacemaker and was never caught for an unlikely six-length victory at a nearly empty Epsom Downs. Only a few hundred personnel were allowed at the track.

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