Weekend Sports in Brief
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Kevin Harvick turned in another dominating run at Atlanta Motor Speedway, cruising to victory over Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Cup race Sunday.
Competing again in front of empty grandstands, Harvick won for the second time since NASCAR returned from the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to his emotional victory at Darlington in the first race back.
Harvick came into the day having led 1,138 laps on the 1.54-mile Atlanta trioval, far more than any other driver in the 40-car field. This one was more of the same. Harvick now has three victories in Atlanta, following up his triumphs in 2001 and 2018.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar packed every bit of its delayed season-opening event into one long, hot day in Texas without any fans in the stands. Scott Dixon was the fastest for most of it at a place he knows well.
Dixon, a five-time IndyCar champion, took the checkered flag at dusk Saturday for his fourth win at the 1 1/2-mile, high-banked oval, where drivers also practiced and qualified earlier in the day. The 39-year-old New Zealander raced to his 47th career victory and matched A.J. Foyt’s record of 18 seasons with a win.
HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — A.J. Allmendinger won a NASCAR oval race for the first time in his long career.
Taking advantage of mistakes by the three leaders, the 38-year-old Californian cruised to victory by nearly 2 seconds over pole-sitter Noah Gragson in the Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday.
Allmendinger, who first came to prominence in open-wheel racing, claimed a single victory during more than a decade in the top-level Cup series, and he had three previous Xfinity wins — all on road courses. Now, he filled in a big hole on his resume.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Conor McGregor announced his retirement for the third time in four years.
McGregor abruptly made his latest dubious declaration Sunday morning on his Twitter account, where the former two-division UFC champion also announced his retirement in 2016 and 2019.
The 31-year-old Irish superstar revitalized his combat sports career in January with an impressive first-round stoppage of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246. McGregor (22-4) hadn’t won a fight in a mixed martial arts cage or a boxing ring since 2016, but he remained the UFC’s brightest star and biggest financial draw.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Amanda Nunes became the first UFC fighter to defend a championship belt while holding titles in two weight classes Saturday night, earning a dominant unanimous decision over featherweight contender Felicia Spencer at UFC 250.
Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt also knocked out Raphael Assunção an instant before the second-round bell in the co-main event at a fan-free gym on the UFC’s corporate campus in Las Vegas.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Undefeated Charlatan will miss the rescheduled Kentucky Derby this fall after being sidelined by a minor ankle issue.
Trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday that the colt has a filling, or swelling, in a front ankle. As a result, Charlatan will not be ready to race in time for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, but Baffert said the Preakness on Oct. 3 is a possibility.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Honor A. P. won the $400,000 Santa Anita Derby by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday to move into the Kentucky Derby picture.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Honor A. P. ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.97 and paid $6.40, $2.60 and $2.20. It was Smith’s third straight win and fourth overall in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 1 race was run without spectators or media at Santa Anita because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kurt Thomas, the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world championship gold medal, has died. He was 64.
Thomas’ family said he died Friday. He had a stroke May 24, caused by a tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem.
After competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Thomas won the floor exercise in the 1978 world championships in Strasbourg, France, for the first U.S. men’s title. In the 1979 worlds in Fort Worth, Texas, he successfully defended the floor exercise title and won the horizontal bar while adding silver in the all-around, pommel horse and parallel bars.
Thomas. who also captured the American Cup three times, lost a chance for Olympic gold when the United States boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games.
BREMEN, Germany (AP) — Four more Bundesliga teams took a knee before their games on Sunday, as Werder Bremen inched closer to relegation and Schalke’s winless run became its worst for 27 years.
Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin first kneeled ahead of their game Saturday in an anti-racism gesture following mass protests against police brutality and racism across the United States over the killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man, in Minneapolis on May 25.
Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen followed their example in Sunday’s opening game. Union Berlin and Schalke — whose midfielder Weston McKennie was the first in Germany to protest last week — also kneeled ahead of their 1-1 draw Sunday. The referee and his assistants joined in.
MADRID (AP) — The Spanish league is not ruling out the return of fans to stadiums this season.
League president Javier Tebas said Sunday he is in favor of having fans back as soon as regions are cleared by health authorities, contradicting an earlier message by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez who said it wouldn’t be fair for some clubs to have fans and others not.
Junior lightweight contender Mikaela Mayer has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t fight in the co-main event of Las Vegas’ first major boxing card since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayer announced her positive test on social media Sunday, two days before her scheduled bout against Helen Joseph in the Top Rank show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Tuesday night.
Mayer (12-0, 5 KOs) is a former U.S. Olympian and a rising star in the 130-pound division. Mayer is asymptomatic, but she tested positive for the virus on Saturday, she says.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida and NFL receiver Reche Caldwell was fatally shot Saturday night in his hometown.
Caldwell’s mother, Deborah, did not return phone messages left by The Associated Press on Sunday, but confirmed her son’s death to the Tampa Bay Times. She said police told her they believe her son was ambushed outside his home in a possible robbery attempt.
The University of Florida and Caldwell’s three NFL teams — the Chargers, Patriots and Redskins — were among those to tweet condolences to his family, along with former Florida coach Steve Spurrier and former Gators quarterback Rex Grossman.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ken Riley, the former Cincinnati Bengals standout who was head coach and athletic director at alma mater Florida A&M, died Sunday. He was 72.
The school announced the death, saying Riley died in his hometown of Bartow. A cause of death was not released.
Riley played 15 seasons for the Bengals as a defensive back, with 65 career interceptions — fifth in NFL history — for 596 yards and five touchdowns — all franchise records. He recovered 18 fumbles.
ATLANTA (AP) — John Zook, who teamed with Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey to give the Atlanta Falcons a dynamic combination at defensive end, has died. He was 72.
His brother, Dean Zook, confirmed the death to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The former player died Saturday in his native Kansas after a long battle with cancer.
Initially a fourth-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams out of Kansas, Zook wound up in Atlanta after a pair of trades, first to Philadelphia, then to the Falcons.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle denies any “unethical behavior or bias” based on race after being accused by several former players of contributing to what they allege is systemic racism in the program.
Doyle was placed on administrative leave Saturday, part of a decision made by coach Kirk Ferentz in what he called “a defining moment” for Iowa’s football program.
Several black former players posted on social media Friday night about issues they saw in the football program, attributing many of them to Doyle. The 51-year-old assistant coach issued a statement Sunday on Twitter in which he applauds the “courage” of the former players and says he is “proud of them” for speaking out, but disputes the claims.