WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth wins in Chicago; extends points lead
After six-and-a-half hours of rain delays, Matt Kenseth of Cambridge won NASCAR's Geico-400 late last night at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet Illinois. Kenseth passed Kyle Busch after a re-start with 23 laps to go, then hung on to win by three-quarters-of-a-second. Kenseth got pushing help from Kevin Harvick just before overtaking Busch to win his career-high sixth race of the year. Kenseth, the 2003 season champion, continues to lead the point standings after the first-of-10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He has two-thousand-63 points, to two-thousand-55 for Kyle Busch. Jimmie Johnson is third. The 400-mile race was scheduled to start at one o'clock yesterday afternoon, but it didn't get done until just after 11 p-m due to the rain. The start was delayed 90 minutes, and there was a five-hour delay after 109 laps. Kenseth led at that time as well. Beloit-born Danica Patrick finished 20th, and she rose one place to 26th in the point standings. Paul Menard of Eau Claire was 22nd in the race, and he remains 16th for the year. Travis Kvapil of Janesville was 24th last night, and he rose two spots in the standings to 31st.
The Wisconsin football team is still looking for answers after its 32-to-30 loss at Arizona State late Saturday night. The Pac-12 will conduct its standard review today, after that league's officiating crew was called into question on the game's final play. The Badgers were marching toward a possible game-winning touchdown when quarterback Joel Stave laid the ball on the ground at the A-S-U 15-yard line instead of spiking it. Although whistles could be heard in the background, the clock kept running while Sun Devils' linebacker Anthony Jones sat on the ball until four seconds were left. By then, it was too late for Wisconsin to pull off another play. Yesterday, Badgers' athletic director Barry Alvarez told C-B-S Sports-Dot-Com that Big Ten officiating coordinator Bill Carollo cited a mistake by the Pac-12 officials in letting the clock run down. Carollo did not comment directly. The Badgers fell to 2-and-1. They dropped four places to 24th in yesterday's A-P media poll, and the Badgers fell out of the Top-25 in the U-S-A Today coaches' poll. They're now two spots away from a ranking. Wisconsin will play its Big Ten opener this Saturday at home against Purdue.
U-W Platteville remains ninth, and U-W Oshkosh is still 10th in the new national Division-Three poll from D-Three-Football-Dot-Com. Platteville is 2-and-0 after beating Dubuque by two touchdowns on Saturday. Oshkosh is also 2-and-0 after a 38-13 victory at Marian of Indiana. U-W Whitewater, which was idle on Saturday, dropped one spot to 15th in the new poll. Mount Union of Ohio remains at Number-One.
Sean Halton hit a walk-off homer yesterday to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 6-to-5 win over Cincinnati at Miller Park. The Reds jumped out to a 4-nothing lead, and they were still up 5-2 when Milwaukee came back with three runs in the eighth. Halton had two R-B-I's on the day, with a run-scoring groundout to go with his game-winning homer. Caleb Gindl hit a solo shot for the Crew. Todd Frazier went yard for Cincinnati, which lost 2-of-3 at Milwaukee over the weekend. The Reds also narrowed their lead for the final National League Wild Card spot to four-and-a-half games over Washington. Jim Henderson got the win, the last of three Milwaukee relievers to pitch a scoreless inning. He's now 4-and-5. Zach Duke served up Halton's game-deciding homer and took the loss. He's 1-and-1. Brewers' third baseman Aramis Ramirez sat out with a sore wrist suffered on Friday night when he was hit by a pitch. The Brewers ended their season series with Cincinnati at 9-and-10 -- but they went 6-and-4 against the Reds at Miller Park. Milwaukee remains a distant fourth in the N-L Central, now with a two-and-a-half game lead over the last-place Chicago Cubs. The Brewers will host the Cubs tonight. Right-hander Wily Peralta faces Cubs' right-hander Edwin Jackson.
Former U-W Stevens Point star Jordan Zimmermann picked up his National League-leading 18th win yesterday, as Washington crushed Philadelphia 11-to-2. Zimmermann recorded his third straight victory. The right-hander from Auburndale struck out seven in seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with a pair of walks. Zimmermann also had an R-B-I single, as he helped the Nationals get to within four-and-a-half games of Cincinnati for the N-L's final Wild Card spot.
Madison golfer Steve Stricker remains in second place, as the final round of the B-M-W Championship resumes today in Lake Forest Illinois. Stricker and 21 others never teed off yesterday, due to a pair of long rain delays. He's at 12-under-par, one stroke behind third-round leader Jim Furyk. Stricker and Furyk are in the final pairing that's scheduled to begin their fourth rounds at 9:40 this morning at Conway Farms. After today, Stricker will be among the Top-30 to advance to the fourth-and-final P-G-A playoff tournament, the Tour Championship which begins later this week near Atlanta.