Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

St. Petersburg's Bourdais part of winning 24 Hours team

DAYTONA BEACH — After more than 2,400 miles and 23 1/2 hours of racing, the most prestigious North American sports car race came down to eight minutes and a final five-lap sprint.

The first race of the unified United SportsCar Championship — born from the merger of American Le Mans and Grand-AM — ended with a NASCAR flair. A full-course caution swallowed Joao Barbosa's 13-second lead and gave Max Angelelli a chance to win the 24 Hours at Daytona.

But Barbosa pulled away on the restart with 8:23 left Sunday to give Action Express Racing its second victory in four years. It was Barbosa's second overall win and third in class. Co-driver Sebastien Bourdais, a St. Petersburg resident, won the 24 Hours for the first time, while Christian Fittipaldi has won twice.

Action Express' second entry finished third, and Chevrolet's new Corvette swept the podium for the Bob Johnson-owned organization. Action won its first 24 Hours in 2010, and Barbosa was part of that team.

"This one wasn't unexpected," Johnson said. "This one we expected to win."

Barbosa was black-flagged for avoidable contact while running second Sunday morning, a penalty he called "really harsh." But the team worked its way back. The caution nearly unraveled the comeback. "I was really surprised by that caution, but it's racing, and we just had to deal with it," Barbosa said.

Wayne Taylor Racing finished second for the second straight year. Co-owner Wayne Taylor, 58, came out of retirement to drive for the first time since 2010, sharing the seat with Angelelli and sons Ricky and Jordan. The elder Taylor drove one stint Saturday.

"It was a great result. …It's been an emotional roller-coaster," Wayne Taylor said.

The crowded GT Daytona class had a controversial finish. The victory initially went to Flying Lizard Motorsports when IMSA officials penalized Level 5 Motorsports for avoidable contact on the last lap. But hours after the race, IMSA reversed its decision and gave the victory to Level 5.

Memo Gidley, who was involved in a wreck Saturday, had surgery on his left arm and leg and needs back surgery.

Comments
Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

Rays tripling down on starting relievers vs. Orioles this weekend: Romo, Stanek, Romo

The Rays aren't kidding about being serious in using relievers to start games.After unveiling the strategy last weekend against the Angels, manager Kevin Cash said they planned to use it again, and he made that official on Thursday, naming Sergio Rom...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFLís new anthem policy

Bucs union rep Ali Marpet questions legality of the NFLís new anthem policy

Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet questioned the legality of the NFL's new  policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the field during the performance but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

When will the Lightning run out of wait-til-next-years?

TAMPA — Disbelief will eventually give way to acceptance.The Lightning isn't there yet.It isn't there yet in a lot of ways.Will it ever be?Just wondering.Really, what guarantees are there?Late Wednesday night, Washington Capitals captain A...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

Lightning fans leaving Game 7 early: Understandable or bad form?

TAMPA — Lightning fans were heading for the exits with three minutes remaining in Tampa Bay's 4-0 loss to Washington Wednesday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. Understandable given the disappointment of not reaching the Stanley C...
Updated: 2 hours ago
USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

USF wins doubleheader to stay alive in AAC tourney

Its American Athletic Conference tournament hopes flat-lining, USF's baseball team has spent the past 30 or so hours reviving itself with plain ol' CPR.Clutch Pitching and Resolve.Needing back-to-back wins on a humid Clearwater day to remain alive, t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rivals: Only four cities produce more blue-chip recruits than Tampa

Rivals: Only four cities produce more blue-chip recruits than Tampa

Only four cities in the country have produced more four- or five-star prospects in the Rivals era than Tampa.That's according to a little number-crunching from Rivals' Mike Farrell.Tampa has produced 48 blue-chip prospects since the site began in 200...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Snell on the mound

For starters: Rays vs. Red Sox, with Snell on the mound

Having lost a pair of close games, the Rays will try again tonight to beat the Red Sox, and will have LHP Blake Snell on the mound.SS Willy Adames is in the lineup for the Rays for the third and what is expected to be the final time before being sent...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Bucs reach agreement on a four-year, $14.82-million contract with first round pick Vita Vea

Bucs reach agreement on a four-year, $14.82-million contract with first round pick Vita Vea

The Bucs have reached an agreement on a contract with Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, the team's first-round pick.Terms of the deal were not released, but Vea  is expected to receive a four-year contract worth $14.82-million that includes ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Licht promotes three in Bucsí scouting department

Licht promotes three in Bucsí scouting department

The dust has settled from another NFL draft, and Bucs general manager Jason Licht has made three promotions in his scouting department as a new year of player evaluation begins.Byron Kiefer, entering his 14th season with the Bucs and fourth as a nati...
Updated: 4 hours ago
The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

The single biggest reason Tampa Bay isnít headed to the Stanley Cup final

TAMPA — Washington is on to Vegas. The Lightning is not. So we asked the Times' Lightning coverage team for the single biggest reason Tampa Bay isn't headed to the Stanley Cup final. Here's their answers:Roger Mooney, staff writer: Th...
Updated: 4 hours ago