National Sports Digest
SPARTA, Kentucky ó Kyle Busch came up five spots short in his bid to make NASCAR history Saturday night and Johnny Benson took advantage, holding off Michael Annett to win the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Busch was attempting to become the first driver to win in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Craftsman Truck Series in successive starts. He won the Nationwide Series’ Dollar General 300 on July 11 and the Nextel Cup’s Lifelock.com 400 the following night.
The early portion of the race featured a number of yellow flags, and nine of the first 24 laps were run under caution. There were eight cautions overall, slowing drivers for a total of 36 laps. There was also a 10-minute, 34-second stoppage for track repairs following a red flag.
Benson grabbed the lead in the truck series points race by one over third-place finisher Matt Crafton. Previous points leader Ron Hornaday finished 10th, dropping him to third in the standings.
The race did boast a historical milestone for Roush Racing, which eclipsed Spears Motorsports to become the team with the most starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
The race also marked the debut for NFL wide receiver Randy Moss as a truck owner. Willie Allen drove the No. 81 Rascal Flatts Chevrolet under the newly formed Randy Moss Motorsports team and finished 15th.
NEW YORK ó Daric Barton smacked his head on the bottom of a pool during the All-Star break, requiring six staples to close the gash and leaving the Oakland first baseman with a neck strain that landed him on the disabled list Saturday.
Barton said he was at a friend’s apartment back home in California when he dove into a pool Sunday night. He didn’t realize how shallow it was, and he hit his head on the bottom. He never lost consciousness, but blood began gushing down his face and Barton went to the emergency room.
“As soon as I did it I was kind of in shock,” he said.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ó Paul Hamm is going to the Olympics again, thanks to a performance that ended any doubt about whether his broken hand has healed and made it easy for the gymnastics selection committee to give its OK.
Eight weeks after breaking his hand, Hamm needed to show competitive readiness Saturday at the last intrasquad meet before the U.S. team leaves for China.
He did that during a two-hour meet at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. After a short meeting, the men’s selection committee confirmed the defending Olympic champion would be on the team.
SAINT-DENIS, France ó Jeremy Wariner set the year’s world-best time in the 400 meters and Blanka Vlasic and Pamela Jelimo won at the Gaz de France meet to remain in the running for the Golden League jackpot. Wariner finished in 43.86 seconds.
STANFORD, Calif. ó Serena Williams’ busy summer schedule caught up with her, making her the latest U.S. Olympian dealing with a knee injury as the Beijing Games approach.
Williams injured her left knee and pulled out of the Bank of the West Classic on Saturday, becoming the third singles player on the U.S. women’s tennis team with a knee injury.
Williams retired from her match after losing the first set and falling behind in the second set of her semifinal against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak.
DIGNES-LES-BAINS, France ó Oscar Freire closed in on the sprint title at the Tour de France by winning Saturday’s 14th stage, while Australia’s Cadel Evans kept the yellow jersey.
WASHINGTON ó The Washington Mystics have fired former Clemson star and 18-year NBA veteran Tree Rollins as coach.