Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Sports

Denny Hamlin gives Joe Gibbs Racing its first NASCAR Cup win of season

LOUDON, N.H. — Denny Hamlin held off Kyle Larson over the final laps Sunday to win the Overton's 301 and send Joe Gibbs Racing to Victory Lane for the first time this season.

JGR had yet to have any of its four drivers win this season in NASCAR's Monster Energy Cup series until Hamlin took the lead with 33 laps left and held off the hard-charging Larson on the final lap.

Hamlin needed his 30th career Cup victory to secure a berth in NASCAR's version of the postseason and end a winless streak that stretched to September.

"Definitely needed a win for the organization, for myself," Hamlin said.

Larson had a sensational run from the rear of the field, where he was forced to start because he failed inspection after he won the pole. Larson lost his points lead last week and his crew chief was suspended after failing a postrace inspection at Kentucky.

Hamlin crashed the No. 11 Toyota in practice and was forced to race in a backup car. It seemed to suit him just fine at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Martin Truex was third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick.

JGR won seven of the first 12 races last season and Carl Edwards was 10 laps away from a possible championship when he crashed out in the finale. Daniel Suarez replaced Edwards this season and Hamlin, Kenseth and Kyle Busch have made strong runs at the checkered flag, they just couldn't find the winning formula until New Hampshire.

"It's not from a lack of trying," said Hamlin, who scampered away from the lobster traditionally awarded to the winner in Victory Lane.

Larson's team was penalized 35 points this week, erasing what had been a one-point advantage over Truex in the driver standings. Truex, who led 137 laps, leads the standings by 38 points over Larson.

The race was stopped for 5½ minutes after a pot hole opened on the track and repairs were made.

Tampa's Aric Almirola finished 24th in his first race since he fractured a vertebra during a fiery wreck May 13 at Kanas Speedway.

INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden raced to his second Indy Toronto title in three years. Newgarden came out in front on Lap 25 after a crash by Tony Kanaan caused a caution and maintained an advantage of more than two seconds for the majority of the rest of the race. The American has five career victories. Newgarden gave Team Penske its 193rd victory, the most of any team. Alexander Rossi was second for his first podium finish of the year and best since winning the 2016 Indianapolis 500. James Hinchcliffe finished third in his hometown race for the second straight year. Scott Dixon has a three-point lead over Helio Castroneves with five races left.

F1: Lewis Hamilton slashed Sebastian Vettel's series lead to one point by winning a record-equaling fifth British Grand Prix in Silverstone, England, with his title rival capitulating after a late puncture. "We were generally faultless," Hamilton said after crowd-surfing with the Silverstone fans at his home race. It was such a commanding drive that the relaxed Hamilton said he was able to watch glimpses of the race on big screens around the circuit as he led from start to finish. Vettel was third heading into the penultimate lap, but Ferrari's four-time world champion fell back into seventh after his front left tire shredded. So too did the 20-point lead Vettel held over Hamilton going into the 10th round of the 20-race season.

Comments
AP sources: Kawhi Leonard going to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

AP sources: Kawhi Leonard going to Raptors, DeMar DeRozan to Spurs

The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is on the cusp of ending, with the Spurs reaching an agreement in principle on Wednesday to send the 2014 NBA Finals MVP to the Toronto Raptors for All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan. Danny Green also will be going to ...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game, 8-6, in 10 innings

WASHINGTON ó A record 10 home runs . A slew of strikeouts. The all-or-nothing All-Star Game mirrored what baseball has become. Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer homered on consecutive pitches to begin the 10th inning, and the American...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snellís All-Star debut

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Blake Snellís All-Star debut

The Rays' Blake Snell makes his All-Star debut with a memorable first pitch, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he likes the Rays' new stadium plans, and there is controversy at the Home Run Derby.Plus, Florida head coach Dan Mullen says the Gators ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucsí new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Bucsí new run defense will be tested early, often in 2018

Much of the focus on the Bucs upgrading their defensive line has been, understandably, that Tampa Bay finished last in the league in sacks last season, with just 22. But as Gerald McCoy pointed out several times in 2017, you can't get to the quarterb...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Hillsborough County softball

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Hillsborough County softball

Player of the year: P Jodi Handler, Sr., AlonsoPitcher of the year: Ashley Blessin, Jr., Plant CityCoach of the year: Bob Diez, ChamberlainFirst teamP Haley Murphy, Sr., East BayP Shannon Maloney, Sr., ChamberlainP Gabby Vallee, Sr., ChamberlainP Cas...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bill Hancock talks College Football Playoff expansion (not happening) and UCF

Bill Hancock talks College Football Playoff expansion (not happening) and UCF

ATLANTA — College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock answered the question before it could even be asked."There is no talk about expansion among the university presidents and the conference commissioners who sit on our b...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-North Suncoast softball team

Tampa Bay Timesí all-North Suncoast softball team

Player of the year: P Alexis Kilfoyl, Jr., Academy at the LakesPitcher of the year: Callie Turner, Jr., Land O'LakesCoach of the year: Diane Stephenson, Academy at the LakesFirst teamP Melanie Rogers, Jr., River RidgeP Ali Shenefield, Jr., HernandoP ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
All-Star morning after: On Blake Snellís opening act

All-Star morning after: On Blake Snellís opening act

Willson Contreras had seen Rays lefty Blake Snell before.Five times over two 2017 games, and at least a couple of times in 2015 when they were both playing at Double-A.So the Cubs catcher had a good idea what to expect when Snell threw his first pitc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Live from ACC Kickoff: A few stories to follow

Live from ACC Kickoff: A few stories to follow

CHARLOTTE — Top of the morning from the Queen City, where college football's talking season continues in earnest with the start of the annual ACC Kickoff.The two-day event, featuring the head coach and select players from all 14 ACC schools, be...
Updated: 4 hours ago
SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gatorsí offense clicks again

SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gatorsí offense clicks again

ATLANTA — Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey knew the question was coming Tuesday during SEC media days.Is this the year the offense gets cranked up?"This is the only time I'm going to answer this question again," Ivey said. "Thi...
Updated: 6 hours ago