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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 4, 2010

Harvick's gamble pays off in Nashville 300

Advertiser News Services

Kevin Harvick took advantage of a late caution to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Nashville 300 yesterday at Nashville Superspeedway in Gladeville, Tenn.

Harvick and crew chief Ernie Cope gambled by taking two tires when the eighth yellow flag of the day came out with 34 laps to go. That enabled Harvick to seize the lead from Kyle Busch, who was unable to mount a challenge as the race wound down.

"We were 10 laps short (on fuel) and it seemed like there were a lot of cautions," Harvick said. "We were in conservation mode so we did what we needed to do to play it both ways. We had options and weren't in a box like some other guys were, having to pit under green. If you have to do that you're pretty much done."

That was the case for pole-sitter Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, who pitted under green with just over 40 laps left, then found themselves out of contention when the final caution flew. It was Keselowski's brother, Brian, who touched off the race-changing event by spinning at the entrance to pit road.

"I was a lot more confident with (Logano and Keselowski) in the back," Harvick said. "I thought (Busch) would go better on the restart. I knew we had 25 laps or so but we had track position."

Harvick, strong on long runs all day, led three times for 52 laps, including the final 34.



Bernard Hopkins won a brutal unanimous decision over Roy Jones Jr. in their long-delayed rematch last night in Las Vegas, emphatically avenging his loss in the famed champions' first fight nearly 17 years ago.

The 45-year-old Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) dominated nearly every round of a light heavyweight bout to settle an old score against the 41-year-old Jones (54-7), who beat him by decision in May 1993.

"It was definitely worth it, and it was sweet revenge," Hopkins said. "It was really rough in there. He's a good fighter, and he tried to rough me up. I tried to tough it out, but I was seeing spots from the sixth round on."


David Haye made a successful first defense of his WBA heavyweight title, knocking down John Ruiz four times yesterday before the American challenger's corner stopped the fight in the ninth round at Manchester, England.

The 29-year-old Haye (25-1, 25 KOs) sent 38-year-old Ruiz (46-9) to the canvas twice in the first round, but Ruiz survived until his trainer waved the white towel 2 minutes and 1 second into the ninth round.



Eskendereya blew away a strong field to win the $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in New York yesterday, making a strong case for being the favorite in the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

On the turn for home, Eskendereya (es-ken-DRAY-uh) stormed into the lead and pulled away with authority for a 9 3/4-length victory over Jackson Bend.

The margin of victory in the 1 1-8-mile Wood topped Eskendereya's 8 1/2-length win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 20. The 3-year-old colt trained by Todd Pletcher went off as the 1-2 favorite in the six-horse field.


Sidney's Candy led all the way in winning the Santa Anita Derby at Arcadia, Calif., by 4 1/2 lengths yesterday, with 4-5 favorite Lookin At Lucky finishing third.

Sidney's Candy, who earlier won the San Vicente and San Felipe on the same synthetic surface, ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.00 to win the West Coast's major prep for the May 1 Kentucky Derby. Setsuko finished second in the 10-horse field.


American Lion won the Illinois Derby by 2 3/4 lengths over Yawanna Twist yesterday at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero, Ill., to set up a run at the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by David Romero Flores, American Lion broke in the lead and raced easily out in front until the head of the stretch, when 6-5 favorite Yawanna Twist and Edgar Prado drew even. The horses fought stride for stride down the stretch, until the 1-16 pole when American Lion pushed ahead to cover the 1 1-8 miles in 1:51.31.