Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

Scott Hargrove sweeps USF2000 races

ST. PETERSBURG — Scott Hargrove put the disappointment of last year behind him, emerging as a threat to win the USF2000 championship after driving to victories in both races this weekend.

Hargrove started from the pole Sunday and led all 21 laps of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn course to increase his points lead to 122-79 over rookie Wyatt Gooden.

"My race was phenomenal," said Hargrove, who also won Saturday. "The race was interesting due to the weather. We weren't sure if it was going to rain, and it was a relief that it was dry.

"Cape Motorsports gave me a great car all weekend."

Last year in St. Petersburg, Hargrove was caught up in two melees that damaged his car so much he had to put his debut in the series on hold.

"It was just a real blow financially to have those crashes," Hargrove said. "It kind of made everything askew."

After missing three races, Hargrove finished strong with three top-five finishes among four races to finish 11th in points.

Hargrove said his improvement is due to a new team.

In November, Hargrove signed with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, the powerful St. Petersburg-based team that runs up front and challenges for USF2000 championships annually.

"I feel blessed to be part of such a great team that is sound and knows how to win," Hargrove said.

Hargrove won both races by avoiding the pileups that caused him so much trouble last year. He completed Sunday's race in 26 minutes, 4.480 seconds. His best time was 1:13.822 in Lap 14.

"Last year was rough here," Hargrove said. "I was competitive. I just didn't have much luck. This year, the luck has gone my way. I hope it continues."

Elusive win: Jack Baldwin's resume includes wins in nearly every series at every major track.

But he had never won a GTS World Challenge race in St. Petersburg. Baldwin made up for it, sweeping both races this weekend. Sunday, Baldwin won with a fastest lap time of 1:20.555 and a top speed of 80.442 mph.

"The difference was the car," said Baldwin, who also won Saturday. "We worked on it until midnight. It was the best car I've ever driven. I don't care who I came up against. I was going to beat them. It was just that kind of day."

Baldwin, 64, grew up in Tampa and graduated from Hillsborough High (Class of 1966). He started racing when he was 13 at the now-defunct Tampa dragway.

"I'm having more fun now than in all my years of racing," Baldwin said. "I had a lot of guys I graduated from high school with here this weekend. It's a thrill to be able to win. I can say I certainly don't feel 64, and I know I don't drive like I'm 64."

Back on top: Matthew Brabham overcame a rough qualifier to cap a two-race sweep in the Pro Mazda series.

Sunday, Brabham started fifth among 12 drivers but quickly worked his way to the front. He finished in 25:30.657, more than six seconds ahead of Shelby Blackstock.

"We were just plodding and hoped the rain would stay away," said Brabham, who has won three of the first four races this season, including Saturday. "It was just a magical weekend for myself and for the team."

Bob Putnam can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and unresolved discrepancies to the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that led to him facing a three-game suspension to start the upcoming season.The Bucs won't commen...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

The Lightning is on the board in the 2018 NHL draft, using their first pick — 59th overall in the second round — on Gabriel Fortier, an undersize left wing from Quebec."I spoke with them a couple of times, so I knew there was an interest,...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

The Lightning isn't scheduled to pick until the second round, but there's no telling how active they might be with trades, so you'll want to follow our live coverage throughout the NHL draft Friday (Round 1) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7) in Dallas.(funct...
Published: 06/23/18
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Published: 06/22/18
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Published: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Published: 06/22/18
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Published: 06/22/18