Sports briefs 10-14-13: Keselowski finally gets a break, and a victory

JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer Published:

CONCORD, N.C. -- It was just another surreal moment in this disappointing season for defending champion Brad Keselowski.

He pulled away from his pit stall with his jack planted underneath his car. The jack clattered and clanged as Keselowski dragged it around the track for what should have been one race-ruining lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Instead, Keselowski finally caught a break.

A late caution -- one that ruined Jimmie Johnson's shot at a record seventh Sprint Cup Series win at Charlotte -- gave Keselowski the chance to make an electric final dash to the finish and end a 37-race losing streak Saturday night. It gave the reigning champ his first victory of the season in a year in which he's challenged for victories, but for one reason or another couldn't close the deal.

It made him ineligible to defend his championship, so Keselowski's win was the rare victory for a non-Chase driver in a "postseason" race. Kasey Kahne at Phoenix in 2011 was the last non-Chase winner.

"We've had speed in our cars. There's been weeks where we've had the execution, not as many as we want, but we haven't always had those pieces together, and then there's been weeks where we've had the speed and execution, we've just had some rotten luck," Keselowski said.

• Golf

Walker finally wins: Jimmy Walker finally won on the PGA Tour in his eighth year and 188th tournament, and with a little help from Brooks Koepka.

Tied for the lead with four holes to play Sunday, Walker rolled in a 6-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to take the lead for good in the Frys.com Open. Three closing pars for a 5-under 66 turned out to be more than enough for the 34-year-old Texan to take home a trophy and plenty of perks.

Thompson triumphs: Lexi Thompson won the LPGA Malaysia by four strokes, giving the 18-year-old American her first victory of the season and second on the LPGA Tour.

Thompson finished at 19-under 265 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She also won the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama and took the Ladies European Tour's season-ending event that year in Dubai.

• Elsewhere

Keep Boston in mind: Runners in Sunday's Chicago Marathon held a city nearly a thousand miles away close to their hearts and were determined to show that, six months after the Boston Marathon bombings, they could pound the streets together without fear.

Tightened security along the route changed the atmosphere perceptibly from past years, but the crisp, cool weather helped many set personal records in the first major marathon in the United States since the Boston bombings.

Runners from more than 120 countries and all 50 states observed a moment of silence for the victims and families before the race kicked off.

No rush for developer: City officials aren't in any hurry to pick among developers who've proposed taking over the former College Football Hall of Fame building in downtown South Bend.

Four developers submitted plans by a July 31 deadline for reusing the city-owned building. It has been closed since the end of December when the Hall of Fame shut down after 17 years in South Bend and moved to Atlanta.

To rebuild courts: The Oklahoma City Thunder will rebuild the outdoor basketball courts at the sites of three schools destroyed in the May 20 tornado.

The NBA team said Sunday before its Blue and White Scrimmage at Westmoore High School that it will rebuild courts at Briarwood Elementary, Plaza Towers Elementary and Highland East Junior High School, complete with Thunder branding, through its Thunder Cares Foundation.

U.S. ski jumping: World champion Lindsey Van and Nick Alexander won the US Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday on the K90 Olympic hill.

Van, from Park City, Utah, scored 250 points with jumps of 92 and 96.5 meters for her 16th U.S. title. Alexander, from Lebanon, N.H., had 263.5 points on two 99-meter jumps.

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