In Brief: Gordon is man to beat at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Jeff Gordon won't have to pass Jimmie Johnson this time.

Points leader Gordon tried to get around his Hendrick Motorsports teammate for 53 laps at the end of the Nextel Cup spring race at Martinsville Speedway, and wound up second as Johnson took the checkered flag on NASCAR's shortest circuit.

This time, Johnson will have to do the passing after Gordon won the pole for Sunday's Subway 500 at 94.974 mph on a rainy Friday at the 0.526-mile circuit.

The pole is Gordon's seventh this season and sixth of his career at Martinsville. He's won seven times here, tops among active drivers, and he and his one-time protégé Johnson have won seven of the last nine events.

"Qualifying, I think, throughout my career, but especially this year, too, it seems to really contribute greatly to our success," said Gordon, the four-time series champion and points leader halfway through the 10-race Chase.

Johnson, 68 points back in second, will start fourth Sunday. Chevrolet took the top four spots on the grid with Martin Truex Jr. earning the spot outside Gordon with a lap at 94.737 mph. ...

Oriol Servia of the PKV Racing team had the fastest provisional qualifying time of 1 minute, 30.862 seconds Friday for Sunday's Champ Car Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. Sebastien Bourdais crashed -- he hit the wall but wasn't hurt -- and qualified eighth. Bourdais needs to finish 12th or better to clinch his fourth straight Champ Car drivers' title.


Oakland defensive tackle Gerard Warren (injured quadriceps) and linebacker Sam Williams (shoulder) will miss Sunday's game against the Chiefs. Warren leads the team with three sacks. Defensive tackle Warren Sapp (ankle) is listed as probable. ... Tennessee quarterback Vince Young will be a game-time decision Sunday vs. Houston after he took one series of snaps Friday. He injured his right quadriceps against Tampa Bay and hadn't practiced all week. ... Tommy Urbanski, a Las Vegas strip club manager paralyzed in a triple shooting, is suing the NFL, the Tennessee Titans and suspended player Adam "Pacman" Jones, claiming they're responsible for his injuries.


Rafael Nadal, coming off a five-week layoff because of ailing knees, lost to David Nalbandian 6-1, 6-2 Friday in the Madrid Masters quarterfinals, Nadal's most lopsided defeat in three years.


Misty May-Treanor swept the AVP Tour's postseason awards, including her third straight MVP trophy and team of the year honors with Kerri Walsh (they won 13 of 15 tournaments). Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers are the men's top team; Dalhausser was named MVP.


Pascal Leclaire made 21 saves for his third shutout and Rick Nash had a goal and an assist as Columbus beat host Buffalo 3-0. ... Sidney Crosby had the winning shootout goal and host Pittsburgh beat Carolina 4-3. All three Penguins shooters scored in the shootout, but Pittsburgh goalie Dany Sabourin stopped Ray Whitney's wrist shot. ... Tuomo Ruutu tipped in Magnus Johansson's shot from the point with 1:25 left in the third period to snap a tie and help host Chicago beat Colorado 5-3. ... Penguins co-owner Mario Lemieux will get $21 million as part of the team's settlement of its 1998 bankruptcy.

College Football

Andre Dixon dragged defenders on a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left and host Connecticut (6-1, 2-0 Big East) overcame a late 10-point deficit to hand Louisville (4-4, 1-2) a 21-17 loss.