LOUDON, N.H. -- Matt Kenseth made it two for two in the Chase, holding off teammate Kyle Busch to win Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth followed his win in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship opener at Chicagoland with his series-high seventh victory of the season. Kenseth made his 500th career start and maintained his points lead as the series shifts to Dover.
Kenseth and Busch made it a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing for the second straight week and helped the organization win for the fourth time in the last five Cup races.
Chase drivers filled six of the top 10 spots. Greg Biffle was third and Jimmie Johnson fourth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sixth and Carl Edwards ninth.
Kenseth joins Biffle (2008) and Tony Stewart (2011) as the only drivers to win the first two Chase races. Stewart went on to win the title.
Kenseth won for the first time at New Hampshire and moves on in the No. 20 Toyota to Dover, where he's a two-time winner. He led 29 laps there earlier this year before an engine failure ended his day.
“For me to win at Loudon, it's more than a stretch, more than a dream,” Kenseth said. “This is probably one of my worst places. This just shows you how good this team is.”
JGR, with Busch, in the past has dominated the regular season, but dropped off considerably once the Chase began. Now they've carried over their success into the Chase and are a credible 1-2 threat to give Toyota its first Sprint Cup title.
“There's somebody faster so it doesn't matter how fast I am,” Busch said.
JGR has won five of the last seven races dating to Busch's win at Watkins Glen in August. Kenseth won at Bristol, Busch took Atlanta and Kenseth won the last two.
Kenseth has obliterated his season best for wins. His previous high was five in 2002 and Kenseth won only once in 2003 when he won the Cup championship.
While NASCAR has been smacked with scandal, Kenseth has quietly gone under the radar doing what he does best: winning races. He has 31 wins in 500 starts.
“It's been a great start for JGR,” Kenseth said. “I just feel like the luckiest guy in the world to be standing here.”
Chase drivers took spots 13-17: Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer. Kevin Harvick was 20th and Kasey Kahne slammed the inside wall with 48 laps left and was 37th.
Kenseth took the lead from Bowyer with 92 laps left. Martin Truex Jr., whose future is in limbo after NAPA dropped its sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing in the wake of the NASCAR scandal at Richmond, led a race-high 98 laps.
Jamie McMurray was the highest non-Chase finisher in fifth place.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel recorded yet another start-to-finish win in the Singapore Grand Prix to extend his lead in the Formula One championship.
The German was in a class of his own, winning by a massive 32.6 seconds over Fernando Alonso and boosting his championship lead on the Ferrari driver from 53 points to 60 with six races remaining.
Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen was third, ahead of the Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Doug Kalitta ended a 71-race winless drought with a top-fuel victory in the NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis.
Cruz Pedregon (funny car), Jason Line (pro stock) and Eddie Krawiec (pro stock motorcycle) also were winners at the second of six races in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
France wins its first European basketball title
France won its first major basketball title, beating Lithuania, 80-66, in the final of the European championship at Ljubljana, Slovenia.
San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker had a quiet game for France, which broke open a close contest by closing the third quarter with a 14-0 run that kept Lithuania scoreless for four minutes.
Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers scored 17 points, and Boris Diaw — Parker's Spurs teammate — had 15 for France. Parker, who finished with 12 points after scoring only four through the first three quarters, was named tournament most valuable player after scoring 32 points against defending champion Spain in the semifinals.
Sergio Llull scored 21 points and Marc Gasol had 17 for Spain to cruise past Croatia, 92-66, and win the bronze medal in the European championship.
Seimone Augustus made a 15-foot jumper with 21.1 seconds left and the Minnesota Lynx held off the Seattle Storm for a 58-55 victory at Tacoma, Wash., and a sweep of the best-of-three WNBA Western Conference semifinals.
Minnesota opens the Western Conference finals this week against the winner of the Sparks-Phoenix series, which will be decided on Monday.
Tamika Catchings had 18 points and 12 rebounds and the Indiana Fever advanced to the WNBA's Eastern Conference finals by completing a best-of-three series sweep of the Chicago Sky with a 79-57 victory at Indianapolis.
The Fever will play at either Atlanta or Washington in Game 1 of the conference finals on Thursday.
Mark Wiebe birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff and beat Corey Pavin on the second extra hole to win the Champions Tour's Pacific Links Hawaii Championship at Kapolei.
Wiebe and Pavin finished regulation at 11-under 205.
Bernhard Langer, who shot in the 60s in all three rounds, finished third at 10 under. Esteban Toledo (66) and John Cook (70) were tied for fourth.
Julien Quesne of France made five birdies on the back nine to win the Italian Open by one stroke for his second European Tour victory.
The 33-year-old Quesne began the day in Turin four shots off the lead and looked out of contention when he double-bogeyed the second hole. But he got one shot back on the fourth, another at the sixth and then stormed home in 31 for a five-under 67.
Quesne, who is 81st in the season standings, finished the tournament at 12-under 276, one stroke ahead of David Higgins of Ireland and Steve Webster of England.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times