Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Bowyer seeks peace, Sprint Cup win back home at Kansas

Clint Bowyer stepped on the yoga mat, clasped his hands together, closed his eyes and tried to forget all of his troubles.

It wasn't easy.

The Sprint Cup driver was at the epicenter of one the biggest controversies in the history of the sport when NASCAR cited his car owner, Michael Waltrip Racing, for "manipulating" the finish of the Sprint Cup race on Sept. 7 at Richmond, Va.

It has been hard for Bowyer to find a moment of peace since.

Last week, he and fellow driver Ryan Newman spent four days elk hunting in Wyoming. Then appearing on behalf of a sponsor, he helped lead a yoga class on the infield at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

"Relaaax," instructor Jessica Coyne intoned.

Good advice for Bowyer, who has spent the better part of three weeks deflecting criticism and denying accusations that he intentionally spun in the closing laps at Richmond to create a caution and deny Newman a win. MWR teammate Martin Truex went on to qualify for the Chase for the Championship over Newman.

NASCAR fined Waltrip $300,000 and tossed Truex from the Chase (adding Newman and Jeff Gordon, who also had missed a spot). Bowyer was docked 50 points, though that didn't affect his Chase standing.

The stress took a toll on Bowyer, who comes to his home track of Kansas Speedway for today's Hollywood Casino 400 a distant eighth in the Chase.

"Anytime somebody is not happy or proud of you, you're always bothered by it," he said. "Nonetheless, we got through it and are looking forward."

Bowyer understands why so much vitriol has been directed at him, but he believes his reputation has not been tarnished.

"It depends on whose fan you are," Bowyer said. "If you're a Jeff Gordon fan, yeah, you're probably (ticked) at me. But it's racing. I'm sure when Jeff Gordon crashed me (last year at Phoenix), I'm sure some of his fans were questioning him and his thought process."

Those in Bowyer's camp maintain Waltrip and team general manager Ty Norris put him in a difficult spot.

"He was, but he wasn't," former crew chief and Fox analyst Larry McReynolds said. "…I've heard all the talk, (that) 'If your boss tells you to do something, you have to do it.' No you don't. You don't do stupid stuff. He made a mistake. I bet you no one knows it more than Clint does."

Now Bowyer just hopes for his first win this season and to rise as high as possible in the standings.

"I thought when we hit this Chase, we were going to be a contender," Bowyer said. "Given the last three weeks, we're not."

Backup: Kyle Busch hit the wall in practice and will start in the back of the field in a backup car for today's Cup race.

Comments
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Published: 12/16/17
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Published: 12/16/17
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Published: 12/16/17

Sports in brief

MLBTRADE SENDS KEMP BACK TO L.A.OF Matt Kemp was reacquired by the Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Braves. The Dodgers sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Brandon McCarthy, INF Charlie Culberson and cash to Atla...
Published: 12/16/17
Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

LAS VEGAS — Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, safety Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Oregon 38-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Brett Rypien threw for 362 yard...
Published: 12/16/17

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Published: 12/16/17

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Texas12:30 p.m.FS1Women: Georgia Tech at Georgia1 p.m.SECStony Brook at Providence2:30 p.m.FS1North Carolina at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPNSavannah State at Baylor3 p.m.Fox SunWomen: USF at Florida International...
Published: 12/16/17