Monday, July 16, 2018
Sports

ESM team wins Sebring to cap Florida sweep

SEBRING — The ESM team capped a sweep of Florida's two crown jewel endurance races on Saturday night, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring by 2.926 seconds at Sebring International Raceway.

The quartet of Scott Sharp, Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek and Pipo Derani also won January's 24 Hours of Daytona.

On Saturday, Derani was third on a restart with 12 minutes left. He passed two Action Express Corvettes, first Filipe Albuquerque then leader Dane Cameron.

The winning Honda HPD Ligier completed 238 laps as the top eight spots were taken by Daytona Prototype cars. The race was red-flagged for 2 hours and 15 minutes because of lightning and heavy rain. It was the first red flag at the event since 1995.

The team is the first since Doran/Moretti Racing in 1998 to sweep both Florida endurance races.

A full-course caution set up Derani's frantic 20-minute drive. He passed the No. 81 Oreca-Nissan of Nicolas Lapierre on the restart and then ran down the two Action Express entries.

Corvette Racing also got a victory when the No. 4 team of Tommy Milner, Oliver Gavin and Marcel Fassler took the GTLM class. Milner beat the No. 25 BMW M6 team of Dirk Werner, Bruno Spengler and Bill Auberlen by three seconds to sweep the Florida races in their class.

Ferrari won the GT Daytona class when Jeff Segal, Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen won from the pole in the car's debut race.

The Prototype Challenge class was won by Colin Braun and CORE Autosport. The lineup of Braun, Jon Bennett and Mark Wilkins beat PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports for the class victory.

Pritchett aims for Gatornationals glory

GAINESVILLE — Leah Pritchett hustled through her garage stall Saturday, bouncing from her dragster to her hauler and back again. She helped tear down the engine, packed the parachute and did a number of other little things to get ready for her next qualifying run at Gainesville Raceway.

She had no time to relax. And she had no plans to let up — even coming off a breakthrough victory last month in Phoenix.

Pritchett became the first woman to win in the NHRA's Top Fuel class since Hillary Will in 2008. Pritchett edged Brittany Force in the title bout, the first all-female final since 1982. Three weeks later, Pritchett is trying to show it was no fluke.

"I still have a lot to prove," she said at the Gatornationals. "Phoenix was just the beginning."

She stepped into the big leagues in 2013, driving part time for Dote Family Racing, then got a full-time ride when she replaced three-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon at Bob Vandergriff Racing this season.

She made one final in three years with Dote. She topped that in two races with BVR.

Pritchett, 27, qualified fourth for today's finals; Richie Crampton topped the class with a run of 3.698 seconds at 319.37 mph. Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also led in qualifying.

Xfinity: Austin Dillon passed Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez on the final lap of the Treatmyclot.com 300 and surged to an improbable victory at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Busch got within two miles of his record-tying fourth consecutive Xfinity win after leading 133 of 150 laps, but the defending Sprint Cup champ blew his left front tire while trying to save fuel. Suarez then briefly went in front but ran out of gas

Formula One: The series' new qualifying system faces an immediate revision after a woeful debut at the Australian Grand Prix that resulted in fans walking out on the anti-climactic event. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the season opener in 1 minute, 23.837 seconds, edging Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. The new format of rolling eliminations every 90 seconds produced plenty of action early, but in the third and final segment most drivers elected not to go out on the track and instead saved their tires for the race. "The new qualifying format was pretty rubbish," said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, a key player on the F1 strategy group that voted in favor of the new format.

Comments
SEC media days: Pressure already on for Jimbo Fisher

SEC media days: Pressure already on for Jimbo Fisher

ATLANTA — When new Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher walked to the stage Monday for his first SEC media days, he knew exactly what to say.Howdy."That's an A&M thing," Fisher explained.So Fisher knows how the Aggies say hello. Which is progress,...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Captain’s Corner: Warm water brings algae blooms

It’s been a hot summer. This week water temps crept up to sweltering 90 degrees at the surface inshore. We saw 88 degrees on the surface temps offshore. The deeper the water, the cooler the water temps were found, especially toward the bottom. Wit...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tune into the only All Star Game that matters

Tune into the only All Star Game that matters

Summer was for beach days and watermelons and shorty pajamas and fighting with my brother over who gets to sleep in front of the fan.And summer was for the MLB All-Star Game.They'll hold the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Washington's National...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

Jimbo Fisher: ‘I love Jameis…unfortunately he made some bad decisions’

ATLANTA — Jimbo Fisher defended every step of the way at Jameis Winston at Florida State, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he continues to back his former quarterback, even though both have moved on.Fisher, now the coach at Texas A&M, sa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live from Washington: Rays Blake Snell was under consideration for All-Star start

Live from Washington: Rays Blake Snell was under consideration for All-Star start

UPDATE, 2:33: AL manager A.J. Hinch said  Snell, even though he wasn't named to team until Friday, was in the mix to start the game, that he was "not too far behind," though Boston's Chris Sale was chosen.  Snell is likely to be 3rd pi...
Updated: 4 hours ago
SEC media days: Jimbo Fisher on leaving Florida State, Aggies title talk

SEC media days: Jimbo Fisher on leaving Florida State, Aggies title talk

ATLANTA — Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said he had "no intentions of ever leaving Florida State," but the situation with the Aggies (including its administration and support) led him to leave for College Station.Fisher was the first coach ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

What DeSean Jackson needs to break a Jerry Rice NFL record

We're close enough to the 2018 NFL season that we can start talking about records that could be broken in the normal course of the Bucs' season ahead.DeSean Jackson has a chance to break one of Jerry Rice's career NFL records. No, not the 197 career ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

ATLANTA — Good morning from SEC media days, the unofficial kickoff to college football's preseason.The four-day event begins later this morning with commissioner Greg Sankey's address at 11:30. A few things I'll be monitoring over the next...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast baseball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-North Suncoast baseball team

Player of the Year: J.P. Gates, Sr., Nature CoastPitcher of the Year: Gunnar Hoglund, Sr., FivayCoach of the Year: Frank Vitale, Nature CoastIn his fourth season as Sharks head coach, Vitale led the team to its first Class 5A state tournament. Nature...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County baseball team

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Hillsborough County baseball team

Player of the Year: Connor Scott, Sr., PlantPitcher of the Year: Franco Aleman, Sr., AlonsoCoach of the Year: J.J. Pizzio, LetoPizzio led the Falcons to their first state tournament appearance since 1970. They were 24-5 and did not lose a game in Cla...
Updated: 9 hours ago