- Associated Press - Monday, April 29, 2019


TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - Chase Elliott felt right at home, embraced by fans at a track where his father celebrated victory a couple of decades before.

This time it was Chase’s turn.

Elliott won the Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, giving Chevrolet its first victory of the season. He finished well in the clear from a race-ending crash that flipped Kyle Larson a half-dozen times.

Elliott took the lead shortly after a restart with four laps to go and worked with three other Chevy drivers to hold off the rest of the field. He won for the first time since October and went to victory lane about 150 miles from his hometown in Georgia.

His Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott won twice at Talladega in the 1980s.

“Dad’s history, obviously very cool,” Chase Elliott said. “To me the biggest piece of today was just how much of a home race it felt like after the race. I was blown away by the people and how fired up everybody was. That was an unbelievable experience. We are close to home, so that’s cool, and they made me feel that way.”

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman finished second, followed by rookie Ryan Preece, Joey Logano and another rookie, Daniel Hemric.

Elliott is the sixth driver to win through 10 Cup races this season and locked up a playoff spot.


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Dominic Thiem won the Barcelona Open on Sunday for his second title of the year, capping an impressive week.

The fifth-ranked Austrian beat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-0 a day after he was dominant against Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, becoming the first player other than Novak Djokovic to defeat the Spaniard on clay four times.

Thiem is the first Austrian winner in Barcelona since Thomas Muster, who won in 1995 and 1996.

“Winning this means a lot to me because it’s such a traditional and special tournament,” Thiem said. “Only great players have won here. Rafa has won it 11 times and it means a lot that Muster won it twice. It’s a big moment for me.”

Thiem had lost to Nadal in the Barcelona final two years ago. It was his first final on clay since last year’s French Open, when he also lost to the Spaniard.

The 14th-ranked Medvedev, coming off a semifinal appearance in Monte Carlo, was playing in his first clay court final. He has reached at least the semifinals in five of his nine tournaments this season and has a tour-best 25 wins in 2019.

“I tried my best, but Dominic was too good today,” Medvedev said. “At one point, even just getting a point off him was a great achievement.”

It was the 13th career singles title for the 25-year-old Thiem. He next plays in Madrid, where he has been runner-up the last two seasons.


AVONDALE, La. (AP) - Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm shot a 3-under 69 in the alternate-shot final round to win the Zurich Classic, beating Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood by three strokes in the PGA Tour’s only team event.

The 42-year-old Palmer won his fourth tour title and first since the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. He waved and gave a thumbs-up to TV cameras as he walked up the 18th fairway.

The 24-year-old Rahm won his third PGA Tour title - one each in three straight seasons. The Spaniard finished in the top 10 for the seventh time this year, including a tie for ninth at the Masters.

Palmer and Rahm ended up playing together at Palmer’s suggestion after his past partner, Jordan Spieth, decided to skip the event. Rahm was available because Wesley Bryan is out with a shoulder injury.

Palmer and Rahm finished at 26-under 262 at TPC Louisiana, which had dried out considerably since heavy rain delayed the first round by more than seven hours and forced many players to play more than 18 holes on Friday and Saturday to get the event back on schedule.

Garcia and Fleetwood closed with a 68. Kyoung-Hoon Lee-Matt Every and Brian Gay-Rory Sabbatini tied for third, five shots behind.


LONDON (AP) - Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran the second-fastest time ever to win the London Marathon for a record fourth time Sunday, and compatriot Brigid Kosgei swept to victory by almost two minutes in the women’s race.

The 34-year-old Kipchoge pulled clear of Ethiopian runners Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun in the final 10 minutes to complete the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 2 minutes, 37 seconds on a blustery day in the British capital.

Only Kipchoge has run a marathon quicker than that, breaking the world record in Berlin in September in a time of 2:01:39. With more twists and turns, London is typically a slower course than Berlin - making Kipchoge’s display even more exceptional.

“I’m happy to win on the streets of London for the fourth time and to make history on a day that the event has raised 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion),” said Kipchoge, who won in London in 2015, ‘16 and ‘18.

Geremew finished 18 seconds behind, and Wasihun a further 21 seconds back. Nobody has run quicker to finish a marathon in second or third place.

Kosgei bettered her second-place finish in last year’s race by winning in 2:18:20 for her second victory in the World Marathon Majors, after Chicago last year. She ran the quickest-ever second half of a women’s marathon.

Compatriot and defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot finished in a time of 2:20:14 and Roza Dereje of Ethiopia was third, 37 seconds further back.


More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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