Brian Thomas gives us a goofy theme that makes puns out of country names as if they were cars in a stock car race. There's no capper to the theme, and no real reason for the racing conceit to exist, but it's silly fun. For example, "the car from Moscow goes" RUSSIAN PAST, and "the car from Helsinki leads the way to the" FINNISH LINE. The one that's a clunker is "the car from Warsaw will" POLE INTO FIRST. "Pole" doesn't sound like "pull." I think Thomas might have been trying for something like Pole position, but it doesn't fit the other answer lengths.
For "wound on a dueler" I put the elegant and expected *SCAR, but it's the clunky STAB, and that slowed me down.
"Tennis score just before winning a game" has popped up in crosswords in the past, but I didn't recall it. It's AD IN. The tennis scoring system is a little abstruse. Take it away, Wiki:
In standard play, scoring beyond a "deuce" score, in which both players have scored three points each, requires that one player must get two points ahead in order to win the game. This type of tennis scoring is known as "advantage scoring" (or "ads"). The side which wins the next point after deuce is said to have the advantage. ...When the server is the player with the advantage, the score may be called as "advantage in". When the server's opponent has the advantage, the score may be called as "advantage out". These phrases are sometimes shortened to "ad in" or "van in."For "letters on a wanted poster" I put *DOA, but it's AKA. Dammit! These too-early guesses eat up precious seconds.
A GNU "sounds like a Greek letter," namely Nu. It looks like a v in lower case.
Lorena OCHOA is a Mexican golfer in the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was the top ranked female golfer for 158 consecutive weeks!
"LOVE keeps the cold out better than a cloak." This is a line in "The Spanish Student," an 1842 comedy by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
"Message to one's followers" got me; I was stuck in a sort of David Koresh sense of followers, but it's the simple TWEET.
I disagree that a "hearty laugh" is a YUK.
We've all heard of TIMBUKTU, but could we say that it's in Mali? Maybe not.
Clever clues: "Something kept in reserve?" is OIL. "Steps up?" is RUNGS.
Well, IVES pent long enough on this.