Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Busch takes trucks victory

CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Busch showed he can still be dominant in NASCAR trucks, even when facing adversity.

Busch overcame a penalty to snap a seven-race drought in the series, winning Friday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Busch dominated early but had to overcome a penalty for leaving the pit stall with a gas can still in his truck, a mistake that forced him to the back of the pack on Lap 84 of 134. However, he battled back from 19th place in the No. 51 Toyota for his first truck victory since Sept. 24, 2011, at Loudon, N.H.

"We sure do like to make it interesting, don't we?" Busch said, laughing.

Busch said the penalty was frustrating but the team stayed focused and didn't panic despite its recent string of bad luck.

"We had to work our way back, and I wasn't sure I was going to make it all the way back," he said.

Busch took the lead for good on Lap 123 after a four-car wreck brought out the race's eighth and final caution flag and held on for his fifth series win at Charlotte, the most truck wins he owns at any track.

Brendan Gaughan finished second, and Max Gresham had his best finish ever, taking third. Points leader Matt Crafton was fourth, followed by Ty Dillon.

Trickle reaction: NASCAR was stunned by the death of former short-track ace and longtime Sprint Cup driver Dick Trickle at 71. His body was found at a North Carolina cemetery Thursday with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. "I'm still in shock. I don't really get it," fellow Wisconsin native and driver Matt Kenseth said. Trickle's brother, Chuck, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal his brother had constant chest pains. The family said Dick never got over his granddaughter's death in a 2001 car crash.

All-Stars: Carl Edwards captured the pole for tonight's Sprint Cup All-Star race at Charlotte, completing three laps and a four-tire pit stop in 1 minute, 51.297 seconds. Martin Truex starts first in the Sprint Showdown.

NHRA: Tony Schumacher led Top Fuel qualifying with a run of 3.769 seconds at 326.08 mph at the Kansas Nationals in Topeka. Robert Hight led Funny Car, and Mike Edwards led Pro Stock.

Andretti team favored for pole today at Indy

Everything seems to be lining up for Michael Andretti this month. His five drivers have taken turns atop the practice speed charts all week, including Friday, when E.J. Viso and Marco Andretti topped the last session before today's pole qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Those two plus series champ Ryan Hunter-Reay, hot-shot rookie Carlos Munoz and James Hinchcliffe, who has won twice in 2013 including St. Petersburg's Honda Grand Prix, make Andretti's team a big favorite for the pole at the historic 2.5-mile oval.

"I think as a team, we're quite comfortable with our speeds," Marco Andretti said.

Comments
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA — Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

Sami Vatanen a big loss for Devils if he doesn’t play in Game 5

BRANDON – Devils top defenseman Sami Vatanen had not traveled to Tampa as of Friday afternoon, according to coach John Hynes, and his availability for Game 5 Saturday against the Lightning is in doubt.Hynes, however, did not rule out Vatan...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

Tonight's Rays lineup against the Twins. Brad Miller back in the lineup following his DL stint (left groin strain). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.LF Denard SpanDH C.J. CronRF Carlos Gomez1B Brad Miller3B Daniel Robertson2B Joey WendleC Wilson RamosCF Malle...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

Lightning feels Ryan McDonagh’s impact

BRANDON — Ryan McDonagh blocks shots. He competes for pucks in the corners and wins those battles. He moves the puck up ice well. He can join the rush. He can shoot from the blueline. He kills penalties."It was a great pickup by Steve (Yze...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Why Game 5 is crucial to the Lightning

Why Game 5 is crucial to the Lightning

BRANDON — Three things that popped into my head as the Lightning and Devils get ready to play Game 5 Saturday afternoon at Amalie Arena.1. I'm going to do something that a hockey team in the playoffs would never do, not in a million years....
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

NFL draft confessions: The Bucs set the trap, and I took the cheese on Johnny Manziel

TAMPA — The NFL draft is one big game of Liar's Poker. Deal me out.Even the guys with a seat at the table don't know when someone is bluffing.Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows that the team's No. 7 overall pick will be affected by how many...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

Shaquem Griffin is about to join a long line of NFL draft picks from Lakewood

ST. PETERSBURG — Former Lakewood High coach Brian Bruch started each season with the same spiel. He cautioned his players about not becoming obsessed with a professional football career, reciting statistics to emphasize the difficult the odds o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

Bucs’ Jameis Winston, Mike Evans catch Miami Heat game from courtside

We've seen Jameis Winston and Mike Evans bonding this offseason, going to Texas A&M pro day together, among other events. The two Bucs stars and their significant others double-dated Thursday night, getting courtside seats to watch the Miami Heat in ...
Updated: 3 hours ago