Daytona Rolex 24
Ganassi sweeps top spots
Car owner Chip Ganassi is back in Victory Lane at the US’ most prestigious road race after defending Grand-Am Series champion Scott Pruett drove the last leg in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and held off Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon on a final restart. Pruett pulled away from Dixon and third-place finisher Joao Barbosa after the green-white restart and won the Daytona Prototype class by 2.42 seconds. Pruett and co-drivers Memo Rojas, Graham Rahal and Joey Hand celebrated with Ganassi in Victory Lane. “This was unbelievable,” Pruett said. “Our car ran and ran and ran. This is just awesome, truly awesome, to have a 1-2 finish is just incredible.” It was Ganassi’s fourth victory in the 24-hour race. Pruett used pit strategy to get ahead of the other Ganassi entry in the final hour and stayed out front down the stretch.
Kostelic wins in Chamonix
Ivica Kostelic erased a massive deficit in the slalom leg to win the World Cup super-combined race in Chamonix, France, on Sunday to clinch the discipline title and extend his lead in the overall standings. Kostelic was nearly unbeatable in slalom races in January and secured his seventh victory of the month by finishing in 2 minutes, 57.12 seconds. Fellow Croat Natko Zrncic-Dim was 0.51 seconds back in second place for his career-best result. Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway took third, 0.53 behind. Kostelic has won the three combined races held so far this season and has an unassailable lead in the discipline standings. Kostelic earned 100 points on Sunday and extended his lead in the overall standings, where he leads Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland by 475 points. Didier Cuche of Switzerland is third with 673 points. Zurbriggen placed fifth in the super-combined, while Cuche didn’t take part in the race after winning Saturday’s downhill. A two-time World Cup champion, Svindal moved to fourth in the overall standings with 663 points but said Kostelic is now all but guaranteed the World Cup overall title.
Casey wins in Bahrain
Paul Casey won the European Tour’s inaugural Volvo Golf Champions tournament in Bahrain on Sunday to claim his first title since 2009. The Englishman won by one stroke from Peter Hanson and Miguel Angel Jimenez after a closing 68 for a 20-under total of 268. He said that he might ask for the same hotel room — 666 — when he comes back to defend his title next year. “I would like that room next year if it’s available and if we stay at the same hotel. Although, I’m not superstitious,” the Briton said.
NFC claim Pro Bowl
The NFC raced to a 42-point first-half lead before coasting to a 55-41 victory over the AFC in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu on Sunday. The NFC stormed to a 42-0 advantage in the second quarter, aided by a 34-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Washington Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall. Hall, who won the game’s Most Valuable Player Award, also had an interception while the NFC tied the single-team scoring record, set in 2004, with the triumph. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan added two touchdown passes during the fun-loving annual game that lacks the hard-hitting or intensity of the NFL’s regular season. “It’s still man-to-man coverage on the outside, with some of the best [defensive backs] in the world going against the best wide receivers,” Ryan told reporters. “You still have to make plays and our guys did. It was a lot of fun.”