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Wiggins signs contract -7/25/2014, 10:04 AM

Western Kansas athletes overcome long road to be in Shrine Bowl -7/25/2014, 10:20 AM

Aoki's walkoff single lifts Royals in 14th -7/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Larks cap league turnaround with win -7/24/2014, 10:23 AM

Herman moves on in match play -7/24/2014, 10:03 AM

Ellis to play for Zone title -7/24/2014, 1:26 PM

2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl rosters -7/24/2014, 1:29 PM

Jayhawk League standings, July 24 -7/24/2014, 10:34 AM

Jamaal Charles agrees to contract extension -7/24/2014, 10:38 AM

Ubelaker looks to make impact on Shrine Bowl -7/24/2014, 10:51 AM

Snyder hopes season carries over -7/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Herman, Hecker, Kaup advance at Kansas Am -7/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Larks get non-league win -7/23/2014, 1:29 PM

Golfer cards ace in Ellis -7/23/2014, 9:57 AM

Fisher hopes bigger is better -7/23/2014, 9:47 AM

Royals grab win in Chicago -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Overachievers set tone for KSU football -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Chiefs have had discussions with Charles -7/23/2014, 10:44 AM

Hays Eagles headed back to state -7/23/2014, 10:43 AM

Tuesday's Larks game called off -7/22/2014, 4:49 PM

K-18 state bracket, July 25 to 29 -7/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Royals' offense silenced again in loss to Chicago -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

Monarchs' season comes to an end -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Larks win sixth straight -7/22/2014, 10:24 AM

No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Eagles rally for Zone win -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

'One true champion' gets a workout in Big 12 -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

K-State clarifies Klein's role -7/22/2014, 10:26 AM

Browns rookie Manziel leads in jerseys sold -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

Royals get swept in Boston -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

McIlroy claims Open title -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Monarchs fall to Larned in Zone tourney -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Larks wrap up second place -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Royals fall to Red Sox -7/20/2014, 9:44 AM

Plainville's Krob tops 11-under field -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Monarchs, Russell in Larned Zone -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Alex Smith hopes future is with Kansas City Chiefs -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Butler wants to stay in K.C. -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Kyle Busch avoids wreck for win at Fontana

Published on -3/25/2013, 10:01 AM

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By GREG BEACHAM

Associated Press

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) -- Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano raced side by side into the final lap, two bitter rivals unwilling to give even an inch -- right up until they made contact with less than a mile to go.

The race ended with Hamlin in the hospital, Logano in a shoving match with Tony Stewart, and Kyle Busch celebrating a victory that seemed secondary to all the fury at Fontana.

Hamlin was airlifted away from the track Sunday after a collision with Logano on the penultimate turn sent him nearly head-on into the inside wall, putting a spectacular finish on the fifth race of the NASCAR season.

Logano managed to finish third despite wrecking into the outside wall after hitting Hamlin, who spun Logano last week at Bristol and sparked a bitter post-race confrontation that didn't cool off during the past week.

"He probably shouldn't have done what he did last week, so that's what he gets," Logano said.

Yet the 22-year-old Logano might have even bigger worries than his burgeoning feud with Hamlin, whose team expects him to be fine. Stewart got into a post-race shoving match with Logano, with the three-time champion threatening to "whoop his (butt)" after Logano aggressively blocked Stewart out of a late restart.

"It's time he learns a lesson," Stewart said. "He's run his mouth long enough. ... He's nothing but a little rich kid that's never had to work in his life, so he's going to learn what us working guys who had to work our way up (know about) how it works."

Almost forgotten in the post-race frenzy was Busch, who led 125 of 200 laps in his Toyota and earned his first victory of the season when he sped past Hamlin and Logano on the final turn. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also ceded the spotlight, even though NASCAR's most popular driver moved into the Sprint Cup Series points lead with his second-place finish.

Even without Busch and Junior, NASCAR's closest race to Hollywood had an abundance of drama.

"I'm tired of these guys doing that stuff, especially out of a kid that's been griping about everybody else, and then he does that the next week," Stewart said, referring to Logano's complaints about other drivers' similar moves. "He sent Denny to the hospital and screwed our day up. He's talked the talk, but he hasn't walked the walk yet."

After a fairly entertaining race highlighted by Logano's aggressive move to block Stewart out of the final restart, the last lap developed into a spectacle pitting rivals already angry at each other about driving tactics.

Hamlin spun Logano at Bristol while Logano was racing for the late lead on that tight Tennessee bullring. Hamlin claimed Logano had cut him off three times earlier in the race, but Logano ran over to Hamlin's car afterward and leaned in his window for an angry exchange before the teams pulled them apart.

On Friday, Hamlin said he hoped the beef with Logano was finished, but Logano said he hadn't received any apology and wasn't feeling particularly forgiving.

They ended up racing together again in the opening laps at Fontana, with Logano practically grazing Hamlin's bumper early on. Their final-lap theatrics on Fontana's wide two-mile track appeared to be motivated by fierce racing for a win, not revenge.

They were side-by-side heading into the final lap and largely stayed that way until Turn 3, where Logano began to work up the track. The cars made contact and eventually lost control, with Logano hitting the wall while Hamlin slid inside and made heavy contact with the wall.

Hamlin got himself out of the car, but then slumped to the ground beside it before an ambulance arrived. He was eventually airlifted out due to traffic around the track.

NASCAR didn't immediately have an update on his condition, although JGR President J.D. Gibbs thought Hamlin would be fine. Hamlin's girlfriend, Jordan Fish, tweeted that Hamlin was "alert n awake, main concern is his back."

"We were super fast, led a lot of laps," Logano said. "Nothing to hang our head down about, that's for sure."

Stewart, the defending Fontana champion, then got his crack at Logano, who went extremely low to block Stewart out of the last restart, killing Stewart's momentum and consigning him to a 22nd-place finish.

"I had to throw the block there," Logano said. "That was a race for the lead. I felt if the 14 got underneath me, that was going to be the end of my opportunity to win the race, so I was just trying to protect the spot I had."

Stewart ran over to Logano's car and confronted him after the race, shoving the younger driver -- who then threw a water bottle at Stewart, the veteran said -- before teammates pulled them apart.

Stewart was replaced by Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing when Stewart left to drive for his own team starting in 2009.

"What the hell do you think I was mad about?" Stewart asked before providing a colorful series of expletives.

Roger Penske, in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the IndyCar race, firmly backed Logano, who was hired by Penske Racing last September.

"I think it's great," Penske said. "I think (Logano and Hamlin) have got to work it out themselves. He knows what the big picture is. To get yourself knocked off the track every other weekend, you'll never get in the Chase and have a chance to win the championship, so I think cooler heads will prevail. He said, 'I'm going to be around a long time,' was his comment to me."

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