First down

ON WASHINGTONTIMES.COM

Mark Zuckerman gives the latest from Chase Field in Phoenix, as the Nationals take on the Diamondbacks.

TODAY’S BEST BET ON TELEVISION

The Celtics look to end the Pistons’ season in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals in Detroit.

TWT FIVE Why IndyCar is better than NASCAR

1. More speed. At a big speedway, Indycars can top 230 mph down the back stretch. Most stock cars can’t reach those speeds, and NASCAR insists on restrictor plates at the fastest tracks anyway.

2. More diversity. IndyCar has female drivers. It has drivers from six continents. American white dudes still dominate NASCAR.

3. Longer history. NASCAR, as we now know it, really only emerged in the 1970s. The Indianapolis 500 goes back more than 90 years.

4. Danica. NASCAR doesn’t have anything matching a story this good. The diminutive firecracker is the most compelling personality in auto racing right now.

5. Shorter season. Face it, NASCAR’s season is interminable. The whole reason the season-ending “chase” was created is because people lost interest once the NFL and baseball’s playoffs got under way. IndyCar runs from the end of March to the beginning of September, which is just about right.

THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND IN SPORTS

Celtics-Pistons

Detroit hopes to push this series into the weekend. But the Celtics would prefer to close this one out now because the Lakers already may be resting up for the NBA Finals.

Penguins-Red Wings

Pittsburgh showed it will not lie down by winning Game 3. And now the Penguins have a game at home, where they’ve won 17 straight dating to the regular season.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover

Expect the unexpected Sunday. The average starting position for the last four winners at Dover is 20. In fact, since 2000 only one pole-sitter has won a Sprint Cup race here.

French Open

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have looked good. Too bad the final can only include two players.

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