Gyda Valtysdottir Has New Music Coming Out

Award winning Icelandic composer and musician Gyda Valtysdottir has been very busy; after forming the band mum last year, Gyda has won the Nordic Council Music Prize, and is about to release a new album “Epicycle II” later this summer.

On July 3, she will release the first single from the album “Evol Lamina” which was written by Gyda and Sigor Ros’ Jonsi.  The single will be available through all digital services.

Jonsi, who also mixed the new album, is not the only Icelandic artist who appears on the album, she has collaborated with eight of the nation’s composers – Ólöf Arnalds, Daníel Bjarnason, Úlfur Hansson, Jónsi, María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir, Kjartan Sveinsson, Skúli Sverrisson, and Anna Thorvaldsdóttir.

“Epicycle II” is the follow up to her 2017 debut solo album “Epicycle” which was created from music pieces over the past 2,000 years.

An epicycle is a geometric model of the solar system created by Greek mathematician and astronomer Ptolemy.  The model is similar to an orbit in that a smaller circle orbits a larger circle.

Like Sigor Ros, Gyda also pushes the boundaries of traditional musical genres to create a unique sound.  The opening track of the album “Unfold” brings with it images of space, the stars, planets.  Fans of Jonsi and Sigor Ros will feel at home with “Epicycle II”.

Gyda spoke on her choice of songs for the new album saying, “when the idea of ‘Epicycle II’ came to me, it felt like it already existed. On the first Epicycle, I interpreted music by composers from the past. This time I wanted to collaborate with contemporary composers and musicians who have each created their own, unique musical language that doesn’t fall easily into any existing category. It became clear to me that I didn’t have to look far to find exquisite musicians all around me and soon I had a list of people who I greatly admire – people who had all shaped me in some way as a musician. I also happened to know all of them since I started making music in my teens. Our world is interconnected and I wouldn’t be who I am without my relation to others, including the people that contributed to this record. This group of people is really a musical galaxy, where the connections are endless: From Kjartan producing Ólöf’s first record, which Daníel made some string arrangements for, to Úlfur touring as a bass player for Jónsi’s solo tour and María’s long collaboration with Jónsi and Kjartan … or from Daníel conducting Anna’s compositions, as well as joining Sigur Rós for their orchestra concerts, to Kjartan and Skúli soon releasing a duo album, and much more.”

 

feature photo credit: Gyda’s Facebook page

 

 

 

Gydadiamond.net
sonoluminus.com

 

 

Comedic Legend Carl Reiner Dies

Comedic television legend Carl Reiner died June 29 in his Beverly Hills home as a result of natural causes at the age of 98.

After beginning his career as Sid Caesar’s sidekick, Reiner went on to become a very successful writer, director, producer, and actor with hundreds of credits to his name.

Reiner’s accomplishments include a Grammy Award for “The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000” – a follow up to “The 2000 Year Old Man”, a dozen Emmy Awards, is a recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for Humour, and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame.

He was born in the Bronx, New York on March 20, 1922 the son of Austrian Jewish watchmaker father and a Romanian Jewish mother.  He joined the U.S. Army during World War II where he spent a year and a half touring the GI variety show circuit.  Once out of the Army, Reiner began his legendary career on the stage; landing his first Broadway role in 1946.

After his debut in “Call Me Mister”, Reiner continued on Broadway with appearances in “Inside U.S.A.”, “Alive and Kicking”, “Enter Laughing”, “Something Different”, “Tough to Get Help”, “So Long, 174th Street”, and “The Roast” as actor, writer, and/or director.

Reiner made his television writing debut in 1954 with three episodes of “Caesar’s Hour”. From there he went on to write for two dozen more productions including “The Dinah Shore Chevy Show”, “The Thrill of it All”, “The Art of Love”, 158 episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Free to Be…You & Me”, 22 episodes of “Lotsa Luck!”, 72 episodes of “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The 2000 Year Old Man”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “The Man with Two Brains”, and “The Cleveland Show”.

As a producer, Reiner has 12 credits to his name including The “Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The Alan Brady Show”, “Good Heavens”, “Flannery and Quilt”, “Good Morning World”, “The Comic”, “Enter Laughing”, and “The Comedy Spot”.

This acting credits feature 100 different roles from animated TV and sitcoms to films including his 1948 debut in “The Fashion Show”, “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show”, “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”, “The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “That Girl”, “Night Gallery”, “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The 2000 Year Old Man”, “Good Heavens”, “Oh, God”, “History of the World: Part 1”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “Fraiser”, “Mad About You”, “The Larry Sanders Show”, “Hercules”, “Family Law”, “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle”, “King of the Hill”, “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Ally McBeal”, “Ocean’s Twelve”, “The Bernie Mac Show”, “Boston Legal”, “Father of the Pride”, “Ocean’s Thirteen”, “House”, “The Cleveland Show”, “Parks and Recreation”, “Two and a Half Men”, “Hot in Cleveland”, “Bob’s Burgers”, “American Dad!”, “WordGirl”, “Family Guy”, and “Toy Story 4”.  “Saddle Up” was in pre-production at the time of his death.

Reiner has 21 productions as a director including “Good Morning World”, “A Touch of Grace”, “The New Dick Van Dyke Show”, “Flannery and Quilt”, “Good Heavens”, “Oh, God”, “The Jerk”, “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”, “The Man with Two Brains”, and “That Old Feeling”.

As himself Carl Reiner made nearly 300 appearances as a comedian and on comedy shows, on game shows, 139 episodes of “Your Show of Shows”, variety shows, award shows, talk shows and late night talk shows, and documentaries.

Predeceased by his wife of 65 years Estelle, Reiner is survived by his children – Rob, Lucas, and Sylvia.  Only Sylvia did not follow her father into show business.

 

feature photo credit: By photo by Alan Light, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1164500

Singer Benny Mardones Dies

Eighties rock singer Benny Mardones died June 29, 2020 in his Menifee, California home as a result of complications from Parkinson’s disease at the age of 73.

Ruben Armand Mardones was born on November 9, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio but grew up in Savage, Maryland a first generation American of Chilean immigrants.  A veteran of the Vietnam War, Mardones joined the Navy after graduating from high school.

After being discharged from the service, Mardones was signed to Mercury Records as a songwriter where he wrote songs for a number of artists including Brenda Lee, Barbara Jean English, Three Dog Night, Main Ingredient, Free, and Tommy James.

In the late seventies, Mardones launched a singing career where he opened for Richie Havens and later released his debut album “Thank God for Girls”.  But it was his second album that launched Mardones into stardom with the song “Into the Night”.  A song with beautiful music, the lyrics were somewhat uncomfortable for some with the opening line “She’s just 16 year old, leave her along, they said.”  Mardones later explained that the song was about a neighbour with whom he had a platonic relationship.

Mardones never charted a single again, becoming a one hit wonder.  But at the end of the decade the song an episode of “Where are They Now” revived the song and Mardones recorded a second version of the song the become a hit once again.  Mardones would see a third revival of “Into the Night” when a remix of the hit was released.

Living in Syracuse, New York, Mardones would make a career of local performances for until his Parkinson’s disease prevented him from doing so.

He is survived by his wife Jane, son Michael, and sister Louise.  Mardones is having his body donated for Parkinson’s research.  A memorial service will be held some time in the near future.

Benny Mardones discography:
“Thank God for Girls”
“Never Run, Never Hide”
“Too Much to Lose”
“Benny Mardones”
“Bless a Brand New Angel”
“Angel”
“A Journey Through Time”
“Let’s Hear it for Love”
“Turning Stone Live – 2006”
“Turning Stone Live – 2007”
“Turning Stone – 2009”

 

feature photo credit: Benny Mardones Facebook page

 

 

 

Patriots Fined for Video Taping

Once again the New England Patriots football team have found themselves in a spot of bother after it was determined that the illegally video taped a game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns from the Press box in the Browns home stadium.

As a result of the video taping, the Patriots must pay a fine of $1.1 million and they were docked their third round draft pick for the 2021 NFL draft.

While it is customary for teams to film the action on the field for teams to study future opponents (the Pats were to play the Bengals the following week), the Patriots were charged with filming the events on the sidelines.

The alleged event took place late in the 2019 NFL season.  The Patriots said that they had asked the Browns for a credential so that their videographer could film some behind the scenes sideline shots for their “Do Your Job” video series.

The Patriots have fired the producer of the series Dave Mondillo.  It is Mondillo’s voice that can be heard on the video.

And once the 2020 NFL season begins, the Patriots production crew is forbidden to film any games.

In a statement the Patriots said that had occurred without knowledge of team rules; adding, “our failure to inform the Bengals and the league was an unintended oversight.”

The Patriots reportedly turned over the footage once the infraction was discovered; adding that they have, “cooperated fully” with The League.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said that none of his coaching staff, including himself, had not seen the video saying, “I personally have never viewed any video footage at all, anything that those production people have done, other than what’s shown on public television or something like that.”

Previous issues involving the New England Patriots include “Spygate” when they were caught trying to steal signals by filming the sidelines and were charged with deflating footballs during a championship game.

 

feature photo credit: By Brian McDermott – https://www.flickr.com/photos/22914836@N05/3790170637/in/set-72157621825422027, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30614740

MTV VMA’s a Go for 2020

While many states are mired in record setting numbers of new virus cases, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken control and deciding who and what can open and when and how they can open.

On June 29, Governor Cuomo announced that the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards will go on.  The newly named “Moon Person” (formerly Moonman) award will be presented from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York on August 30.

The Governor also announced that the event will follow all safety guidelines with a limited audience or maybe even no one in the audience.

A spokesperson for MTV noted that the health and safety of all involved was their primary concern.

President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events for ViacomCBS Media Networks Bruce Gillmer spoke on the announcement saying via press release, “we’re elated to bring the 2020 ‘VMAs’ back to NYC, the cultural mecca of the world where music and entertainment are woven into the DNA.”

The Video Music Awards will be the first live event to be held at the Barclay’s Center since the venue closed over the Covid-19 pandemic.   It will mark the second that the Barclay’s Center would be the site of the MTV Awards.

 

Cup Series ‘Chases the Sun’ for Race Finish

The NASCAR Cup caps off an historic day and weekend of racing with the first ever NASCAR triple header and the first ever NASCAR Cup double header at the same track when the Cup Series runs the Pocono 350 at the “Tricky Triangle” of Pocono Raceway.

With a doubleheader weekend, the teams have to drive the same car using the same equipment with the exception of tires.  After some wrecks in Saturday’s race, five teams have gone to backup cars and will have to start the race from the back of the field.  Quin Houff was knocked out of the race early and would have started from the rear anyway but will start the race from the back along with Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Alex Bowman.

After making transmission changes, Chase Elliott and BJ McLeod will also be starting from the back of the field; as will William Byron and Ryan Preece for making an engine change.

The starting lineup was set after Saturday’s race with the top 20 drivers being inverted and the second 20 starting where they finished.  The inversion would have put Ryan Preece on the pole.  Austin Dillon and Kurt Busch will now be on the front row and bring the field to the green flag.

The starting lineup for the Pocono 350:
Ryan Preece – moved to the back of the field
Austin Dillon
Kurt Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
William Byron – moved to the back of the field
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Blaney
Matt Kenseth
Chris Buescher
Brad Keselowski
Michael McDowell
Clint Bowyer
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Jimmie Johnson
Bubba Wallace
Corey LaJoie
John Hunter Nemechek
Chase Elliott – moved to the back of the field
Ty Dillon
Alex Bowman – moved to the back of the field
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Tyler Reddick – moved to the back of the field
JJ Yeley
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley
James Davison
Timmy Hill
Joey Logano – moved to the back of the field
Joey Gase
Erik Jones – moved to the back of the field
BJ McLeod – moved to the back of the field
Quin Houff – moved to the back of the field

Before the race even began, NASCAR has brought the drivers down pit road for lightening in the area under some very overcast skies.  The drivers are getting out of their cars and the camera crew comes down to ground level.

Once the all clear was given, NASCAR calls the drivers back to their cars to get ready to race.

Stage one of the race is 30 laps with stages two and three lasting 55 laps each for a total of 140 laps around the two and a half mile track.

Austin Dillon brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane but it is Kurt Busch who gets out in front after a push.

Lap two, Kurt Busch leads the race with Cole Custer in second; Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick has lost his power steering; Reddick also reports that his water temps are up but the oil temps are good.

Lap three, Kurt Busch has a one second lead on Ryan Blaney; Cole Custer, Chris Buescher, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap four for rain.

Kurt Busch is the first driver in a Chevrolet to lead laps this weekend in the NASCAR Cup Series.

NASCAR brings the field down pit road under the yellow flag and will remain in their cars to wait out the rain.  Tyler Reddick’s team is working on repairing the power steering issue in his car.

NASCAR has displayed the red flag.

The teams are covering the cars and the drivers are getting out of their cars as the rain has gone from a drizzle to a shower.

A rainbow has appeared over the race track and the drivers are being called to their cars.

NASCAR will be throwing a quickie yellow – all drivers can pit on the same lap – before waving the green flag again after a red flag of over 50 minutes.

There is one spot on the track that just won’t go away as the drivers continue to make caution flag laps.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 12.  Busch and Ryan Blaney go side by side before Busch gets out in front for the lead; Chris Buescher, Matt DiBenedetto, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 15, Kurt Busch has led every lap so far.

Lap 16, Michael McDowell brings out the second caution flag of the day when he slams the wall after blowing a tire.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.

Taking the outside lane, Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 19 and the drivers immediately get four and five wide across the track.  Kurt Busch gets out in front to continue leading the race.

Lap 20, the top five are Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Christopher Bell, and Kevin Harvick.

With an inverted field and several drivers moved to the back of the field, there is a lot of passing and drivers changing positions on the track.

Lap 25, Kurt Busch continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney on his bumper; Chris Buescher, Christopher Bell, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Christopher Bell in fourth place is the only driver in the top five who has not won a race at Pocono.

Several drivers come down pit road for service as they short pit the end of the stage.

Kurt Busch wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kurt Busch
Ryan Blaney
Christopher Bell
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Matt DiBenedetto
Chris Buescher
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Cole Custer

Drivers come down pit road for service, but the leaders stayed out on the track.  Matt DiBenedetto wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 36 and goes nose to nose with Ryan Blaney before Ryan Blaney gets out in front for the lead; Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Once Ryan Blaney takes the lead, he begins to pull away and has a lead of nearly half a second on Kurt Busch.

Lap38, Brad Keselowski takes second place from Kurt Busch.

The caution flag comes out on lap 39 when Christopher Bell put his car into the wall causing some heavy damage.

A few drivers come down pit road for service.  Taking fuel only, Ty Dillon wins the race off of pit road.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 45 with Blaney getting out in front after a push from Kyle Busch.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, and Joey Logano.

The caution flag come out for the fifth time when Chris Buescher gets loose and hits the wall.

A few drivers come down pit road for service, but the leaders stay out on the track.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 51 with Martin Truex Jr alongside on the front row.  After a battle for the lead, Ryan Blaney takes the top spot with Martin Truex Jr in second; Kyle Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 54, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

With all of the weather delays, there is a chance that the race will not run all 350 miles.

Lap 57, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 57, Ryan Blaney makes his first pit stop of the day.   Leader Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr have yet to make a pit stop.

Lap 59, Martin Truex Jr makes his first pit stop of the day.

Lap 59, Kyle Busch finally makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Denny Hamlin; Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick takes second from Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 61, Bubba Wallace makes a pit stop.

Lap 62, Denny Hamlin has a five second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 65, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Kevin Harvick ins second; Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

With numerous pit strategies, there are drivers on pit road every few laps.

With 28 cars on the lead lap, Denny Hamlin’s lead on Kevin Harvick has been cut to just over three seconds on Kevin Harvick; Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 73, Denny Hamlin has a four second lead on Kevin Harvick; Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Leader Denny Hamlin continues to lap cars; there are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Candyman Kyle Busch brings out the caution flag on lap 76 when he gets into the wall battling for position.

With eight laps remaining in stage two, several of the drivers come down pit road for service including leader Denny Hamlin.  Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road.

Alex Bowman has been charged with interfering with Ryan Blaney’s pit stop.  He will have to restart the race from the back of the field

The sun has become an issue on the track.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with six lap remaining in stage two.  Aric Almirola gets out in front for the lead with Brad Keselowski in second: Ryan Newman is in third.

The caution flag comes out for a crash involving Ryan Preece with a flat tire and into the inside wall.  Preece narrowly missed Bubba Wallace as he headed for the wall.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in stage two.  The drivers quickly fan out four and five wide.  Brad Keselowski gets out in front for the lead with Aric Almirola in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski wins stage two:

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Aric Almirola
Ryan Newman
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin took the tenth place spot by just an inch or two over Chase Elliott.

Drivers come down pit road for service, but leader Brad Keselowski stayed out on the track; Ryan Newman also stayed out on the track.

With sunset only about 30 or 40 minutes away, there is a question as to whether the race can be run in full.  There are no lights at Pocono.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 89 with Keselowski and Newman going side by side before Brad Keselowski gets out in front for the lead with Kurt Busch taking second; Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

With 49 laps remaining in the race, Brad Keslowski has a lead of nearly two seconds on Kevin Harvick; Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Newman round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick is very slowly closing the gap on leader Brad Keselowski.  Keselowski’s lead is down to under a second and a half.

Lap 94, Brad Keselowski brings his car down pit road for fuel and tires.  Kevin Harvick is the new leader with Denny Hamlin in second.

Lap 95, the top five are Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Erik Jones.

Lap 100, Kevin Harvick has a second and a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five as the drivers are chasing the sunset.

Jimmie Johnson hit one of his tires coming out of his pit stall and will be charged with having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Drivers are making green flag pit stops.

Joey Logano was charged with driving through too many pit stalls on the way to his pit stop.

Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a three second lead on Denny Hamlin; Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

With 35 laps to go, leader Kevin Harvick makes his green flag pit stop; giving the lead over to Denny Hamlin who still needs to make his stop.

Thirty three to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over eight seconds on Erik Jones; Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and William Byron round out the top five.  Kevin Harvick is in 13h place.

Thirty to go, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a nine second lead on Erik Jones; Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and William Byron round out the top five.

Twenty five to go, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race; Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick has moved into the top 10 in eighth place.

Twenty two laps to go, there are only 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 119, Denny Hamlin brings his car down pit road for fuel.

Martin Truex Jr is the new leader.

Twenty to go, Martin Truex Jr is the leader with Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Austin Dillon rounding out the top five..

Lap 124, leader Martin Truex Jr comes down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin is the new leader with Kevin Harvick in second, two seconds back.

Lap 125, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Austin Dillon.

Third place driver Brad Keselowski is running the fastest laps on the track.

Ten to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over three seconds on Kevin Harvick; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Erik Jones round out the top five.  There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Five to go, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race by two seconds over Kevin Harvick; Brad Keselowski, Erik Jones, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With only four laps to go, Brad Keselowski comes down pit road for fuel.

With a lead of two seconds, Denny Hamlin takes the white flag with only 18 cars on the lead lap.

Despite rain, a red flag of nearly an hour, and no lights; NASCAR chases a setting sun for Denny Hamlin to win his sixth race at Pocono, tying Jeff Gordon for the most wins.

The unofficial results of the Pocono 350:
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Erik Jones
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Clint Bowyer
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Matt Kenseth
Kurt Busch
Austin Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Jimmie Johnson
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
John Hunter Nemechek
Bubba Wallace
Corey LaJoie
Ryan Blaney
Ty Dillon
Joey Logano
Ryan Preece
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Timmy Hill
Janes Davison
Quin Houff
Garrett Smithley
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
BJ McLeod
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell
Michael McDowell

Indy 500 to Have Fans

Since returning to racing, NASCAR has allowed fans at the track only twice when they invited Air Force personnel stationed at Homestead Air Force base and allowed 5,000 ticket buying fans to watch the race in Talladega.

When the Indianapolis 500 finally hits the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they will be allowing fans…but not a stadium full.

After being postponed from the annual Memorial Day weekend, The 500 has been rescheduled for August 23.

IMS has a capacity to hold 250,000 fans in the stands with the capacity to hold an additional 50,000 in the infield but when the IndyCar Series races one of the most prestigious races on the circuit, no more than 125,000 fans will be allowed in the stands.

IMS president J. Douglas Boles noted that the are committed to running the race on August 23; adding, “we will be limiting attendance to approximately 50 percent of venue capacity, and we are also finalizing a number of additional carefully considered health and safety measures. We’ll unveil the specific details of our comprehensive plan in the coming weeks.”  Boles also encourages fans in the high risk category should consider staying home and wait until 2021 to come to the race.

Wild Ride for Xfinity Series in Pocono

It’s race number two of the first ever NASCAR triple header and the final race of the Xfinity Series Dash-4-Cash series and the last chance to win a $100,000 prize.

JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson sits on the pole for the Pocono Green 225 Recycled by J.P. Mascaro & Sons after a random draw based on car owner points.

Having jumped out of a truck and into a car Ross Chastain, Bayley Currey, Brett Moffitt, and race winner Brandon Jones are doing the double header.

Stages one and two of the race are 20 laps each with stage three lasting 50 laps for a total of 90 laps around the two and a half mile track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 10.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front but even before the race gets started good, Truck Series win Brandon Jones spins out and hits the wall head on after getting bumped by Austin Cindric.

Justin Haley, Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, and Alex Labbe are the four drivers who will be competing for the Dash-4-Cash prize.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap five and holds on to his lead but Josh Williams and Joe Graf Jr get into a wreck and bring out the second caution flag of the race.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap nine but it is Justin Allgaier who gets out in front for the lead.

With the two previous caution flags, NASCAR has withdrawn the competition caution.

Austin Cindric gets around Justin Allgaier for the lead on lap 10.

The top five are Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Chase Briscoe, and Michael Annett.

Lap eleven, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Noah Gragson.

Justin Allgaier gets loose but manages to save the car.

Lap 12, Austin Cindric has increased his lead to over three seconds on Noah Gragson; Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, and Myatt Snider round out the top five. Justin Allgaier falls to seventh after his near crash.

Lap 13, Austin Cindric now has a five second lead on Ross Chastain; Noah Gragson, Myatt Snider, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Brandon Brown has taken his car to the garage with an engine issue.

Lap 15, Austin Cindric holds on to a five second lead on Ross Chastain.

Harrison Burton spins out in turn one and brings out the third caution flag of the race. Burton gets loose and hits the inside wall hard. This was Burton’s first Pocono start.

NASCAR has red flagged the race to clean up the track. Teams are reporting that there was some oil on the track from a previous incident and a great deal of speedy dry has been put on the track.

After an extended delay of 21 minutes for track cleanup, the cars are finally moving again after NASCAR pulls the red flag to display the yellow. Some of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for service with only a few laps remaining in stage one.

Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain are one the front row and bring the field down for a three laps shootout to end stage one. Drivers immediately gets four and five wide across the track.

Austin Cindric takes the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, and Chad Finchum round out the top five.

Austin Cindric wins stage one under caution after Alex Labbe spins and brings out the caution flag.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Austin Cindric
Ross Chastain
Justin Allgaier
Myatt Snider
Michael Annett
Chase Briscoe
Noah Gragson
Riley Herbst
Justin Haley
Daniel Hemric

Drivers come down pit road for service. Austin Cindric wins the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers made a pit stop.

After staying out on the track, Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 27 with Justin Allgaier alongside on the front row. Chastain is the only driver who has yet to make a pit stop.

Ross Chastain takes the lead from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier in second; Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 28, Ross Chastain has a near half second lead on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Ten laps remain in stage two, Ross Chastain has a third of a second lead on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five. Three of the top five drivers are from JR Motorsports.

After restarting the race in eleventh, Austin Cindric has moved up to fifth place with eight laps remaining in stage two.

Lap 35, Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with Justin Allgaier in second; Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 36, Justin Allgaier and Ross Chastain battle for the lead with Chastain holding on with the lead; Austin Cindric is in third place nearly four laps back.

Lap 37, Ross Chastain makes his first pit stop of the race; giving the lead over to Justin Allgaier. Other drivers are also making pit stop before pit road closes to end the stage.

Chase Briscoe was caught speeding on pit road.

Ross Chastain returns to the track in 22nd place. There are 29 cars on the lead lap with six drivers out of the race.

With a lead of over two and a half seconds, Justin Allgaier wins stage two for his fifth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Justin Allgaier
Austin Cindric
Noah Gragson
Daneil Hemric
Riley Herbst
Myatt Snider
Michael Annett
Ryan Sieg
Brett Moffitt
Jeremy Clements

Tommy Joe Martins has a smoking car.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Austin Cindric winning the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers made a pit stop.

After making a pit stop before the end of stage two, Ross Chastain is the leader and will bring the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Justin Haley alongside on the front row.

Lap 44, Ross Chastain brings the field to the green and holds on to the lead with Justin Allgaier in second; Justin Haley, Austin Cindric, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

The leaders are single file, but back in the field the drivers are getting spread out across the track as they battle for position.

Austin Cindric has moved up to third place.

Lap 46, Ross Chastain has a half second lead on Justin Allgaier with Austin Cindric in third; Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Lap 47, Justin Allgaier is the new leader.

Lap 48, Riley Herbst spins out and brings out the sixth caution flag of the race after making contact with Justin Haley.

The drivers are now in their pit window; they cannot finish the race without making a stop for fuel.

Justin Haley and his crew chief have been invited to visit the NASCAR hauler after the race. NASCAR is holding Justin Haley for two laps for aggressive driving.

Drivers are making pit stops and getting the fuel cells packed for the end of the race.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 52 and battle Noah Gragson for the lead.

Noah Gragson brings out the caution flag when he gets loose after making contact with Myatt Snider who was bumped by Austin Cindric. Jeremy Clements and Daniel Hemric were also involved.

Drivers are making pit stops with Myatt Snider winning the race off of pit road taking fuel only.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with 33 laps remaining in the race. Ross Chastain restarts the race in seventh place.

Chase Briscoe and Brett Moffitt battle for the lead with Briscoe taking the top spot; Brett Moffitt, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe has a one second lead on Myatt Snider; Brett Moffitt, Ross Chastain, and Michael Annett round out the top five.

Thirty one laps remain in the race, Chase Briscoe has a one second lead on Myatt Snider; Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt, and Michael Annett round out the top five.

There are 28 laps remaining in the race with Chase Briscoe in the lead by a second over Myatt Snider; Ross Chastain, Michael Annett, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.

Twenty five to go, Chase Briscoe continues to lead the race with Myatt Snider in second; Ross Chastain, Michael Annett, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.

Race leader Chase Briscoe brings out the record breaking eighth caution of the day when he spins out with a blown tire.

Most of the field comes down pit road for service with Dexter Bean winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

Myatt Snider brings the field down for the green flag restart with 19 laps remaining in the race with Michael Annett in second.

Myatt Snider leads the race with Ross Chastain just over a half a second back; Brett Moffitt, Chase Briscoe, and Michael Annett round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Myatt Snider has a half second lead on Ross Chastain with Chase Briscoe, Michael Annett, and Ryan Sieg rounding out the top five.

Ross Chastain has caught up to leader Myatt Snider and is beginning to challenge for the lead.

After battling for over a lap, Ross Chastain passes Myatt Snider for the lead; Chase Briscoe is close behind in third with Michael Annett and Ryan Seig rounding out the top five.

With 12 laps to go, Chase Briscoe gets around Myatt Snider for second with Ross Chastain out in front with a narrow lead. The top three drivers are separated by just over half a second with fourth place driver Michael Annett over seven seconds back.

Lap 79, Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain battle for the lead with Chastain holding on for the lead so far.

Only nine laps remain in the race, Ross Chastain has a quarter of a second lead on Chase Briscoe; Myatt Snider, Michael Annett, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe continue to battle for the lead; swapping it back and forth.

With seven laps remaining in the race, Chase Briscoe finally gets out in front of Ross Chastain to take the lead.

Chad Finchum brings out the ninth caution flag of the race when he hits the wall with just six laps remaining in the race.

A few drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

The race is now in overtime. The finish will be determined with a green/white/checker run.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the first attempt at an overtime finish form the outside lane with Ross Chastain starting alongside on the front row.

Chase Briscoe and Ross Chastain go side by side once the green flag drops with Ross Chastain getting out in front first, but Chase Briscoe passes Chastain for the lead.

Chase Briscoe takes the white flag with Ross Chastain in second.

Chase Briscoe wins the race for his fourth of the season, but Ross Chastain wins the big money prize when he takes home the final Dash-4-Cash race.

The unofficial results of the race at Pocono:
Chase Briscoe
Ross Chastain
Jeremy Clements
Myatt Snider
Michael Annett
Justin Allgaier
Brett Moffitt
Timmy Hill
Riley Herbst
Jess Little
Dexter Bean
Ryan Sieg
Ryan Vargas
BJ McLeod
Kyle Weatherman
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Alex Labbe
Vinnie Miller
Kody Vanderwal
Carson Ware
Stefan Parson
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Bayley Currey
Matt Mills
Chas Finchum
Stephen Leicht
Daniel Hemric
Austin Cindric
Tommy Joe Martins
Jeff Green
Harrison Burton
Brandon Brown
Josh Williams
Joe Graf Jr
Brandon Jones

 

Red Flags, Crashes Mark Truck Race at Pocono

After having the race postponed due to rain, the Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series kicks off a triple header day of racing when for the first time in NASCAR all three of the sport’s racing series will run a race at Pocono Raceway.

The Truck Series gets things started with the Pocono Organics 150 to Benefit Farm Aid.

Seventeen drivers in today’s field have never raced at Pocono before.  Normally the drivers would have some practice time on the track but since NASCAR has restarted, there has been no practice or qualifying sessions.

After a random draw set by truck owner points, veteran Johnny Sauter will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag.

A fairly short race, stages one and two are just 15 laps each with stage three lasting 30 laps for a total of 60 laps around the two and a half mile track known as the “Tricky Triangle”.

Johnny Sauter brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and the drivers immediately get spread out four and five across the track with Sheldton Creed in the lead.

Matt Crafton and Codie Rohrbaugh bring out the caution flag on the first lap with a crash after contact from Austin Wayne Self going into the first turn.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap six with Austin Hill alongside on the front row and once again the drivers get spread out across the track with Sheldon Creed in the lead.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Grant Enfinger, Johnny Sauter, and Christian Eckes.

The caution flag comes out on lap seven after a crash involving Austin Wayne Self and Raphael Lessard.  Lessard got into the grass and moved up the track and making contact with Self.

NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the track cleaned up.

The red flag has been pulled and the yellow flag displayed as the drivers get moving on lap eight.  The drivers have only run one complete green flag lap.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 10 and spread out once again.  Austin Hill gets out in front for the lead before Sheldon Creed gets passed him to take the lead.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Ty Majeski, Brandon Jones, and Grant Enfinger.

Third place driver Ty Majeski started the race in 19th place.

Ty Majestki brings out the caution flag on lap 12 when he gets into the wall after making contact with Grant Enfinger.  Majeski attempted to block Enfinger, the two made contact and Majeski hit the inside wall head on.

An once again NASCAR puts out the red flag to get the track cleaned up.

The trucks are moving once again on lap 13.  Several drivers come down pit road for service.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 14 for a two lap shootout to the end of the stage.  Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill battle for the lead with Sheldon Creed getting out in front to win stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Sheldon Creed
Austin Hill
Tyler Ankrum
Brandon Jones
Todd Gilliland
Grant Enfinger
Johnny Sauter
Zane Smith
Ross Chastain
Ben Rhodes

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service but the leaders stay out on the track.  Some of the drivers who made a stop took fuel only.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two with Austin Hill alongside on the front row on lap 20.  Spreading out four and five across the track, Sheldon Creed takes the lead with Austin Hill in second; Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

After starting the race from the back of the field, Parker Kligerman has moved into the top 15.

Lap 22, Sheldon Creed has a half second lead on Austin Hill.

Brennan Poole brings out the caution flag on lap 23 with a flat tire after making contact with the wall.

Several of the drivers are reporting a tight condition with their trucks.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart with just ffour laps remaining in stage two.  A wide track, the drivers take advantage and spread out across the track, getting four and five wide.

Sheldon Creed holds on to the lead with Johnny Sauter in second.  Some of the drivers are making their pit stops, looking to make it to the end of the race on a single pit stop.

The caution flag comes out on lap 27 for Jordan Anderson who has a flat tire.  Moving slowly to avoid damaging the truck, Anderson kept the truck off of the wall.

With stage two ending under caution, Sheldon Creed sweeps the stage wins.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Sheldon Creed
Christian Eckes
Ben Rhodes
Stewart Friesen
Tanner Gray
Tyler Ankrum
Zane Smith
Brett Moffitt
Bayley Currey
Spencer Davis

For the first time this season, a Truck Series driver other than Grant Enfinger has won a playoff point by winning a stage.

Drivers come down pit road for service including the leaders.  Christian Eckes and Chase Purday make contact coming off of pit road.

Ross Chastain and Zane Smith bring the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 33 with Zane Smith taking the lead.

The top five are Zane Smith, Derek Kraus, Ross Chastain, Todd Gilliland, and Christian Eckes.

With only 26 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are beginning to get aggressive with their moves.

The caution flag comes out after Tate Fogelman gets into the wall after making contact with Tanner Gray.

Zane Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race on lap 38 with Smith holding on to the lead.

The top five are Zane Smith, Christian Eckes, Brandon Jones, Austin , and Todd Gilliland.

Christian Eckes gets around Zane Smith for the lead with Brandon Jones taking second; Austin Hill, Todd Gilliland, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

After losing the lead, Zane Smith has fallen through the field and is now in eighth place.

Lap 40, Christian Eckes has the lead with Brandon Jones on his bumper challenging for the lead.  Kyle Busch owns the  trucks of both drivers.

Lap 43, Christian Eckes continues to lead the race with Brandon Jones just under a half second behind; Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed, and To Gilliland round out the top five.

Lap 46, Christina Eckes is in the lead with team mate Brandon Jones in second; Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

Lap 47, Christian Eckes has pulled out to a lead of a second on Brandon Jones.

Leader Christian Eckes brings out the caution flag when he spins out after blowing a tire with 12 laps remaining in the race.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart of the race with only eight laps remaining in the race.  Austin Hill gets out in front for the lead as the drivers spread out across the track.

The top five are Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed, Todd Gilliland, and Ben Rhodes.

Brandon Jones challenges Austin Hill for the lead and takes the lead on lap 53.

Glay Greenfield has a heavily smoking truck but the track stays green as he makes it to pit road.

Timothy Viens brings out the record tying ninth caution flag of the race on lap 54 when he spins out.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart for a two lap shootout for the finish.  Brandon Jones and Austin Hill battle for the lead when Sheldon Creed makes it three wide and takes the top spot.

Sheldon Creed takes the white flag when Brandon Jones comes up to battle for the lead.  With a side by side Battle, Brandon Jones finally gets out in front for his first win at Pocono…and another win for Kyle Busch Motorsports.  This is also a first win for the entire team.

The unofficial results of the Organics 150:
Brandon Jones
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
Todd Gilliland
Ben Rhodes
Ross Chastain
Brett Moffitt
Stewart Friesen
Tyler Ankrum
Derek Kraus
Grant Enfinger
Tanner Gray
Johnny Sauter
Zane Smith
Parker Kligerman
Bayley Currey
Jordan Anderson
Spencer Davis
Tyler Hill
Bobby Lyons II
Chase Purdy
Spencer Boyd
Josh Reaume
Korbin FOrrister
Cory Roper
Bryan Dauzat
Ray Ciccarelli
Jesse Iwuji
Tim Viens
Norm Benning
Clay Greenfield
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Christian Eckes
Tate Fogleman
Brennan Poole
Ty Majeski
Raphael Lessard
Austin Wayne Self
Codie Rohrbaugh
Matt Crafton

TX Softball Team Quits Over Tweet

When I was a child, the taunt “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was bantered about as if it were an answer to everything.

Well…words DO hurt and the general manager for the Texas Independent professional softball team the Scrap Yard Dogs found out just how bad they can hurt.

Scrap Yard Dogs general manager Connie May posted a Tweet with a photo of her team all standing for the National Anthem.  She added the caption, which included a tag to the White House, “everyone respecting the FLAG!”.

The Tweet has since been deleted, but the damage was done.

The players were furious over the Tweet and resigned from the team en masse; the coaching staff and some of the office staff joined the players.  Going a step further, they formed a new team – This Is Us Softball.

Outfielder Haylie McCleney said, “it’s really the same team, we’re just dropping the Scrap Yard portion of it because we no longer want to represent the organization after how we were treated.  So we’re going to continue to play for the awareness, the empowerment and the unity.”

Pitcher Cat oysterman was one of the first players to take a stand and quit the team; followed by Kiki Stokes.  The remainder of the team quickly followed.

“It wasn’t really a question. No one questioned the decision. I believe Cat was one of the first people to say it, and then after that, everyone was like, ‘You go, I go,’” said Kelsey Stewart.

In a locker room speech the players viewed as a tone deaf apology, May told the team that she thought the Tweet showed that the team was unified.

Later, May again attempted to apologize via a phone call, but the players only felt that May was not listening to their concerns.  Kelsey Stewart, who was a part of the call, said that May kept saying her heart was in the right place and told the team that “all lives matter”.

McCleney, who was also on the call, felt that May was not genuine in her apologies.

The players from the Scrap Yard Dogs are also getting some support from other players and companies who have reached out to help the girls with equipment and funding.  The USSSA Pride – the last game the Scrap Yard Dogs played, were to play a seven game series this summer and have since postponed those games.  The Pride has also condemned May’s Tweet.

Besides playing softball, This Is Us hope to open some dialogue on racism saying, “if our GM was listening to Black voices, she would have known that that tweet was unacceptable.”

Stewart added, “it’s time to open our hearts and minds and really acknowledge the situation, acknowledge that racism is real and be part of that change.  Have those hard conversations and don’t be afraid to change your mind after you learn new information.”

And she has a message for the young girls who want to play softball, “we are here to protect you at all costs.  And we’re going through this now so you don’t have to go through this.  Keep swinging, keep playing catch and we’ll protect you the whole way.” 

 

feature photo credit: By Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80979171

 

NASCAR Suspends Crew Chief

On June 26 NASCAR issued a penalty to Xfinity Series  Mike Harmon Racing crew chief Theodore Brown for behavioral issues.  Brown has been the crew chief for the Blue Lives Matter car driven by Kyle Weatherman.

NASCAR stated that Brown violated the Rule Book which states, “being charged with or convicted of significant criminal violations (e.g. Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Assault), or having had determinations rendered by criminal or civil authorities that in NASCAR’s judgement necessitate action. NASCAR will not pre-judge guilt or innocence in the criminal or civil legal system, or the guilt or innocence of the Member, but rather review each matter in its own context and circumstances and with regards to its potential effects upon the sport.”

Brown has been suspended indefinitely from the sport.

The suspension after Brown was arrested for am alleged June 8 assault on a woman and habitual misdemeanor assault, which is a felony charge.

He has been the crew chief for 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series race including 10 races during the 2020 season.

In other NASCAR penalty news, the Richard Childress Racing number 21 car driven by Anthony Alfredo was found to have an unsecured lug nut during the post race inspection process after the Unhinged 300 at Talladega Speedway June 20.  As a result of the infraction, crew chief Andy Street was fined $5,000.

 

First Win at Pocono for Cup Veteran

Once again, NASCAR is running four races in a two day period, but this time it was originally scheduled that way as the drivers take on the tricky triangle at Pocono Raceway.

This marks the first time that the NASCAR Cup has run two races in two days at the same track.

Originally planned as a two day double header, Mother Nature has stepped in an changed the plans.  After the Gander Truck Series race was postponed until Sunday due to the weather, NASCAR is looking to get the Pocono Organics 325 completed.

As the practice of no practice or qualifying continues, a random draw based on car owner points, put Aric Almirola on the pole and bring the field down for the green flag with Ryan Blaney alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Pocono Organics 325:
Aric Almirola
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Newman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Tyler Reddick
William Byron
Austin Dillon
Clint Bowyer
Erik Jones
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt DiBenedetto
Matt Kenseth
Bubba Wallace
Chris Buescher
Cole Custer
Michael McDowell
Brennan Poole
Joey Gase
Corey LaJoie
Ryan Preece
Garrett Smithley
Quin Houff
JJ Yeley
Ty Dillon
James Davison
Christopher Bell
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod
Josh Bilicki

After a delay of over half an hour as track officials worked to get the track dry after a morning rainstorm, NASCAR calls the drivers to their cars while officials continue to work on the weepers – water seeping through the asphalt.

Stages one is only 25 laps long with stage two 52 laps in length, and stage three lasting 53 laps for a total of 130laps around the two and a half mile the three cornered track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 12.

Just as the drivers get ready to start the race, rain begins to fall.  NASCAR keeps the cars running pace laps in hopes of waiting out the rain and getting the race going.

The track drying equipment has joined the drivers on the track to get it dry and ready for the race.

Aric Almirola reported that visibility is difficult due to all the mist on the windshield.

And over an hour after the original start time, NASCAR throws the green flag with Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney going side by side before Almirola gets out in front for the lead with Kyle Busch in second and Ryan Blaney in third; Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Pocono has one of the widest tracks on the circuit, but the drivers are nearly all single file.

Lap three Aric Almirola has a third of a second lead on Kyle Busch; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap five, Aric Almirola has pulled out to a one second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Joey Gase brings his car down pit road.

Fourth place driver Kyle Busch is reporting a tight position.

Lap seven, Aric Almirola holds on to a one second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 10, leader Aric Almirola has increased his lead to over a second on Joey Logano; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

At the end of lap 12, NASCAR puts out the yellow flag for the competition caution  Joey Gase is the only driver not on the track with 36 cars on the lead lap.

Teams have the option of bringing their cars down pit road to check tire wear and make adjustments.

After the top eight cars stay out on the track; Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart with Joey Logano alongside on the front row on lap 17.  The drivers are getting five wide across the track and then narrow it down to just three wide.

Aric Almirola holds on to the lead.

The caution flag comes back out on lap 17 when Quin Houff gets into the wall after getting loose.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 20, but it is Joey Logano who gets out in front to lead the race.

With just five laps remaining in stage one; the top five are Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch.

Some of the drivers are short pitting and bringing their cars down for service before the end of stage one.

With a lead of over half a second, Joey Logano wins stage one for his fourth stage win of the year.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Joey Logano
Aric Almirola
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
Eric Jones

Not all of the drivers come down pit road for service.  Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, and Ty Dillon lead the race off of pit road after taking fuel only.

Ty Dillon was caught speeding on pit road.

Taking the outside lane, Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 31 but it is Aric Almirola who gets out in front for the lead.

Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Quin Houff is the only car of the race.  Joey Gase has returned to the track but is three laps down.

Lap 34, Aric Almirola has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Lap 38, Ryan Blaney brings his car down pit road for the first time for fresh tires and service.

Aric Almirola has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 40, more drivers are making their first pit stops of the day for service.

Lap 41, Aric Almirola now has a lead of nearly two seconds on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Matt DiBenedetto, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Leader Aric Almirola is among the drivers who have yet to make a pit stop.

William Byron is reporting a significant vibration in his car.

Second place driver Joey Logano brings his car down pit road for service.

Lap 45, Aric Almirola has a lead of over four seconds on Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 45, leader Aric Almirola brings his car down pit road for service.  With second place driver Chase Elliott also coming down pit road, Martin Truex Jr is the new leader.

All of the drivers have made their first pit stops of the day.

Lap 47, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Chris Buescher.  Aric Almirola comes back out on the track in 27th place.

Lap 51, Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 55, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on lead Martin Truex Jr to just a quarter of a second; Kyle Busch William Byron, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 60, Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin in second two tenths of a second back; Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Erik Jones round out the top five, putting all four of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars in the top five.

Lap 61, Denny Hamlin gets around team mate Martin Truex Jr to take the lead; Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five as driver are making green flag pit stops.

The teams are all on a variety of pit stop strategies, giving way to numerous pit stop cycles.

Lap 63, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Kyle Busch two and a half seconds back; Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Trying to avoid Josh Bilicki, Jimmie Johnson overshoots his pit stall and has to back up before the team can work on the car.

JJ Yeley brings out the caution flag with a tire shredding after contact from John Hunter Nemechek.

The caution flag amid a green flag pit cycle ends up trapping some drivers one lap down and causes others to lose a lot of track position if they pit under the yellow.

With 24 drivers on the lead lap, a large pack of drivers come down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road with Kyle Busch coming out second.

Once again back out in front, Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart with just  eight laps remaining in stage two.  With the wave arounds, there are 30 cars on the lead lap.

Aric Almirola takes the lead with Joey Logano in second; Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

BJ McLeod and Quin Houff are the only drivers out of the race.

The caution flag comes out on lap 72 when Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones get into a crash.  Jones just misses the barrels at the end of pit road and hits the wall head on.  The right rear crush panel on Tyler Reddick’s car is torn up.  The crush panels help to keep the fumes out of the car and may cause some issues for Reddick during the race.

Kurt Busch was reporting grip issues.

Austin Dillon overshot his pit stall and had to back up before the crew could service the car.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr has stalled out on the track near the entrance to pit road.  Stenhouse had no fuel pressure.

Chase Elliott is reporting gear issues; after missing a gear.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart with only two laps remaining in stage two. Almrola and Joey Logano go nose to nose before Aric Almirola gets out in front for the lead with Joey Logano in second; Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Aric Almirola wins stage two for his first stage win of the season and his fourth career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Aric Almirola
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Matt DiBenedetto
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.

Leader Aric Almirola has led nearly 50 laps today; in his career at Pocono, he has led only two laps.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Joey Logano alongside on the front row on lap 82 with the drivers getting four and five wide.  Aric Almirola gets out in front for the lead.

With Aric Almirola in the lead, Kevin Harvick, Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Chase Elliott was charged with the team having an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop.

Lap 84, Aric Almirola has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 90, Aric Almirola has pulled out to a lead of half a second on Kevin Harvick; Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

The window is open for the drivers to make it to the end of the race on fuel; several drivers come down pit road for fuel.  Tire wear is not an issue at Pocono so the drivers do not need to worry about fresh tires.

With 37 laps to go, Aric Almirola has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick.

Leader Aric Almirola makes his green flag pit stop that includes fuel and tires.

Denny Hamlin is the new leader with Ryan Newman in second: Michael McDowell, Chris Buescher, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

Ryan Newman takes the lead with Michael McDowell in second after the leaders make pit stops.

Lap 100, the top five are Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell, Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Corey LaJoie.

With 29 cars on the lead lap, Ryan Newman has a two second lead on Michael McDowell with 28 laps to go; Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

With 25 laps remaining in the race, Michael McDowell has cut Ryan Newman’s lead in half to just one second; Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Michael McDowell gets around Ryan Newman to take the lead; Chris Buescher, Ryan Preece, and Rickty Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Michael McDowell and Ryan Newman come down pit road for service; putting Chris Buescher in the lead with Ryan Preece in second; Kevin Harvick, Corey LaJoie, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Chris Buescher is in the lead but he will have to make a pit stop in the next lap or two, putting Kevin Harvick in the lead.

With 18 laps to go, Chris Buescher comes down pit road and gives the lead over to Kevin Harvick; Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Martin Truex Jr, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Kevin Harvick has a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; there are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Alex Bowman has to make an unscheduled stop on pit road with a flat tire.

Kevin Harvick has a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin is two seconds behind leader Kevin Harvick; the next car – Aric Almirola – is 13 seconds back.

With 12 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Kevin Harvick to under a second; Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr is reporting a vibration in his car.

Ten to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of a second on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

With eight laps remaining in the race, there are 26 cars on the lead lap with just three cars out of the race.

Joey Logano has to make an unscheduled pit stop with a flat tire.

Five to go, Kevin Harvick has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola, Christopher Bell, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin is reporting a significant vibration.

With three laps to go, there are  21 cars on the lead lap, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Aric Almirola , Christopher Bell, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flat.

After finishing a race at Pocono four times, Kevin Harvick finally earns his first win at Pocono Raceway.  With the top half of the field inverted for tomorrow’s race, Harvick will start the race in 20th place with Ryan Preece sitting on the pole

The unofficial results of the Pocono Organics 325:
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Aric Almirola
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Clint Bowyer
Michael McDowell
Brad Keselowski
Chris Buescher
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Blaney
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Ryan Newman
Cole Custer
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kurt Busch
Austin Dillon
Ryan Preece
Jimmie Johnson
Bubba Wallace
Corey LaJoie
John Hunter Nemechek
Chase Elliott
Ty Dillon
Alex Bowman
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Tyler Reddick
JJ Yeley
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley
James Davison
Timmy Hill
Joey Logano
Joey Gase
Erik Jones
BJ McLeod
Quin Houff

Olympic Day Events Set Record

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games have been postponed until next summer due to the global pandemic.  But that has not stopped the athletes who continue to train and prepare for The Games.

On June 23, 2020; 141 athletes from 20 time zones in 47 sports gathered for Olympic Day events that ranged from simple squats to headstands.

The 24 hour event was broadcast on social media outlets where sports and Olympic fans could join in on the various workout events.  In a record setting event, over 400 million people across the globe joined in on the workouts.

The Olympic Day activities were designed to invite fans to stay active and celebrate the values the Olympics puts forth.

Trinidad and Tobago‘s Olympic hurdler Mikel Thomas offered up an epic 40 minute workout.  Thomas also noted, “Olympic day is to bring us all together, it unites all of us in the spirit of sport, it’s about unity. It’s a good opportunity for everyone to just build yourself, keep growing and get better; and we will get better, because that’s the whole point!”

For anyone who missed the Olympic Day live events can still join in on a workout or two by going to the Olympic Channel.

 

NBA’s Vince Carter Retires

After spending 22 years as a professional basketball player, Vince Carter has announced that he is retiring from the NBA.  Carter held the record for the longest NBA career at the time of his retirement.

Calling Carter “a true ambassador of the game”, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said, “Vince Carter has made an indelible impact on the NBA with his remarkable skill and enduring commitment.”

Playing for eight teams over the course of his career, Carter ranks number three in the number of games played with 1,541.  Only Robert Parish with 1,611 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 1,560 rank higher.  Carter began his career with the Toronto Raptors; he then went on to play for New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento, and Atlanta.  Carter has scored 25,728 points over the course of his career that spanned at least a part of four decades.

During his career Carter’s accomplishments include Rookie of the Year, a Slam Dunk Champion, a Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year, a Gold Medal Olympian, and an eight time All Star.

During Carter’s rookie season in 1998, the season was cut short due to labour issues; his final season in 2020 was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  His last game was March 11, 2020 where the Atlanta Hawks lost in overtime to the New York Knicks.  Hawk fans gave Carter a near 20 second curtain call, yelling “we want Vince!”, urging Hawk coaches to put Carter back in the game.  Carter came back into the game where he hit a three pointer seconds before the clock ran out.

Playing college basketball at North Carolina under Dean Smith, Carter is the last player in the NBA to have played for Smith.

Carter said that he has no plans to give up the game, but will play at home; adding that his professional career has come to an end.

 

feature photo credit: By Copyright by Steve Lipofsky Basketballphoto.com – http://www.basketballphoto.com/, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9903888

NFL HOF Postpones Induction Ceremonies

While the National Football League is looking to have a complete season with the players reporting to camp at the end of July.  But not everything is going as planned.

On June 25, the NFL announced the cancellation of the annual Hall of Fame game scheduled for August.  The 2020 NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony has also been put off until 2021.
The game was originally scheduled for August 6 between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers at the stadium in Canton, Ohio.  The game has been rescheduled for August 5, 2021 with the Cowboys and Steelers playing.

Twenty new inductees were set to be enshrined into The Hall, but will have to wait until August 7, 2021 to unveil their new bust and don the yellow jacket.  The 2021 class will be enshrined on August 8, 2021.

The 2020 class of Hall of Fame members are:
former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
NFL Films co-founder Steve Sabol
former New York Giants executive George Young
Super Bowl winning coach of the Dallas Cowboys Jimmy Johnson
Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bob Cowher
Troy Polamalu
Steve Hutchinson
Edgerrin James
Isaac Bruce
and Steve Atwater

Celebrating 100 years of the Hall of Fame, 10 more new inductees were to be inducted:
Harold Carmichael
Jim Covert
Bobby Dillon
Cliff Harris
Winston Hill
Alex Karras
Donnie Shell
Duke Slater
Mac Speedie
and Ed Sprinkle

Hall of Fame CEO David Baker spoke on the decision saying, “this is the right decision for several reasons, first and foremost the health and welfare of our Gold Jackets, incoming centennial class of 2020 members, hall personnel and event volunteers.  We also must consider the most appropriate way to fulfill the first tenet of our mission: To honor the heroes of the game. This decision meets that duty.”

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also spoke on the delay saying, “the delay is obviously disappointing but completely understandable.  It’s always a great weekend especially for football fans and family, coaches, colleagues who’ve been critical in our successes. But a big part of the weekend is meeting, greeting, photos and signing autographs for the thousands of fans. Not something that I’d want to do in the coronavirus environment.”

The NFL owners are meeting to decide whether the preseason should be the normal four games or reduced to just two per team.  Teams that play in the annual Hall of Fame game play an extra game.

 

NHL Gets New Carbon Neutral Stadium

The National Hockey League’s new expansion team in Seattle has a new name and sponsor for their 18,000 seat stadium – Climate Pledge Arena sponsored by the Seattle based company Amazon.

More than just a new stadium, the arena is designed to show a neutral carbon footprint.  The arena will be powered by renewable electricity; including the Zamboni machine.  The stadium is scheduled to be ready and open for the 2021-2022 playing season.

In 2019 Amazon made an agreement with Global Optimism for corporate America to have a zero carbon footprint by 2040.

The new Climate Pledge Arena is a reconstruction of the old KeyArena.  So far, the project has cost $1 billion to upgrade the stadium to a carbon neutral facility.  The roof is the only original part of the KeyArena since it was deemed a national landmark.

Climate Pledge Arena will not feature Amazon’s name anywhere in the stadium, instead it will spotlight the awareness of needing to make changes to maintain a livable planet.

The arena will include solar panels on the roof, an electric Zamboni, use trapped rainwater to make the ice, and all solar powered electric operations.

Along with collecting rainwater – something often found in Seattle; the arena is looking at having the fans bring in rainwater they have collected to have a field of play created by the fans.

Concession vendors will not utilize single use plastics with 75 percent of the food coming from local sources.  Any unused food will be donated to local food community programs.

To aid in neutralizing the carbon footprint associated with the arena, the Seattle public transit system will be offering free bus rides to the stadium and encourage fans to leave their cars at home.

The NHL Seattle team has yet to announce a team nickname or team colours.

The Women’s National Basketball Association will also be using the new area for games.

In addition to the naming rights for the new arena, Amazon has pledged $2 billion to The Climate Pledge Fund to aid with investing in clean energy sources.

 

Dixie Chicks Make Name Change

In an age of social injustice protests and the removal or renaming of things deemed offensive; even Country music artists are renaming themselves.

Recently the award winning trio Lady Antebellum dropped the Antebellum from their name and are now known simply as Lady A – a name that has long been used by their fans.

No stranger to controversy, the female Country music group The Dixie Chicks have also decided upon a name change.  The Grammy Award winning trio has dropped the Dixie from their name and will now be known as The Chicks.

In 2003, Natalie Maines drew ire for the group when she criticized President George W. Busch for his actions involving the Iraq War.  Their musical response to the backlash “Not Ready to Make Nice” earned them three Grammy Awards.

Noting that the trio of Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer now shares their name with a group in New Zealand, the trio issued a statement saying, “a sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters.”

Saying, “we want to meet this moment,” the trio acknowledged that the term Dixie is used to describe the states that at one time belonged to the Confederacy.

The trio is releasing their first album in over a decade next month.  The album will include the song “March March” – the video of which features images from Black Lives Matter rallies.

After beginning as a bluegrass band in Texas, the trio has gone on to win 13 Grammys and sell over 30 million albums in the United States.

 

feature photo credit: By Jim Williams – https://www.flickr.com/photos/enjoyeverysandwich/3366101145/in/faves-24788065@N02/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15120482

 

MLB Says Mascots ‘Essential’

When talk first began about Major League Baseball opening for the 2020 season, the number of people allowed in the ballpark would be greatly limited…including not allowing beloved mascots into the stadiums.

Major League Baseball has since changed their stance on the matter.

Original Phillie Phantatic Dave Raymond noted, “the fur is back on the field.”  He added, “I applaud MLB for this change  They had said we were nonessential, but that’s not true.”

But while the lovable furry creatures will again be allowed into the stadium, they will not be allowed on the field of play.

Mascots having fun outside the Good Morning America set.By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA – Mascots having fun outside the Good Morning America set., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48448419

As yet, there is no word on the characters that hold the comical races – the Sausages in Milwaukee, the Presidents in Washington, the perogies in Pittsburgh, etc.  Nor has The League weighed in on whether Mr. Met can have his lady friend Mrs. Met along or whether the Phillie Phanatic can invite him “mom” to the games.

Raymond noted that even with no fans in the stands, there are plenty of things a mascot can do to engage fans…even if it is just on television.

 

feature photo credit: By Mobilus In Mobili – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobili/5523264377/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57306889

 

Golden Mummies on Display

While the Covid-19 virus continues to wreak havoc in some areas of the country, others are slowing working their way to a semblance of normalcy including western New York.

Like all places that attracted large crowds, the Buffalo Museum of Science had to close its doors in March.  As phase four of the reopening process begins, the Buffalo Museum of Science is working to reopen its doors by the Fourth of July weekend and be limited to 25 percent capacity.

Once The Museum reopens it will be only on the weekends with just the exhibits on the second floor available to visitors.  However, the interactive exhibits will remain closed for the time being.

One of the exhibits that will be open to visitors is the Golden Mummies of Egypt traveling exhibit.

Mummies31

People have been fascinated by ancient Egypt and Mummies for generations.  Golden Mummies of Egypt features actual Mummies that have existed for hundreds of years.  In Egyptian society only the wealthiest of citizens were mummified upon their death.  It was an arduous and expensive venture that was open to only a few.

The over 100 artifacts and Mummies in the exhibit were taken from the Manchester Museum.  Along with the Mummies encased in gold are films on Egypt and mummification, masks, coffins, sculptures, and jewelry.

Tickets for the Buffalo Science Museum and the Golden Mummies exhibit are available online at https://www.sciencebuff.org/.  The Golden Mummy exhibit requires a separate fee with timed tickets.  Tickets for the exhibit are $19 for adults, $16 for children over the age of two, and $5 for members.  Seniors, students, and members of the Military can purchase tickets with ID from the service desk for $16.  today!

 

NFL Lions Get New Owner

As NFL teams prepare for a new season, there will be many changes in store for the teams; including a new owner for the Detroit Lions.

Martha Firestone Ford took over as principal ownership of the team in 2014 when William Clay Ford Sr died.

On June 24, the Lions announced that Martha Firestone Ford, now in her nineties, is stepping down as the principal owner; her daughter Sheila Ford Hamp will take over the ownership duties.

Martha Ford spoke on the transition via a statement saying, “it has been a great honor for our family to be associated with the Lions and with the National Football League. I am gratified that this family tradition, which my husband and I began almost six decades ago, will continue under Sheila’s guiding hand. It is clear to me that Sheila will provide superb leadership and is fully committed to competitive excellence and community involvement.”

Sheila Ford Hamp was a member of the Super Bowl and Major Events advisory committee last year.

Hamp also spoke on the new ownership via statement saying, “my mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago. She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward. On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field.”

William Clay Ford purchased the Lions in 1963 and held ownership until his death.  Shelia Ford Hamp is only the third person to won the team.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke on the new ownership for the Lions saying via statement, “Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons.  I have appreciated her business insights, her love of the game, her deep commitment to the NFL, and her personal kindness. We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise. Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club’s executive team.”

In her first press conference as the new owner of the Lions, expressed her support for players who choose to protest peacefully and to the coaching staff should they decided to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick saying, “if our coaches and our general manager all thought it was a good idea to bring him in, I would completely support that.”

Matthew Stafford is expected to return as the Lions starting quarterback when the 2020 season begins.

Colin Kaepernick last played in the NFL in 2016 when he was the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers but was dropped from the team after he began kneeling during the performance of the National Anthem to protest social injustice and police brutality.

 

feature photo credit: By Mary Meyer – https://www.flickr.com/photos/yodieann/2075262573/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14761132

Cody Purvis is on ‘Drinkin’ Terms’ with Country Music

Country music up and comer Cody Purvis has joined the ranks of artists with a “drinking song” – “Drinkin’ Terms” from his new EP “Boots on the Ground”.

The song has already surpassed eight million streams on digital platforms.

Purvis recorded the five song EP after his summer plans to record a new album were put on hold after the Covid-19 pandemic locked everything down.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of “Boots on the Ground” is going to a Covid-19 Musicians Relief fund.

Following in his father’s footsteps, a young Cody knew in 1979 that he would be making music and recording records.  Along with his father, Purvis cites traditional Country artists as his musical influences including Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Dean Dillon, and Toby Keith.

He would perform his first professional gig when he was 16 years old and later won the Colgate Country Countdown in 2010.  He  has been singing ever since.  The Virginia native was named the Best Emerging Performer in Charlottesville and has performed at the annual CMA Fest.  He even passed up his own high school Prom and graduation to perform.  Purvis released his debut CD in 2012.

Purvis has opened for numerous artists including Darius Rucker, Josh Thompson, Trent Tomlinson, Steve Holy, Lee Greenwood, Colt Ford, and Peter Frampton.

feature photo credit: Cody Purvis’ Facebook page

 

 

Queen Gets Stamped

In 2021 British rockers Queen will celebrate 50 years of making music.  To help mark the occasion, the Royal Mail is issuing a series of stamps saluting the rockers.

The collection will feature 13 stamps that includes band portraits and album covers.  Along with a band portrait and four live photo shots; the album covers included are “Queen II”, “Sheer Heart Attack”, “A Night at the Opera”, “News of the World, “The Game”, “Greatest Hits”, “The Works”, and “Innuendo”.

Queen becomes only the third British band to be honoured with a Royal stamp collection; preceded only by The Beatles and Pink Floyd.

Queen began in 1970 as Smile and had their first gig at a charity event.  Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon, and Freddie Mercury performed their first gig as Queen in the summer of 1971 at Surrey College.

Queen guitarist Brian May spoke on the honour saying, “it’s hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps.  Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it’s strange to wake up and realize the position in which we are now held – we have become a national institution! And nothing brings this home more than this incredible tribute from Royal Mail.

Drummer Roger Taylor also spoke on the collection, “Wow…….stamps featuring our albums.  What an honour. We must be really part of the furniture now! Thanks, Royal Mail for stamping on us! In gratitude.”

The collection goes on sale July 9 via the Royal Mint at royalmint.com.

 

Matchbox Twenty

The 2021 music season is shaping up to be a very busy year; Matchbox 20 has added their name to the growing list of rockers touring next year.

The rockers postponed their summer tour in May as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fans who purchased tickets for the postponed dates may use their tickets for the new dates.  Fans who will be unable to attend the new shows will receive an email on how to obtain a refund.

The performance scheduled for the Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas has been cancelled.  Ticket holds will receive a refund from the point of purchase.

Matchbox Twenty 2021 tour dates:
July 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT
July 17 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford, NH
July 18 at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
July 20 at the Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem, PA
July 22 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ
July 23 at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY
July 25 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
July 27 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
July 28 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
July 30 at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, VA
July 31 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek in Raleigh, NC
Aug 1 at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC
Aug 3 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta, GA
Aug 4 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Aug 6 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL
Aug 7 at the Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
Aug 8 at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL
Aug 10 at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Pelham, AL
Aug 12 at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX
Aug 13 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
Aug 15 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
Aug 16 at the Zoo Amphitheater in Oklahoma City, OK
Aug 18 at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, IL
Aug 20 at the Live at the Garden in Memphis, TN
Aug 21 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, MO
Aug 22 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO
Aug 24 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
Aug 25 at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater in Toledo, OH
Aug 27 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
Aug 28 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN
Aug 29 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
Aug 31 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sept 1 at the S&T Bank Music Park in Burgettstown, PA
Sept 3 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
Sept 4 at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in Darien, NY
Sept 5 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
Sept 8 at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, SD
Sept 9 at the CHI Health Center  in Omaha, NE
Sept 10 at the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, MN
Sept 12 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Sept 14 at the  Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater in Nampa, ID
Sept 18 at the USANA Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 21 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC
Sept 23 at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle, WA
Sept 25 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
Sept 26 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA
Sept 28 at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, CA
Sept 30 at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre in San Diego, CA
Oct 3 at the Five Point Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA
Oct 5 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ
Oct 7 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA

 

Black Theatre Troupe Presents 8:46

While science fiction is a great format for social commentary; the theatre is an excellent format for awareness and change.

The Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate NY is joining with six l groups from the Albany area for a presentations of “8:46” each.

The production takes its name from the death of George Floyd and the length of time that a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck.

Beginning June 30, the seven groups will present a production via Facebook Live that will last just eight minutes and 46 seconds.  The Public Access Channels in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy will also carry the productions.

A live talkback is also scheduled after the productions via Zoom.  The link will be provided on Facebook once the presentation has begun.

The Black Theatre Troup of Upstate NY; as well as, the other six organizations have a long standing record of producing works by artists of colour and with actors of colour.

The presentation is free but all donations to the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region are welcome and encouraged.  Donations can be made by texting BTTUNY to 41444.

The productions included in the presentation are:
BTTUNY presents “The Nub of the Issue” by Barbara Jordan with Barbara Howard and Tony Pallone.

Acting with Aaron presents “The Eyez in the Wall” by Aaron Moore with Majestic Tillman, Zoe Lewis, and Danielle Collins.

The Capital Repertory Theatre presents “Night Vision” by Dominique Morisseau with Kevin Craig West and Susan Spain.

The Creative Action Unlimited presents “Privilege” by Michael Kennedy.

The Illuminate Theatre presents “8 Ways to Say Goodbye” with Moriah Edmunds.

The Troy Foundry Theatre presents “A Memo on White Fagility” by Katie Pedro with David Girard, Kelly Artis, Niya Colbert, Emily Curro, Ethan Botwick, Ryay Malcolm, and Christian Steward.

The Park Playhouse Inc. presents a selection from “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” by Lanie Robertson with Gina-Simone Pemberton and Brandon Jones.

 

MLB Set to Begin in Late July

After much bickering back and forth between, the owners, player’s association, an Major League Baseball; an agreement has finally been agreed upon.

With a delay of some three months, baseball fans will finally get to watch a game beginning July 23 or 24.  Major League Baseball has decided on a 60 game regular season.

The players are scheduled to report for “spring training” on July 1.  Instead of reporting to their spring training camps in Florida or Arizona, the teams will train in their own ballparks.

This will mark the shortest professional baseball season since 1878.

Teams will be restricted to visiting each city only once and will play their division rivals both in their own leagues and the opposing league – American East vs National East, American Central vs. National Central, and American West vs. National West.

While the teams will be playing, the fans will have to rely on other formats to see the game because fans will not be allowed in the stands.

In other changes, the designated hitter has been expanded to both the American and National Leagues.  Any game that goes into extra innings will begin with a runner standing in scoring position on second base.

In the past teams carried a roster of 25 players.  When the season begins each team will have 30 players, two weeks later that number will be reduced to 28 players, and two weeks later will be reduced again to 26 players where it will stay for the remainder of the season.  With no minor league teams this season, each team can have a squad of up to 60 players where three of the players will be allowed to travel with the teams; one of the three traveling players must be a catcher.

A proposal has been made to expand the playoff teams but at the moment it remains at 10 teams.

With the season beginning so late, the deadline for trading players has been extended to August 31.  The deadline for a player to be eligible for postseason play has been extended to September 15.

FBI Concludes ‘Noose’ Incident

On Sunday evening at the Talladega Speedway, a noose was found in the garage stall of the Richard Petty Motorsports team.  Bubba Wallace drives the number 43 car for RPM.  An Alabama native, Wallace is currently the only driver in NASCAR who is biracial.

Law enforcement authorities were called in immediately to investigate the incident.

After an investigation  by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Alabama determined that the noose had not been placed in the garage stall on Sunday; but rather, had been left from last fall.

As a result of the investigation, authorities said, “after a thorough review of the facts and evidence surrounding the event, we have concluded that no federal crime was committed.”

While federal authorities have completed their investigation, NASCAR President Steve Phelps said, “the sanctioning body was still investigating why the rope was tied into a noose in October.”

In a statement issued by NASCAR, “we are thankful that there was no one involved in perpetrating hate during this weekend’s race.  Just like the rest of the NASCAR garage, we were shocked and appalled to learn of the existence of the rope fashioned like a noose.”

NASCAR added, “it was thankful that there was no intentional act committed against Wallace.”

Phelps added, “I do want to make sure everyone understands that if given the evidence that we had was delivered to us on [Sunday] night or late [Sunday] afternoon, we would do the same thing.  We would have done the same investigation. It was important for us to do. There is no place in our sport for this type of racism or hatred. It’s not part of who we are as a sport.”

NASCAR assigns garage stalls to the teams based on the standings after the previous race.  When NASCAR was at Talladega in October of 2019, The Wood Brothers number 21 car was assigned the same garage stall.  A crew member from The Wood Brothers noted that he had seen the same noose when the team occupied the garage stall.

A crew member from RPM found the noose.  Driver Bubba Wallace who has been deeply affected by recent events never saw the noose, but only learned about the incident later.

Wallace’s fellow drivers quickly rallied around the driver offering support by pushing his car to the front of the field prior to the performance of the National Anthem.  The drivers and teams all stood with Wallace and hugged him prior to the race.  Car owner Richard Petty stood with his driver during the anthem.

NASCAR Stands with Bubba

Long been associated with the South, moonshiners, and the Confederate flag; NASCAR has turned a new leaf in recent years to become a more diverse sport that welcomes racers from every corner of the world.

Seeking more diversity, NASCAR currently has a number of Canadian drivers in the Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series and Xfinity Series,  the NASCAR Cup Series features Mexican born Daniel Suarez and Darrell “Bubba” Wallace who is a biracial driver.

NASCAR’s most recent efforts to end racism and exercise more diversity has been to ban the use of the Confederate flag at all NASCAR events.  The effort was put forth several years ago by then president Bill France but after Bubba Wallace pushed for the move, NASCAR has acted and enacted the ban.

While there were no signs of the Confederate flag inside Talladega Speedway, they flew freely outside the track.

But there was something left at the track…while the teams were waiting for the rains to stop, someone left a noose in the garage stall of the number 43 car.

The incident is being investigated by federal authorities.
During pre-race festivities, every driver joined Bubba Wallace as they pushed his car to the front of the field in a show of support and solidarity.  After standing with Bubba during the playing of the National Anthem, each driver gave  Bubba a hug.

In recent weeks, Wallace has worn an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt during pre-race events, has driven a car with the “Black Lives Matter” paint scheme, and pushed NASCAR to eliminate the Confederate flag from NASCAR tracks.  Through it all, Wallace’s fellow drivers have shown their support for his cause.

Talladega track workers showed their support for Bubba by painting “#IStandWithBubba” on the infield grass.

Several of the drivers including  have made a commercial Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Jr to ask for solidarity and change in the wake of recent events.

At the track for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 82 year old car owner Richard Petty was also in attendance to stand with his driver.  Petty issued a statement saying, “I’m enraged by the act of someone placing a noose in the garage stall of my race team. There is absolutely no place in our sport or our society for racism. This filthy act serves as a reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate racial prejudice and it galvanizes my resolve to use the resources of Richard Petty Motorsports to create change. The sick person who perpetrated this act must be found, exposed, and swiftly and immediately expelled from NASCAR. I believe in my heart this despicable act is not representative of the competitors I see each day in the NASCAR garage area. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Bubba, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every day forward.”

NASCAR President Steve Phelps also noted that he could not speak on any details of the investigation but said,  “there is no place for racism in NASCAR. This act only strengthens our resolve to make this sport open and welcoming to all.” Phelps noted that once caught, the perpetrator would be expelled from NASCAR saying, “unequivocally they will be banned from this sport for life.  There is no room for this at all. We won’t tolerate it. They won’t be here. I don’t care who they are, they will not be here.”

With safety protocols still in place, many of the areas around the track that would normally be open to fans are restricted including the garage area.  Only essential NASCAR and team personnel have access to the garage.

Phelps added, ‘the drivers feel very strongly that they want to show their support of Bubba.  He’s a member of the NASCAR community. He’s a member of the NASCAR family. The outpouring of support over the last couple weeks from our drivers, from the industry as a whole, from the fans, has been phenomenal. Whatever happens, it’s going to happen organically. It will be heartfelt. I’m looking forward to whatever they come up with.”

 

feature photo credit: NASCAR’s Facebook page

 

Wild Finish in Overtime at Talladega

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Talladega for the Geico 500 but first Mother Nature has to have her say and has brought rain and lightening to the area.

After inviting members of Homestead Air Force base to the race at Miami-Homestead Speedway last week, NASCAR is allowing up to 5,000 fans at the Cup race as they work their way toward a goal of 30,000 fans in the stands for the All Star race in Bristol next month.

While NASCAR is allowing fans to watch the race from the stands, the drivers are still not allowed to practice or make a qualifying run.  NASCAR is using car owner points and a random draw to set the starting lineup with Martin Truex Jr sitting on the pole.  Team mate Denny Hamlin will start alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Geico 500:
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Alex Bowman
Joey Lagano
Clint Bowyer
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
Mat Kenseth
Ryan Newman
Aric Almirola
Tyler Reddick
Austin Dillon
Erik Jones
William Byron
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt DiBenedetto
Bubba Wallace
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
Brennan Poole
Cole Custer
Gray Gaulding
BJ McLeod
Ryan Preece
Quin Houff
Ty Dillon
JJ Yeley
Christopher Bell
Joey Gase
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
Brendan Gaughan
Garrett Smithley

Brendan Gaughan is making his final NASCAR Cup Series start.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution at lap 25.

Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 68 laps for a total of 188 laps around the 2.66 mile track.

After a delay of nearly two hours, the rains and lightening have returned and NASCAR has lost the track; as a result, NASCAR has postponed the start of the Geico 500 until Monday, June 22 at 3pm EDT.

 

After a 24 hour delay, NASCAR returns to the track at Talladega Speedway to race the Geico 500 on a hot Alabama afternoon with an air temperature of 83 and a het index of 100.

After the news broke last night that while the drivers were waiting out the rain, someone placed a noose in the garage stall of Richard Petty Motorsports, Bubba Wallace’s car owner.  Bubba Wallace, who is the sport’s only biracial NASCAR Cup driver and an Alabama native, drives the number 43 RPM car.

As a part of the pre-race festivities, the entire group of drivers pushed Bubba Wallace’s number 43 car down pit road and stood with him during the playing of the National Anthem.  And in this age of social distancing, the drivers each hugged Wallace.  Car owner 82 year old Richard Petty is at the track.

NASCAR allowed RPM to come in early to inspect the number 43 car to ensure that there was no tampering or damage done to the car.  Bubba will start the race in 24th place after the random draw.

The command to start the engines came from the International Space Station 250 miles above the earth.

William Byron, Garrett Smithley, and Joey Gase will have to start the race from the back of the field after failing the inspection process twice.  Gase will also have to serve a drive through penalty once the race starts.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag from the bottom lane and edges out Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap two, Martin Truex Jr is in the lead with Denny Hamlin behind him; Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap three, Kevin Harvick takes the fifth place spot from Joey Logano.

The drivers are getting three and four wide across the track.

Lap four, Martin Truex Jr holds on to the lad with Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

Lap five, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Lap seven, Denny Hamlin is in the lead with Joey Logano and Kyle Busch swapping second back and forth; Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Leader Denny Hamlin is sporting a special paint scheme for today’s race – the National Civil Rights Museum.

Lap nine, Joey Logano becomes the new leader; Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 10, Joey Logano is the leader with Martin Truex Jr on his bumper; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 12, Denny Hamlin retakes the lead after getting a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 14,Denny Hamlin has the lead with Joey Logano in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr Brad Keselowski,and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Chase Elliott is reporting some handling issues.

Lap 16, Joey Logano retakes the lead with a little help from Brad Keselowski; Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr has fallen to 25th place reporting a loose condition and a possible tire issue.

Lap 17, Denny Hamlin is back in the lead.

Lap 18, Joey Logano takes the top spot briefly before Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Lap 20, Denny Hamlin is in the lead with Ricky Stenouse Jr in second: Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 22, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano battle back and forth for the lead.  Driver positions change quickly as the lanes move up and back.

Lap 23, Joey Logano has the lead with Brad Keselowski in second; Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr rounding out the top five.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR throws the yellow flag for the competition caution.  Teams have the option to come down pit road for service and adjustments.

Once pit road opens most of the cars on the lead lap come down pit road for service.  Taking only two tires, Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 30 gets out in front of Denny Hamlin for the lead after a push from team mates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselwoski.

Lap 32, Cole Custer takes the lead briefly from Joey Logano.

Lap 34, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead with Denny Hamlin getting out in front.
Lap 36, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano battle for the lead with Logano getting out in front.

Lap 37 Kyle Busch takes the lead with William Byron in second after starting the race from the back of the field.

Joey Logano takes the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 40, William Byron takes the lead from Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 42, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Christopher Bell in second; William Byron, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 43, Joey Logano retakes the lead with some help fomr his team mates.

Lap 44, Denny Hamlin is back out in front for the lead with Matt DeBenedetto in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

With all 40 drivers still on the track, there are 34 cars on the lead lap.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr takes the lead briefly before Denny Hamlin retakes the top spot.

Lap 45, Denny Hamlin has the lead with Joey Logano in second.

Lap 47, Tyler Reddick takes the lead briefly before Joey Logano takes the lead.

Lap 50, Joey Logano is in the lead with Ryan Blaney in second as the skies above begin the darken.

Lap 51, Alex Bowman takes the lead with Joey Logano in second; Jimmie Johnson, Tyler Reddick and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 51, Joey Logano retakes the lead with Ryan Blaney in second.

Joey Logano is reporting a stiff headwind on the front stretch.

Lap 53, Joey Logano retakes the lead from Tyler Reddick.

Along the back stretch the drivers are topping 200 mile per hour speeds with the help of a tailwind.

Denny Hamlin has brushed the wall and is falling through the field.  He has to bring his car down pit road with a flat tire.

Lap 55, Tyler Reddick takes the lead with Alex Bowman in second: Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 56, NASCAR has put out the caution flag for rain.

Joey Logano has been reporting a vibration in his car.

With three laps remaining in stage one, NASCAR brings the drivers down pit road and puts out the red flag.  Lightening has joined the rain at Talladega Speedway.

After a break of nearly an hour, the drivers return to the cars and prepare to go racing once again.

At 5:19pm EDT NASCAR pulls the red flag to display the yellow as the drivers get moving again.  At 2.66 miles around, there is over a mile from one end to the other.

Tyler Reddick leads the race with Alex Bowman alongside on the front row.

Stage one will end under caution, giving Tyler Reddick his first stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Tyler Reddick
Alex Bowman
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Chase Elliott
William Byron

This race marks the halfway point for the regular season in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.  Alex Bowman wins the race off of pit road with team mate Jimmie Johnson out second.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 65 with team mate Jimmie Johnson starting alongside on the front row.  Bowman gets out in front for the lead with Ryan Blaney  in second.  The drivers are three wide across the track.

Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney are side by side with a third lane of traffic coming on.

Lap 66, Ryan Blaney has the lead with Jimmie Johnson in second.

Jimmie Johnson takes the lead.

After starting the race from the back of the field, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is in the top 10.

Lap 67, Ryan Blaney takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Kyle Busch takes the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in the lead.

The top 25 cars are separated by just one second.

Lap 69, Ryan Blaney takes the lead with Joey Logano in second; Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 70, Kyle Busch takes the lead with brother Kurt in second; William Byron, Cole Custer, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 71, Ryan Blaney retakes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 72, Kyle Busch is the leader.

Lap 73 Ryan Blaney retakes the lead after getting a push from team mate Joey Logano.

Lap 74, Kyle Busch is back in the lead with Ryan Blaney in second.

Ta; 76, Ryan Blaney has retaken the lead with Joey Logano in second and team mate Brad Keselowski in third.

With the drivers getting four wide across the track, Ryan Blaney leads the pack with Joey Logano in second: Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 79, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Penske team mates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski behind; Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 82, only 13 laps to the halfway point, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski right behind him; Matt DiBenedetto and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Lap 87, Ryan Blaney leads the way with Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski right behind; Matt DiBenedetto and Cole Custer round out the top five.

the drivers cannot complete the stage without making a pit stop.

Lap 91, Bubba Wallace is in the top 10 and getting some help from candy man Kyle Busch.

FOX Sports reports that there is more rain in the distance.

Ryan Blaney leads the race and Penske team mates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski; Matt DiBenedetto, and Cole Custer round out the top five.  Bubba Wallace is in sixth place on the outside lane.

Lap 94, all 40 cars are still on the track with 34 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 95, halfway, Ryan Blaney leads the race; Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 94 when John Hunter Nemechek gets loose and spins out, making a run through the grass with a flat tire.

Taking only two tires, Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road with team mate Brad Keselowski out second.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 100 and holds on to the lead with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano right behind; Matt DiBenedetto and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.  Bubba Wallace is in eighth place with Kyle Busch right on his bumper.

Lap 102, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, and Christopher Bell.

Lap 105, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race; Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 106, Ricky Stenhouse Jr gets out in front after a push from Kyle Busch but Ryan Blaney gets some help from his team mates and begins to challenge Stenhouse for the lead.

Lap 107, Ryan Blaney retakes the lead after a push from Brad Keselowski.

The drivers are three wide across the track.

Lap 109, Ricky Stenhouse gets a push from Kyle Busch and challenges Ryan Blaney for the lead.

Lap 110, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Ryan Blaney continue to battle for the lead.  So far there has been 35 recorded lead changes at the start/finish line.

Ten to go in stage two, Ryan Blaney is the leader with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano; Ricky Stenhouse and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Lap 112, getting a push from Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the new leader; Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 113, after getting loose, Ryan Blaney takes the lead from Stenhouse.

Lap 114, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano.

Lap 114, the caution flag comes out for debris on the track – a large piece of metal.

With only two laps remaining in stage two, Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart and edges out Ricky Stenhouse Jr for the lead but Stenhouse gets a big push from Kyle Busch to battle Blaney for the lead.

It’s a three wide battle for the lead with William Byron getting out in front for the lead briefly before Ryan Blaney takes the lead.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins stage two in a photo finish.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Joey Logano
Bubba Wallace
Cole Custer
Chris Buescher
William Byron

Taking fuel only, Alex Bowman wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Chris Buescher brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 124 and edges out Denny Hamlin for the lead after getting a push from Kevin Harvick.

Chris Buescher leads the race; Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick takes the lead with Denny Hamlin in second.

Matt Kenseth gets slowed on the track with a flat tire.

With 62 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott takes the lead.

Chase Elliott leads the race with Kevin Harvick right behind.

Lap 128, Ryan Blaney retakes the lead after getting some help from his team mates.

Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney battle back and forth for the lead.

Chase Elliott leads the race as positions shift frequently behind him.

Lap 131, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with Ryan Blaney in second; Joey Logano, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 133, Ryan Blaney retakes the lead.

Chase Elliott brings out the caution flag when he gets loose after a push from Brad Keselowski and hits the wall, spinning out.  The drivers scatter and no one else is involved.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.  Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road after taking only fuel.  Denny Hamlin comes out second, also taking only fuel.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 138 with team mate Joey Logano alongside on the front row.  Ryan Blaney edges out for the lead.

Matt Kenseth and Austin Dillon are out of the race with mechanical issues.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch Brad Keselowski, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The Penske cars have once again lined up with Ryan Blaney leading the way.

Chase Elliott takes his car to the garage after hitting the wall.

With a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kyle Busch is working his way forward to challenge Ryan Blaney for the lead.

The caution flag comes out with 47 laps to go when Brennan Poole and Joey Gase make contact.  Gase gets into the wall and takes his car to the garage.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Taking fuel only, Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins the race off of pit road with Kevin Harvick out second.

Matt DiBenedetto was caught speeding on pit road.

Joey Gase takes his car to the garage.

After staying out on the track, Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 146 with Erik Jones starting alongside on the front row.  Kevin Harvick gets out in front for the lead.

Denny Hamlin challenged Kevin Harvick for the lead but Harvick held him off.

Lap 147, Denny Hamlin comes back to take the lead.

Joey Logano takes the lead.

Christopher Bell has been posted by NASCAR for violating the double yellow line policy.  He forced Erik Jones below the line and will have to serve a penalty – a pass through penalty.

Kyle Busch gets loose on the track with a flat tire.

With 39 laps remaining in the race, Joey Logano is in the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

William Byron takes the lead with 38 laps to go; Joey Logano, Ryan Preece, Denny Hamlin, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 155, William Byron leads the race with Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top five.

Lap 157, William Byron has his number 24 car in the lead with Joey Logano in second; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace’s team reports that he is five to six laps short of fuel to make it to the end of the race.  Wallace is currently in sixth place.

Bubba Wallace’s team is not the only one short on fuel; several other drivers are also laps short of fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Lap 160, Denny Hamlin takes the lead briefly before Bubba Wallace puts his number 43 car in the lead with Joey Logano pushing from behind in second.

Lap 161, Joey Logano passes Bubba Wallace for the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Preece, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 163, Alex Bowman takes the lead with Tyler Reddick in second place.

Lap 164, Ryan Preece and Alex Bowman battle for the lead with Preece putting his damaged car out in front.  There are 30 cars on the lead lap.

Twenty to go, Alex Bowman leads the race with Tyler Reddick in second and Joey Logano in third; Denny Hamlin and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

Lap 170, Alex Bowman holds on to the lead with Tyler Reddick in second; Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 171, Tyler Reddick takes the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; Alex Bowman, Bubba Wallace, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

While several drivers are short on fuel, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has been told that he is good to go to the end.

Lap 175, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second: Bubba Wallace, Alex Bowman, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Ten to go, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with Joey Logano in second; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Preece, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

There are 27 cars on the lead lap with four drivers out of the race.

Eight to go, Tyler Reddick holds on to the lead with Denny Hamlin in second; Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

Erik Jones brings his car down pit road for fuel.

The drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Drivers that have enough fuel to complete the race are beginning to make their move and are coming up through the field.

Six to go, Tyler Reddick holds on to the lead with Denny Hamlin on his bumper; Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Four to go, Ryan Blaney is the new leader with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second.

The caution flag comes out with just three laps to go when Jimmie Johnson gets turned around and after making contact with Kevin Harvick.

Ryan Blaney is the leader with Kevin Harvick in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chris Buescher, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

The race goes into overtime…

Some of the drivers come down pit road for fuel…and tires for a few; but other drivers are staying out on the track and trying to save fuel.

Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman come down pit road with the pace car.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green/white/checker finish.  Kevin Harvick gets out in front for the lead with Chris Buescher in second on his bumper.

The drivers are four wide across the track.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag.

cars are wrecking as Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney battle for the lead.  In a four wide finish as drivers wreck crossing the finish line, Ryan Blaney is named the winner of the race for his first win of the 2020 racing season.

Bubba Wallace walks across the track to thank fans at the fence for their support.

The unofficial results of the Geico 500:
Ryan Blaney
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Chris Buescher
Alex Bowman
John Hunter Nemechek
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
William Byron
Ty Dillon
Jimmie Johnson
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Preece
Joey Logano
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
Brad Keselowski
Tyler Reddick
Brendan Gaughan
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
Marin Truex Jr
Clint Bowyer
Mat DiBenedetto
Quin Houff
Daniel Suarez
Christopher Bell
Gray Gaulding
BJ McLeod
Kyle Busch
Timmy Hill
Garret Smithley
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Joey Gase
Chase Elliott
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth

 

The Eagles

Like other musicians, The Eagles have found that they have had to postpone tour dates after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eagles members Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit are joined by Glen Frey’s son Deacon and country music star Vince Gill for some rescheduled dates of their postponed “Hotel California” tour.

The tour set to begin next fall will include dates in Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and St. Paul.  Fans who have tickets can use them for the new dates.  Fans who are unable to attend the new dates can obtain a refund.

Each show will consist of two sets, a “Hotel California” set complete with orchestra and a set of Eagles greatest hits.

The Eagles 2021 tour dates:
Aug 28 & 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, UK
Sept 16 & 18 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Sept 21 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Sept 24 & 25 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, AZ
Oct 1 & 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN
Oct 15, 16, & 19 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA
Oct 22 & 23 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA

NCAA Expands Ban

Protests over racial injustice in the wake of the death of George Floyd, have gone beyond the treatment of minorities in the hand of law enforcement officers to include the removal considered offensive and even the renaming of  some buildings that have been named for Confederate officials.

Currently the NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association – has a ruling forbidding any university from hosting events in a state that limits the rights of people in the LGBTQ+ community and condones the Confederate flag.  Mississippi is presently the only state that is affected by the ban.  The Mississippi state flag features the Confederate flag in its design.

The SEC – Southeastern Conference – has issued a similar ban.  The SEC includes universities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The NCAA is looking to expand its Confederate flag ban ruling.  In some sports like baseball, basketball, and softball; tournaments and post season play host sites are determined by team performance.  Due to the ban, Mississippi cannot host any such events.

NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke on the ruling saying, “we must do all we can to ensure that NCAA actions reflect our commitment to inclusion and support all our student-athlete. There can be no place within college sports where any student-athlete is demeaned or unwelcome.”

Students at a number of universities have been among the thousands of protests in the past couple of weeks; vice president of opportunity development at Shenandoah University Fritz Polite said, “they (the NCAA) are following the trail, which is contradictory to leadership.  Leadership is about influencing and modifying the behavior of others. It’s not waiting for the students to be the leaders and then the NCAA to come behind.”

Officials at some of Mississippi’s state universities noted, “in keeping the current state flag, Mississippi will potentially forego the millions of dollars in economic impact that NCAA postseason events bring to our state. This is unfortunate.  Our student-athletes and coaches, who devote so much of their time, talent, hard work and dedication to their sports and our universities, will potentially be negatively impacted through no action of their own. This is more than unfortunate.”

 

feature photo credit: NCAA Facebook page

 

Cobain Guitar Sells for Millions

In a world record breaking event, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills sold a guitar once belonging to Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain.

The 1959 Martin D-18E that Cobain used on an episode of MTV Unplugged sold for a whopping SIX MILLION DOLLARS!

Australian Peter Preedman who owns Røde Microphones ponied up the massive fee for the guitar.

Bidding on the guitar that Cobain used in the 1983 episode of “Unplugged” on “About a Girl” and “All Apologies” began at $1 million.

Cobain would die only five months later by his own hand at the age of 27.

A guitar that belonged to Prince during the highlight of his career only fetched $563,000.

Other auction items included a macramé belt worn by Elvis Presley that sold for $298,000 and the gown worn by Madonna in her “Vogue” video that sold for $179,200.

 

feature photo credit: By P.B. Rage from USA – More Kurt — too rad, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1314918

 

Redskins to Retire Jersey of Hall of Famer

In the 21st century, African-American players make up a majority of the rosters; however, it hasn’t always been so.

Under scrutiny for the choice of the team name, the Washington Redskins was the last team in the NFL to integrate the team.

Forced to integrate the team in 1962, then owner George Preston Marshall made a trade with Cleveland to acquire Bobby Mitchell.

He went on to spend seven years on the team and become an All-Pro, rank second in the NFL in yards, play in four Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.  After retiring from the game, Mitchell worked in the team’s front office; spending a total of 41 years with the team.

Team mate Brig Owens called Mitchell their “Jackie Robinson”.

In the wake of multiple protests and the tearing down of statues deemed offensive, including that of Redskins team owner George Marshall, the Redskins have announced that they will retire Mitchell’s number 49 jersey and rename the lower level of FedEx field for the trailblazing player.  Mitchell’s name will replace that of the team’s former owner.

Mitchell’s jersey is only the second time the team has retired a jersey in the franchise’s 88 year history.

Mitchell died in April.

 

feature photo credit: Washington Redskins Facebook page

 

Disturbed with Staind and Bad Workers

After Disturbed, Staind, and Bad Wolves had to cancel their “The Sickness” tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic; the rockers have rescheduled the tour dates for the summer of 2021.

Disturbed had scheduled the tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their “The Sickness” album.

Disturbed, Staind, and Bad Workers tour dates:
July 7 at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
July 8 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL
July 10 at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA
July 12 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
July 13 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
July 18 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
July 20 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
July 21 at the Darien Lake Amphitheater in Darien, NY (Buffalo)
July 23 at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
July 24 at the XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, CT
July 26 at the ST. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY
July 28 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
July 29 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theatre in Wantagh, NY
July 31 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
Aug 1 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
Aug 4 at the S&T Bank Music Park in Burgettstown, PA
Aug 6 at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA
Aug 8 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL (Chicago)
Aug 13 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, MO (St. Louis)
Aug 14 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN
Aug 16 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
Aug 18 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
Aug 20 at the Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque, NM
Aug 21 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ
Aug 23 at the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, CA
Aug 24 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
Aug 26 at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield, WA
Aug 27 at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, WA
Aug 29 at the Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland, CA
Aug 31 at the USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City, UT

 

Rock Hall to Open Exhibit on Racism

Along with Science Fiction, there is no better or stronger voice for social commentary and speaking out against racial and social injustice.

Open to visitors once again, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a new exhibit set to open next month on the music and musicians who have used their craft to speak out.

“It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope, and Empowerment” features artifacts and photographs to showcase how music has been used to respond to racism.

From trailblazers Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Little Richard, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin to modern artists like Public Enemy, N.W.A., Tupac Shakur, Janelle Monae, Rage Against the Machine, Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé; musicians have used their music to speak out for the cause of dignity and equality.

The exhibit is at the entrance to Ahmet Ertegun main exhibit hall.

Tourist Boats to Launch Beginning June 26

It has been a long wait for western New York and the arrival of the tourist season.  On June 26 for what will be the latest start of the season in its 130 plus year history, the Maid of the Mist will launch its 135th season of giving visitors a close look…and feel…of Niagara Falls.

In the wake of the Covid-19 global pandemic, visitors on the world famous boat ride will don more than the signature plastic poncho; face masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizers will also be a part of the ride.

The 2020 season will also bring something very special to the Maid of the Mist boat ride…two band new boats that feature emission free electric boats.

The Maid of the Mist has implemented a number of safety protocols including a maximum of 50 percent capacity, social distancing markers, hand sanitizing stations, and mandatory face coverings in order to board the ship.

The Maid of the Mist is encouraging visitors to purchase tickets online at https://store.maidofthemist.com/.  Only one party at a time may be at the ticket window at a time.

All ticket booth countertops and keypads, hand rails, and any other point touched by visitors will be sanitized between uses and Maid of the Mist elevators and the Observation Deck are limited to 50 percent capacity.

Maid of the Mist workers will be provided with personal protection equipment and must undergo a mandatory health screening each day prior to their shift.

The Maid of the Mist has cut operating hours 10am to 4pm each day with boats launching every 30 minutes.  Ticket prices for the 2020 season are $22.25 for adults, $13,00 for children age six to 12, and free to children under five who are accompanied by an adult.

The Whirlpool Jet Boat has announced that they will launch their tours on July 1 with enhanced safety protocols.

Boats will be limited to 50 percent capacity with sanitized helmets, face shields, and masks provided for visitors.  Boats will be sanitized prior to each tour.  Hand sanitizing stations will be available to all passengers.

Ticket prices are $62.95 for adults and $39.95 for children 12 and under.  Residents of Ontario and New York can get a 20 percent discount on ticket purchases when bought online at https://www.whirlpooljet.com/.

Red Flags, Big Ones, Lead to Nail Biter at Dega for Xfinity

As NASCAR continues to recover the 2020 racing season, the Xfinity Series makes a stop at the largest track on the circuit for the Unhinged 300 at Talladega Speedway.

Joining the FOX Sports crew in the broadcast booth is Aric Almirola making his debut appearance in the broadcast booth.

After a random draw, Justin Haley sits on the pole and will bring the field to the green flag.

Stages one and two of the race are 25 laps each with stage three lasting 63 laps for a total of 113 laps around the 2.66 mile track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 10.

The Dash-4-Cash returns for race three with Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger, and Chase Briscoe battling it out for the $100,000 prize.

Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag start of the race takes the lead of the race.

Lap three, Michael Annett takes the lead  briefly.

The top five are Justin Haley, Michael Annett, Noah Gragson, Brandon, Jones, Austin Cindric.

Ryan Sieg hits the wall and has to make an unscheduled trop down pit road with a flat tire.

Lap five, after swapping the lead back and forth, Michael Annett is the new leader with Justin Haley in second; Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, and Anthony Alfredo round out the top five.

Lap eight, has to make another trip down pit road and takes his car to the garage.

Lap nine, Michael Annett has a narrow lead on Justin Haley; Anthony Alfredo, Ross Chastain, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

The antenna on Justin Haley’s car is flopping around.

At the end of lap 10, NASCAR throws the competition caution allowing teams the option of making a stop for adjustments.  Over half of the field came down pit road for service.

Michael Annett brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 15 from the inside lane and goes nose to nose with Justin Haley.

Justin Haley takes the lead on lap 15.

Lap 16, Ross Chastain takes the lead briefly before Justin Haley retakes the top spot with Anthony Alfredo in second.

Lap 18, Justin Haley leads the way with Anthony Alfredo in second; Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt, and Austin Cindric round out the top five as the drivers get three wide across the track.

Lap 19, drivers get four wide across the track.

Ryan Sieg has returned to the track eleven laps down.

Lap 21 Justin Haley holds on to a narrow lead over Anthony Alfredo; Ross Chastain, Brett Moffitt, and Austin Cindric round out the top five.  Ryan Sieg is the only driver not on the lead lap.

With three laps remaining in stage one, the drivers continue to get three and four wide across the track.

Justin Haley wins stage one for his second career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Justin Haley
Anothony Alfredo
Chase Briscoe
Ross Chastain
Brandon Jones
Austin Cindric
Brett Moffitt
Harrison Burton
Gray Gaulding
Michael Annett

On a hot summer afternoon in Alabama, temperatures inside the cars are reaching 130 degrees with air temperatures around 90.

Taking fuel only, Josh Williams wins the race off of pit road.

Harrison Burton brings the field down pit road for the green flag start of stage two on lap 29 with Justin Allgaier alongside on the front row after staying out on the track.

Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier swap the lead back and forth before Allgaier finally gets out in front for the lead with Ross Chastain in second.

Lap 31, Justin Allgaier is in the lead with Harrison Burton and Ross Chastain battling back and forth for second; Anthony Alfredo and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Ross Chastain takes the lead with Anthony Alfredo in second.

Lap 33, Anthony Alfredo takes the lead as drivers get three wide across the track.

Lap 34, the top five are Anthony Alfredo, Justin Haley, Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain, and Harrison Burton.

John Jackson is off the track and Jesse Little is one lap down.

Lap 38, Chase Briscoe has taken the lead with Anthony Alfredo in second.

The top five are Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Anthony Alfredo, Jeb Burton, and Ross Chastain.

In his first race since Daytona, Jeb Burton has moved up to third place in the number eight JR Motorsports car that car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr took to a top five finish at Homestead-Miami last week.

Brett Moffitt has been reporting some overheating issues.

Lap 42, Chase Briscoe leads the way with Austin Cindric in second; Anthony Alfredo, Ross Chastain, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.

John Jackson becomes the first driver out of the race.

Lap 44, Chase Briscoe holds on to the lead with Austin Cindric, Anthony Alfredo, Ross Chastain, and Bettt Moffitt rounding out the top five.

Lap 47, Chase Briscoe continues to lead the race with Austin Cindric in second; Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, and Michael Annett round out the top five.

With just three laps remaining in stage two, the drivers continually swap spots as they vie for position to gain stage points.

Chase Briscoe wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Chase Briscoe
Austin Cindric
Michael Annett
Noah Gragson
Ross Chastain
Justin Haley
Jeb Burton
Brett Moffitt
Brandon Jones
Brandon Brown

Taking only two tires, Austin Cindric wins the race off of pit road with drivers getting three wide across pit road.

Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson bring the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 57 with Austin Cindric jumping out in front after getting a push from behind by Ross Chastain.

The top five are Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Ross Chastain, Justin Haley, and Michael Annett.

Lap 59, Noah Gragson takes the lead with Austin Cindric in second.

Lap 60, Noah Gragson is in the lead with team mate Michael Annett in second; JR Motorsports team mates Jeb Burton are next with Harrison Burton rounding out the top five.

There are 36 cars on the lead lap with only one car out of the race.

Lap 62, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports drivers have the first four spots with Noah Gragson leading the way; followed by Michael Annett, Jeb Burton, and Justin Allgaier; Harrison Burton rounds out the top five.

With 63 laps in stage three, the drivers cannot complete the race without making a pit stop.

Lap 67, the JR Motorsports cars continue to occupy the top four spots with Noah Gragson leading the way; Michael Annett, Jeb Burton, and Justin Allgaier follow with Harrison Burton rounding out the otp five.

Matt Mills is off the track.

With 44 laps remaining in the race, AJ Allmendinger, who has been riding out the race from the back of the field, is beginning to make his move and is now in 20th place.

Jesse Little is the only car one lap down with Ryan Sieg 10 laps down.

Lap 70 the top five remains Noah Gragson, Michael Annett, Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Harrison Burton.

Tim Veins slams the wall and gets a flat tire but the track stays green.

The caution flag comes out on lap 77 when Riley Herbst gets turned around and goes slideways down the track after making contact with Bett Moffitt.  Fortunately the incident did not snag several other drivers.  Chase Briscoe was involved.  This is the first caution flag for an on track incident.

A few drivers had begun making their green flag pit stops when the caution flag came out.

Drivers come down pit road.  Taking fuel only Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart with 33 laps remaining in the race; AJ Allmendinger starts alongside on the front row.

Ross Chastain takes the lead with AJ Allmendinger in second: Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Harrison Burotn round out the top five.

Thirty to go, Melon Man Ross Chastain leads “The Dinger” with Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson rounding out the top five.

With 33 cars on the lead lap, Riley Herbst and Matt Mills join John Jackson as the only cars out of the race.  There are 33 cars on the lead lap.

With 27 laps remaining in the race, Ross Chastain has a narrow lead on AJ Allmendinger; Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

With 23 laps to go, Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with AJ Allmendinger in second;  Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Ross Chastain continues to lead the race with AJ Allmendinger in second; JR Motorsports team mates Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, and Michael Annett come next.

And with only 18 laps remaining in the race, the big one happens.  Josh Williams, Harrison Burton, Colin Garrett, and Kody Vanderwal were all involved.

NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the track cleaned up.

After a delay of about 15 minutes, NASCAR pulls the red flag and displays the yellow.  The drivers are moving again.

With just 14 laps remaining in the race, Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart with team mate AJ Allmendinger alongside on the front row.  The drivers gets three wide with Jeb Burton and Ross Chastain battling for the lead.

Ross Chastain takes the lead with Noah Gragson in second; Austin Cindric, Justin Gallgaier, and Jeb Burton round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger has fallen out of the top 10 to 14th.

With 12 laps to go, Austin Cindric takes the lead with Jeb Burton in second; Ross Chastain, Justin Haley, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Ten to go, Austin Cindric leads from the outside lane with Ross Chastain in second; Jeb Burton, Noah Gragson, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Nine to go, Jeb Burton is the new leader with Justin Haley in second.

A big crash with just eight laps remaining in the race brings out the caution flag.  Timmy Hill, Myatt Snider, Tommy Joe Martins, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Michael Annett, Chad Finchum, Jeff Green, and Robby Lyons were among those involved.

For the second time, NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the track cleaned up.

Ross Chastain in fifth place is the driver who can take home the Dash-4-Cash prize.

The cars are moving once again after a short red flag condition.

Jeb Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart from the bottom lane with just three laps remaining in the race and battles with Justin Haley for the lead.

Jeb Burton gets out in front for the lead with Austin Cindric in second.

Two to go, Jeb Burton holds on to the lead with Justin Haley in second.

Justin Haley edges out in front of Jeb Burton but Burton comes back.

Jeb Burton takes the white flag but Justin Haley continues to battle for the top spot.

Justin Haley and Jeb Burton swap the lead back and forth with Justin Haley earning his first win.  Ross Chastain finish second to win the $100,000 Dash-4-Cash prize.

The unofficial results of the Unhinged 300:
Justin Haley
Ross Chastain
Jeb Burton
Austin Cindric
Brett Moffitt
Anthony Alfredo
AJ Allmendinger
Gray Gaulding
Alex Labbe
Noah Gragson
Brandon Brown
Michael Annett
Jess Little
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Tommy Joe Martins
Caesar Bacarella
Chase Broscoe
Bobby Lyons II
Mason Massey
Vinnie Miller
Chad Finchum
BJ McLeod
Brandon Jones
Jeremy Clements
Mike Harmon
Timmy Hill
Myatt Snider
Justin Allgaier
Jeff Green
Ryan Sieg
Kody Vanderwal
Harrison Burton
Josh Williams
Joe Graf Jr
Colin Garrett
Tim Viens
Riley Herbst
Matt Mills
John Jackson

Cali G Invites You to Open Your Senses

California singer-songwriter and producer Cali G knew at a very young age that music would be his life.  And like many artists he has had his share of ups and downs but has persevered through it all and is about to launch his debut album.

Speaking on his album, Cali G said, “I’ve tried all sorts of music of what I thought people wanted to hear from me.  At the end of the day I want to create genuine, inspirational, and loving music to help change the world one beautiful human being at a time.”

“Open Your Ears, Eyes, Hearts, & Minds” is available now on streaming platforms and digital album stores.

Sir Ian Holm Dies

Award winning British actor Sir Ian Holm died June 19 in a London hospital as a result of Parkinson’s related issues at the age of 88.  Holm’s agent Alex Irwin said that Holm was surrounded by family at the time of his death.

While he appeared on the stage and nearly 150 film and television productions, Holm is best known for his roles in “Chariots of Fire” and “Lord of the Rings”.

After making his television debut in 1957 on “ITV Play of the Week”, Holm went on to appear in 137 film nad television productions including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “The Wars of the Roses”, “The Homecoming”, “The Man in the Iron Mask”, “Alien”, “Chariots of Fire”, “Inside the Third Reich”, “Brazil”, “Hamlet”, “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”, “The Madness of King George”, “Fifth Element”, “The Lord of the Rings”,  “The Aviator”, the voice of Skinner in “Ratatouille”, and “The Hobbit”.

Holm’s accomplishments feature awards on both sides of the Atlantic including a Tony Award, a Laurence Olivier Award, and a British Academy Film Award.  In 1998, Holm was knighted for his contributions to acting and drama.

A member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a Royal Academy of Dramatic Art alum, Holm suffered from a serious bout of stage fright; one that kept him off the stage for many years.

Holm appeared on Broadway in “The Homecoming” for which he won hos Tony Award.  As a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Holm’s appearances include “King Lear” and “Coriolanus”.

He was born Ian Holm Cuthbert on September 12, 1931 in Goodmayes, England where his father ran the psychiatric hospital.  His mother was a nurse at the facility.  Holm spent a year serving in the royal military for his mandatory service.

Holm is survived by his fourth wife Sphie; children Jessica, Sarah-Jane, Barnaby, Lissy, and Harry and eight grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

Feature photo credit: By CossieMoJo at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3733689

 

 

Lord Weber Looks to Open Palladium

While theatre owners wait for word of when it will be safe to open their venues to crowds once again, Lord Andrew Lloyd Weber is making some plans for a safe theatrical experience for fans.

Lord Weber owns seven theatres including the London Palladium where he is looking to open the venue pointing to a model being used in Seoul, South Korea where a production of “The Phantom of the Opera” has been running for the past two months.

Noting that the point is to make people feel safe and secure as possible, Weber said, “the key thing is that they have incredibly good hygiene in every single possible way [at the Blue Square cultural complex in Korea], both backstage for the cast and the crew and the orchestra, but also for people in the front of the house.”

Those safety measures include thermal sensors for taking temperatures, self cleaning hygienic doors handles, a light disinfectant spray throughout the theatre, hand sanitizing stations, and mandatory mask wearing.

Lord Weber intends to make use of all of these measures in his plans to open the Palladium.

Looking at an early July opening, Lord Weber said, “what I hope to do is to be able to demonstrate to the government what has happened in Korea [can work] at the London Palladium, hopefully in the first week of July…We hope to have [all the equipment] in the theatre next Monday, and then we’re going to do a whole series of tests there to see whether or not it’s going to work.”

Weber explained that he chose the Palladium because as the largest of his theatres, it is also the most problematic and a demonstration of success there would show that it could work elsewhere.

Once it reopens, the Palladium is set to run a revival of “The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.

A multi award winning composer, Lord Weber spoke on his life in the theatre saying, “I’ve been over 50 years in the theatre.  It’s my life; it’s my blood. It’s been absolutely awful to see everything that I’ve loved in my life gone. The theatres are my way of putting something back into the business that’s been so good to me. I want to prove they can be open.”

 

feature photo credit: By Qwertyytrewqqwerty – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67118249

 

 

OPINION: Change the Logo/Mascot

A number of years ago in an attempt to create a more politically correct world, a campaign was launched to erase offensive mascots and names from sports teams.

In the wake of that campaign the Major League Baseball teams the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves eliminated the stereotypical logos for their teams.  The NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association – mandated that all college teams that used offensive names or mascots would have to change their names.  The lone exception to the ruling was the Florida State Seminoles who not only have permission from the Seminole Nation to use the name; but also, have a pact with the Nation.

In light of recent events and protests, the issue of changing offensive names has returned.  Most recently Quaker Oats, PepsiCo and Mars Inc have announced that they will be reworking logos on some of their products.

But one business owner who so far has refused to budge on his stance is NFL owner Dan Snyder who says that he has no plans of changing the name of his team from the Washington Redskins.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the other 31 NFL owners have yet to make comments or force the issue on Snyder despite current attitudes toward the offensiveness of the teams name.

Currently the Washington team has a contract to play at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland until 2027, but is reportedly seeking a new stadium.  Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has stated that the current team name is “an obstacle” on the path of the team getting a new stadium.  Bowser said, “I think it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people.  This is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in Washington, and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we’ve built for the team.”

While less in the spotlight, Kansas City’s team name may also appear offensive to some with the name of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Founder and executive director of IllumiNative Crystal Echo Hawk noted that any discussion involving racism should include Native Americans saying, “it’s really an opportunity to educate players from all backgrounds that in this powerful moment when they are doing the right thing and they are taking a stand for racial justice, they need to also be taking a stand on this particular issue within the NFL.  There’s got to be a zero tolerance on racism.”

An issue as big as the Washington name is the “Tomahawk Chop” originated at Florida State and has, thanks to some FSU alums, made its way into professional sports.  Echo Hawk noted that “The Chop” and other Native American imagery, “should be out of professional sports.”

Derogatory names and insults have long been a part of the fabric of American society and while some parts of society have been working to make changes, there is a portion of the nation whose old habits die hard and are slow to respond to change whether it be an offensive slang name or an offensive sports logo.

 

feature photo credit: By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA – Washington Redskins, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75675709

Kenny Chesney

Country music star Kenny Chesney, like other artists, had to postpone his Chillaxification Tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Chesney has now rescheduled those dates for the spring and summer of next year.

With a tour filled of stadium dates, Chesney noted that there is a lot that goes into putting on the shows including avoiding scheduling conflicts when trying to reschedule concert dates.

Tickets purchased for the cancelled dates will be good for the new shows.

Kenny Chesney 2021 tour dates:
May 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
May 8 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI
May 15 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN
May 22 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA
May 29 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
June 5 at U.S. Band Stadium in Minneapolis, MN
June 12 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA
June 19 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA
June 26 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL
July 3 at Bobcat Stadium in Bozeman, MT
July 10 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO
July 17 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA
July 24 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA
July 31 at Empower Field in Denver, CO
Aug 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX
Aug 14 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI
Aug 21 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
Aug 27 & 28 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA

 

Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard, Joan Jett

After having to postpone their massive tour; Motley Cure, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts have rescheduled the dates for their stadium tour.

The tour that was originally scheduled for the summer of 2020, was to include a reunion of Motley Crue.  The tour has now been rescheduled for the summer of 2021.

Tickets that have been purchased for the 2020 tour dates will be honoured on the new dates.  Any fan who cannot make the new dates can visit http://livenation.com/refund to obtain a refund.

The Stadium Tour tour dates:
June 19 at Missan Stadium in Nashville, TN
June 21 at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, OH
June 24 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC
June 26 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL
June 27 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL
July 3 at FirstEnergy Field in Cleveland, OH
July 6 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO
July 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN
July 10 at Comerica Park in Detroit, MI
July 13 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA
July 15 at Citi Field in Flushing, (NYC) NY
July 17 & 18 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA
July 20 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA
July 22 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 7 at the TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL
Aug 9 at Nationals Park in Washington, DC
Aug 12 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, (Buffalo) NY
Aug 15 at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, GA
Aug 17 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX
Aug 20 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX
Aus 22 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX
Aug 24 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO
Aug 28 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI
Aug 29 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL
Sept 3 at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 4 at SoFI Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Sept 7 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, WA
Sept 10 at Oracle Park in San Francisco, CA
Sept 12 at Petco Park in San Diego, CA

 

The Strong Names New Video Game Hall Inductees

While The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York remains closed under the order of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lock down orders, business continues and on June 18, The Strong named the newest members of the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

Whether it be battling giant insects solving puzzles, completing quests, or building structures; the newest members of the Video Game Hall of Fame have occupied millions of video game fans for generations.  Bejeweled, Centipede, King’s Quest, and Minecraft are the four games that have been selected to join the games that have been inducted since its inception in 2015.

The games selected came from a field of 12 finalists including Frogger, Goldeneye 007, Guitar Hero, NBA Jam, Nokia Snake, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Uncharted 2, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?.  Coming from a variety of formats and countries; the newest Hall inductees have had a significant impact on video game culture, society, and popular culture itself.

Bejeweled is a web based game that has launched the match three gaming phenomena.  Created in 2001, Bejeweled is the first mobile game to become a member of the Video Game Hall of Fame.

One of the earliest arcade games, Centipede launched generations of gamers battling a giant zig-zagging insect in hopes of blasting it into bits.

Created in 1984, King’s Quest brought the world of fantasy into the gaming world, inviting gamers to built a fantasy world and has since spawned a whole generation of quests and building games.

Introduced in 2009, Minecraft challenges players to create structures with pixilated blocks.  Since its creation, the game has sold over 176 million copies.

Along with the World Video Game Hall of Fame, The Strong is the home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, the History of Electronic Games, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library, the Archives of Play, the “American Journal of Play”, and the Woodbury School.

Once The Strong Museum can reopen, visitors can see the newest class of Hall of Fame inductees along with the remainder of the members on the second floor of The Strong, along with the National Toy Hall of Fame.

 

feature photo credit: The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York

20th Annual BET Award Nominees

Even the Covid-19 pandemic cannot halt a big anniversary.  Later this month BET will be celebrating 20 years of awarding the accomplishments of musicians, actors, and sport figures.

On June 28, the 20th anniversary celebration of the 2020 BET Awards will be broadcast on several of the Viacom/BCS network including CBS itself for the first time.  Due to the global pandemic and restrictions on crowd sizes; the BET Awards will be a virtual event with Amanda Seales serving as the host.

Canadian Urban artist Drake leads the way with six nominations.  Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Lizzo, and DaBaby have also earned multiple nominations.

2020 BET Awards nominees:
Album of the Year:
“Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo
“Fever”by  Megan Thee Stallion
“Homecoming: The Live Album” by Beyoncé
“I Used to Know Her” by H.E.R.
“Kirk” by DaBaby
“Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial” by Roddy Ricch

Best Female R&B/Pop Artist:
Beyoncé
H.E.R.
Jhene Aiko
Kehlani
Lizzo
Summer Walker

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist:
Anderson .Paak
Chris Brown
Jacquees
Khalid
The Weeknd
Usher

Best Group:
Chloe x Halle
City Girls
EarthGang
Griselda
JACKBOYS
Migos

Best Collaboration:
“No Guidance” by Chris Brown with Drake
“Higher” by DJ Khaled with Nipsey Hussle and John Legend
“Life is Good” by Future with Drake
“Slide” by H.E.R. with YG
“Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion with Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
“On Chill” by Wale with Jeremih

Best Male Hip Hop Artist:
DaBaby
Drake
Future
Lil Baby
Roddy Ricch
Travis Scott

Best Female Hip Hop Artist:
Cardi B
Doja Cat
Lizzo
Megan Thee Stallion
Nicki Minaj
Saweetie

Video of the Year:
“No Guidance” by Chris Brown with Drake
“Bop” by DaBaby
“Higher” by DJ Khaled with Nipsey Hussle and John Legend
“Say So” by Doja Cat
“Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion with Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
“The Box” by Roddy Ricch

Video Director of the Year:
Benny Boom
Cole Bennett
Dave Meyers
Director X
Eif Rivera
Teyana “Spike Tee” Taylor

Best New Artist:
DaniLeigh
Lil Nas X
Pop Smoke
Roddy Ricch
Summer Walker
YBN Cordae

Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Album:
“Alright” by Fred Hammond
“I Made it Out” by John P. Kee with Zacardi Cortez
“Follow God” by Kanye West
“Just for Me” by Kirk Franklin
“All in His Pain” by PJ Morton with Le’Andria Johnson and Mary Mary
“Victoyr” by The Clark Sisters

Best Movie:
“Bad Boys for Life”
“Dolemite Is My Name”
“Harriet”
“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé”
“Just Mercy”
“Queen & Slim”

Best Actress:
Angela Bassett
Cynthia Erivo
Issa Rae
Regina King
Tracee Ellis Ross
Zendaya

Best Actor:
Billy Porter
Eddie Murphy
Forest Whitaker
Jamie Foxx
Michael B. Jordan
Omari Hardwick

Young Stars Award:
Alex Hibbert
Asante Blackk
Jahi Di’Allo Winston
Marsai Martin
Miles Brown
Storm Reid

Sportswoman of the Year:
Ajeé Wilson
Claressa Shields
Coco Gauff
Naomi Osaka
Serena Williams
Simone Biles

Sportsman of the Year:
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Kawhi Leonard
LeBron James
Odell Beckham Jr.
Patrick Mahomes II
Stephen Curry

BET HER Award:
Alicia Keys for “Underdog”
Beyoncé with  Blue Ivy,  WizKid, and Saint Jhn for “Brown Skin Girl”
Ciara with Lupita Nyong’o, Ester Dean, City Girls, and La La for “Melanin”
Layton Greene for “I Choose”
Lizzo with Missy Elliott for “Tempo”
Rapsody with PJ Morgan for “Afeni”

Viewer’s Choice Award:
“No Guidance” by Chris Brown with Drake
“Bop” by DaBaby
“Life is Good” by Future with Drake
“Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion with Nicki Minaj
“The Box” by Roddy Ricch
“Heartless” by The Weeknd

Best International Act:
Burna Boy from Nigeria
Innoss’B fro the DRC
Sho Madjozi from South Africa
Dave from the UK
Ninho from France
S.Pri Noir from France

Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act:
Rema from Nigeria
SHA SHA from Zimbabwe
Celeste from the UK
Young T & Bugsey from the UK
Hatik from France
Stacy from France

 

feature photo credit: BET Awards Facebook page

 

2020 Americana Music Awards Nominees

Looking forward to an awards gala this fall, the Americana Music Association has announced the nominees for the 2020 Americana Music Awards.  Brandi Carlile and Brittany Howard lead the list of nominees.  Carlile tops the list of nominations with seven; followed by Howard with five.  The HIghwomen, Tanya Tucker, Nathaniel Rateliff, and the Black Pumas also garnered multiple nominations.

Currently the Awards gala is set for September 16 in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

The nominees for the 2020 Americana Music Awards are:
Album of the Year:
“And It’s Still Alright” by Nathaniel Rateliff
“Country Squire” by Tyler Childers
“The Highwomen” by The HIghwomen
“Jaime” by Brittany Howard
“While I’m Livin’” by Tanya Tucker

Artist of the Year:
Brandi Carlile
Brittany Howard
John Prine
Tanya Tucker
Yola

Duo or Group of the Year:
Black Pumas
Drive-By Truckers
The Highwomen
Buddy & Julie Miller
Our Native Daughters

Emerging Act of the Year:
Black Pumas
Katie Pruitt
Aubrie Sellers
Billy Strings
Kelsey Waldon

Instrumentalist of the Year:
Ellen Angelico
Annie Clements
Brittany Haas
Zachariah Hickman
Rich Hinman

Song of the Year:
“And It’s Still Alright” by Nathaniel Rateliff
“Bring Me Flowers Now” by Tanya Tucker
“Crowded Table” by The Highwomen
“My Love Will Not Change” by Aubrie Seller with Steve Earle
“Stay High” by Brittany Howard
“Thoughts and Prayers” by the Drive-By Truckers

 

feature photo credit: Americana Music Association Facebook page

My Chemical Romance

Like many other artists, My Chemical Romance has had to postpone their 2020 tour dates.  The rockers have now rescheduled those dates for the fall of 2021.  The tour of North America was a reunion for the band.

Fans who had purchased tickets for the postponed dates can use them for the new dates.  If necessary, fans who are unable to attend the show may obtain a refund from the point of purchase.

My Chemical Romance tour dates:
Sept 8 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Sept 9 at the Scotiabank Center in Toronto, ON
Sept 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
Sept 13 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA
Sept 15 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
Sept 16 at the Xcel Energy Arena in St. Paul, MN
Sept 18 at the Riot Fest in Chicago,, IL
Sept 19 at the Music Midtown in Atlanta, GA
Sept 21 & 22 at the Purdential Center in Newark, NJ
Sept 25 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL
Sept 28 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX
Sept 29 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Oct 1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Oct 3 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, WA
Oct 6 at the Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA
Oct 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Oct 11, 12, 14, & 17 at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA

 

London Shows Postponed

In the wake of the global pandemic and lockdown; the world is beginning to emerge with businesses reopening; but once The West End reopens, not all of the shows will return.

As social distancing restrictions continue with no indication of when those restriction will be lifted the West End productions of  “Hamilton”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Marry Poppins”, and “Les Miserables” will not return until next year.

Culture Secdretary Oliver Dowden plans on meeting with theatre, choir, and orchestra representatives and medical experts next week to discuss plans to form a plan for “safe performances”.

Creative Industries Federation Chief executive Caroline Norbury noted, “without additional government support, we are heading for a cultural catastrophe.”  To date UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has not offered any help for the out of work artists.

Theatre fans who have previously purchased tickets for cancelled shows, may obtain a refund from the point of purchase.

 

feature photo credit: By Snapper Music – originally posted to Flickr as Opeth DVD screening, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6051982

Film Academies Postpone Awards

When the Covid-19 virus shut down countries around the globe, it caused a cascade of events from cancelling films, concerts, nd theatrical productions to postponing gala award ceremonies.

On June 15 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – The Oscars – announced that the annual February event is being postponed until April in 2021.

With the closure of theatres, filmmakers have had to depend on sending films directly to streaming services or putting off release dates for several months to a year.

It is for this reason that The Academy has chosen to hold off until April 25, 2021 to present the 93rd annual awards gala.  This is only the fourth time in the history of the awards that it has been postponed.  Nominees will be announced on March 15.

The window of eligibility for films to be included in the nominating process has also been extended to February 28, 2021.

While the new date for the awards has been announced, there are still many decisions to make from the format of the gala – virtual of in person – and the logistics for the 2022 awards.

The opening of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has been pushed back from December of this year to April of next year.

The annual Governors Awards held each November to present any honourary Oscars has been cancelled for this year.

The British Film Academy has also announced a delay in their annual awards ceremonies.  Normally the BAFTA awards are held a couple of weeks prior to the Oscars.

The British Film Academy has announced that the 2021 BAFTA awards have been moved from February 14 to April 11, 2021.

BAFTA has announced that films released via online will be eligible for the awards just as the theatrical releases are.

While the Prime Time Emmy Awards is still looking at September 20 for their annual awards presentations; The Tony Awards and Gold Globe Awards have yet to make announcements of presentation dates.

 

NASCAR HOF Names Newest Members

The Covid-19 virus has turned the world upside down this past several months, but some things go on; such as celebrations and Hall of Fame ceremonies.

In January the NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted a new class of members.  Now the Hall of Fame preparing to add a few more names to the prestigious list of past drivers, crew members, owners, and officials who make up the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In past years, five nominees moved on to become a new inductee; this year, only three new members will be named.

A total of 15 nominees have been released – 10 from the Modern Era and five from the Pioneer era.  Two names will be chosen from the Modern Era and one name from the Pioneer Era.

The list of nominees for the 2021 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame are:
Neil Bonnett
Jeff Burton
Dale Earnhardt JR
Carl Edwards
Harry Gant
Harry Hyde
Larry Phillips
Ricky Rudd
Kirk Shelmerdine
Mike Stefanik
Jake Elder
Red Farmer
Banjo Matthews
Hershel McGriff
Ralph Moody

Nominees for the Landmark Award are:
Janet Guthrie
Alvin Hawkins
Mike Helton
Dr. Joseph Mattioli
Ralph Seagraves

Should Dale Earnhardt Jr become a member of the Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility, he will join his father Dale Earnhardt Sr who was voted into the Hall on its inaugural year in 2010.

Pioneer era nominee Red Farmer and Modern era nominees Mike Stefanik and Dale Earnhardt Jr have all been selected as the newest members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Dale Jr led the ballots with 76 percent of the vote.

NASCAR Assesses Penalties from Homestead-Miami

Over the past weekend, NASCAR held four races in two days at Homestead-Miami Speedway; on June 16 NASCAR issued a number of penalties from those races.

In the NASCAR Cup Series the number 19 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Martin Truex Jr was charged with having a lug nut improperly secured during the post race inspection process.  As a result, crew chief James Small was fined $10,000.

The number 42 Chip Ganassi Racing car driven by Matt Kenseth was also found to have an improperly secured lug nut and crew chief Chad Johnston was fined $10,000 for the infraction.

NASCAR had previously announced that as a result of the number 98 car driven by Chase Briscoe dropping ballast on the track during pace laps at the beginning of the Xfinity Series Hooter’s 250 on Saturday where three crew members were suspended for four races.

Lug nut penalties were also assessed to the Xfinity Series with the number eleven car driven by Justin Haley, the number 19 driven by Brandon Jones, and the number 26 driven by Colin Garrett were all found to have a lug nut improperly secured.  As a result; number eleven car crew chief Alexander Yontz, number 19 crew chief Jeff Meendering, and number 26 crew Bryan Smith were all fined $5,000.

In the Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series the race winning number 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports truck driven by owner Kyle Busch was found to have a track bar mount and support that did not comply with NASCAR rules.  As a result of the infraction, the team was docked 10 truck owner points.  Busch holds on to his win for victory number 58 in the Truck Series.

The number 44 Niece Motorsports truck driven by Ross Chastain also had an improperly secured lug nut.  Crew Chief Paul Clapprood has been fined $2,500 for the infraction.

 

2020 MLB Draft

In a time of uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and when the season will begin, Major League Baseball held a condensed version of the annual draft with pitchers topping the list of draftees.

Round one of the MLB draft was held on June 10 with the final four rounds held on June 11.

As a part of their punishment for the sign stealing scandal, the Houston Astros had to forfeit their first round pick in the draft.

With the first pick of the draft, the Detroit Tigers selected Arizona State third baseman Spencer Torkelson.

The remaining 2020 MLB draftees in round one:
The Baltimore Orioles chose Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad
The Miami Marlins selected Minnesota right hand pitcher Max Meyer
The Kansas City Royals chose Texas A&M left hand pitcher Asa Lacy
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Vanderbilt short stop Austin Martin
The Seattle Mariners selected Georgia right hand pitcher Emerson Hancock
The Pittsburgh Pirates New Mexico State short stop Nick Gonzales
The San Diego Padres selected Independence High School outfielder Robert Hassell III
The Colorado Rockies selected Spruce Creek high school outfielder Zac Veen
The Los Angeles Angels selected Louisville left handed pitcher Reid Detmers
The Chicago White Sox selected Tennessee left handed pitcher Garrett Crochet
The Cincinnati Reds selected West Allegheny high school outfielder Austin Hendrick
The San Francisco Giants selected North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey
The Texas Rangers selected Mississippi State second baseman Justin Foscue
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Jesuit high school right handed pitcher Mick Abel
The Chicago Cubs selected Mount Carmel high school short stop Ed Howard
The Boston Red Sox selected Archbishop Mitty high school second baseman Nick Yorke
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Duke right handed pitcher Bryce Jarvis
the New York Mets selected Harvard-Westlake high school outfielder Pet Crow-Armstrong
The Milwaukee Brewers selected UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Decatur high school third baseman Jordan Walker
the Washington Nationals selected Oklahoma right handed pitcher Cade Davalli
The Cleveland Indians selected Mountain Pointe high school short stop Carson Tucker
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Central Bucks high school east right handed pitcher Nick Bitsko
The Atlanta Braves selected Wake Forest left handed pitcher Jared Shuster
The Oakland Athletics selected Turlock high school catcher Tyler Soderstrom
The Minnesota Twins selected North Carolina first baseman Aaron Sabato
The New York Yankees selected Arizona catcher Austin Wells
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Louisville right handed pitcher Bobby Miller
The Baltimore Orioles selected Mississippi State short stop Jordan Westburg
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected South Carolina right handed pitcher Carmen Mlodzinski
The Kansas City Royals selected Baylor short stop Nick Loftin
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Miami right handed pitcher Slade Cecconi
The San Diego Padres selected Llano high school right handed pitcher Justin Lange
The Colorado Rockies selected The Woodlands high school catcher Drew Romo
The Cleveland Indians selected Auburn right handed pitcher Tanner Burns
The Tampa Bay Rays selelcted Arizona State short stop Alika Williams

Rounds 2-5:
The Detroit Tigers selected Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler
The Baltimore Orioles selected Tulane outfielder Hudson Haskin
The Miami Marlins selected Mustang high school left handed pitcher Daxton Fulton
The Kansas City Royals selected De La Salle Institute right handed pitcher Ben Hernandez
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Florida State right handed pitcher CJ Van Eyk
The Seattle Mariners selected Texas A&M outfielder Zach DeLaoch
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected La Mirada high school right handed pitcher Jared Jones
The San Diego Padres selected Notre Dame Catholic outfielder Owen Caissie
The Colorado Rockies selected Miami right handed pitcher Chris McMahon
The Chicago White Sox selected Refugio high school right handed pitcher Jared Kelley
The Cincinnati Reds selected Texas A&M right handed pitcher Christian Roa
The San Francisco Giants selected San Diego State third baseman Casey Schmitt
The Texas Rangers selected Elizabethton high school outfielder Evan Carter
The Chicago Cubs selected Dallas Baptist lest handed pitcher Burl Carraway
The New York Mets selected Mississippi State right handed pitcher J.T. Ginn
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Miami short stop Freddy Zamora
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Kingwood high school short stop Masyn Winn
The Washington Nationals selected LSU right handed pitcher Cole Henry
The Cleveland Indians selected Florida International left handed pitcher Logan Allen
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Virginia Tech left handed pitcher Ian Seymour
The Oakland A’s selected Michigan right handed pitcher Jeff Criswell
The Minnesota Twins selected Tennessee outfielder Alerick Soularie
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected East Tennessee State right handed pitcher Landon Knack
The Miami Marlins selected Ball State right hand pitcher Kyle Nicolas
The Detroit Tigers selected LSU outfielder Danny Cabrera
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Watson Chapel high school right handed pitcher Tink Hence
The Seattle Mariners selected McLennan Community College right handed pitcher Connor Phillips
The Cincinnati Reds selected J.W. Mitchell high school catcher Jackson Miller
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Texas Tech right handed pitcher Clayton Beeter
The San Francisco Giants selected North Carolina State lifet handed pitcher Nick Swiney
The San Francisco Giants selected Dallas Baptist short stop Jimmy Glowenke
The New York Mets selected Corona Senior high school outfielder Isaiah Greene
The St. Louis Cardinals selected East Carolina first baseman Alex Burleson
The Washington Nationals selected Monsignor Edward Pace high school short stop Sammy Infante
The Houston Astros selected Mont Saint Michael Academy right handed pitcher Alex Santos II
The Detroit Tigers selected Rice short stop Trei Cruiz
The Baltimore Orioles selected Ole Miss short stop Anthony Servideo
The Miami Marlins selected Coastal Carolina right handed pitcher Zach McCambley
The Kansas City Royals selected Alabama outfielder Tyler Gentry
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Jacksonville right handed pitcher Trent Palmer
The Seatle Mariners selected Oklahoma State second baseman Kaden Polcovich
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Chapman right handed pitcher Nick Garcia
The San Diego Padres selected Georgia right handed pitcher Cole Wilcox
The Colorado Rockies selected Clemson left handed pitcher Sam Weatherly
The Los Angeles Angels selected St. Elizabeth Catholic high school outfielder David Calabrese
The Chicago White Sox selected Wabash Valley right handed pitcher Adisyn Coffey
The Cincinnati Reds selected Texas Tech right handed pitcher Bryce Bonnin
The San Francisco Giants selected e La Salle high school left handed pitcher Kyle Harrison
The Texas Rangers selected Pine Forest high school right handed pitcher Tekoah Roby
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Arkansas short stop Casey Martin
the Chicago Cubs selected Michigan outfielder Jordan Nwogu
The Boston Red Sox selected DeSoto Central high school third baseman Blaze Jordan
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Green Hope high school left handed pitcher Liam Norris
The New York Mets selected San Diego State short stop Anthony Walters
The Milwaukee Brewes selected Central Michigan catcher Zavier Warren
The St Louis Cardinals selected Oklahoma left handed pitcher Levi Prater
The Washington National selected UCLA right handed pitcher Holden Powell
The Cleveland Indians selected Mira Costa high school outfielder Petey Halpin
The Tampa Bay Rays selected St. Joseph high school right handed pitcher Hunter Barnhart
The Atlanta Braves selected Michigan outfielder Jesse Franklin V
The Oakland A’s selected Georgia Tech outfielder Michael Guldberg
The New York Yankees selected Arizona State second baseman Trevor Hauver
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Huntington Beach high school outfielder Jake Vogel
The Houston Astros selected Vanderbilt right handed pitcher Ty Brown
The Detroit Tigers selected Arizona State third baseman Gage Workman
The Baltimore Orioles selected Stoneman Douglas high school third baseman Coby Mayo
The Miami Marlins selected Vanderbilt left handed pitcher Jake Eder
The Kansas City Royals selected Oregon State legt handed pitcher Christian Chamberlain
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Loyola Marymount right handed pitcher Nick Frasso
The Seattle Mariners selected Mississippi third baseman Tyler Keenan
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Appalachian State right handed pitcher Jack Hartman
The San Diego Padres selected Troy right handed pitcher Levi Thomas
The Colorado Rockies selected Douglas Country high school right handed pitcher Case Williams
The Los Angeles Angels selected Detroit Edison high school short stop Werner Blakely
The Chicago White Sox selected Grand Canyon right handed pitcher Kade Mechals
The Cincinnati Reds selected St. Edward high school outfielder Mac Wainwright
The San Francisco Giants selected Arizona State right handed pitcher R.J. Dabovich
The Texas Rangers selected Central Catholic high school Dylan MacLean
The Philadelphia Phillies selected South Florida right handed pitcher Carson Ragsdale
The Chicago Cubs selected San Jacinto College North left handed pitcher Luke Little
The Boston Red Sox selected Hawaii left handed pitcher Jeremy Wu-Yelland
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected East Troy high school third baseman A.J. Vukovich
The New York Mets selected Arizona catcher Matthew Dyer
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Cincinnati outfielder Joey Wiemer
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Missouri right handed pitcher Ian Bedell
The Washington Nationals selected Oklahoma catcher Brady Lindsly
The Cleveland Indians selected Santa Margarita high school short stop Milan Tolentino
The Tampa Bay Rays selected University of California – Davis short stop Tanner Murray
The Atlanta Braves selected Clemson right handed pitcher Spencer Strider
The Oakland A’s selected Oklahoma right handed pitdher Dane Acker
The Minnesota Twins selected United South high school right handed pitcher Marco Raya
The New York Yankees selected Northwest Florida State right handed pitcher Beck Way
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Virginia Tech catcher Carson Taylor
The Houston Astros selected Tennessee outfielder Zach Daniels
The Detroit Tigers selected Biloxi high school third baseman Colt Keith
The Baltimore Orioles selected Dowling Catholic high school right handed pitcher Carter Baumler
The Miami Marlins selected USC right handed pitcher Kyle Hurt
The Kansas City Royals selected Eastern Illinois right handed pitcher Will Klein
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Louisville outfielder Zach Britton
The Seattle Mariners selected Cal Poly right handed pitcher Taylor Dollard
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Northwestern State right handed pitcher Logan Hofmann
The San Diego Padres selected West Columbus high school left handed pitcher Jagger Haynes
The Colorado Rockies selected Michigan short stop Jack Blomgren
The Los Angeles Angels selected Long Beach State left handed pitcher Adam Seminaris
The Chicago White Sox selected Auburn left handed pitcher Bailey Horn
The Cincinnati Reds selected Notre Dame right handed pitcher Joe Boyle
The San Francisco Giants selected Le Moyne right handed pitcher Ryan Murphy
The Texas Rangers selected Carlsbad high school short stop Thomas Saggese
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Georgia Tech outfielder Baron Radcliff
The Chicago Cubs selected Panther Creed high school right handed pitcher Koen Moreno
The Boston Red Sox selected Florida State left handed pitcher Shane Drohan
The Arizona Diamondbacks selected Bellarmine University right handed pitcher Brandon Pfaadt
The New York Mets selected University of New Orleans right handed pitcher Eric Orze
The Milwaukee Brewers selected University of Louisiana at Lafayette short stop Hayden Cantrelle
The St. Louis Cardinals selected Long Beach State outfielder LJ Jones IV
The Washington Nationals selected San Jacinto College North left handed pitcher Mitchell Parker
The Cleveland Indians selected Vanderbilt right handed pitcher Mason Hickman
The Tampa Bay Rays selected Central Florida right handed pitcher Jeff Hakanson
The Atlanta Braves selected Texas right handed pitcher Bryce Elder
The Oakland A’s selected Washington right handed pitcher Stevie Emanuels
The Minnesota Twins selected Waiakea high school outfielder Kala’I Rosario
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Central Arkansas right handed pitcher Gavin Stone
The Houston Astros selected UC San Diego short stop Shay Whitcomb

 

Santana and Earth Wind and Fire

As the world begins to open back up and resume some semblance of normalcy, Carlos Santana and Earth Wind and Fire have announced that they rescheduled the dates for their Miraculous Supernatural Tour for the summer of 2021.

Fans who have purchased tickets for the cancelled dates may use them for the new shows.  Ticket holders will be receiving an email advising them of their options.

The concerts in Montreal and Nashville have been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.  The concert in George, WA will be revealed soon.

Santana and Earth Wind and Fire tour dates:
June 18 at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheater in Chula Vista, CA
June 19 at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
June 22 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA
June 23 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, CA
June 25 at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield, WA
June 29 at the USANA in Salt Lake City, UT
June 30 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
July 2 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, MO
July 3 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL
July 5 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, MI
July 7 at the S&T Bank Music Park in Burgettstown, PA
July 9 at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, IN
July 10 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
July 11 at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater in Milwaukee, WI
July 16 at the Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas, TX
July 17 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands, TX
Aug 7 at the Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, PA
Aug 8 at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON
Aug 11 at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA
Aug 13 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT – solo Santana
Aug 14 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
Aug 15 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
Aug 18 at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview in Syracuse, NY
Aug 19 at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, NJ
Aug 21 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
Aug 22 at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY
Aug 25 at the Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood in Atlanta, GA
Aug 27 at the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre  in West Palm Beach, FL
Aug 28 at the MIDFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL

SpongeBob Supports Pride

With the global pandemic cancelling any event that will gather large crowds and massive social injustice protests; Pride has been forced to take a back seat; but June is Pride month for the LGBTQ+ community.  It is a time of festivals, parades, and a community coming together to be…

This June the Pride community has a new advocate…none other than Bikini Bottom resident SpongeBob SquarePants!

In its support of Pride month, the television network Nickelodeon posted a Tweet that featured three of the network’s characters.  For many the tweet is an admission that the Bikini Bottom residents are indeed members of the LGBTQ+ community.  Joining SpongeBob in the Tweet are Schwoz Schwartz from “Henry Danger” and Korra from “Legend of Korra”.

“Legend of Korra” has revealed in their storyline that Korra is indeed bisexual and a member of the community.

The actor who voices Schwoz Schwartz, Michael D. Cohen is transgender.

That leaves SpongeBob, who is at least an ally; but is more than just an ally??? Nickelodeon isn’t saying.  Originally, Nickelodeon stated that SpongeBob was in fact asexual.

feature photo credit: By Tomas Castelazo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38796912

 

NFL Call Juneteenth a Holiday

On the heels of admitting the NFL was wrong on their stance concerning the players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the League would be marking June 19 – Juneteenth – as a holiday including closing its offices.

Juneteenth is often marked with festivals and celebrations.  The annual event is in celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States in 1865.  President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address to announcing the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 announcing the end of slavery and on June 19, 1865 Union solders announced in Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended and so had slavery.

Goodell issues a statement saying, “this year, as we work together as a family and in our communities to combat the racial injustices that remain deeply rooted into the fabric of our society, the NFL will observe Juneteenth on Friday, June 19th as a recognized holiday and our league offices will be closed.  It is a day to reflect on our past, but more importantly, consider how each one of us can continue to show up and band together to work toward a better future.”

Last week the NFL announced that they would be donating $250 million over the next 10 years to help combat racism and battle injustice toward African Americans.

 

All Star Race Moves to July

A race normally held in May just before the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the annual All Star Race this year will be held on July 15 in Thunder Valley at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

As NASCAR works toward filling the stands, a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the race under the lights.

Speedway Motorsports President and CEO Marcus Smith spoke on the race saying, “the NASCAR All-Star Race is an event known for making history, and we will enhance that legacy by hosting the event at Bristol Motor Speedway.”

Noting the state of current events, Smith added, “while Charlotte will always be recognized as the birthplace and traditional home for the All-Star Race, the current data surrounding the pandemic in North Carolina makes Bristol a better option for fan access this summer.”

NASCAR Executive Vice President of Racing Development Steve O’Donnell also spoke on the venue change saying, “we are excited to take one of the most unique races in our sport to one of the most unique race tracks in our sport.  Bristol Motor Speedway puts on classic short-track action every time we race there, and we’re anticipating an elevated level of intensity for the NASCAR All-Star Race.”

The first All Star race was held in 1985 at Charlotte Motor Speedway – the spot that is considered the home track for many of the drivers centered in the Charlotte area.  This year will mark only the second time that the race has not been held in Charlotte; the 1986 race was held in Atlanta where Georgia native Bill Elliott won the race.

Drivers who compete in the All Star race don’t race for points but for bragging rights and a $1 million prize.

Always featuring some unique formats, NASCAR will reveal the details of the annual race in the coming weeks.

While most of the drivers earn their way into the race, there is also a voting process for fans to choose their favourites.  The driver with the most votes who does not race his way into the race via the Open, will get into the race via the fan vote.

Fans may cast one vote per submission per day per email address.  Fans may cast their votes at https://www.nascar.com/fanvote.  Voting ends at noon on July 14.

Drivers competing for the fan vote in this year’s All Star ballot are;
Quin Houff
Austin Dillon
Tyler Reddick
Aric Almirola
Ty Dillon
Clint Bowyer
Brennan Poole
Chris Buesche,
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Ryan Preece
John Hunter Nemechek
Cole Custer
Bubba Wallace
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Chad Finchum
Joey Gase
B.J. McLeod
JJ Yeley
Brendan Gaughan
Timmy Hill
Ross Chastain
Christopher Bell
Daniel Suarez

Any driver eligible for the fan vote who wins a race between now and the All Star race will automatically become eligible for the All Star race.

Winners of the stages during the Open will also earn a spot in the All Star race main event.

To date 15 drivers have earned their spots into the All Star race main event:
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Newman
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr.
Erik Jones
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Alex Bowman
Justin Haley
Matt Kenseth

 

feature photo credit: By Eddie Maloney from North Las Vegas, USA – Bristol Motor Speedway, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31880076

 

 

Red Flags, Lightening, and Rainbows for Cup Series at Homestead-Miami

Capping off a four race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in southern Florida on a hot humid Sunday afternoon, the NASCAR Cup Series runs the Dixie Vodka 400.

For many years Homestead-Miami meant the end of the NASCAR racing season and the crowning of a season champion.  With the changes NASCAR has made to the schedule, the race at Homestead-Miami becomes one of the spring races.

And for the first time in three months there will be fans in the stands!  NASCAR has invited 500 fans from Homestead Air Force base to bring a guest and enjoy the race from the grandstands on the front stretch.

Prior to coming to Miami, Austin Dillon and wife Whitney welcomed a new member to the family when their son Ace was born.  Dillon’s car owner and grandfather Richard Childress is a great grandfather.

After a random draw, Denny Hamlin will sit on the pole with Joey Logano sitting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Dixie Vodka 400:
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Alex Bowman
Jimmie Johnson
Kurt Busch
Ryan Blaney
Clint Bowyer
Chris Buescher
Ryan Newman
Erik Jones
Austin Dillon
Bubba Wallace
John Hunter Nemechek
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Matt Kenseth
Aric Almirola
William Byron
Matt DiBenedetto
Tyler Reddick
JJ Yeley
Corey LaJoie
Josh Bilicki
Brennan Poole
Joey Gase
Michael McDowell
Quin Houff
Ty Dillon
Ryan Preece
BJ McLeod
Cole Custer
Christopher Bell
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill

Stages one and two of the race are 80 laps each with stage three lasting 107 laps for a total of 267 laps around the mile and a half track.

Grammy Award winning Latin American artist Jon Secada sang the National Anthem for the race.

Former NFL head coach, NFL Hall of Fame member, and FOX Sports broadcaster Jimmy Johnson is the grand marshal for the race and gave the command to start engines.

Just as Jimmy Johnson was giving the command to start engines, a shower popped up around turn four and the track drying machines came out on the track, delaying the start of the race.

Homestead-Miami Speedway has named their turn three tunnel after retiring driver Jimmie Johnson.

After a delay of nearly an hour, NASCAR calls the drivers back to their cars.

And the cars are finally moving and are making pace laps on the now green track after the rain storm that moved through.

With a fuel load of 64 to 66 laps, the drivers cannot complete any of the stages without making at least one pit stop.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25.

With the rain shower that passed through and dark skies above, the temperatures have dropped several degrees.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane but it is Joey Logano who gets out in front for the lead.  Drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Lap two, the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR throws the yellow flag for lightening in the area.

And after five laps on the track, NASCAR puts out the red flag to stop the race and asks fans to clear the grandstands.

During the caution flag, Michael McDowell had a bird strike, causing some damage to his car.  His team will have some repairs to make to the car once the red flag is withdrawn.

A rainbow has appeared over the track as NASCAR waits out the lightening.  Each time a lightening strike occurs, the clock is reset to 30 minutes.  There can be no signs of any lightening for at least 30 minutes before any activity on the track can occur.

After a second delay of over an hour, NASCAR has called for the cars to be uncovered and the drivers to return to their cars.

NASCAR gives the order to fire engines for the third time at 6:18pm.  Once the cars get moving again, they will restart the race on lap six.

And just as the engines get fired, another lightening strike occurs, the engines are shut off and the waiting begins again.  The drivers again get out of their cars and they are recovered.

After a third delay of nearly 40 minutes, the drivers return to their cars for a fourth attempt to get the race underway once again.

At 7:05pm the caution car is on the track and the cars are again moving.

The heat of the day has gone with cloudy skies as the sun begins to work its way to the horizon.

The race was stopped for a total of two hours and eight minutes due to weather conditions…mostly lightening.

A few of the drivers have come down pit road for fresh tires.

Due to the current weather conditions, the FOX camera crew has not been cleared to return to their cameras on the roof; FOX must rely on ground and in car cameras, along with the robotic cameras.

Joey Logano finally gets the race going again when he brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap nine with Joey Logano edging out Denny Hamlin for the lead.

The top five are Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Martin Treux Jr, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski.

Denny Hamlin challenges Joey Logano for the lead as the two swap back and forth.  Joey Logano holds on to his lead with Denny Hamlin in second and Brad Keselowski in third; Martin Truex Jr and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 12, Brad Keselowski gets around Denny Hamlin for second place with Joey Logano leading the race with a half second lead.

All 38 drivers are still on the lead lap.

Lap 14, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Brad Keselowski; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

After starting in 24th place, Tyler Reddick has moved up to seventh on lap 16.

Lap 17, Joey Logano continues to lead the race by over half a second on Brad Keselowski; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 19, Brad Keselowski has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to less than a quarter of a second.

The caution flag comes out on lap 21 for a spin out by Ryan Newman.  Newman takes his car directly down pit road with a flat tire.

NASCAR has announced that this will also serve as the competition caution.

Rim riding, Tyler Reddick has moved into the top five.

Ryan Newman’s pit stop was made before the pits were open; as a result, he will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Seven drivers stayed out on the track.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road with Kevin Harvick out second.

Brennan Poole is the new leader after staying out on the track.

All drivers have made a pit stop putting Joey Logano back in the lead.

Ty Dillon was caught speeding on pit road.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the gren flag restart and holds on to his lead with Tyler Reddick in second.

Matt Kenseth had to make a second trip down pit road for a loose wheel.

Lap 26, Joey Logano is in the lead with Tyler Reddick just a third of a second back; Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 28, with all 38 cars still on the lead lap, Joey Logano has a narrow lead on Chase Elliott; Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 30, Joey Logano has the lead but is getting a challenge from Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick.  Chase Elliott passes Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 31, Tyler Reddick passes Joey Logano for second place.

Lap 32, Chase Elliott has a third of a second lead on Tyler Reddick; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out once again for lightening in the area.

At 7:31pm NASCAR puts out the red flag stopping the race for the fourth time after lightening has again stopped the race on lap 33.

After another red flag delay of half an hour, the drivers climb into their cars one more time as they prepare to get the race going once again.

And at 8:10pm NASCAR displays the yellow flag and the cars are moving once again.

Chase Elliott leads the field with Tyler Reddick starting alongside on the front row.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.

Kevin Harvic, and Matt DiBenedetto have all had to make additional trips down pit road after a pit road altercations as drivers try to get in and out of their pit boxes.  Joey Logano was also involved but did not come down pit road.

Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney are on the front row and will bring the field to the green flag for the restart on lap 37 with Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney battling for the lead and swapping back and forth before Ryan Blaney finally takes the top spot with Elliott in second; Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 42, Ryan Blaney has a half second lead on Chase Elliott; Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Erik Jones is reporting a possible loose wheel.

Tyler Reddick gets around Chase Elliott for second.

Lap 45, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 50, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 56, Ryan Blaney holds on to his lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 60, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Ryan Blaney to just over a second; Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 61, Erik Jones makes an unscheduled trip down pit for with reports of a loose wheel.

There are 21 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 65, Ryan Blaney’s lead over Denny Hamlin is down to just half a second; Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 68, Denny Hamlin has caught up to leader Ryan Blaney.

Blaney is reporting a loose condition; adding that he can’t run up near the wall.

Lap 70, There are 29 cars on the lead lap with all 38 drivers still on the track.

Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney riding in his trail less than half a second behind; Tyler Reddick, Aric Almirola, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With five laps remaining in stage one, Denny Hamlin finally gets around Ryan Blaney to take the lead.  Three laps remain in stage one, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Ryan Blaney; Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Denny Hamlin wins stage one after the longest stage run in NASCAR after multiple delays.  This is only Hamlin’s second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Tyler Reddick
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
William Byron
Clint Bowyer
Chris Buescher

Jimmie Johnson has a roof flap issue that must be repaired which will cause an extended pit stop for the 48 team.

Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road with Chase Eliott out second and Ryan Blaney close behind.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 88 with Hamlin going nose to nose with Chase Elliott for the lead.

Lap 89, Chase Elliott gets out in front for the lead with Ryan Blaney in second and Denny Hamlin in third; Alex Bowman and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 90, Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott battle for the lead with Blaney getting out in front; Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 92, Chase Elliott challenges Ryan Blaney for the lead but Blaney holds on to the top spot.

Lap 93, Ryan Blaney leads the race; Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 97, Ryan Blaney has a near one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 100, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 105, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Denny Hamlin is very slowly eating into Ryan Blaney’s lead of over a second and a half.

Lap 110, Ryan Blaney holds on to his lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Tyler Reddick William Byron, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 112, Ryan Blaney’s lead over Denny Hamlin is now down to just under a second and a half as green flag pit stops approach.

Lap 116, Denny Hamlin has cut Ryan Blaney’s lead to just over half a second.

Lap 119, Ryan Newman is the first driver to make a green flag pit stop and begin the cycle of stops.

Lap 121, Ryan Blaney’s lead is nearly three seconds on Tyler Reddick as green flag pit stops continue

Lap 122, Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop, giving the lead over the Tyler Reddick.

Lap 122, Tyler Reddick makes his green flag pit stop giving the lead over to Ryan Preece.

Denny Hamlin is the new leader when Ryan Preece makes his pit stop.  Hamlin has a lead of over two seconds on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 126, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second and a half on Ryan Blaney; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 130, Denny Hamlin has a lead of nearly two seconds on Ryan Blaney; Tyler Reddick, William Byron, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 133, all 38 drivers are still out on the track with 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 134, Denny Hamlin has increased his lead on Ryan Blaney to over two seconds; but third place driver Tyler Reddick is slowly closing the gap which is now under five seconds.

Lap 137, Denny Hamlin continues to increase his lead on Ryan Blaney which is now two and a half seconds; but Tyler Reddick has closed his gap on Hamlin to under four seconds.

Lap 140, Denny Hamlin leads the race; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 145, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over three and a half seconds on Ryan Blaney; Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.  Tyler Reddick is on Ryan Blaney’s bumper and challenging for the second spot.

Josh Bilicki is off the track with 22 cars on the lead lap.

With eleven laps remaining in stage two, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a near five second lead on Ryan Blaney; Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, and William Byron round out the top five.

Eight laps remain in stage two, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over five seconds on Tyler Reddick; Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five.

Six laps remain in stage two, Denny Hamlin has a five second lead on Tyler Reddick.

With a lead of five seconds, Denny Hamlin wins stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Denny Hamlin
Tyler Reddick
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
William Byron
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Austin Dillon
Kyle Busch
Aric Almirola

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road with Chase Elliott getting out second.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 168 and jumps out in front of Chase Elliott to take the lead; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney and William Byron round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 170 for contact between Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

Most of the drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and service.  Denny Hamlin edges out Chase Elliott to win the race off of pit road.

Austin Dillon was charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on Lap 175 with Chase Elliott starting alongside on the front row.  Denny Hamlin jumps out in front of Chase Elliott for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, and Tyler Reddick.

With 90 lpas remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin is out in front with the lead; Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and William Byron rounding out the top five.  Drivers are getting three wide across the track as they battle for position.

Lap 178, Chase Elliott nad Tyler Reddick battle for position.

Lap 180, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and William Byron round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.  Josh Bilicki is back on the track 17 laps down.

Lap 185, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 190, Denny Hamlin holds on to his half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 193, Ryan Blaney passes Denny Hamlin to take the lead; Chase Elliott Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 194, Denny Hamlin retakes the lead but Chase Elliott has caught up to the two drivers and passes Blaney for second.

With 72 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney battle for second with Denny Hamlin in front for the lead.

Lap 200, Denny Hamlin has a third of a second lead on Chase Elliott with Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

At 39, Denny Hamlin is the oldest driver in the top 10.

Lap 207, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott.

Kevin Harvick has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for a flat tire.

Chris Buescher also has to make a pit stop for a flat tire.

Alex Bowman is the first driver to make his green flag pit stop as green flag pit stops are looming in the next handful of laps.

With 55 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Chase Elliott; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

With 53 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott is closing in on leader Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With 50 laps to go, Chase Elliott becomes the first driver in the lead pack to make his green flag pit stop.

Leader Denny Hamlin comes down pit road with 49 laps to go; Tyler Reddick is the new leader.

Tyler Reddick makes his pit stop giving the lead over to Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch makes his pit top and gives the lead over to Matt Kenseth.

Once pit stops cycle through, Chase Elliott is the new leader with a lead over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin.

With 42 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott has a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  Seventh place driver Matt Kenseth has yet to make his pit stop.

With 38 laps remaining in the race, Matt Kenseth has finally made his pit stop.  Chase Elliott has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Leader Chase Elliott is reporting a tight condition on his car.

With 35 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on Denny Hamlin to within a few car lengths on Chase Elliott.

Ryan Newman had to make a trip down pit road after getting the black flag from NASCAR.

Thirty to go, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

With Joey Logano blocking the way, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin battle it out for the lead with Denny Hamlin taking the top spot as Joey Logano goes another lap down.

Twenty seven to go, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott continue to battle for the lead with Hamlin in front.

Currently two seconds back in third, Ryan Blaney is running the fastest speeds on the track.

Only 24 laps remain in the race with Denny Hamlin out in front; Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five.

With 19 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Chase Elliott; Ryan Blaney is now a second and a half back in third, Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Sixteen to go, Chase Elliott has caught up to ;leader Denny Hamlin as the drivers begin to encounter lapped traffic.

Thirteen to go, Ryan Blaney is less than a second behind Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott and threatening to make it a three way battle for the lead.

Ten to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over half a second on Chase Elliott with Ryan Blaney another half second back; Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Nine to go, Tyler Reddick has caught Ryan Blaney as they battle for third.  Ryan Blaney holds on to the spot.

Erik Jones has to make a stop on pit road for a flat tire.

Seven to go, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Chase Elliott.

Five to go, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Chase Elliott a quarter of a second back.  Chase Elliott brushes the wall and Ryan Blaney battles him for second while Denny Hamlin pulls away to a lead of over a second.

Denny Hamlin takes the white flag.

And some seven hours after the start of the race, Denny Hamlin becomes the first driver this season to win both stages and the race to notch his 40th career win.  This is Hamlin’s third Cup Series win this season.

Fifteen driver finished the race on the lead lap.

The unofficial results of the Dixie Vodka 400:
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Ryan Blaney
Tyler Reddick
Aric Almirola
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Christopher Bell
William Byron
Brad Keselowski
Clint Bowyer
Martin Truex Jr
Bubba Wallace
Matt DiBenedetto
Michael McDowell
Jimmie Johnson
Kurt Busch
Alex Bowman
John Hunter Nemechek
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik Jones
Cole Custer
Chris Buescher
Ryan Preece
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Ryan Newman
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Quin Houff
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
JJ Yeley

NASCAR Issues Suspensions

While making pace laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 13, Xfinity Series driver Chase Briscoe’s Stewart-Haas Racing number 98 car dropped some ballast on the track.

Briscoe spent six laps on pit road getting the car repaired and ended up finishing the race on the lead lap in seventh place.

As a result of the infraction, NASCAR has issued a penalty on the SHR car in the form of suspensions.  Crew Chief Richard Boswell, car chief Nick Hutchins, and engineer DJ Vanderley have all been suspended for the next four Xfinity Series races including the second race at Homestead-Miami on June 14.

With car owner Tony Stewart’s former crew chief Greg Zippadelli on the pit box, Chase Briscoe took the number 98 car to victory circle after a double overtime finish in the Contender Boats 250 to give Zippy his first Xfinity Series win.

 

Double Overtime Finish for Xfinity Series in Homestead-Miami

The Xfinity series returns for the second race in less than 24 hours at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Contender Boats 250.  This also marks the second of four races in the Dash-4-Cash Series where four drivers will compete for $100,000.  Noah Gragson won the first prize in Atlanta and shared it with his racing team.

Driving the same cars as they did in Saturday’s 250 mile race, the drivers return with a slightly different lineup.  Daniel Hemric takes over the driving duties of the number eight car that was driven to a fifth place finish on Saturday by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

For this race the starting line up was based on the finishing order of Saturday’s Hooter’s 250 with the top 15 finishers inverted putting Myatt Snider on the pole with Brandon Brown starting alongside on the front row.

Stages one and two of the race are 40 laps each with stage three lasting 87 laps for a total of 167 laps around the mile and a half track.

Noah Gragson will have to start the race from the back of the field.

Daniel Hemric and AJ Allmendinger will have to start from the back of the field due to a driver change from Saturday’s race.

Justin Allgaier has to start the race from the back of the field in a backup car.

Atlanta winner AJ Allmendinger, Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric, and Noah Gragson will be competing for the $100,00 prize in the Dash-4-Cash.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution at lap 20.

Myatt Snider brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and hets out in front for the lead with Justin Haley ins second.

The drivers are already getting three wide across the track.

Lap two, Myatt Snider is in the lead but “The Melon Man” Ross Chastain challenges for the lead and takes it from Snider.

Lap three, the top five are Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Myatt Snider, Justin Haley,, and Brandon Jones.

Lap four, Myatt Snider retakes the lead with Brandon Brown in second

Lap five Ross Chastain is in the lead with Chase Briscoe in second; Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, and Myatt Snider round out the top five.

Lap nine, Chase Briscoe takes the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, and Myatt Sniter round out the top five.

Lap 12, Austin Cindric has the lead with Chase Briscoe in second; Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 17, Austin Cindric has a lead of over a second on Chase Briscoe; Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

After starting from the rear AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson have moved up over 20 spots since the race started with Gragson and Allgaier in the top 10, Allmendinger is 17th.

Lap 20, Austin Cindric has a lead of over a second and a half on Chase Briscoe.

At the end of lap 20, NASCAR throws the yellow flag for the competition caution.  The teams only have four sets of tires in the pits.

Some of the teams came down pit road for service.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 25 and holds on to the lead.

Lap 26, the top five are Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, and Justin Allgaier.

With 34 cars on the lead lap, FA Junior Avila and Stephen Leicht are off the track.

Lap 29, Austin Cindric has a half second lead on Brandon Jones; Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 31,, Austin Cindric has increased his lead a over a second on Brandon Jones; Ryan Sieg, Noah Gragson, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Now in second place, Ryan Sieg has cut the gap on leader Austin Cindric to just over half a second.

Lap 33, Caesar Bacarella and Tommy Joe Martins bring out the caution flag when they make contact and wreck with Bacarella making a run through the grass.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 37 for a four lap shootout to end the stage.  The drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Ryan Sieg gets around Austin Cindric to take the lead; Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, and Kyle Weatherman round out the top five.

Lap 39, Ryan Sieg has pulled out the a lead of over a second and a half on Austin Cindric; Brandon Jones, Michael Annett, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

With a lead of nearly two seconds Ryan Sieg wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ryan Sieg
Michael Annett
Austin Cindric
Brandon Jones
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Harrison Burton
Daniel Hemric
Timmy Hill
Bayley Currey

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and fresh tires.

Austin Cindric wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Ross Chastain is the leader and will bring the field to the green.

Ryan Sieg had an extended stop on pit road after Justin Allgaier knocked a tire out of the carrier’s arm.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 48 with Brandon Jones jumping out in front for the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Lap 50, Brandon Jones is in the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton , and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lap 51, Austin Cindric passes Brandon Jones for the lead; Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.  There are 34 cars on the lead lap with two cars out of the race.

Lap 53, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a one second lead on Brandon Jones with Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, and Harrison Burton rounding out the top five.

Lap 55, Austin Cindric has increased his lead to over a second and a half on Brandon Jones; Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.Lap 57, Austin Cindric now hasa lead of over two seconds on Daniel Hemric; Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap 60, Austin Cindric has increased his lead over Daniel Hemric to two and a half seconds; Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 63, Noah Gragson has closed the gap on leader Austin Cindric to under two seconds; Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Fifteen laps remain in stage two; Austin Cindric’s lead on Noah Gragson is down to less than half a second; Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap 68, Noah Gragson passes Austin Cindric for the lead; Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Brandon Brown is off the track; FA Junior Avila and Stephen Leicht are out of the race.

Lap 70, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of over a second and a half on Austin Cindric; Brandon Jones, Chase Briscoe and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap 72, Noah Gragson has a lead of two and a half seconds on Austin Cindric with 24 cars on the lead lap.

Brandon Brown is out of the race with Stefan Parsons off the track.

With five laps remaining in stage two, Noah Gragson has a lead of over three seconds on Austin Cindric with 23 cars on the lead lap.

With a lead of over four seconds, Noah Gragson wins stage two for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Brandon Jones
Chase Briscoe
Daniel Hemric
Harrison Burton
Justin Allgaier
Michael Annett
Anthonthy Alfredo
AJ Allmendinger

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service with Noah Gragson winning the race off of pit road.

In south Florida, it isn’t the heat – it’s 84 – it’s the humidity which makes it feel like 94 degrees.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the bottom lane on lap 90 and gets out in front for he lead with Chase Briscoe in second; Harrison Burton, Austin Cindric, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Lap 92, Noah Gragson is in the lead with Austin Cindric on his bumper and looking to take the lead.

Lap 93, Austin Cindric passes Noah Gragson for the lead; Chase Briscoe, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 95, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a half second lead on Noah Gragson with 23 cars on the lead lap

Kyle Weatherman is off the track.

Lap 96, Austin Cindric now has a second lead on Noah Gragson; Chase Briscoe, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 98, Austin Cindric has increased his lead to a second and a half on Noah Gragson with Chase Briscoe, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones rounding out the top five.

Lap 100, Noah Gragson has closed the gap on leader Austin Cindric to just over a second.

Lap 103, Noah Gragson has closed the gap on leader Austin Cindric to just over half a second; Chase Briscoe, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 104, all four of the Dash-4-Cash drivers are in the top 10 with Noah Gragson in second, Daniel Hemric in fourth, AJ Allmendinger in ninth, and Justin Haley in tenth.

Lap 105, Noah Gragson passes Austin Cindric for the lead.

Austin Cindric is reporting a tire going down and has to make an unscheduled stop on pit road.

Lap 107, Noah Gragson has a lead of over three seconds on Chase Briscoe; Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap 110, drivers are getting four wide across the track.  Noah Gragson has a lead of over three and a half seconds on Chase Briscoe; Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Fifty to go, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of over four seconds on Chase Briscoe as green flag pit stops begin.

Lap 120, Noah Gragson is running away from the field with a lead of nearly five seconds on Chase Briscoe; Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five with only 16 cars on the lead lap.

BJ McLeod is off the track,  Kyle Weatherman is out of the race.

With 46 lpas to go, Noah Gragson has increased his lead to just under six seconds on Chase Briscoe.

With 44 laps remaining in the race, leader Noah Gragson makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over the Chase Briscoe.

Daniel Hemric had to make a second trip down pit road after having some issues on pit road.

Chase Briscoe makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Brandon Jones.

Brandon Jones makes his pit stop and gives the lead to Josh Williams.

Josh Williams makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Austin Cindric with Noah Gragson in second three seconds back.

With 40 laps remaining in the race, Austin Cindric’s lead is down to a second and a half on Noah Gragson.

Harrison Burton scrapes the wall.

Thirty eight laps to go, Noah Gragson has caught up to Austin Cindric and passes him to retake the lead.

With 35 laps to go, Noah Gragson has increased his lead on Austin Cindric to over two seconds; Chase Briscoe, Harrison Burton, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Thirty two laps to go, Noah Gragson has a three second lead on Chase Briscoe; Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

BJ McLeod is out of the race with 14 cars on the lead lap.

Thirty to go, Noah Gragson has a lead of three and a half seconds on Chase Briscoe with Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, and Harrison Burton rounding out the top five.

Twenty five laps remain in the race, Noah Gragson has a lead of over four seconds on Chase Briscoe; Austin Cindirc, Justin Allgaier, and Brandon Jones round out the top five with 14 cars on the lead lap.

After hitting the wall, Justin Allgaier has a flat tire and has to bring his car down pit road.  The track stays green.

Anthony Alfredo is also on pit road with a flat tire.

Twenty to go, Chase Briscoe has cut into leader Noah Gragson’s lead who is now two and a half seconds in front of Briscoe; Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.  There are 13 cars on the lead lap.

Seventeen to go, Noah Gragson’s lap times are slower, but he still has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Chase Briscoe with 12 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 150, Noah Gragson continues to lap slower traffic; there are only 10 cars on the lead lap.

There are only 13 laps remaining in the race with Noah Gragson out in front by three seconds on Chase Briscoe; Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Eleven to go, Noah Gragson’s lead is down to under two seconds on Chase Briscoe with 10 cars on the lead lap.

Harrison Burton has to bring his car down pit road with a flat tire.

Seven to go, Noah Gragson has a second and a half lead on Chase Briscoe.

Five to go, Noah Gragson has a lead of just 1.25 seconds on Chase Briscoe with eight cars on the lead lap.

In traffic, Noah Gragson is just one second in front of Chase Briscoe.

Three to go, Chase Briscoe has closed the gap to under a second on Noah Gragson.

Chase Briscoe scrapes the wall and falls to over a second behind Noah Gragson.

Austin Cindric spins out and hits the wall with a flat tire which brings out the caution flag just before the white flag comes out.

The race will go into overtime with only six cars on the lead lap.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for fresh tires with Chase Briscoe winning the race off of pit road.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green/white/checker overtime restart with Noah Gragson starting alongside on the front row.  Drivers get spread out three and four wide across the track with Chase Briscoe getting out in front but the caution flag comes out for a crash involving Michael Annett and Daniel Hemric.  Riley Herbst was also involved.  Daniel Hemric hit the inside wall head first sending his car in the air.

Xfinity Series rookie Harrison Burton has finished every race this season in the top 10 including two wins.

After taking the wave around on the last caution flag, Justin Haley made a pit stop and has the freshest tires on the track.

The drivers will lineup once again for the second overtime restart with Brandon Jones starting along side on the front row.  Noah Gragson is in third place behind Briscoe.  Drivers get four wide across the track with Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones battling for the lead.

Chase Briscoe takes the white flag with Brandon Jones in second.

Chase Briscoe wins the race with AJ Allmendinger to top finisher in the Dash-4-Cash prize of $100,000.

The unofficial results of the Contender Boats 250:
Chase Briscoe
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
AJ Allmendinger
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Myatt Snider
Harrison Burton
Riley Herbst
Austin Cindric
Anthony Alfredo
Josh Williams
Joe Graf Jr
Colin Garrett
Jesse Little
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Colby Howard
Michael Annett
Ryan Sieg
Tommy Joe Martins
Chad Finchum
Justin Allgaier
Alex Labbe
Matt Mills
Timmy Hill
Bayley Currey
Jeremy Clements
Carson Ware
Vinnie Miller
Caesar Bacarella
Daniel Hemric
Stefan Parsons
Kody Vanderwal
BJ McLeod
Kyle Weatherman
Brandon Brown
Ja Junior Avila
Stephen Leicht

Dominating Win for Truck Series at Homestead-Miami

The Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series makes a day/night double header at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Baptist Health 200.

The rain has held off…so far…and the truck are ready to roll after a wild and furious race from the Xfinity Series.

After a random draw to set the field, Austin Hill will sit on the pole and bring the field of 38 trucks to the green flag.

Stages one and two of the race are only 30 laps each with stage three lasing 74 laps for a total of 134 laps around the mile and a half track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 15.

After drawing the outside pole, Kyle Busch will have to move to the back of the field after a tech issue during pre race inspection…and will have to serve a pass through penalty once the race begins.

Tanner Gray is moved to the back of the field after his team made unapproved adjustments to the truck.

Tate Fogelman missed the driver’s meeting and will  have to start the race from the back of the field.

Brett Moffitt, Chase Briscoe, and Ross Chastain all ran the Xfinity Series race only a short time ago.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead with last week’s winner Grant Enfinger in second; Christian Eckes, Zane Smith, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

After serving his drive through penalty, Kyle Busch remains on the lead lap.

Bryant Barnhill is off the track.

Lap six, Austin Hill has a narry lead on Grant Enfinger; Sheldon Creed, Ross Chastain, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap nine, Sheldon Creed scrapes the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 10, Kyle Busch remains in last place but is still on the lead lap.

After beating Kyle Busch to win the bounty, Chse Elliott has returned for another race.

Lap 12, Austin Hill has a half second lead on Grant Enfinger; Ross Chastain, Sheldon Creed, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

After stating earlier in the week that he was withdrawing his truck from the race after NASCAR issued an order to ban the Confederate flag from all races, Ray Ciccarelli is at the track and in the race.  He is currently in 35th place.

The competition caution comes out at the end of lap 15 with Austin Hill leading the race.

Kyle Busch is on pit road getting some repairs to his truck with rear end damage after hitting the wall.

Some of the drivers came down pit road for service, but the leaders stayed out on the track and on lap 20, Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart and holds on to his lead with Grant Enfinger in second.

The caution flag comes out on lap 19 for a crash.  Zane Smith, Brett Moffitt, and Chase Elliott were all involved.  Zane Smith and Brett Moffitt’s trucks have serious damage and are out of the race.

Lap 22, the top five are Austin Hill, Ross Chastain, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, and Matt Crafton.

Chase Elliott will have to restart the race from the back of the field after pitting too soon.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 29 for a two lap shootout to the end of stage one.

Austin Hill edges out Ross Chastain for the lead as the trucks get three wide.

Ross Chastain and Austin Hill battle for the lead, swapping it back and forth until Ross Chastain puts his watermelon truck out in front for the lead.

Ross Chastain wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ross Chastain
Ben Rhodes
Austin Hill
Grant Enfinger
Matt Crafton
Todd Gilliland
Christian Eckes
Raphael Lessard
Stewart Friesen
Sheldon Creed

Drivers bring their trucks down pit road for service.  Austin Hill wins the race off of pit road, but not all of the drivers made a pit stop.

After staying out onf the track, Christian Eckes brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two and gets out in front for the lead.  Kyle Busch is in second.

Lap 38, Christian Eckes is in the lead with Kyle Busch on his bumper; Austin Hill, Ross Chastain, and Ty Majeski round out the top five.

Lap 39, Kyle Busch goes from worst to first when he passes Christian Eckes for the lead after starting the race from the back of the field.

Lap 40, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Austin Hill.

Ross Chastain gets around Austin Hill for the lead.

There is some debris on the track after TJ Bell hits the wall but so far the track stays green.

Lap 43, Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over a second on Ross Chastain; Austin Hill, Christian Eckes, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Lap 44, Kyle Busch is motoring and and has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Ross Chastain.  There are 31 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 47, Kyle Busch’s lead is now over two seconds on Ross Chastain; Austin Hill, Christian Eckes, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Lap 50, Kyle Busch’s lead is down to under a second on Ross Chastain; Austin Hill, Christian, Eckes, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

Lap 53, leader Kyle Busch has pulled back out to a lead of over a second on Ross Chastain; Austin Hill, Christian Eckes, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Lap 55, Kyle Busch is driving away with it, he now has a lead of over three seconds on Ross Chastain; Austin Hill, Christian Eckes, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

Matt Crafton gets into the wall and has to bring his truck down pit road with a flat tire just three laps from the end of stage two.

Kyle Busch now hasa lead of nearly five seconds on Ross Chastain.

With a lead of nearly five seconds, Kyle Busch wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Kyle Busch
Ros Chastain
Austin Hill
Christian Eckes
Todd Gilliland
Ben Rhodes
Chase Elliott
Derek Kraus
Grant Enfinger
Raphael Lessard

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Ross Chastain out second.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the outside lane and holds on to his lead as the drivers are getting three wide across the track.  Christian Eckes got loose and lost several spots on the restart.

Lap 68, Kyle Busch has a half second lead on Austin Hill, Ben Rhodes, Ross Chastain, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.  There are 24 trucks on the lead lap.

The caution flag comes out on lap 70 for Brennan Poole and a possible flat tire after spinning out.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 75 from the outside lane and gets out in front after a push from Ross Chastain.  The drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Kyle Busch is in the lead with Austin Hill in second; Ross Chastain, Stewart Friesen, and Raphael Lessard round out the top five.

Lap 77, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Austin Hill; Ross Chastain, Raphael Lessard and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Chase Elliott gets into the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 80, Kyle Busch has a lead of nearly a second on Austin Hill with 25 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 81, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Austin Hill, Ross Chastain, Raphael Lessard, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five with three drivers out of the race.

Ray Ciccarelli is in 29th place one lap down.

Lap 84, Kyle Busch has a lead of a second and a half on Austin Hill; Ross Chastain is in third nearly four seconds back.

Derek Kraus and Tanner Gray make contact but the track stays green.

With 49 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Busch has increased his lead to two seconds on Austin Hill.

With 47 laps to go, Kyle Busch has a lead of nearly two and a half seconds on Austin Hill; Ross Chastain, Ben Rhodes, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

The drivers cannot complete the 74 lap stage on a single load of fuel and will have to make a stop at some point.

With 41 laps to go, Ben Rhodes makes his green flag pit stop.

Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of nearly three and a half seconds on Austin Hill; Ross Chastain, Grant Enfinger, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap 94, Austin Hill comes down pit road for service as the cycle of green flag pit stops continue.

Lap 95, leader Kyle Busch is on pit road; giving the lead over to Christian Eckes.

Raphael Lessard was caught speeding on pit road.

With 34 laps remaining in the race, Christian Eckes still hasn’t made his pit stop and has a lead of nearly seven seconds on Matt Crafton; Kyle Busch is in third and will retake the lead once the green flag pit stops have cycled through.

There are only eight trucks on the lead lap.

The caution flag comes out on lap 103 when Sheldon Creed ran into the barrels trying to get on pit road.

Christian Eckes wins the race off of pit road with Kyle Busch coming out second.  Matt Crafton has an extended stop on pit road for repairs.

NASCAR stops the trucks on pit road in order to get the mess cleaned up from the barrels filled with sand.  The barrels protect the drivers from the concrete wall that separates pit road from the racing surface.  The crews must replace the 400 pound barrels which is talking a lot of time and extra equipment.

After a delay of about 15 minutes, the drivers are moving again under the yellow flag.

After staying out on the track, Chase Elliott is in the lead with Christian Eckes in second.  Kyle Busch will restart the race in third.

With just 24 laps remaining in the race, Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart with Christian Eckes initially getting out in front for the lead.  Kyle Busch and Christian Eckes battle for the lead with Kyle Busch edging out in front.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill, and Ross Chastain.

When the caution flag came out there were only eight trucks on the lead lap; after several drivers took the wave around, there are 22 drivers on the lead lap.

Twenty to go, Kyle Busch ahs a lead of a second and a half on Ben Rhodes; Christian Eckes, Austin Hill, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

With 18 laps to go, Kyle Busch has increased his lead to nearly two and a half seconds on Ben Rhodes.

There are four drivers out of the race and three trucks off the track.

Sixteen to go, Kyle Busch ahs a three second lead on Austin Hill; Ben Rhodes, Ross Chastain, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Kyle Busch’s lead is now three had a half seconds on Austin Hill.

Ben Rhodes gets slideways on the track but recovers and the track stays green.

Thirteen to go, Kyle Busch holds on to a three and a half second lead on Austin Hill; Ross Chastain, Ben Rhodes, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Jordan Anderson brings out the caution flag with just 12 laps remaining in the race when he gets slowed on the track and unable to make it to pit road.

Much of the field comes down pit road for service, including the leaders.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Austin Hill out second.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with just seven laps remaining in the race from the outside lane and the drivers immediately get in a three wide battle for the lead with Kyle Busch getting out in front for the lead.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Austin Hill, Tyler Ankrum, and Todd Gilliland.

Five to go, drivers are pushing and getting three wide as they battle for position.  Kyle Busch is in the lead.

Four to go, Kyle Busch is in the lead; Tyler Ankrum, Ross Chastain, Johnny Sauter, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Three to go, and Kyle Busch has a second and a half lead on Tyler Ankrum; Ross Chastain, Johnny Sauter, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

With a lead of over two seconds, Kyle Busch takes the white flag.

After losing two races in a row, Rowdy Busch wins the race in dominating fashion with a worst to first win to notch win number 58 wins to extend his lead as the winningest driver in the Truck Series.

The unofficial results of the Baptist Hospital 200:
Kyle Busch
Tyler Ankrum
Ross Chastain
Chase Elliott
Johnny Sauter
Todd Gilliland
Austin Hill
Christian Eckes
Matt Crafton
Ty Majeski
Raphael Lessard
Tanner Gray
Spencer Davis
Stewart Friesen
Derek Kraus
Austin Wayne Self
Grant Enfinger
Ben Rhodes
Brennan Poole
Sheldon Creed
Cory Roper
Spencer Boyd
Tale Fogleman
Angela Ruch
Tyler Hill
Gray Gaulding
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Codie Rohrbaugh
Ray Ciccarelli
Clay Greenfield
Jordan Anderson
Dawson Cram
Korbin Firrister
Norm Benning
TJ Bell
Brett Moffitt
Zane Smith
Bryant Barnhill

Teen Wins for Xfinity in Miami

Racing returns to south Florida with four races over the next two days beginning with the Xfinity Series and the Hooter’s 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  One of NASCAR’s favourite drivers also returns for his lone start of the 2020 racing season – Dale Earnhardt Jr will drive the number eight JR Motorsports car.

With a threat of a typical afternoon shower, NASCAR speeds up the opening ceremonies to get the race underway and beat the rain.

After the field was set with a random draw, the youngest driver in the field, Harrison Burton will sit on the pole and bring the field down for the green flag start of the race.

On a hot Saturday afternoon – 85 degrees and humid – stages one and two of the race are 40 laps each with stage three lasting 87 laps for a total of 167 laps around the mile and a half track.

Dale Earnhardt Jr will start the race in 12th place.

After a delay for debris on the track, Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane but it was Noah Gragson who gets out in front for the lead.

During pace laps, the debris was lead spacers from Chase Briscoe’s car.  Briscoe had to bring his car down pit road to determine the issue and make any repairs.

Lap three, Noah Gragson is in the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.  Dale Jr is in 10th place.

Lap 5, Noah Gragson has the lead with Ross Chastain a third of a second back; Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.  Tommy Joe Martins is off the track.  Chase Briscoe enters the race four laps down.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20.

Lap 10, Noah Gragson continues to lead the race.

Lap 15, Noah Gragson has the lead but is getting a challenge from “The Melon Man” Ross Chastain; Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Justin Haley round out the top five with Dale Earnhardt Jr in seventh place.

Lap 18, Running the high line, Noah Gragson leads the way with Ross Chastain in second; Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, and Harrison Burton round out the top five with Dale Jr in seventh.

NASCAR puts out the competition caution at the end of laps 20.  Teams have the option of coming down pit road.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 25 but it is Ross Chastain who jumps out in front for the lead from the outside lane.  Drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Lap 26, Ross Chastain is in the lead with Noah Gragson in second; Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, and Brandon Jones round out the top five with Dale Jr inn sixth.

Lap 28, Ryan Sieg gets around Ross Chastain for the lead; Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson and Alex Labbe round out the top five.  There are 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 30, Ryan Sieg has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Ross Chastain; Noah Gragson, Alex Labbe, and Austin Cindric round out the top five.

Lap 33, Ryan Sieg leads the way with Ross Chastain in second; Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, and Alex Labbe round out the top five.  Rim riding, Dale Earnhardt Jr is in sixth place.

A few drivers came down pit road during the caution and are now moving up in the field.

Timmy Hill had an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop.

With four laps remaining in the stage, Ryan Sieg has pulled out to a lead of nearly three and a half seconds on Ross Chastain.

Cody Vanderwal brings out the caution flag on lap 38 with a heavily smoking car and a possible blown engine.

Ryan Sieg wins stage one for his first stage win of the season and the second of his career.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ryan Sieg
Ross Chastain
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Alex Labbe
Kyle Weatherman
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Justin Haley
Brandon Jones
Joe Graf Jr

\Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road.

Timmy Hill’s team had another uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Taking the outside lane, Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 45 and holds on to the lead.

Lap 47, Ross Chastain takes the lead while Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson battling for second; Dale Jr, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 50, Austin Cindric leads the race as Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson continue to battle it out and swap back and forth in second.

Lap 52, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Ross Chastain; Noah Gragson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 54, Ryan Sieg and the boss man Dale Jr battle for third.

Lap 55, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over a  on Ross Chastain; Dale Jr, Noah Gragson round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out when Vinnie Miller and Brett Moffitt get into a wreck.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 63 but it is Ross Chastain who initially gets out in front for the lead.  Chastain and Cindric battle back and forth for the lead with Chastin getting out in front for the lead with Austin Cindric in second and Dale Jr in third; Noah Gragson and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 69, Ross Chastain has the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Dale Jr, Noah Gragson, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 72, Noah Gragson gets around Ross Chastain for the lead; Dale Jr moves into third.

Lap 74, Ross Chastain and Dale Earnhardt Jr battle for the second spot and have swapped it back and forth over the past few laps.

Lap 75, the top five is Noah Gragson, Ross Chastain, Dale Jr, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones.

Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Dale Earnhardt Jr; Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 77, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a led of over a second on Austin Cindric; Ross Chastain, Dale Jr, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Noah Gragson wins stage two for his fourth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Ross Chastain
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Brandon Jones
Justin Haley
Harrison Burton
Anthony Alfredo
Ryan Sieg
Justin Allgaier

Dale Earnhardt Jr wins the race off of pit road with Ross Chastain coming out in second.

Austin Cindric overshot his pit stall and had to back up before the crew could work on the car.

Dale Earnhardt Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 88 but it is Ross Chastain who jumps out in front for the lead.  Jr gets pushed back to fourth.

The top five are Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Harrison Burton.

Lap 93, Austin Cindric passes Ross Chastain on the inside lane to take the lead.

Lap 94, Ross Chastain retakes the lead as the two drivers battle back and forth.  Dale Jr passes Brandon Jones for third place.

Lap 98, there are 30 cars on the lead lap with four drivers out of the race.  Chase Briscoe is the only driver one lap down.

Lap 100, Ross Chastain has a narrow lead on  Austin Cindric but Cindric gets around Chastain for the lead.

Noah Gragson hits the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 101, Austin Cindric has the lead with Dale Jr in second; Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 103, Austin Cindric and Dale Earnhardt Jr battle for the lead with Jr taking the top spot briefly.

With 60 laps remaining in the race, Austin Cindric has the lead with Noah Gragson in second; Dale Jr, Ross Chastain, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Noah Gragson passes Austin Cindric for the lead,  putting a slide job on Cindric.

The drivers cannot finish the race on a single fuel load and will have to make a pit stop.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 112, Noah Gragson has a lead of nearly a second on Austin Cindric; Dale Earnhardt Jr, Harrison Burton, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lead Noah Gragson has encountered heavy traffic and is putting drivers a lap down.

Lap 114, Justin Allgaier comes down pit road with some damage to his car.

After starting the race six laps down, Chase Briscoe has put himself into the position to be back on the lead lap.

With 46 laps to go, Austin Cindric makes his green flag pit stop as the cycle of green flag pit stops begins.

Brandon Jones is the new leader.

With 43 to go, Ryan Sieg is the leader; Chase Briscoe is in third place on the lead lap.

Justin Haley had an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop and will have to serve a penalty.

Justin Allgaier has taken his car to he garage and is out of the race.

Ross Chastain had an uncontrolled tire on his pit stop.

Ryan Sieg has a lead of over 12 seconds but has yet to make his pit stop.

With 38 laps remaining in the race, Ryan Sieg has a lead of nearly nine seconds with only 10 cars on the lead lap.

On fresh tires, Noah Gragson passes Ryan Sieg for the lead.

Myatt Snider’s car begins smoking…right in front of the lead…after getting into the wall

With 28 laps to go, Noah Gragson has a two second lead on Dale Earnhardt Jr; Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Twenty five to go, Noah Gragson has a two and a half second lead on Dale Earnhardt Jr; Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones round out the top five with just 10 cars on the lead lap.

Twenty to go, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of over five seconds on Dale Jr; Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

“Driving it like he stole it”, Noah Gragson has a lead of over six seconds on Dale Jr with just eight cars on the lead lap.  With only 17 laps to go Chase Briscoe finally brings his car down pit road for service.

Sixteen laps to go and six cars on the lead lap with a seven second lead on Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Last week was the first Dash-4-Cash race.  Noah Gragson won the $100,000 prize.  He took the money and gave it to the members of his race team.

Twelve laps to go, Noah Gragson has a 10 second lead on Dale Earnhardt Jr with only six cars on the lead lap.

Leader Noah Gragson slaps the wall…again…and still holds on to his 10 plus second lead on Dale Jr.

Ten to go, Noah Gragson has run away with the race with a lead of over eleven seconds on Dale Jr; Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, and Austin Cindric round out the top five.  Michael Annett in sixth place is the only other driver on the lead lap.

Ryan Sieg brings out the caution flag with just seven laps remaining in the race after he spins out and makes an off road excursion.  Anthony Alfredo is the “lucky dog” in seventh place.

Noah Gragson wins the race off of pit road with Harrison Burton out second and Dale Jr out third.

Brandon Jones was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the shootout finish with just two laps remaining in the race.  Gragson takes the inside lane with boss man Dale Earnhardt Jr behind him.  Noah Gragson gets out in front for the lead but immediately has to battle Austin Cindric for the lead as the drivers get three wide.

In a three wide battle, Noah Gragson takes the white flag but Harrison Burton and Austin Cindric are also battling for the top spot.

And 19 year old Harrison Bruton wins the race for his first Homestead-Miami win for his second win of the season!

The unofficial results of the Hooter’s 250:
Harrison Burton
Austin Cindice
Noah Gragson
Anthony Alfredo
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Michael Annett
Chase Briscoe
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
Riley Herbst
JJ Yeley
Jeremy Clements
Justin Haley
Brandon Brown
Myatt Snider
Joe Graf Jr
Colby Howard
Jesse Little
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Josh Williams
Colin Garrett
Stefan Parsons
Timmy Hill
Bayley Currey
Alex Labbe
BJ McLeod
Matt Mills
Ryan Sieg
Caesar Bacarella
Chad Finchum
Tomm Joey Martins
Justin Allgaier
Kyle Weatherman
Vinnie Miller
Brett Moffitt
Stephen Leicht
Kody Vanderwal

Oscars Make Inclusive Changes

Over the past few years, the Academy Awards have seen a good bit of criticism over their lack of diversity.

While the changes being announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not take place until 2022 since the nominating process for the 2021 Oscars has already begun, there are plans for more diversity and inclusion in the nominating process.

Beginning with the 94th annual Academy Awards, the category for Best Picture will include 10 nominees.  In the past the number of nominees has varied from five to 10.

The Academy is also working on ways to increase diversity and inclusion across all categories.

After a call of #OscarsSoWhite, The Academy has created Academy Aperture 2025 to increase diversity and inclusion.

The Academy has achieved the first of their diversity goals by doubling the number of female and minority members.  Currently females make up 32 percent of The Academy membership with people of colour comprising 16 percent of the membership.

Academy CEO Dawn Hudson issued a statement on the matter saying, “while the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the boar.  The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend — and continue to examine — our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.”

The Office of Representation, Inclusion, and Equity will oversee the Aperture 2025.

The Muny Postpones Season

The Muny and its summer productions have been a part of St. Louis for the past 102 years, but for the first time in their history, the entire summer season has been cancelled and will return next year.

The Muny had already put off presentations of “Mary Poppins” and “Sweeney Todd” until the 2021 season.  The remaining five productions have now been postponed until the 2021 season.

Speaking on the historic event, Muny Board Char Louis A. Cella said, “This is a historic first, and hopefully last, for our beloved theatre. Every member of the organization was hopeful and working on every possible option up until the moment we had to make this difficult decision. The sad reality is that there is simply no way to overcome the obstacles this pandemic has presented while ensuring the safety of our audience, staff, artists, and community.”

The Muny President and CEO Denny Reagan added, “from the beginning, our hope was that conditions would improve enough in time for us to continue the 102-year-old tradition of gathering to celebrate community and theatre at The Muny.  Coming together every summer is more than entertainment—it’s a reunion, a celebration and a tradition. To miss that for the first time in 102 years is tremendously difficult and disheartening.”

The Muny is planning some virtual presentations including some past The Muny productions.

Ticket holders will be contacted on what their options are in regards to refunds and exchanges.

 

feature photo credit: By Meetmeatthemuny – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80313611

NASCAR Issues Martinsville Penalties

Martinsville Speedway is more than just a paper clip shaped track; it’s a tricky half mile track with an even trickier pit road.

After post race inspection at Martinsville on Wednesday June 10, NASCAR officials handed down three penalties to three different teams.

The Hendrick Motorsports number nine car driven by Chase Elliott and the Joe Gibbs Racing number 18 driven by Kyle Busch were found to have a lug nut improperly secured.

As a result of the infractions, Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson and Busch’s crew chief Adam Stevens were each fined $10,000.

The number 51 Petty Ware Racing car driven by Joey Gase failed pre race inspection five times prior to the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500.

As a result, Gase had to start the race from the back of the field and serve a pass through penalty at the start of the race.

NASCAR has issued some additional penalties on the 51 team.  Crew chief Lee Leslie has been fined $25,000 and Petty Ware Racing has been docked 10 car owner points.

Recording Academy Makes Changes to Grammy Rules

A number of years ago the Recording Academy reduced the number of Grammy Award nominations from 110 down to just 78; but after a huge backlash from artists, the number was restored to 84.

When the Grammy Award ceremonies returns in 2021, there will be a few more changes.

In the wake of numerous conflict of interest allegations, the Recording Academy is now requiring nominating committee members to sign disclosure forms to alleviate the issue including profiting in some way from the artist’s work.  The ruling includes musicians who were invited to be a part of the review committees.

To further aid in the transparency of the nominating and review committees, members are allowed to be on the committee for three consecutive years before having to take a year off; committee chairs must take a two year break.

The New Artist category has also seen a good bit of criticism over eligibility and adaptability to the ever changing music industry.  There is no longer a song or album limit to determine eligibility for the category.  The change will be of benefit to younger artists, especially rappers, who tend to release singles over albums.

There was a time when earning a Grammy Award was a prestigious honour; but over the years, numerous questions and allegations over whether the awards were rigged and filled with conflicts of interest.  Those allegations came to a climax when former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan brought them to the forefront before she was put on administrative leave and subsequently fired in January.

Another change is in renaming the category of best rap and sung performance or collaboration.  The category will now be called the Best Melodic Rap Performance.  Open to solo artists and collaborations, eligibility will require, “a strong and clear presence of melody combined with rap cadence, and is inclusive of dialects, lyrics or performance elements from non-rap genres including R&B, rock, country, electronic or more.”

Formerly known as the best urban contemporary album category has been renamed the Best Progressive R&B album.  The Academy says that eligibility requirements include, “more progressive elements of R&B and may include samples and elements of hip-hop, rap, dance, and electronic music.”

When the Academy condensed several of the categories, the Latin categories were compressed into fewer numbers.  The Latin pop album has been renamed the Best Latin Pop or Urban album.

The Latin rock, urban, or alternative album has been renamed the Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.

The Musical Theater category has expanded the award to include the producer, lyricist, and composer if they were involved in composing at least 51 percent of a new score.

The requirements for Best Engineered album in both Classical and non Classical formats will allow inclusion of Hi Res Audio.

Interim Recording Academy President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr spoke on the changes saying, “”I’m excited to announce our latest changes, as we’re constantly evaluating our Awards process and evolving it to ensure the GRAMMY Awards are inclusive and reflect the current state of the music industry.”

The 63rd annual Grammy Award ceremonies are scheduled to air January 31, 2021.

 

Lady Antebellum Changes Band Name

The Black Live Matter movement has spread beyond social injustice protests and outspoken celebrities.  It has now entered the world of Country music.

Already known by the nickname Lady A to their fans, the Country music trio Lady Antebellum has announced that from this moment forward, they wil officially be known as Lady A.

Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott explained to fans, “as a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive to all.  We’ve watched and listened more than ever these past few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.  The trio continued: “After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘Antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.”

The word Antebellum describes a pre-Civil War era southern plantation home.

The band continued by explaining their original decision to use the name; saying, “when we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the Southern ‘Antebellum’ style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the South that influenced us…Southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word…which includes slavery.”

Band members continued by saying, “we are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued.  Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”

The trio concluded by saying, “we understand that many of you may ask the question ‘Why have you not made this change until now?’ The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.”

 

feature photo credit: By zqvol – https://www.flickr.com/photos/8259823@N06/8401666083/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24544198

Truck Series Driver Quits Over Flag Ban

On June 10, NACAR made an announcement banning the use of the Confederate flag at all of its events and venues beginning immediately.  The move came in the wake of recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd at the hand of the Minneapolis Police Department and an urging from NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.

And while the news is welcomed by many, not everyone is happy.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series part time driver and truck owner Ray Ciccarelli has announced that he is quitting the circuit at the end of the 2020 racing season because he does not agree with NASCAR’s decision.

Ciccarelli has a record of no wins in 32 races.  Ciccarelli is currently not listed on the roster of Truck Series drivers.  With only one top 10 finish in his career, Ciccarelli has an average finish of 24.8.  He was originally scheduled to make his 2020 racing debut at Homestead-Miami this weekend, but has since withdrawn from the race.

In a statement that was originally posted on Facebook and has since been deleted, Ciccarelli said, “well its been a fun ride and dream come true but if this is the direction NASCAR is headed we will not participate after 2020 season is over , I don’t believe in kneeling during Anthem nor taken ppl right to fly what ever flag they love. I could care less about the Confederate Flag but there are ppl that do and it doesn’t make them a racist all you are doing is f—ing one group to cater to another and i ain’t spend the money we are to participate in any political BS!! So everything is for SALE!!”

NASCAR has issued a statement on their decision saying, “the presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.”

Ciccarelli isn’t the only person not happy with NASCAR’s new ruling; helmet artist Jason Beam marked the decision by saying, “ignorance wins again.”  Beam noted that the north had slavery too; adding, “you want to remove the American Flag as well, idiots.”

 

feature photo credit: By Zach Catanzareti – https://www.flickr.com/photos/58980992@N03/42003516590/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83628354

NASCAR Bans Flag

From its early days that branched out of moonshiners evading the revenuers to the modern era of diversity, NASCAR is filled with fans flying all manner of flags from the American flag to drivers flags…and even the “Stars and Bars” of the Confederate States.

In the wake of recent events including the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department to massive protests, NASCAR diversity driver Bubba Wallace has urged NASCAR to rid the sport of the flag that represents a group of states who seceded from the Union and fought a Civil War over the right to own slaves.

On June 10, NASCAR agreed with Wallace and has banned the flying of the Confederate flag at all events.  The ban includes not just the flag itself; but all representations of the flag whether it be bumper stickers, shirts, or hats.

In a statement issued by NASCAR, “the presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry. Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special. The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.”

While the news is welcomed by Wallace and many of his colleagues; not everyone is happy with the new ruling.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr is a native of Alabama and currently the lone African-American driver on the NASCAR circuit.  Mexican born Daniel Suarez is the only other non white driver currently in NASCAR.

Wallace drives the number 43 Richard Petty Motorspots car.  For the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, Wallace drove a black car dedicated to Black Lives Matter.  The paint scheme included the words “Compassion, Love, Understanding”, a peace sign filled with hands of different colours, and black and white hands clasped together on the hood.

 

feature photo credit: By Miranda Pederson – Bowling Green Daily News (http://www.bgdailynews.com), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61899335

Historic Race for Cup Series at Martinsville

NASCAR goes short trackin’ with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 from Martinsville Speedway and for the first time the Cup drivers will race at night.  For the first time in its 73 year history, Martinsville will see a race on a Wednesday night under the lights.

In the name of safety, NASCAR continues to set the field with no practice or qualifying runs.  As a result, the field was set by car owner points and a random draw.  Penske Racing driver Ryan Blaney will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag.

Stages one and two of the race are 130 laps each with stage three lasting 240 laps for a total of 500 laps around the half mile track known as the paperclip.

And a unique track deserves a unique trophy; the winner of the race at Martinsville gets a grandfather clock.  The first race was run in 1949, making Martinsville the oldest active track on the NASCAR circuit.

Richard Petty Motorsports has traded in the Petty Blue paint scheme this week for a black car marking Black Lives Matter.  RPM and driver Bubba Wallace designed the car that features a peace sign and black and white hands clasping together on the hood.

The starting lineup for the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500:
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Tyler Reddick
William Byron
Ryan Newman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt DiBenedetto
Matt Kenseth
Jimmie Johnson
Austin Dillon
Bubba Wallace
Chris Buescher
Corey LaJoie
JJ Yeley
Cole Custer
Ryan Preece
Michael McDowell
Ty Dillon
Brennan Poole
Christopher Bell
David Starr
Quin Houff
Garrett Smithley
Joey Gase
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
Reed Sorenson

Richard Petty leads the list of wins at Martinsville with 15 followed by Darrell Waltrip with eleven.  FOX broadcaster and Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon has nine wins; as well as, Jimmie Johnson who leads the list of active drivers.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 60.  Drivers may not fuel their cars until the competition caution.

With a pit road that circles nearly the whole track, it’s a bit tricky getting down pit road and hitting their marks; and pit road speed is only 30mph.

Joey Gase had to serve a pass through penalty at the start of the race after his car failed pre-race inspection five times.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of the race but it is Ari Almirola from the outside lane that gets out in front for the lead.

Austin Dillon falls back in the field with a possible flat tire.

Lap four, Arick Almirola has the lead wit Ryan Blaney in second; Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap five Austin Dillon brings out the first caution flag of the race for a flat tire.  Austin has more than a race to worry about, he and his wife are on baby watch.  A boy they will name Ace is due anytime; AJ Allmendinger is standing by to fill in for Dillon should he need to leave.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 13 and edges out Ryan Blaney for the lead; Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 15 Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano battle it out for second with Aric Almirola in the lead.

Lap 16 the top five are Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Newman’s team reports that he has a tire rub.

Lap 19, Aric Almirola holds on to his narrow lead on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Lap 20, Joey Logano passes Aric Almirola for the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second; Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 24, Austin Dillon is the only car not on the lead lap, two laps down.

Joey Logano has pulled out to a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Corey LaJoie has his face on the hood of his car again; and this time, he is wearing a mask.

Lap 28, Joey Logano now has a lead of nearly two seconds on Martin Truex Jr; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch round out the top five with 37 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 31, Joey Logano continues to increase his lead with Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch rounding out the top five.

Lap 39, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly four seconds on Chase Elliott and is encountering slower traffic; Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Garrett Smithley has taken his car to pit road.

Kyle Busch is reporting some possible brake issues.

Several of the drivers have fallen back in the field by 15 to 25 spots.

Lap 45, Joey Logano’s lead is down to under three seconds on Chase Elliott.

Back on the track, Garrett Smithley has some brake issues and gets his car down pit road; the track stays green.

Lap 48, Joey Logano has a three second lead on Chase Elliott; Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.  There are only 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 50, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of over four seconds on Chase Elliott with 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 54, Joey Logano’s lead is now nearly five seconds over Chase Elliott; Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five with 20 cars on the lead lap with Garrett Smithley the only driver off the track.

Lap 57, with 19 cars on the lead lap, Joey Logano has a near five second lead on Chase Elliott; Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto, and William Byron round out the top five.

There are only 17 cars on the lead lap.

When NASCAR puts out the competition caution flag at the end of lap 61, it erased a lead of over five seconds by Joey Logano.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and adjustments.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road.

Kyle Busch has made multiple trips down pit road with brake issues.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 69 and battles it out with Chase Elliott for the lead.

Joey Logano holds on to his lead; Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 75, Joey Logano has a half second lead on Clint Bowyer; Chase Elliott, William Byron and Kurt Busch round out the top five with 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 80, Joey Logano holds on to his half second lead on Clint Bowyer; Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 85, Bubba Wallace enters the top 10.  Joey Logano has a half second lead on Clint Bowyer; Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch ,and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Garrett Smithley has returned to the track 39 laps down.  All 39 cars that started the race are on the track with 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 90, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Clint Bowyer; Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 95, Joey Logano has increased his lead over Clint Bowyer to over a second; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Thirty laps to go in stage one, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on Clint Bowyer; Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Kevin Harvick’s team is reporting some battery issues.

Denny Hamlin is reporting some overheating issues in his car.

Lap 105, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Clint Bowyer; Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and William Byron round out the top five. With 19 cars on the lead lap.

Twenty laps to go in stage one, Joey Logano has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds; Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five with 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 113, the caution flag comes out after Timmy Hill gets stalled on pit road.

Lead lap cars come down pit road for fresh tires and service with Bubba Wallace winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.

After staying out on the track, Corey LaJoie brings the field to the green flag restart with just 10 laps remaining in stage one.  Eight drivers took the wave around and are back on the lead lap.  Corey LaJoie gets out in front for the lead as drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Joey Logano passes Corey LaJoie for the lead; Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson,, Core LaJoie, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

With just six laps remaining in stage one, the drivers are getting aggressive and running three wide across the track as they vie for position.

Joey Logano has a half second lead on Clint Bowyer; Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Joey Logano wins stage one with a lead of over half a second for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer
Jimmie Johnson
Martin Truex Jr
Bubba Wallace
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron

Coming out of his pit stall, Bubba Wallace avoided a near disaster when he made contact with Ryan Preece.

Martin Truex Jr was charged with a commitment line violation and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Austin Dillon was also charged with a commitment line violation.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 141 and jumps out in front for the lead; Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Matt DiBenedetto, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

During the pit stop, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr’s teams were busy making repairs after the drivers had made contact with someone at some point.

Lap 151, Joey Logano has a lead of over  Matt DiBenedetto, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Bubba Wallace has an issue with his car that will hinder the teams making pit stops and slow them down.

Lap 162, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on Clint Bowyer; Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 168, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on Jimmie Johnson; Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

In seventh place, pole sitter Ryan Blaney is running the fastest laps on the track.

Lap 171, the top five are Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Chase Elliott.

Timmy Hill is the only driver out of the race.

Lap 175, Joey Logano has dominated the race leading nearly every lap so far; Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Unlike stage one, Joey Logano has not been able to run away from the field so far in stage two.  While he has a lead of nearly a second and a half on Jimmie Johnson, he has not been able to pull out to multiple second leads.

Lap 184, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second and a half on Jimmie Johnson; Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 193, with Joey Logano out in front by nearly a second, the drivers are getting three wide across the track; Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 197, Jimmie Johnson has caught up to leader Joey Logano and is challenging for the lead as the drivers battle lapped traffic.

Lap 200, Jimmie Johnson is on leader Joey Logano’s bumper looking to take the lead.  With Johnson alongside, the drivers go nose to nose.  Jimmie Johnson takes the lead on lap 202.  The nine time Martinsville winner is in his last season as a full time Cup driver.

Lap 204, the top five are Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 208, since taking the lead, Jimmie Johnson is beginning to pull away from Joey Logano and now has a lead of over half a second.

Lap 216, Jimmie Johnson has pulled out to a lead of a second on Joey Logano; Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five with 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 219, Jimmie Johnson has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Joey Logano.

Lap 222, Jimmie Johnson now has a two second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman round out the top five with 21 cars on the lead lap.  Timmy Hill remains the only driver out of the race.

Beginning to run away with it, Jimmie Johnson has pulled out to a three second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

So far Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Quin Houff are the only two drivers who have been caught speeding on pit road.

With 30 laps to go in stage two, Jimmie Johnson has a two and a half second lead on Ryan Blaney – who has been consistently running the fastest lap times; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Twenty to go in stage two, Jimmie Johnson leads the way with Ryan Blaney is second; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with 19 cars on the lead lap.

Fifteen to go, Jimmie Johnson has a lead of over a second and a half on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with Bubba Wallace in sixth place.

Lap 249, there are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 252, Ryan Blaney has begun to cut into Jimmie Johnson’s lead; Johnson now has a lead of a second and a half on Blaney.  Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 258, with just 16 cars on the lead lap, Jimmie Johnson has a lead of just over a second on Ryan Blaney.

Jimmie Johnson wins stage two for his first Martinsville stage win and only his third career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Bubba Wallace
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Tyler Reddick

Even though the sun has gone down, ice is the biggest request on pit road.

William Byron was charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Reed Sorenson was caught speeding on pit road.

Jimmie Johnson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 272 and battles nose to nose with Ryan Blaney.

Lap 274, Ryan Blaney gets the lead from Jimmie Johnson with Joey Logano taking second; Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

There are only 16 cars on the lead lap.

Alex Bowman has a tire rub.

Ryan Newman also has a  tire rub.

Lap 280, Ryan Blaney has a lead of less than half a second on Joey Logano; Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With a stage of 240 laps, the drivers cannot complete the lap on a single fuel load; drivers can only run about 150 laps on a single fuel load.

Lap 284, Joey Logano passes Ryan Blaney to retake the lead; Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Lap 299, Joey Logano has a half second lead on Ryan Blaney; Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.  They may be tow laps down, but the Dillon brothers are still battling each other for position and swapping a lot of paint in the process.

Lap 304, all three of the Penske Racing cars are in the top five with Joey Logano leading the way, Ryan Blaney is in second, and Brad Keselowski is now in fourth.

Lap 306, with 16 cars on the lead lap, Ryan Blaney takes the lead from Joey Logano; Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 310, Ryan Blaney has a lead of just over half a second on team mate Joey Logano with the third Penske driver Brad Keselowski in third; Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 319, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 324 when David Starr spins out after making contact with Erik Jones.  Clint Bowyer is the “lucky dog” in 17th place.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski coming out second.

Ryan Blaney had a slow pit stop after a tire changer dropped the air gun.  Ryan Blaney was penalized for having a crew member come over the pit wall too soon and will have to restart from the back of the field.  Crew members are allowed to come over the wall when the driver is just one pit stop away.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 333 with Logano getting out in front for the lead with Brad Keselowski in second; Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 341, Joey Logano has a half second lead on team mate Brad Keselowski; Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr, and Jimmie Johnson round out the top five.

Lap 348, Brad Keselowski has caught up to Joey Logano and is challenging for the lead; third place driver Chase Elliott is making it a three way battle.

Lap 353, Joey Logano holds on to the lead with Brad Keselowski on his bumper and Chase Elliott in third.

Lap 355, leaders encounter lapped traffic.

Lap 357, Brad Keselowski continues to battle Joey Logano for the lead, but so far Logano has held him off.

Aric Almirola is on pit road for a battery change.

Lap 362, Martin Truex Jr has made it a four way battle as the drivers encounter heavy traffic.

Lap 364, the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick.

Lap 365, Brad Keselowski takes the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 368, Brad Keselowski has increased his lead to a third of a second on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 370, Martin Truex Jr passes Brad Keselowski for the lead.

Lap 375, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Brad Keselowski; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 380, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 389, Martin Truex Jr has encountered heavy traffic and has allowed second place driver Brad Keselowski to catch up; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 392, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Brad Keselowski; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five with Jimmie Johnson in sixth.  There are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Quin Houff brings the caution flag on lap 397 when he gets into the wall.  Corey LaJoie is the “lucky dog” in 18th place.

With only 101 laps remaining in the race, this could be the final pit stop for the teams.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road with Brad Keselowski out second.

With only 98 laps remaining in the race, Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart and holds on to the lead with Joey Logano in second.

Austin Dillon has been helped out of his car after dealing with some extra heat issues when the crush panels were damaged early in the race due to a flat tire.

Drivers are getting three wide across the track as the laps count down.

With 92 laps remaining in the race, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With 18 cars on the lead lap, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Getting attention from the health care officials, Austin Dillon becomes just the third driver out of the race.

Eighty to go, Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race by over half a second on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Clint Bowyer is also reporting some battery issues.

With 75 laps remaining in the race, Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Seventy to go, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 434, Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to over a second and a half on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

It has been nearly two years since a driver other than a member of Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing has won a short track race.

Lap 443, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Joey Logano; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 245, Brad Keselowski gets around team mate Joey Logano for second place.  Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly three seconds.

Only 50 laps remain in the race, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly three seconds on Brad Keselowski; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 456, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over three seconds on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  There are just 16 cars on the lead lap.

With 39 laps to go, Ryan Blaney has cut into Martin Truex Jr’s lead which is now under three seconds; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out to the top five.

Thirty five to go and there are only 15 cars on the lead lap.  Martin Truex Jr has again increased his lead to over three seconds.

Thirty to go, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly four seconds on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five with 15 cars on the lead lap.

Only 25 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr has a four second lead on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Aric Almirola makes an unscheduled pit stop.

Twenty to go, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over four seconds on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Cole Custer comes down pit road.

Fifteen to go, Martine Truex Jr has increased his lead to nearly five seconds on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five with 15 cars on the lead lap.  Bubba Wallace and his “Black Lives Matter” car are just outside the top 10 in eleventh.

Ten to go, Martin Truex Jr has a four and a half second lead on Ryan Blaney.

Five to go, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over four seconds on Ryan Blaney; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag.

With a lead of over four seconds, Martin Truex Jr wins the first NASCAR Cup race under the lights in Martinsville to make it two in a row and four of the past six races.

The unofficial results of the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500:
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Alex Bowman
Matt DiBenedetto
William Byron
Kurt Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Newman
Chris Buescher
Michael McDowell
Kevin Harvick
Tyler Reddick
Clint Bowyer
Corey LaJoie
Kyle Busch
Erik Jones
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ty Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Denny Hamlin
John Hunter Nemechek
Ryan Preece
Daniel Suarez
Christopher Bell
Cole Custer
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Aric Almirola
Quin Houff
Joey Gase
Garrett Smithley
Austin Dillon
Reed Sorenson
Timmy Hill

Rachael Sage Has ‘Character’

Award winning independent music artist Rachael Sage has released a new deluxe package for her album “Character” in vinyl and CD formats.

The vinyl album is red and gold.  The two Venetian eye masks wearable masks included in the package were designed and created by Rachael herself.  Ready to wear, the masks come with the elastic band and are reversible with a black and a white side.

The Deluxe CD package features two CD’s in a hard cover book filled with never before seen photos.  The package also includes a bonus album of acoustic tracks.  The CD package also includes the wearable masks created by Rachael.

Rachael Sage has long designed and created her own costumes, sets, and artwork.  In the wake of a diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment, her art and music provide comfort; not just for Rachael, but for everyone.

Rachael herself spoke on the album and music saying, “once I was well enough to get back to music-making, everything just started to flow. Thematically, these songs question how we present ourselves and what we choose to hide or to reveal. I conceived these wearable-art pieces to create more of a multi-media, 3-dimensional, sensory experience for my listeners.”

Digital versions of the acoustic EP is available on all streaming platforms.

The Deluxe packages are available from MPress Records – mpressrecords.com – and Rachael Sage’s website – RachaelSage.com.

While many Pride events have been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 virus; Rachael Sage, Olivia Newton-John, The Dixie Chicks, and Thelma Houston will be performing at a Global Pride event on June 27.

Fans may also see Rachael at her upcoming Livestream events: (all times are eastern daylight time)
June 14 at 6pm
June 17 at 8pm
June 21 at 6pm
June 24 at 8pm
June 28 at 6pm

 

Pointer Sister Bonnie Dies

Original Pointer Sister Bonnie Pointer died as a result of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles on June 8, 2020 at the age of 69.

Pointer created the girl group with three of her sisters – Ruth Anita, and June – in 1969 and released their debut album in 1973.  The children of a minister, the girls began singing in the church.

She left the group of singing sisters in 1977 to pursue a solo career and went on to make only four albums before retiring and appearing only rarely to perform including a reunion with her sisters once.

Wanting to move beyond Gospel music, Bonnie and her sisters sang a fusion of soul, funk, pop, and jazz.

Before becoming a chart topping group in their own right, the Pointer Sisters sang backup for a number of artists including Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Sylvester, Grace Slick, and Elvin Bishop.

The group even tried branching out into Country music and became the first and one of the rare African-American group who took the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.  Bonnie and Anita’s first Grammy Award came as the Best Country Vocal Performance for “Fairytale”.  They would go on to win two more Grammy Awards.

She was born Patricia Eva Pointer on July 11, 1950 in Oakland, California.

Predeceased by sister June, Bonnie Pointer is survived by siblings Ruth, Anita, Aaron, and Fritz.

 

feature photo credit: By Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 – negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 927-4783 – Nationaal Archief, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52985273

NASCAR to Begin Allowing Fans at Races

Since NASCAR returned to the track last month, fans have not been allowed at the tracks and NASCAR has limited the number of team members allowed at the track.

But when NASCAR comes to the races this weekend at Homestead-Miami and Talladega next weekend, NASCAR will be allowing a limited number of fans to the races.  Less than 2,000 fans will be admitted to the NASCAR Cup Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami and 5,000 the GEICO 500 on June 21 at Talladega.

Like NASCAR officials, team members, and track officials; the fans will be required to adhere to health screenings and enhanced safety protocols.

NASCAR’s Executive Vice President, Chief Operations and Sales Officer Daryl Wolfe spoke on the new protocols saying, “the race-day experience will be different, it’s just different times, and fans will have to adjust that.  We will have to adjust on how we’re addressing these issues for fans. We think we have a very, very good plan in place — a very detailed plan — but make no mistake, I’m sure there will be some key learnings coming out of Homestead that then we will reapply and adjust for Talladega.”

Ever since the races have restarted, NASCAR has focused even more than normal on saluting heroes – hometown and military.  During the race on Sunday in south Florida, 1,000 South Florida service members will be invited to watch the race from the stands.

At the race in Talladega, 5,000 fans will be allowed to attend the race at a track that can hold 80,000 fans in the stands.  A limited number of motorhome spots will also be made available to fans at Talladega.

No plans have been made for fan attendance past the race in Talladega later this month.

NASCAR notes that the number of people allowed to attend the races is being determined by local ordinances and safety protocols.

Fans will be required to have a health screening prior to entering the track.
Masks will be required by all who enter the facility.  Anyone who does not have a mask will be provided with one.
Outside coolers are forbidden, but the concession stands will be open.
Hand washing and sanitizing is strongly encouraged.  Washing stations will be available.
Public areas will be cleaned on a regular basis.
Social distancing of at least six feet will be required.
Fans will not be permitted to enter the infield, pits, or garage areas.

NASCAR vice president of racing operations John Bobo said that they have been consulting with infectious disease physician and epidemiologists; as well as, their own physicians to obtain the best advice on how to proceed.

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin spoke on the return of fans to the track saying, “oh, I miss them a lot.  To me, I miss the pre-race stuff as much as anything. … Going out to driver intros, fans are either rooting you on or cussing you out. I mean, I’ll take a few cuss-outs here now. I don’t even care. I just want to hear something. Silence is deafening right now.”

NASCAR Issues Atlanta Penalties

During the triple header weekend that brought the Gander Outdoors and RV Truck Series, the Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Cup Series to Atlanta Motor Speedway speeding penalties and inspection issues plagued the races.

On June 9, NASCAR issued three penalties to teams in the Gander Truck and Xfinity Series for lug nut infractions.

In the Xfinity Series, the number 19 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Brandon Jones was found to have one lug nut improperly secured during post race inspection following the EchoPark 250.  Crew chief Jeff Meendering has been fined $5,000.

In the Gander Truck Series the Kyle Busch Motorsports number 18 truck driven by Christian Eckes and the number 56 Hill Motorsports truck driven by Timmy Hill also had a lug nut improperly secured in post race inspection following the Vet Tix Camping World 200.  KBM crew chief Ryan Fugle and HMS crew chief Greg Ely were each fined $2,500 as a result of the infractions.

 

Sody and DSCVR at Home

Up and coming British singer-songwriter Sody has released two new videos as a part of the Vevo DSCVR at Home Series.

Sody and her songs “Charlotte” and “Bedroom Ceiling” joins DSCVR alums Billie Eilish, dodie, and Kiana Lede.

Still in her teens, Sody released her first single “Sorry” in 2016 and has since performed on the stage at Glastonbury and has had her music streamed more than 50 million times.

 

The Met Shortens Season

With the near future still up in arms over when theatres will again be allowed to open and patrons allowed to gather, the Metropolitan Opera has made further postponements in its upcoming season.

After the shutdown in March, The Met cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 Opera season.  As the uncertainty continues, the 2020-2021 season is also in jeopardy.

Current plans have the season beginning on December 31 with a special gala performance yet to be announced.

New productions of “Die Zauberflote” and “Don Giovanni” have been put on hold and are being replaced with the current repertory productions.

New productions of “Aida” and “The Fiery Angel” will be postponed for later seasons.

The previously scheduled “Dead Man Walking” remains in the lineup.

Other productions scheduled for the season are “Die Frau ohne Schatten”, “Roméo et Juliette”, “Il Pirata”, and  “Barbiere di Siviglia”.

The originally planned February break is being replaced by performances of “La Boheme”, “Carmen”, and “La Traviata”.

The starting time for shows have also been moved to 7pm with longer productions being shortened to increase audience appeal and cut down on overtime.

Patrons will automatically receive credit for cancelled shows and all exchange fees have been waived.

In the Pacific northwest, the Seattle Opera has announced that there are some changes in their upcoming season.

Set to begin August 8 the performances of “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” have been cancelled as concerns over the Covid-19 virus continue.

In addition to the over 200 cast and crew being out of work, the Seattle Opera is furloughing over half of the Opera’s administrative staff.

Currently the performance of “La Boheme” set to begin August 21 remains on the schedule.  Patrons who have purchased tickets for the cancelled shows will have their purchases transferred to “La Boheme”.

 

Drama Desk Awards Postponed

It has been a rough year for live concert events and theatrical productions.  First a global pandemic shut everything down for several months and then massive protests have caused numerous postponements of events that had gone from live to streaming.

 

The Drama Desk Awards celebrate the best of Broadway and Off Broadway.

 

The 65th annual awards gala originally scheduled for May was first postponed due to the corona virus and later moved online for a May 31 airing.

 

The presentation of the Drama Desk Awards has again been postponed due to protests surrounding racial injustice and Black Lives Matter protests.

 

The Drama Desk Awards are now scheduled to air on June 13 at 7:30pm via NY1.com and DramaDeskAwards.com.

 

Frank DiLella is set to host the virtual gala event.   Tituss Burgess, James Corden, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Beanie Feldstein, Santino Fontana, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Ashley Park, Andrew Rannells, Ali Stroker, and Susan Stroman are all scheduled to appear at the festivities.

 

Along with the annual awards, the Drama Desk Awards are set to present the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award to Harold Prince.

 

Peabody Honours Cicely Tyson

If she were a singer as well as an actress, there is now doubt that Cicely Tyson would have her name listed among those who have the letters EGOT behind their name.

Tyson does not have a Grammy Award, but she is now a POET.  With three Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, and an Oscar in her trophy case; Tyson will soon add a Peabody Award to her collection with the Career Achievement Award honouring her work and impact on American culture.

Since making her Broadway debut in 1959 in “Jolly’s Progress”, she has appeared in seven more productions including the revival of “A Trip to Bountiful” for which she earned her Tony Award.

Tyson made her screen debut in 1951 on the television series “Frontiers of Faith”.  From there she went on to appear in nearly 100 film and television productions including “East Side/West Side”, “Mission: Impossible”, “Sounder”, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”, “Roots”, “King”, “A Woman Called Moses”, “Sweet Justice”, “Touched By an Angel”, “The Rosa Parks Story”, “The Help”, “The Trip to Bountiful”, “Cherish the Day”, and “How to Get Away with Murder”.

Her other accomplishments include induction into the Theatre and Black Filmmakers Halls of Fame and is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Born in Harlem, Tyson is a first generation American born to parents from the Caribbean Island Nevis.  Her career began as a model.

 

feature photo credit: By David Shankbone – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19229092

The Sweet Founder Steve Priest Dies

Founding member and bass player for the British glam rock band Sweet Steve Priest died June 4 at the age of 72. While it was known that Priest was in failing health, an official cause of death was not given.

Priest began the band The Sweet in 1968 with himself, Mick Tucker, Brian Connolly, and Frank Torpey. In 1970, Andy Scott joined the band and released their debut album “Funny How Sweet Co-Co Can Be” in 1971. After several hit songs and a number of album releases including Ballroom Blitz”, “Fox on the Run”, “Little Willy”, and “Teenage Rampage”; The Sweet broke up in 1981.

Priest was known for his flamboyant costumes and heavy makeup.

After immigrating to the United States in 2008, he formed a new incarnation of the Sweet.

Born in West London in 1948, Priest began playing music after creating his own bass guitar while he was in his teens. Before creating The Sweet, Priest was a member of The Countdowns and The Army.

Priest is survived by his wife Maureen; daughters Lisa, Maggie, and Daneille; three grandchildren – Jordan, Jade and Hazel -, and fellow band member Andy Scott.

 

 

feature photo credit: Steve Priest Facebook page

Hot, Humid, and Happy in Hotlanta for Cup Series

The NASCAR Cup Series caps off a triple header weekend with the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500, a race that was originally scheduled to run back in March but was postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

The drivers continue to race without taking any practice or making any qualifying runs; as a result, NASCAR has set the field according to car owner points and a random draw.  Georgia native Chase Elliott sits on the pole and will bring the field to the green flag.

Stages one and two of the race are 105 laps each with stage three lasting 115 laps for a total of 325 laps around the mile and a half track.

In his final season as a full time NASCAR Cup Series driver, Atlanta Motor Speedway has paid tribute to Jimmie Johnson with a grandstand named after him.  Johnson also gave a rousing and enthusiastic command to start the engines.

On a hot June afternoon, the temperatures are some 40 degrees warmer at 84 degrees than the teams are used to running…or have notes on.

Kurt Busch’s car failed the inspection process three times; as a result, he will have to start the race from the rear of the field and will have to serve a pass through penalty once the green flag waves.

Corey LaJoie and Garrett Smithley failed the inspection process two times and will also have to move to the back of the field.

Cole Custer and Timmy Hill will have to move to the back of the field after the teams made unapproved adjustments to their cars.

The starting lineup for the Fold of Honor Quik Trip 500:
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Clint Bowyer
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Kurt Busch – moved to the back of the field
Chris Buescher
Erik Jones
Jimmie Johnson
Austin Dillon
Ryan Newman
John Hunter Nemechek
Matt Kenseth
William Byron
Matt DiBenedetto
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Tyler Reddick
Corey LaJoie – moved to the back of the field
Joey Gase
Christopher Bell
Ty Dillon
Ryan Preece
JJ Yeley
Cole Custer – moved to the back of the field
Josh Bilicki
Brennan Poole
Garrett Smithley – moved to the back of the field
Quin Houff
Michael McDowell
Daniel Suarez
Timmy Hill
Reed Sorenson

NASCAR has stopped the cars on the front stretch for a message from NASCAR president Steve Phelps on recent events, the need for change, and an end to racism.  Bubba Wallace – the sport’s lone driver of colour – was very emotional during the message and near tears.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25.  Drivers may stop prior to the competiton caution, but are not allowed to fuel the car.

Teams have 13 sets of tires for today’s race.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead with Joey Logano is second.  This is the first lap, Chase Elliott has led at Atlanta.

Lap two, the top five are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski.

Lap five, Chase Elliott has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.  After serving his pass through penalty, Kurt Busch is one lap down.

BJ McLeod has taken his car to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop after getting laps down early in the race.

After only seven laps, lap times have already slowed by one second due to the abrasive track and tire wear.

Lap 15, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race by over half a second on Joey Logano; Aric Almirola, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 18, Chase Elliott has increased his lead to over a second and a half on Joey Logano.

Lap 21, Chase Elliott has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Aric Almirola; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

With a lead of over two and a half seconds, Chase Elliott is lapping cars; there are now 31 crs on the lead lap with BJ McLeod out of the race.

Lap 25 Chase Elliott now has a lead of over three seconds on Aric Almirola.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR throws the yellow flag for the competition caution.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road with Kyle Busch out second; Chase Elliott drops to fifth.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 and gets out in front for the lead as the drivers get three wide across the track.

William Byron gets into the wall but the track stays green.  Byron has to come down pit road for repairs.  It was a flat tire that caused the issue.

Lap 32, the top five are Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 36, Joey Logano has a half second lead on Kevin Harvick; Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 37, Kevin Harvick passes Joey Logano for the lead.  Kurt Busch is back on the lead lap in 20th place with 33 cars on the lead lap.

FOX Sports broadcaster Jeff Gordon announced that Kevin Harvick has led his 10,000th lap.  Larry McReynolds added that Harvick has led 49 percent of the laps run during the years he has been in races at Atlanta.

Lap 45, Kevin Harvick has a lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Lap 50, there are 31 cars on the lead lap with Kevin Harvick leading Martin Truex Jr by over half a second; Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.  Kurt Busch is motoring through the field and is now in 15th place…up 17 spots from when the race restarted.

Lap 53, Kevin Harvick now has a lead of a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Lap 61, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Joey Logano round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 66, Ryan Newman comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop and starts the cycle of pit stops.

Kevin Harvick comes down pit road and hands the lead over to Martin Truex Jr.

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road.

Brad Keselowski was caught speeding on pit road.  Drivers who speed during a cycle of green flag pit stops must serve a pass through penalty.

Kurt Busch has gone from worst to first in 68 laps before making his green flag pit stop.

Lap 70, Kevin Harvick retakes the lead and is now over four seconds in front of Martin Truex Jr.

Aric Almirola has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for a loose wheel.

Lap 78, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr; Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five with just 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 83, Kevin Harvick has a lead of a second on Martin Treux Jr; Clin Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five with 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 86, Martin Truex Jr has closed the gap on leader Kevin Harvick to under half a second.

Lap 87, Martin Truex Jr passes Kevin Harvick for the lead and begins to pull away.

Lap 90, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 94, Martin Truex Jr ahs a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick; Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch round out the top five with just 16 cars on the lead lap.

John Hunter Nemechek brings out the caution flag on lap 95 when he spins out.  After just getting passed, Matt DiBenedetto is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for fresh tires.                       Martin Truex Jr edges out Kevin Harvick to win the race off of pit road.

Several drivers took the wave around and are now back on the lead lap.  There are now 28 cars on the lead lap.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with just seven laps remaining in stage one.  Truex gets out in front for the lead with Clint Bowyer in second; Kyle Busch is in third and challenging for second.

Martin Truex Jr wins stage one for his first win at Atlanta and the first stage win this season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik jones
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Blaney

Clint Bowyer wins the race off of pit road; followed by Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch.

Joey Logano had to make a second trip down pit road for repairs incurred on pit road.

Clint Bowyer brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two.  Martin Truex Jr is the new leader.

Lap 115, Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr battle for the lead with Clint Bowyer taking the lead.

Lap 116, the top five are Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex, Jr, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 120, Clint Bowyer has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.  BJ McLeod is the only driver out of the race.

Lap 128, Clint Bowyer has increased his lead to a second on Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch round out the top five with Kevin Harvick is sixth.

Lap 137, Clint Bowyer has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr; Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Erik Jones is reporting a sticking throttle in his car.

Lap 141, Clint Bowyer has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Clint Bowyer gives up the lead when he comes down pit road for his green flag pit stop on lap 148.  Martin Truex Jr is the new leader.

Clint Bowyer had a tire coming apart on his way down pit road

Lap 150, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 155, Martin Treux Jr has a lead of over three seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 157, Ryan Newman again begins the cycle of green flag pitstops.

Lap 160, Martin Truex Jr gives the lead to Brad Keselowski when he comes down pit road for service.

Bubba Wallace had to make a second trip down pit road.

Lap 163, leader Brad Keselowski comes down pit road for service and gives the lead over to Clint Bowyer.

Lap 164, Clint Bowyer has an eight second lead on Martin Truex Jr with Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 171, Clint Bowyer ahs a lead of over three seconds on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 175, on older tires, leader Clint Bowyer is seeing his lead dwindle steadily; he currently has a lead of over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 177, Clint Bowyer’s lead is down to just a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 180, Clint Bowyer has just a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, nd Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.

Lap 185, Martin Truex Jr passes Clint Bowyer to take the lead; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 185, Kyle Busch passes Clint Bowyer for second.

Lap 193, Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Kyle Busch; Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.  There are 21 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 200, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of just under a second on Kyle Busch; Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Michael McDowell brings out the caution flag on lap 202 when he spins out and makes an off road excursion through the grass.

Martin Truex Jr leads a group of drivers down pit road for fresh tires.  Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road while drivers get five wide trying to get off of pit road.

Seventeen drivers took the wave around on that caution flag.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart  with just five laps remaining in stage two.  Busch and Martin Truex Jr battle for the lead with Truex edging out for the lead after a push from Ruan Blaney.

Drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Erik Jones has a flat tire and has to come down pit road.

Martin Truex Jr wins stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Treux Jr
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Brad Keselowski
Clint Bowyer
Jimmie Johnson

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road with Martin Truex Jr in second.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 218 and edges out team mate Martin Truex Jr to take the lead.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 219, Kevin Harvick passes Kyle Busch for the lead.

Lap 221, Kevin Harvick has the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 222, at 31.05 seconds around the track, Kevin Harvick has run the fastest lap of the race so far.

Lap 226, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr with Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski rounding out the top five.

With 88 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five with 28 drivers on the lead lap.

BJ McLeod is still the only driver out of the race.

With 83 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over half a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

There are 79 laps remaining in the race.  With drivers running multiple grooves, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to back over a second on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With 67 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick holds on to his one second lead over Martin Truex Jr with Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and  Brad Keselowski rounding out the top five.  There are 27 cars on the lead lap and only one driver out of the race.

Daniel Suarez has made a green flag pit stop; other drivers in the back of the field are following suit but the leaders are still out on the track.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the first driver in the top 15 to come down pit road for service.

With 60 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr.

Jimmie Johnson is the first top 10 driver to come down pit road as more drivers make green flag pit stops.

Ty Dillon was caught speeding on pit road.

Leaders begin to make pit stops.

Fifty eight laps to go, leader Kevin Harvick makes his green flag pit stop giving the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney pits, Joey Logano takes the lead; he, Alex Bowman, and Michael McDowell are the only drivers to make a pit stop.

Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop; giving the lead over to Joey Logano.

With 55 laps to go, Joey Logano comes down pit road for his pit stop.  Green flag pit stops have cycled through and puts Kevin Harvick back in the lead with a two second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

There are 53 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick holds on to the lead with 23 cars on the lead lap; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

With 47 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a two second lead on Martin Truex Jr.  Ryan Blaney is reporting a possible vibration.

Erik Jones was caught speeding on pit road.

With 20 cars on the lead lap, there are 45 laps remaining in the race.  Kevin Harvick has a lead of over a second and a half on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

An in-car video of Kevin Harvick shows the leader driving one handed as he holds on to a near two second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Forty to go, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle busch, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Just 35 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a near two second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Thirty to go, Kevin Harvick continues to lead the race with a 1.86 second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to nearly two and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  After failing inspection and having to start the race from the back of the field and going a lap down due to a pass through penalty, Kurt Busch has moved into the top 10.

Only 19 laps remain in the race, Kevin Harvick now has a three second lead on Martin Truex Jr.  Clint Bowyer’s tire woes continue with another possible tire issue.

With 16 cars on the lead lap, BJ McLeod and Timmy Hill are the only drivers out of the race.

Fifteen to go, Kevin Harvick continues to increase his lead on Martin Truex Jr; he is now over three and a half seconds out in front.

After saying that he didn’t feel like he could make it to the end of the race, Clint Bowyer comes down pit road for fresh tires after another blistered right rear tire.

Ten to go, Kevin Harvick’s lead is back under three seconds as he encounters slower traffic and drivers fighting to stay on the lead lap.

With nine laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a near three and a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr with just 13 cars on the lead lap.

Six to go, with a lead of over three seconds, Kevin Harvick continues to lap cars with just eleven drivers on the lead lap.

With five laps to go, Kyle Busch passes Martin Truex Jr to take second place with Kevin Harvick out in front by nearly three and a half seconds.

Matt DiBenedetto had to make an unscheduled trip down pit road for a tire coming apart.

With a near four second lead, Kevin Harvick takes the white flag.

With a lead of nearly four seconds and only 10 cars on the lead lap, Kevin Harvick wins his third race at Atlanta.  This is his 51st all time NASCAR Cup win and his second win of the year.

On his victory lap, Kevin Harvick has his hand held high with three fingers in the air in a salute to Dale Earnhardt Sr.  Harvick took over the driving duties at Richard Childress Racing in 2001 after Dale Sr died on the final lap of the Daytona 500.  That first race in Atlanta was Harvick’s first Cup win.

The unofficial results of the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500:
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Newman
Matt Kenseth
Tyler Reddick
Aric Almirola
Christopher Bell
Cole Custer
Clint Bowyer
Bubba Wallace
Chris Buescher
John Hunter Nemechek
Michael McDowell
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Preece
Corey LaJoie
Erik Jones
Ty Dillon
Brennan Poole
Daniel Suarez
Quin Houff
William Byron
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley
JJ Yeley
Reed Sorenson
Joey Gase
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod

 

Surprise Win for Xfinity in Atlanta

The Xfinity Series caps off a double header Saturday with the EchoPark 250.

Last week at Bristol, four drivers qualified for the first Dash-4-Cash race – Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, Chase Briscoe, and Brandon Jones.

After winning the race at Bristol last weekend, Noah Gragson will sit on the pole and bring the field to the green flag after a random draw.

Stages one and two of the race are 40 laps each with stage three lasting 83 laps for a total 163 laps around the mile and a half track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with team mate Daniel Hemric alongside on the front row.  Noah Gragson takes the lead with Daniel Hemric in second.

Lap two, Noah Gragson leads the way, Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Ryan Sieg has smoke coming out of his car.

Lap six, Austin Cindrc passes Noah Gragson for the lead.

Ryan Sieg takes his car to pit road for an unscheduled pit stop.

Lap eight, Austin Cindric has a lead of over half a second on Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 14, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Justin Haley; Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Kody Vanderwal is out of the race.

Tommy Joe Martins brings out the first caution flag of the race after getting loose and into the wall with a flat tire.  NASCAR has declared that this will serve as the competition caution.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  The teams only have five sets of tires for the race.

After staying out on the track, Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 21 and gets out in front for the lead.  The top five are Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones.

Lap 25, Austin Cindric restarted the race in 21st place after making a pit stop, he is now the new leader.

Ross Chastain, Jesse Little, Brett Moffitt, and Timmy Hill have already had a busy afternoon by running the Truck Series race earlier in the afternoon.

Lap 30, Austin Cindric has a lead of nearly four seconds over Ross Chastain; Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Only five laps remain in stage one, leader Austin Cindric is “driving it like he stole it” with a lead of over seven seconds on Ross Chastain.  There are 32 cars on the lead lap.  Chad Finchum, Stephen Leicht, and Ryan Sieg are off the track.

With a lead of over nine seconds, Austin Cindric wins stage one for his first stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Austin Cindric
Ross Chastain
Justin Haley
Justin Allgaier
Daniel Hemric
Noah Gragson
Riley Herbst
Chase Briscoe
AJ Allmendinger
Harrison Burton

Colby Howard wins the race off of pit road after not being able to make a pit stop.

Justin Haley’s crew was charged with coming over the pit wall too soon.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 48 and holds on to the lead with Ross Chastain in second; Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, and AJ Allemdinger round out the top five.

Anthony Alfredo is one lap down with a throttle issue.

Lap 50, Austi Cindric ahs already pulled out to a led of nearly a second and a half on Ross Chastain.

Lap 53, Austin Cindric has a near two second lead on Ross Chastain; Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Lap 61, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over three seconds on Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.  There are 27 cars on the lead lap.  Stephen Leicht is out