Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Daytona concern trumps win for Stewart

DAYTONA BEACH — Tony Stewart won Saturday's Nationwide series race, the Drive4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway, but he was subdued after the major wreck on the final lap that injured dozens of fans.

As Stewart's No. 33 Chevrolet crossed the finish line, the multicar melee broke out behind him. "I looked in the mirror and that's the worst image I've ever seen in a race in my life," a subdued Stewart said.

It was the second major wreck in the final five laps of the 120-lap race.

The first, which involved 13 cars, brought out a red flag on Lap 116 as officials worked to clean the track.

After a nearly 20-minute delay, the race was restarted and on the final lap Regan Smith led with a push from Brad Keselowski. When Smith spun — he admitted in an ESPN interview afterward that he was trying to block Keselowski — Stewart ducked low and sped by.

Sam Hornish was second, followed by Alex Bowman and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The only driver injured in the race didn't come on the spectacular last-lap incident. Michael Annett, whose No. 43 Ford was involved in the crash that brought out the red flag, went to Halifax Health Medical Center after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum. According to his team, Richard Petty Motorsports, he had a bruised chest and was to remain at the hospital for observation.

Keselowski chat: Keselow­ski, the Sprint Cup champion, has been vocal about his desire to use his position as NASCAR champion to be an industry leader.

Sometimes that outspokenness gets him in trouble.

Keselowski confirmed that he met with NASCAR chairman Brian France and International Speedway Corp. CEO Lesa France Kennedy, but he revealed few details.

"We are all engaged in the same thing, and we are all embracing making the sport better. We just have to discuss how we share that passion sometimes," he said.

NASCAR chief communications officer Brett Jewkes said Keselowski wasn't in trouble, and the meeting was not a direct result of a USA Today article last week in which Kese­lowski specifically mentioned both executives in wide-ranging comments about the direction of the sport.

No delays today: The Daytona 500 will go off as planned despite the damage to the track from the last-lap wreck, DIS president Joie Chitwood said. The Tampa native said he doesn't anticipate moving any fans from those affected seats for today's race. The fence that separates the track from the seats was being repaired. The grandstands where fans were injured are about 200 feet from the start-finish line. This is the third time in four years the track has needed major repairs on Daytona 500 weekend. The 2010 race was interrupted for more than two hours because of a pothole. Juan Montoya hit a jet dryer in last year's race that caused a raging inferno.

Last practice: Earnhardt topped the speed chart for the final practice for the 500 at 198.592 mph.

NHRA: Doug Kalitta took the No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel at the Arizona Nationals in Chandler in a track-record 3.733 seconds at 329.02 mph. Johnny Gray topped the Funny Car field and Mike Edwards led Pro Stock heading into today's eliminations.

East Bay Raceway: Steve Poiriet won the King of the 360s Winternationals and Brock Zearfross won the Mini Sprint feature late Friday on the dirt track in Gibsonton.

Comments

North shuts out South squad in Pinellas All-Star Football Classic

CLEARWATER — The players had so much fun, officials at Clearwater High School literally had to turn off the lights post-game to get everyone to go home.With more than 60 talented and motivated seniors participating in Wednesday's 23rd annu...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

Marchand rallies Bruins by Wings

DETROIT — Brad Marchand assisted on the tying goal late in regulation and scored the winner 35 seconds into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings on Wednesday.The Bruins managed only two shots on goal in the first period but tw...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Tampa Bay Rays making progress in trade talks

Without getting into specifics – especially the who and the where – Rays officials are for the first time talking optimistically about making a trade before the winter meetings end Thursday.Speaking at around 5:15, senior VP Chaim Bloom s...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Winter meetings journal: Rays trade for money to sign top international free agent

LAKE BUENA VISTA — While most of the business conducted at the meetings impacts the big-league team one way or another, the Rays are working to finalize a move they hope pays off big sometime in the 2020s.In trading Wednesday to acquire $1 million in...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 3 – updated with news

UPDATE, 5:55: Trade talks apparently picked up this afternoon, perhaps related to previous activity by other teams, and for first time Rays officials sound like something could happen tonight."At this point today, some of those conversations are movi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

Market starting to set itself as Rays’ trade talks intensify

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Market starting to set itself

Market starting to set itself

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Alex Colome claimed he was just showing good social media manners Tuesday night in following four Cardinals-related Instagram accounts since they were saying nice things about him.In doing so, whether for that reason or another mor...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Times wires

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George made a winning return to Indiana, hitting the clinching free throws with 10.7 seconds left in the Thunder’s 100-95 victory over the Pacers on Wednesday. Steven Adams had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Russell Westbrook finis...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper Bantamweights: Salgado vs. Diego De La Hoya10:30 p.m.ESPN2College basketballBethune-Cookman at USF7 p.m.820-AMValparaiso at Northwestern8 p.m.Big TenSouthern at Baylor8:30 p.m.ESPN2College volleyball, NCAA semifinalsNebraska vs. Penn...
Updated: 6 hours ago
First-ever Falcon Nobis dies at 74

First-ever Falcon Nobis dies at 74

ATLANTA — Tommy Nobis, the first player drafted by the expansion Falcons and a hard-hitting middle linebacker who was never fully recognized for his talents on a struggling franchise that failed to make the playoffs during his long career, died Wedne...
Updated: 6 hours ago