Monday, June 25, 2018
Sports

Harvick wins caution-filled NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kevin Harvick didn't simply have his hands full with the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup field Sunday. He also was trying to tame a squirrely surface at Kansas Speedway. He handled both better than anybody else.

Harvick pulled away from Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon on a late restart to win a wreck-filled Hollywood Casino 400 over the recently repaved track, staying out of trouble and making a big move in the Chase for the Championship.

"It was an interesting weekend, to say the least," said Harvick, who moved into third in points behind leaders Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. "Everybody was battling the tires and the track, and I think it was like driving on a razor blade."

Harvick, in the No. 29 Chevrolet, sat on the pole for the first time in 254 races.

"These guys just did a great job all weekend," Harvick said. "To have a car fast enough for me to qualify on the pole says a lot about how fast this thing is."

Joey Logano finished fourth, Carl Edwards fifth, and Johnson sixth.

Kenseth held onto his lead in the Chase with an 11th-place finish. Johnson narrowed the gap to three points, while Harvick closed to within 25 points.

"We just got to keep doing what we did today to be a contender," said his car owner, Richard Childress. "I don't think top 10s will win a championship when you're racing Jimmie Johnson and the group of guys that are up there."

Kyle Busch was the big loser after crashing out of his third straight Cup race at Kansas. He dropped from third in points to fifth, 35 out of first.

"All in all just a crazy day," said Johnson, who shaved five points off of Kenseth's lead. "Wacky restarts, a lot of chaos there, and caution after caution for who knows what."

There were 15 cautions, breaking the record of 14 set in last year's race. The race wasn't even a lap old when Danica Patrick slammed into the wall. Most occurred when cars got loose coming out of Turn 2.

Kenseth called the race "treacherous," pointing to a repave last year and Goodyear's new "multi-zone" tires that made it seem as if they were skating across a glasslike surface. All of it was compounded by temperatures in the 50s at the start.

"It's all about restarts and making sure you can gain spots, but it's treacherous," Kurt Busch said. "You had to have a lot of give and take."

One of the intriguing story lines coming into the race involved Chase contender Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, who got together in the Nationwide series race Saturday.

Keselowski said that Busch intentionally dumped him and seemed to indicate he would retaliate in the Sprint Cup race. It turned out that Busch kept going for spins without Keselowski's help.

The first one came down the front stretch when he appeared to squeeze Juan Pablo Montoya, sending Busch sideways across the track. After a restart a moment later, his No. 18 Toyota went headfirst into the wall and ended his day.

"It's Kansas. It's what we do here, we just crash," Busch said. "The racetrack is the worst racetrack I've ever driven on. The tires are the worst tires I've ever driven on. You can't do anything."

Comments
USF considering former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long

USF considering former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long

While Tom Jurich remains the preferred choice among several prominent USF boosters (and some coaches) for the Bulls' athletic director gig, our intel has revealed another former Power Five AD also is getting a serious look.Jeff Long, who spent nearly...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Former Alabama star and Bucs defensive end Keith McCants was arrested in St. Petersburg early Monday morning and is facing a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine, according to arrest records.McCants, 50, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sh...
Updated: 2 hours ago
No Tropicana Field return for Evan Longoria in 2019

No Tropicana Field return for Evan Longoria in 2019

The Rays take their once-every-three- years turn playing NL West teams in 2019. But, based on an early draft of the schedule, won't get to welcome back traded franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria.The Rays will face Longoria's new team, the Giants, ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa’s Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

Tampa’s Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

When Tampa's Aric Almirola took over Danica Patrick's ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, he knew one of two things would happen."I'm either going to go out and be successful," Almirola said before the start of the NASCAR season, "or I'm not."So far, he has...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Tom Jones joins the podcast to talk about Jameis Winston's reported three-game suspension, as information from another witness has come out saying Winston was unruly and in the Uber by himself during the evening in question.Plus, the Rays sweep the b...
Updated: 3 hours ago
What name would a new Rays stadium carry? It’s a multi-million dollar question

What name would a new Rays stadium carry? It’s a multi-million dollar question

TAMPA — Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley are ballparks whose names are woven into the lore of America’s national pastime.Petco Park and Guaranteed Rate Field? Not so much.The trade-off for that clunky corporate handle is typically an annual payout ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

Former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has emerged as a legitimate candidate to take over USF, as our Joey Knight reported late last week.Despite the chatter around USF and in the industry, I'm skeptical; I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls'...
Updated: 8 hours ago
A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But NHL?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forward who was born in ...
Published: 06/24/18

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 25

TODAYBaseballAngels at Royals4 p.m.MLBNationals at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDiamondbacks at Marlins7 p.m.FSFYankees at Phillies7 p.m.MLBCubs at Dodgers10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesBest-of-3 championship, Game 1: Oregon St. vs. Mississippi...
Published: 06/24/18
Rays season turning into good one

Rays season turning into good one

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays are not the best team in baseball. They are not going to win the World Series this year. Heck, they probably won't even make the playoffs.But I tell you what. This team is a heck of a lot of fun to watch.And ...
Published: 06/24/18