At a track that has always been good to his family, in front of an adoring crowd that clearly favors him over everyone else in the field, Dale Earnhardt Jr. cruised to his first victory of the season.

NASCAR's most popular driver won Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It is Earnhardt's sixth victory at Talladega — but the first since 2004 — and he choked back tears after he climbed from his No. 88 Chevrolet. He said he was thinking about the late Dale Earnhardt, who won 10 times at Talladega.

"It's just real emotional. I haven't won here in a long time. It was my daddy's birthday a couple of days ago, and I'm just real emotional, man," he said.

Earnhardt led 67 laps Sunday and was unchallenged at the end.

Jimmie Johnson finished second and Paul Menard third.

Golf

McIlroy takes Match Play title

Rory McIlroy won four holes in a row, starting him toward a rout of Gary Woodland and the championship of the WGC Match Play Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

McIlroy won 4-and-2 when Woodland conceded the 16th hole. McIlroy began Sunday by finishing a victory over Paul Casey on the 22nd hole. He had been 1 down heading to No. 18, and he had also won with comebacks in two previous matches.

Woosnam beats Lehman, Perry in playoff

Ian Woosnam made a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to win the Insperity Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas, for his first Champions Tour title. Woosnam (68), Minnesotan Tom Lehman (69) and Kenny Perry (66) tied at 11-under 205.

Inbee Park won the LPGA Tour's North Texas Shootout in Irving for the second time in three years, closing with a 6-under 65 for a three-stroke victory. Park finished at 15-under 269 at Las Colinas. Cristie Kerr and Hee Young Park each shot 66 and tied for second.

NBA

Curry to be announced as MVP

Stephen Curry, called too small and too fragile, has another label now: NBA MVP.

The Golden State Warriors point guard will receive the league's top individual award, a person familiar with the decision said. An official announcement is expected Monday.

Curry averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 steals this season, and he broke his own record for three-pointers in a season by making 286.

Horse Racing

Derby winner aims at Preakness

Trainer Bob Baffert left little doubt that Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah will run in the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, and he left only a little doubt that Derby show horse Dortmund, which he also trains, will run there, too.

Baffert said he'll probably send American Pharoah to Baltimore on May 13. He will decide Dortmund's next race for sure after talking with owner Kaleem Shah.

"I'm sure he's going to want a little revenge," Baffert said. "His horse ran a really good race."

AROUND THE HORN

Hockey: Canada overwhelmed Germany 10-0 at the world championships in Prague and is 2-0 in Group A. Russia, in Group B, and Sweden, in Group A, also won and improved to 2-0. The United States, also 2-0, will play Russia on Monday (9:15 a.m., NBCSN).

Soccer: Chelsea won the Premier League for the first time in five years, securing the title with three games to spare with a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

College softball: Oklahoma freshman Paige Parker tied the NCAA record for perfect games in a season with four when the Sooners took a 14-0, five-inning victory over Utah Valley. Parker struck out 12 of the 15 batters she faced.

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