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POSTED July 22, 2012 10:29 p.m.

AUTO RACING

• SADLER HOLDS OFF STENHOUSE, WINS AT CHICAGOLAND: JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Elliott Sadler spent most of the week in bed with a stomach virus, and wasn’t able to eat anything beyond a single biscuit Sunday morning.

As weak as Sadler felt, there was no way he was giving up his seat.

Sadler brushed off questions from team owner Richard Childress about a potential replacement driver, then held off a charge by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on a green-white-checker finish to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.

Was there a pride factor in toughing it out?

“You’re damn right,” Sadler said. “I told Richard yesterday, I was like, ‘I can handle this.’”

Childress said he thought about putting a backup driver in place as an insurance policy, but understood why Sadler didn’t want to give up the wheel.

“I’ve seen drivers when it gets down to it, that’s worse than giving your wife away, I think,” Childress said.

Childress then sheepishly apologized to Sadler’s wife, who was sitting off to the side in the postrace interview room.

Explaining why it was so important to tough it out, Sadler proudly noted that he threw up three times in his helmet during a race earlier in his career.



• HELIO TIGHTENS POINTS RACE WITH EDMONTON VICTORY: EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Helio Castroneves has been quietly lurking in the championship race this season, taking advantage of mistakes by others to position himself for a run at the IndyCar Series title.

After his win Sunday at Edmonton, everybody knows he’s in the mix for his first career championship. Everybody also knows he’s going to be tough to beat down the stretch.

“We are always there, maybe playing a little bit quiet and silent, which I like, because many, many more years we were aggressive,” Castronves said. “Continuing to work in that low profile, and in the end of the day at (the season ending race) Fontana, that’s the day it counts.”

Castroneves thrust himself into the championship race with his second victory of the season. The Brazilian relied on pit strategy from his Penske Racing crew to take the lead, then held off hard-charging Takuma Sato over the final 15 laps to pick up the win.

It moved him one spot in the standings to second — he jumped over teammate Will Power — and he’s trailing leader Ryan Hunter-Reay by 23 points with four races remaining.



• JOHNSON GETS 4TH STRAIGHT WIN AT BANDIMERE TRACK: MORRISON, Colo. (AP) — Pro Stock racer Allen Johnson continued his mastery of Bandimere Speedway, racing to his fourth win at the track during the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday.

Antron Brown, Jack Beckman and Eddie Krawiec also won in their respective categories at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event near Denver.

Johnson defeated V. Gaines in the Pro Stock finals with a winning run of 6.951 seconds at 197.31, beating Gaines’ 7.144 at 160.35. Johnson, the No. 1 qualifier, set a new track record for elapsed time and took over the category points lead with his victory in his Dodge Avenger.





TENNIS

• RODDICK BEATS MULLER TO WIN ATLANTA OPEN: ATLANTA (AP) — Winning tournaments never gets old for Andy Roddick.

Roddick beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 to win the Atlanta Open and earn his 32nd ATP World Tour title on Sunday.

“I’ve always appreciated it,” he said. “I’ve never thought it was easy.”

After the match ended, Roddick celebrated by gently tossing his racquet into the stands. A few minutes later, he handed the trophy to a random fan who seemed surprised.



• HERCOG WINS 2ND CONSECUTIVE SWEDISH OPEN TITLE: BASTAD, Sweden (AP) — Polona Hercog won her second consecutive Swedish Open title Sunday after recovering from a shaky start to beat Mathilde Johansson of France 0-6, 6-4, 7-5.





GOLF

• STALLINGS WINS TRUE SOUTH CLASSIC: MADISON, Miss. (AP) — Scott Stallings strolled down the fairway on the 18th hole of the True South Classic, smiling and waving to a few fans like he didn’t have a care in the world.

There would be no final-hole drama at Annandale Golf Club. He had this one all wrapped up.

Stallings shot a 4-under 68 in the final round on Sunday to beat Jason Bohn by two strokes. It was his first Tour victory of the year and the second of his career. He finished with a 24-under 264, which is a tournament record at Annandale.

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