Sports Digest: Allgaier hangs on for Xfinity victory at Darlington –

8May 2021

Justin Allgaier celebrates in after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, S.C. Terry Renna/Associated Press


Justin Allgaier held off JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry in overtime to win the Xfinity Series event at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.

Allgaier didn’t move in front until the final 10 laps, when he passed Berry for the lead. Then the race’s eighth and final caution five laps later set up the two-lap overtime shootout for the win.

Allgaier took the outside line and, while Berry edged in front briefly, he powered past him to take the checkered flag.

It was Allgaier’s second win in the past four races and his 16th career Xfinity victory.

Berry was second, followed by defending Darlington race winner Brandon Jones. Noah Gragson was fourth, giving the team owned in part by Dale Earnhardt Jr. three of the top-four finishers.

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton reached another Formula One milestone on Saturday when the British driver steered his way to a record-extending 100th pole position.

Hamilton powered his Mercedes to the top time in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix with a flying lap that beat out top rival Max Verstappen by just 0.03 seconds.

That smidgen of a second could translate into a big edge come Sunday. Hamilton will aim to maintain his dominance of the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit and increase the eight-point advantage he has over Verstappen following three races.


PGA TOUR: Keith Mitchell straightened out his putter and delivered big tee shots Saturday that carried him to a 6-under 66 and a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Gary Woodland in the Wells Fargo Championship.

The putter issue is not a figure of speech.

After closing with an 82 in the Valspar Championship last week, Mitchell discovered his putter was out of alignment. He had it bent back to the right specifications, avoided mistakes that slowed so many others, and now has a chance at a second PGA Tour victory.

“I just feel like everything’s really working,” said Mitchell, who was at 9-under 204. “My driver feels great, and around this place you’ve really got to drive it well. Really just trying to keep the ball in front of me right now and see what we can do tomorrow.”

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Defending champion Steve Stricker made a long eagle putt on the final hole for 7-under 65 and the third-round lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of five PGA Tour Champions majors.

Stricker moved a stroke ahead of lex Cejka with the eagle that got him to 14-under 202 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Cejka, who made the field as the first alternate Monday, bogeyed the 17th in a 66.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Garrick Higgo made four birdies in his last four holes to shoot a 7-under 64 that gave him a two-shot lead entering the final round of the Canary Islands Championship in Tenerife, Spain.


MLS:  C.J. Sapong scored a first-half goal and Alex Muyl added one in the second and Nashville upended Eastern Conference leader New England 2-0 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sapong scored on a sliding left-footed tap-in off a header from Walker Zimmerman at the 25th minute. The 1-0 lead marked Nashville’s (1-0-3) first lead of the season.

New England appeared to have tied it at the 48th minute on an apparent goal by Adam Buksa but officials ruled Arnór Ingvi Traustason to be offside. Later, Buksa’s leaping header at the the 63rd minute hit the post.

• Lucas Zelarayán scored in the first half and the Columbus Crew got its first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over D.C. United in Columbus, Ohio.

Zelarayán’s curling 25-yard free kick in the 20th minute was the first goal of the season for the Crew (1-0-2), who had a pair of scoreless draws in their first two games.

• Frankie Amaya scored his first goal as a member of the Red Bulls and Caden Clark added an insurance goal late and New York shut out Toronto 2-0 in New York.

• Corey Burke and Jakob Glesnes scored goals nine minutes apart and the Philadelphia Union blanked the Chicago Fire 2-0 in Chicago for its first win of the season.

MLS 2020 goalkeeper of the year Andre Blake came up with a late save to record his 40th-career shutout.

• Cristian Dájome scored two goals in the second half, and the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Montreal 2-0, in Sandy, Utah.

NSWL: Morgan Weaver buried her penalty kick after Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch stopped Nahomi Kawasumi’s attempt and the Thorns won the Challenge Cup tournament on a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw with Gotham in Portland, Oregon.

The Thorns did not drop a match in the National Women’s Soccer League preseason tournament. Following the seven-round shootout, the fans at Providence Park chanted “A-D, A-D,” Franch’s nickname.

Gotham, previously known as Sky Blue before an offseason rebrand, won a pair of group-stage games, including a 4-3 victory over the North Carolina Courage.

PREMIER LEAGUE: No title celebrations yet for Manchester City, just so much frustration.

Losing to Chelsea 2-1 on Saturday left City still needing one win from its remaining three games to clinch a third English Premier League title in four seasons.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Neymar pledged to help Paris Saint-Germain finally win the ever-elusive Champions League trophy after signing a three-year contract extension, keeping the Brazil star at the ambitious club until 2025.

PSG posted a video of Neymar wearing a jersey with 2025 on the back and saying “Ici c’est Paris” – ‘This is Paris’, a favorite chant of the fans.

What they and the club demand is the Champions League, a trophy PSG has never won despite spending a world record $270 million on Neymar when he joined from Barcelona four years ago.

SERIE A: Victor Osimhen’s latest impressive display saw him score two and set up another to help Napoli crush relegation-threatened Spezia 4-1 in Serie A and boost its Champions League hopes.

• Inter Milan fans celebrated their Serie A title before the match against Sampdoria and the players marked the occasion by turning on the style in a 5-1 win.

BUNDESLIGA: Bayern Munich clinched its record-extending ninth consecutive Bundesliga title without even kicking a ball, then celebrated with a 6-0 rout of Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Robert Lewandowski’s hat trick lifted his season tally to 39 goals, just one off the all-time record of 40 by Bayern great Gerd Müller in the 1971-72 season.

Bayern was already assured of the title thanks to old rival Borussia Dortmund beating second-placed Leipzig 3-2 earlier.


FOOTBALL: Mark Gronowski passed for two touchdowns and caught a 24-yard TD pass from Pierre Strong Jr. to help top-seeded South Dakota State beat Delaware 33-3 in the semifinals of the FCS playoffs in Brookings, South Dakota.

South Dakota State, in its ninth consecutive FCS playoffs appearance, advanced to the championship game for the first time in program history. The Jackrabbits (8-1) will face Sam Houston State in the championship game on May 16 in Frisco, Texas.

Gronowski had 115 of his 162 yards passing, 23 of his 27 yards rushing and all of his 24 yards receiving in the first half to help South Dakota State build a 27-3 lead.


MADRID OPEN: Aryna Sabalenka is glad she changed her mind about playing at the Madrid Open.

Two weeks after nearly withdrawing from the tournament because of a muscle injury, Sabalenka was standing on center court with the winner’s trophy in her hands on Saturday.

Sabalenka defeated top-ranked Ash Barty 6-0, 3-6, 6-4 for her 10th WTA title — and first on clay.

In the men’s final on Sunday, 2018 champion Alexander Zverev will face eighth-seeded Matteo Berrettini.

In the men’s semifinals, Zverev followed his triumph over Rafael Nadal with a win over Dominic Thiem to reach another Madrid Open final. He will face No. 10-ranked Berrettini, who beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-4.

No. 6 Zverev defeated No. 4 Thiem 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final again after beating Thiem for the 2018 title. He will be trying to win his second title this year after triumphing in Acapulco in March.


GIRO d’ITALIA: Italian cyclist Filippo Ganna lived up to his billing as the favorite by storming to victory in the opening stage time trial in Turin, Italy, beating his closest rival by 10 seconds.

Ganna, who is the world time trial champion, will wear the first maglia rosa as the race leader.

He also wore the first maglia rosa of last year’s Giro rescheduled to October.

There were questions about Ganna’s form coming into the Giro after he lost his past two time trials, but the Ineos Grenadiers rider obliterated his rivals on the fast, 8.6-kilometer (5.3-mile) course through the streets of Turin, finishing in 8 minutes, 47 seconds.

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