Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

Rain plays havoc with Daytona 500

RECOMMENDED READING


DAYTONA BEACH — For the second time in three years, rain significantly delayed the Daytona 500.

Sprinkles began to fall shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, with 38 laps of the scheduled 200 complete and Kyle Busch leading. Then severe weather rolled in. The stands at Daytona International Speedway emptied after the National Weather Service issued two separate tornado warnings in the area.

The bad weather was noteworthy enough that the track-drying equipment system, Air Titan, trended nationally on Twitter. Drivers passed the time by watching TV or movies or, in the case of Denny Hamlin, playing basketball.

Racing resumed after a six-hour, 22-minute delay, a race record.

In 2012, rain postponed the race from Sunday afternoon to evening and eventually to Monday in primetime, when Matt Kenseth won. Before that, rain had shortened the Great American Race four other times and forced it to start under yellow twice.

Sunday's race resumed with 162 laps left — about the distance of Daytona's other Cup event, July's primetime Coke Zero 400.

Stewart denied again: Tony Stewart's comeback ended with more Daytona heartache.

Stewart is 0-for-16 in the 500 after an engine problem cost him several laps. He later went to the garage with other issues in his Stewart-Haas No. 14 Chevrolet.

The three-time Sprint Cup champion was in his first race since breaking two bones in his right leg in an August sprint-car crash.

Dillon leads: In its first lap back after 467 races, the No. 3 car got off to a strong start.

Austin Dillon led Lap 1 from the pole in the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Hamlin passed Dillon for the lead on Lap 2, and Dillon dropped back in the field.

The No. 3 Dale Earnhardt made famous hadn't been used in Sprint Cup since the seven-time series champion died on a last-lap crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. Dillon is the grandson of Childress, Earnhardt's close friend and longtime car owner.

Early struggles: Touted rookie Kyle Larson had to pit on the third lap after his No. 42 Chevrolet scrubbed the wall twice in the opening laps.

Martin Truex also saw his hopes end early when he had mechanical problems on his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy. Truex qualified second but had to drop to the back of the field for the start after a fiery wreck in Thursday's Daytona Duels forced him to switch to his backup car.

Kenseth, the two-time Daytona 500 champion, also had early problems. He missed his stall on the first round of pit stops and spun. His crew completed the service with his car sitting backward in its spot.

Almirola leads: Tampa native Aric Almirola led his first laps at Daytona when he took the lead with 122 laps to go. His No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford hadn't led a lap since last year's race at Chicago.

Almirola's run at the top didn't last long. The 29-year-old led five laps before pitting. He received a stop-and-go penalty for removing equipment from pit road. He dropped back to 39th place.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Comments
Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

Nikita Kucherov really does admire Patrick Kane

TAMPA — Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov has watched plenty of film on Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.Kucherov marveled how the 2015-16 league MVP uses deception to "hide" from defenders. He noticed how patient Kane was with the puck, how well he passed ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

Lightning beats Blackhawks in OT

TAMPA — The Lightning entered Wednesday’s game against the Blackhawks determined to avoid its first losing streak of the season. And it did in dramatic fashion, with Brayden Point’s power-play goal in overtime lifting it to a 3-2 victory. "A big boun...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Lightning-Blackhawks game

Every Lightning-Blackhawks game at Amalie Arena has a good representation of red in the stands. And Wednesday’s matchup was no exception, with a large contingent of transplants and travelers. "It feels like half the city of Chicago is traveling down ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TodayCollege footballMississippi at Mississippi State7:30 p.m.ESPNCollege basketballMissouri vs. Long Beach State11:30 a.m.ESPN2Tennessee vs. Villanova12:30 p.m.ESPNSt. John’s vs. Oregon State2 p.m.ESPNUPortland vs. North Carolina2:30 p.m.ESPNNorth C...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Niederreiter stays hot for Wild in win

Niederreiter stays hot for Wild in win

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund each scored two goals to lead the Wild to a 5-4 victory over the Sabres on Wednesday night. Tyler Ennis also scored, and Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter each had two assists as the Wild snapped a two-g...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Stitches don’t cool off LeBron

Stitches don’t cool off LeBron

CLEVELAND — LeBron James shook off a blow to the face and scored 23 in the fourth quarter — including 18 straight for Cleveland — as the Cavaliers won their sixth straight, 119-109 over the Nets on Wednesday. James needed stitches in the third quarte...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Basketball: USF Bulls bounce back with rout of Howard; FSU, Miami win

TAMPA — Three nights after running out of steam in a loss at Indiana, USF had enough to steamroll Howard of the MEAC.A 17-1 run late in the first half helped the Bulls to a 75-52 win Wednesday before an announced Sun Dome crowd of 2,080. USF (3-2) he...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Thanksgiving Day NFL previews: Vikings-Lions, Chargers-Cowboys, Giants-Redskins

Updated: 6 hours ago

Sports in Brief

GYMNASTICSEx-Olympic team doctor pleads guilty to abuseLANSING, Mich. — Former doctor Larry Nassar, who was accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, pleaded guilty Wednesday to multiple charges of sex...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 7 hours ago