Around the Nation (Nov. 9): Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix for 12th Nationwide victory of 2013

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

AUTO RACING

Kyle Busch picks up 12th Nationwide Series victory

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Kyle Busch raced to his 12th NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the year and Austin Dillon maintained his hold on the championship lead with a third-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

Justin Allgaier passed Dillon on the last lap Saturday for second place, and it cost Dillon a point in the standings. Dillon takes an eight-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. into next week's season finale at Homestead.

Hornish finished fifth.

Busch, meanwhile, needs a win at Homestead to match his career best 13-win 2010 season. He has a record 63 victories in the series.

A year ago, Busch went winless in the Nationwide Series. He has made 25 starts this year.

Kenseth playing with house money in title race

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Martin was chatting with Matt Kenseth some two months into the season about Kenseth's remarkable start with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Kenseth had won two of the first eight races, and Martin believed Kenseth could have won all eight.

It was the sort of success nobody thought possible.

But it's been a dream year for Kenseth, who has won a career-best seven races after jumping to JGR following 16 years driving for Jack Roush.

Now, 10 years after winning the only Cup championship of his career, Kenseth is in the thick of another title race.

He goes into the penultimate race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway trailing Jimmie Johnson by seven points in the standings.

FOOTBALL

Dolphins fend off questions about harassment case

DAVIE, Fla. -- The latest allegations from tackle Jonathan Martin have gone mostly unanswered by the Miami Dolphins, weary of fending off questions about the harassment case that has rocked the franchise.

Martin left the team last week and alleges he was harassed by teammates, including guard Richie Incognito, who has been suspended. That leaves Miami (4-4) short-handed for Monday night's game at Tampa Bay (0-8), but the larger issue is how the Dolphins will play after generating so much negative national news.

Players on Saturday were willing to say little about the bullying scandal, which Martin will discuss late next week with a special investigator hired by the NFL.

Late FG lifts N. Iowa past Youngstown State, 22-20

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Tyler Sievertsen kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired to lift Northern Iowa past Youngstown State and cap a 16-point fourth-quarter comeback, 22-20.

The Panthers (5-5, 1-5 Missouri Valley) trailed 14-3 at intermission and 14-6 after three quarters, but Brion Carnes brought the team back with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Chad Owens three minutes apart that put UNI ahead, 19-14, with under 10 minutes left to play.

Kurt Hess engineered a 13-play, 78-yard drive that put the Penguins (8-1, 5-1 Missouri Valley) back in the lead, 20-19, with 4:41 left, but a 2-point conversion attempt fell incomplete.

GOLF

Kirk, Baird tied for lead at Sea Island

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Chris Kirk and Briny Baird each made birdie on the 18th hole Saturday to separate themselves from the pack at Sea Island.

But not by much.

Kirk holed a 25-foot putt for a 2-under 68. Baird followed him with an 8-foot birdie putt for a 67. They were tied for the lead going into the last round, a shot ahead of Kevin Stadler, Brian Gay and John Senden. Twelve players were separated by four shots going into Sunday, a group that includes Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson.

Baird is playing his 365th event on the PGA Tour without ever winning. The top eight players on the leaderboard have combined for seven career wins, and that includes Gay's four wins.

The winner Sunday gets an exemption to the Masters.

Ben Curtis (Kent State) struggled to a 2-over-par 72 in Saturday's third round and sits at 1-under 209 for the tournament.

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