The most surprised person to find Mark Martin in Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., was the driver himself.
The 50-year-old NASCAR star has run well but has had to deal with considerable bad luck this season. It looked like more of the same Sunday when the battery in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet began to fail before the halfway mark in the LifeLock 400 Sprint Cup race.
Martin turned off everything in the car that he could, nursing it as best he could. Then he realized the race was going to be a fuel-economy run.
“I always, always come up short in those gas things,” Martin said. “I’m probably about two and 25 in these things.”
Make that three and 25 now.
Martin saved just enough gas to hang on for his third victory of the season and the 38th of his Cup career.
Martin was able to coast to the finish line almost three seconds ahead of runner-up Jeff Gordon.
Denny Hamlin finished third, followed by Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya and series points leader Tony Stewart. Last year’s race winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., finished 14th.
Reigning NASCAR truck champion Johnny Benson is in serious but stable condition after a fiery crash during a SuperModified race at Marne, Mich.
Benson reportedly had multiple injuries, including burns and broken ribs.
Murray defeats Blake, 7-5, 6-4
Andy Murray defeated James Blake, 7-5, 6-4, to win the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club in London for his first grass-court title.
The top-seeded Murray became the first British player to win the tournament since Bunny Austin in 1938.
Tommy Haas upset Novak Djokovic, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1, to win the Gerry Weber Open at Halle, Germany, for his first grass-court title.
The 31-year-old German became the oldest ATP Tour winner this year.
Haas has 12 career titles and now has won on all surfaces.
Calhoun is released from hospital
Connecticut basketball Coach Jim Calhoun is out of the hospital, a day after breaking five ribs in a bicycle accident.
After being released from the hospital Sunday, Calhoun said he planned to “go home and rest for a couple of days.”
Michael Phelps lost the 100-meter freestyle at the Santa Clara (Calif.) International Grand Prix.
The 14-time Olympic gold medalist finished second behind Brent Hayden of Canada. Hayden touched in 48.44 seconds. Phelps clocked 48.87.
Las Vegas High’s Bryce Harper, a 16-year-old baseball star dubbed the game’s “Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated, plans to skip his final two years of high school in hopes of entering the Major League Baseball draft earlier, his father said.
Harper has registered at a community college where he plans to attend classes in the fall and play next season, his father, Ron Harper, said.
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres scored the fastest hat trick in FIFA Confederations Cup history, scoring three goals in the first 18 minutes as Spain routed New Zealand, 5-0, at Rustenburg, South Africa, on the opening day of the two-week, eight-nation soccer tournament.
In Sunday’s earlier match, host South Africa was held to a 0-0 tie by Asian champion Iraq in Johannesburg.
For more detailed coverage, please see latimes.com/sports/soccer.
-- Grahame L. Jones