Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Ganassi shifts aim again in sports cars

DAYTONA BEACH — Chip Ganassi was asked during a meeting last week who was driving for him in the 24 Hours at Daytona. The team owner grabbed a piece of paper and began to jot down the names.

"It took me a few minutes to write them all down to make sure I had all the drivers," he said.

Ganassi is putting forth a Herculean effort for this year's race, which started Saturday and concludes today. He fielded four cars for 14 drivers in two different classes.

This is also likely the last hurrah for one of the most celebrated cars in one of America's top sports car races.

Ganassi only fielded the No. 01 and No. 02 prototypes at Daytona because he is the defending race winner and he had the cars in his inventory. After today he will abandon the prototype class and focus on his newest endeavor — two-car, Ford GT production programs in both the GT Le Mans class in the United States and the LM GTE Pro class in Europe's FIA World Endurance Championship.

Ganassi — a former racer who as an owner has won the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, IndyCar championships and endurance races at Daytona and Sebring — is the cornerstone of Ford's return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans 50 years after the manufacturer went 1-2-3 with the GT40. Ford repeated its Le Mans victories with the GT40 from 1967 to 1969.

Returning to defend last year's Daytona win in the No. 02 "star car" are IndyCar champions Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan and NASCAR's Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson. The No. 01 prototype has Alex Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx and 17-year-old Lance Stroll.

St. Petersburg resident Sebastien Bourdais and former IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Petersburg champion Ryan Briscoe are among Ganassi's six drivers in the two-car GTLM class effort.

"He's really proud. You can see how excited and proud he is that all of these drivers are driving for him on this weekend," McMurray said Friday. "No other owner in the world has this many guys from that many series who have won so many big races on one team."

Comments
Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

Steven Souza trade: Instant reaction to the Rays latest deal

The Rays traded right fielder Steven Souza, Jr., their 2017 team MVP, to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a three-team deal for Arizona's No. 2 prospect, lefty Anthony Banda, Yankees infield prospect Nick Solak and two players to be named...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

Rays trade team MVP Steven Souza Jr. in three-team deal that nets prospects

PORT CHARLOTTE — Evan Longoria traded in December. Jake Odorizzi and Corey Dickerson dumped over the weekend. Then, in a stunning move Tuesday night, 2017 team MVP Steven Souza Jr. shipped to Arizona as part of a three-team deal that netted onl...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Girls basketball: Resilient Carrollwood Day back in state semis

Girls basketball: Resilient Carrollwood Day back in state semis

SEFFNER — Tarriyonna Gary's sprained ankle was not in one of those bulky, protective, doctor-proscribed plastic boots Tuesday night.Not even close.Gary, in fact, was not only running up and down the floor, but she was leaping and diving and, pe...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Girls basketball: Lakewood edges closer to state return

ST. PETERSBURG — Paris Williams scored 17 points to lead Lakewood 64-38 past Bradenton Southeast in their Class 6A, Region 3 semifinal Tuesday.Lakewood (25-4) will host Robinson in the region final Friday. Last year the Spartans beat the K...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Girls basketball: Rebounding edge keeps Clearwater on top

Girls basketball: Rebounding edge keeps Clearwater on top

CLEARWATER — The result was expected but definitely didn't come easily.In Tuesday's Class 7A region semifinal, underdog Northeast threw some strong low-post defense against a lethargic Clearwater squad early, then rode effective offensive energ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Nikita Kucherov’s trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

Nikita Kucherov’s trick shot sends Lightning past Capitals

WASHINGTON — There was some lighthearted debate in the Lightning dressing room Tuesday night about whether the latest dazzling breakaway move by Nikita Kucherov was a deliberate fake or a slip off the stick.Some teammates playfully gave the All...
Updated: 6 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Feb. 20

Tuesday’s scoreboardSoftballAdmiral Farragut 17, St. Petersburg Cath. 0BaseballGulf Coast HEAT 9, Canterbury 4Calvary Chr. 6, Lakeland Chr. 1
Updated: 6 hours ago

Girls basketball: Tampa Bay Tech pulls away late

TAMPA — When Jalyn Spurlin played for Brandon High her first two seasons, she felt "like I had to be everything; everything was on me."Since transferring to Tampa Bay Tech, a team with seven seniors, including Division I-A-bound Janae...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballGeorgia at South Carolina6:30 p.m.SECXavier at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1North Carolina at Syracuse7 p.m.ESPNGeorgia Tech at Virginia7 p.m.ESPN2Texas Tech at Oklahoma State7 p.m.ESPNUSMU at East Carolina7 p.m.ESPNewsClemson at Virg...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Girls basketball: Kaliah Henderson propels Robinson

TAMPA — As the post-game celebration subsided, Robinson junior Kaliah Henderson found a secluded spot on the emptied stands to relax, and perhaps reflect, after going non-stop for the Knights in Tuesday's Class 6A region semifinal.Told she had ...
Updated: 7 hours ago