Championship contender Matt Kenseth posted the fastest speed during final practice for NASCAR's season finale.

One problem: Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson was fast, too. He had the second-quickest lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday.

"We're working on comfort," Johnson said. "It's different conditions now than what we'll have during race time, so we're being smart about our changes."

Kenseth reached 171.980 mph around the 1½-mile oval, just ahead of Johnson's 171.647.

Johnson enters Sunday's finale with a 28-point lead over Kenseth. Johnson needs to finish 23rd or better to win his sixth NASCAR title in eight years.

Also, Austin Dillon won the Nationwide Series title with a 12th-place finish. Sprint Cup regular Brad Keselowski won the race. Dillon, driving the famed No. 3 for his grandfather, Richard Childress, edged Sam Hornish by three points. Hornish crossed the line eighth. He fell back on a late restart.

  • Kyle Busch is closing his Nationwide team because of a lack of sponsorship. Parker Kligerman drives the No. 77 car.

  • Sebastian Vettel's late surge in qualifying allowed him to take the pole from Red Bull teammate Mark Webber for Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. That puts the four-time world champion in the prime spot to go after a record eighth straight win and 12th overall this season. Romain Grosjean of Lotus will start third at the 3.426-mile circuit.


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  • Motorcyclist Kurt Caselli died Friday after wrecking in the Baja 1000 in Mexico. The 30-year-old from Palmdale lost control of his KTM in a sandy section while leading with about 100 miles left.

    Golf

    Henrik Stenson closed in on the European Tour money title, birdieing four of his last five holes for a 5-under 67 and one-shot lead in the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He was at 17-under 199. Victor Dubuisson (64) stood second.

  • Harris English and Robert Karlsson shared the lead in the rain-delayed OHL Classic when third-round play was suspended due to darkness in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Both were 15 under with 11 holes left in the round. English shot a 9-under 62 in the morning.

  • Defending champion Adam Scott had a 5-under 66 to open a four-shot lead at the Australian Masters in Melbourne. He was at 14-under 199. Jarrod Lyle, coming back from a 20-month layoff due to leukemia, shot 70 and was at even par.

  • Lexi Thompson shot a 5-under 67 and held a one-stroke lead over I.K. Kim (67) at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico. Thompson was at 13-under 203.

    Miscellany

    The Czech Republic is one victory from winning a second straight Davis Cup. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beat Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to give the defending champions a 2-1 lead at Belgrade Arena. Berdych plays Novak Djokovic in the first reverse singles Sunday. Stepanek likely will meet Dusan Lajovic in the last match.

  • American Mikaela Shiffrin won the women's World Cup slalom opener, beating Maria Hoefl-Riesch by more than a second in Levi, Finland.

  • American Ashley Wagner won her second straight Trophee Bompart title in Paris despite placing second in the free skate.

  • Nigeria and Ivory Coast qualified for the 2014 World Cup. Nigeria beat Ethiopia 2-0 to win with a 4-1 aggregate. Ivory Coast played to a 1-1 draw with Senegal for a 4-2 total-goals win.