FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Nothing could keep the smile on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s face for more than a few fleeting seconds at a time.
Not his first pole since last August. Not the cheers -- from more than 70,000 fans, a larger than usual Friday crowd -- that greeted his every move during qualifying for Sunday's Harrah's 500. Not the sense that his young crew is coming together.
His father's death will shadow everything he does from now on.
"I think about him all the time, and it seems like there's good days and bad days," said Earnhardt, who took the pole in his Chevrolet with a lap of 190.676 mph on the 1 1/2-mile oval. "Just when you think you're beginning to feel better about it, you'll hit a bump in the road and you'll spend two or three days where you can't think about nothing else. I don't know how long that'll be, but it's not such a bad thing because I like to think about him often."
The younger Earnhardt's starting position is his best since he started sixth and finished second in the season opener at Daytona -- the race that claimed Dale Earnhardt's life.
Domi fined $1,000 for squirting fans
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Toronto forward Tie Domi was fined the maximum $1,000 by the NHL on Friday for squirting water at fans from the penalty box before scuffling with a spectator who tumbled into the penalty box.
Domi wasn't suspended for his actions during the Maple Leafs' 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. The NHL's collective bargaining agreement does not allow for fines higher than $1,000.
After Domi was penalized early in the third period, he responded to taunts from the crowd by spraying water on a few fans who were sitting in the front row. Chris Falcone, a 36-year-old concrete worker from Havertown, Pa., lunged toward Domi and landed on the glass partition separating fans from the box.
With his arm over the glass, Falcone tumbled in when it gave way. He and Domi scuffled before linesman Kevin Collins stepped in.
The NHL said Friday that players will be suspended from now on if there is physical contact with fans during a game.
Daly two shots back at BellSouth
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) -- John Daly believes he might just be ready to win again.
After a combustible career plagued by alcoholism, gambling and odd meltdowns, Daly has shown an inkling of -- get this -- consistency.
No scores in the 80s. No hitting the ball while it's moving. No walking off the course in frustration.
Daly shot a 69 in the opening round of the BellSouth Classic on Friday, managing to smile even when he bogeyed two of the final three holes to get bumped from a share of the lead.
Journeyman Marco Dawson, who has never won on the PGA Tour, shot a 5-under-par 67, with five players one shot back. Daly was in another group two shots off the pace.
Anticipation builds for Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Tiger Woods keeps the trophies from his four major championships on a shelf over his fireplace. Only one of them, a sterling replica of the Augusta National clubhouse that he won in 1997, has been around long enough to collect dust.
"Put another one on there, it looks pretty good," Woods said.
It would look simply grand.
Never before has the Masters held so much anticipation, or had such an overwhelming favorite. It is considered the first leg of golf's Grand Slam, but it represents the final piece for Woods, who again seems to be carving his own trail into history.
It started in June with his 15-shot victory in the U.S. Open, the largest margin in the 140-year history of the majors. He won the British Open at St. Andrews in 19-under 269.
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