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Logano wins with controversial finish at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — As Joey Logano made his third straight trip to victory lane, questions swirled about reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick’s late-race tactics.

Several competitors accused Harvick of intentionally causing a race-ending caution Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, where Logano completed a sweep of the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs.

It came at the expense of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship at his best track for the second consecutive year. Earnhardt led a race-high 61 laps, but had to settle for second in a race he had to win when the Harvick-triggered crash ended the race under caution.

NASCAR’s most popular driver did not question his fate.

“When the race is over, I can live with the result as long as everyone else is going by the same rules,” Earnhardt said. “I felt like per the rule book, it sorted out and I finished second. I’m OK with that.”

NASCAR said this week it would make just one attempt at Talladega to finish the race under green instead of the usual three tries in a nod toward creating a safer racing environment. Drivers were almost unanimous in their support of the change, even when it came into play in a race that cut four drivers from the Chase field.

Eliminated Sunday were Earnhardt, Ryan Newman — the runner-up to Harvick last year — and Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin. JGR was considered a heavy favorite in this Chase after a dominating regular season, but had two of four drivers eliminated Sunday and both were furious with Harvick.

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Fuchs gets big win in women’s Olympic boxing

The moment Virginia Fuchs had waited for so much of boxing career finally arrived Wednesday night. If her celebration leap hits YouTube, she just might earn herself a WNBA tryout.

On her sixth try, Fuchs scored a split-decision victory over longtime rival, and reigning world amateur flyweight champion, Marlen Esparza in the winner’s bracket final at the U.S. Olympic Women’s Boxing Team Trials at Cook Convention Center.

“I thought, ‘Finally! I did it! I did it!’” said Fuchs, who earned herself a spot in Saturday night’s championship round at the Cannon Center — and the next two days off.

Reigning Olympic middleweight gold medalist Claressa Shields and top-seeded lightweight Mikaela Mayer scored unanimous decisions Wednesday night and moved into Saturday’s finals.

“There are no scrub fights here. These are the best girls in the nation, and it’s been three tough days,” said Fuchs, a former LSU cross-country runner who lives in Kemah, Texas. “Now I can let my body fully recover.”

Fuchs came out fast against Houston-based Esparza and established her space. And after a couple of inside flurries by Esparza early in the second round, Fuchs reset the boundaries by countering with her jab and keeping her cushion in the ring, and on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

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Boykin leads No. 5 TCU to a 40-10 win over West Virginia

FORT WORTH, Texas — Trevone Boykin leaped over defenders and threw from the hip for touchdowns. The TCU quarterback even slapped hands with West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen after going out of bounds on one of his nifty scrambles.

“It’s probably the most respect that you can give someone in that time and moment,” Boykin said after the fifth-ranked Horned Frogs won 40-10 on Thursday night for their 16th consecutive victory.

In their last game before the first weekly College Football Playoff rankings this season, TCU (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) made quite an impression. As did Boykin (472 total yards, four touchdowns) and Josh Doctson (11 catches, 183 yards and two touchdowns) on Heisman Trophy voters tuning into the midweek game.

“I keep telling you just appreciate Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson,” coach Gary Patterson said. “They’re pretty special people.”

Boykin was 32 of 47 for 388 yards and three touchdowns and ran 11 times for 84 yards, with a 2-yard keeper for a score when he hurdled a defender at the goal line.

He broke TCU’s record for total offense at 12,041 yards, breaking the previous record 11,925 held by Andy Dalton, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback who led TCU to an undefeated season and Rose Bowl victory during the 2010 season.

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