‘The Rifleman’ Star Johnny Crawford Dies

Child acting star Johnny Crawford died April 29, 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 virus and pneumonia at the age of 75. His website reports that his wife was by his side at the time of his death. Crawford’s website also had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and had been living in a memory care facility before getting sick.

While he is best known for the role of Mark McCain – the son of Lucas McCain – “The Rifleman” -, Crawford was a multi-talented individual who also had his own big band.


Crawford began his television career as one of the original members of “The Mickey Mouse Club”. From there he went on to appear in 168 episodes of “The Rifleman”.

He earned his first Emmy Award nomination when he was just 13 years old.

After an uncredited role in his debut television appearance in “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit”; Crawford appeared in dozens of productions including “The Lone Ranger”, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, the “Zane Grey Theatre”, “Wagon Train”, “Tales of Wells Fargo”, “The Rifleman”, “Mr. Ed”, “Rawhide”, Luke MacDonald in “El Dorado”, “Hawaii Five-O”, “The Big Valley”, “Little House on the Prairie”, “Murder, She Wrote”, and his final appearance in “The Marshall”.

Crawford showed off his musical ability with performances on “The Rifleman”, “Hollywood a Go Go”, “The Thirteenth Floor”, “Welcome to Collinwood”, and “Hellboy”.

Growing up in a musical family, it is no surprise that Crawford turned to making music on his own. In 1962 his song “Cindy’s Birthday” charted in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; the first of eight Hot 100 hits in his career.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT6m6rNANWU

Later he became the lead singer for Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Channeling his love for Big Band Jazz and Swing music, Crawford formed The Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra in 1990. A stickler for authenticity, he used the original music charts and even donning a top coat and tails.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0L2501V-Zw

He was born John Ernest Crawford on March 26, 1946 in Los Angeles, California into a musical and theatrical family. His grandparents were violinists in Germany, a Belgium, and the United States; music teachers; piano accompanists; composers, Broadway producers; managed Al Jolson; and played with Irving Berlin.

He spent two years in the United States Army where he was stationed in Queens, New York where he worked on producing training films.

When not on the set filming or in the recording studio; Crawford could frequently be found at the rodeo competing in steer wrestling, calf roping, bronc riding, bull riding, and trick roping.

Crawford is survived by his wife of 25 years Charlotte


Johnny Crawford Discography:
“The Captivating Johnny Crawford”
“A Young Man’s Fancy”
“Rumors”
“Songs from ‘The Restless Ones’”
“Treasure”
“For Always”

feature photo credit: Johnny Crawford’s Facebook page

2021 NFL Draft Sets Records

As the world begins a return to some semblance of normalcy, the annual NFL Draft begins three days of drafting the newest class of professional football playing hopefuls.

With the lock downs and stay at home orders, the 2020 NFL Draft was a virtual event; but this year it returns for a live in person event in the home city of the Cleveland Browns.

All attendees inside for the draft festivities have been vaccinated.  The Kings of Leon provide some pre-draft entertainment.

Only round one will take place on Thursday night; with the successive six rounds taking place on Friday and Saturday.

After a disappointing year with a record of 1 and 15, the Jacksonville Jaguars will have the first pick.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell takes the stage to officially open the night’s draft is open.  Cleveland Browns’ Jarvis Landry, Bernie Kosar, and Joe Thomas join Goodell on the stage.

Goodell announced that in celebration of the fans, one fan in the audience will come on stage and sit in the chair that Goodelll used last year from his home during the virtual draft.

At 8:15pm the 2021 Draft is officially open and the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock.

In the first draft of the 2021 season in a highly anticipated choice, the Jaguars select quarterback Trevor Lawrence from Clemson University.  The New York Jets are on the clock.

Roger Goodell announced that the New York Jest select Zach Wilson, a quarterback from Brigham Young University.  Wilson is at the arena.  The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock.

After trading draft picks for the next few years for the spot, the San Francisco 49ers select quarterback Trey Lance from North Dakota State.  Lance is at the arena.  The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock.

The Atlanta Falcons select tight end Kyle Pitts from the University of Florida.  Pitts is at the arena.  He is the highest tight end ever drafted at number four.  The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock. 

The Cincinnati Bengals select wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase from LSU who is in the arena.  Chase and Bengals quarterback were team mates in college.  The Miami Dolphins are on the clock.

With the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select wide receiver Jaylen Waddle from the University of Alabama.  Once again, college team mates are reunited with the selection of Waddle by the Dolphins.  The Detroit Lions are on the clock.

The Detroit Lions select Oregon tackle Penei Sewell.  This marks the first time in NFL Draf history that the first seven players in the draft came from the same side of the ball – in this case all offensive players.  The Carolina Panthers are on the clock.

The Carolina Panthers select Jaycee Horn a defensive back from South Carolina.  Horn is the first defensive player to be selected in the 2021 draft.  The Denver Broncos are on the clock.

The Denver Broncos select Patrick Surtain II, a cornerback from the University of Alabama.  Surtain is a second generation football player; following his father into the NFL.  The Dallas Cowboys are on the clock.

The Dallas Cowboys have traded with the Philadelphia Eagles.

With the tenth pick in the NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Heisman Trophy winners DeVonta Smith, a wide receiver from the University of Alabama.  The pick creates another quarterback/wide receiver reunion.  The New York Giants are on the clock.

The New York Giants trade with the Chicago Bears for the eleventh pick in the draft.

The Chicago Bears select quarterback Justin Fields from Ohio State.  The Dallas Cowboys are on the clock.

The Dallas Cowboys select Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.  The Los Angeles Chargers are on the clock. 

The Los Angeles Chargers select Tackle Rashawn Slater Jr from Northwestern.  The Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.

The Minnesota Vikings trade with the New York Jets for pick number 14.

For their second pick in round one, the Philadelphia Eagles select Alijah Vera-Tucker, a guard from the University of Southern California.  The New England Patriots are on the clock.

The New England Patriots select quarterback Mac Jones from Alabama.  Jones is the third player from the NCAA champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide to be selected in the first round.  The last time the Patriots selected a quarterback in the first round of the draft was when they selected Drew Bledsoe.  The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock.

The Arizona Cardinals select linebacker Zaven Collins from Tulsa.  The Las Vegas Raiders are on the clock.

The Las Vegas Raiders select tackle Alex Leatherwood from Alabama.  He is the fifth member of the Crimson Tide to be drafted this year.  The Miami Dolphins are on the clock.

In their second pick of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select a pick right out of their own backyard with defensive end Jaelan Phillips from the University of Miami.  The Washington Football Team is on the clock.

The Washington Football Team selects linebacker Jamin Davis from the University of Kentucky.  The New York Giants are on the clock.

The New York Giants select wide receiver Kadarius Toney from the University of Florida.  Toney is the second Gator to be selected in the first round of the draft.  The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock.

With the 21st pick of the 2021 NFL Draft the Indianapolis Colts select defensive end Kwity Pay from the University of Michigan.  The Tennessee Titans are on the clock.

The Tennessee Titans select defensive back Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech.  The Minnesota Vikings are on the clock.

The Minnesota Vikings select tackle Christian Darrisaw from Virginia Tech.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock.

The Pittsburgh Steelers select running back Najee Harris for the record setting sixth Alabama player to be selected in the first round.  Only the Miami Hurricanes have had as many players drafted in the first round.  The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock.

For their second pick of the night, the Jacksonville Jaguars select running back Travis Etienne from Clemson to pair up team mates Etienne and Trevor Lawrence.  The hometown Cleveland Browns are on the clock.

For the 26th pick of the 2021 draft and their first ever selection from Cleveland, the Cleveland Browns select cornerback Gregery Newsome II from Northwestern.  This is the first time that Northwestern has had two players drafted in the first round.  The Baltimore Ravens are on the clock.

The Baltimore Ravens select wide receiver Rashod Bateman from Minnesota.  The New Orleans Saints are on the clock.

The New Orleans Saints select defensive end Payton Turner from Houston.  The Green Bay Packers are on the clock.

The Green Bay Packers select defensive back Eric Stokes from Georgia.  The Buffalo Bills are on the clock.

After going to the playoffs after a long dry spell, in the 30th pick of the 2021 draft, the Buffalo Bills select defensive end Gregory Rousseau from the University of Miami.  The Baltimore Ravens are on the clock.

In their second pick of the first round after a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens select linebacker Jayson Oweh from Penn State.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one the clock.

In the final pick of the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers select linebacker Joe Tryon from Washington.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Houston Texans did not have a first round pick after trading with other teams.  In fact, the Texans do not get a pick until round three.








Genesis

After over a year with no live music performances or band tours, artists are beginning to schedule tours for later this year and into next year.

British rockers Genesis have not toured as a group in the United States for over a decade.  Come November, all of that will change within the band launches a North American tour with two stops in Canada.

Joining Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford on the tour will be long time bassist Daryl Stuermer and since Phil can no longer play the drums due to nerve damage, son Nic will take over the drumming duties.

Tickets for the North American tour dates go on sale May 7.  The European tour dates set to begin September 2022 are rescheduled dates from a tour cut short by Covid.  All tickets already purchased remain valid for the new dates.

Genesis Tour dates:
Nov 15 at the United Center in Chicago, IL
Nov 18 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Nov 20 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC
Nov 22 at the Centre Bell in Montreal, QC
Nov 25 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON
Nov 27 at the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo, NY
Nov 29 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
Nov 30 at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHOuse in Cleveland, OH
Dec 2 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. PA
Dec 5 at Madison Square Garden in New York City NY
Dec 8 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH
Dec 10 at the UBS Arena in Belmont Park NY
Dec 13 at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
Dec 15 at the TD Garden in Boston, MA
Sept 15 & 16 at the 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland
Sept 18 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, UK
Sept 20-22  at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham, UK
Sept 24 & 25 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK
Sept 27 & 28 at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, UK
Sept 30 & Oct 1 at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle, UK
Oct 3 & 4 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, UK
Oct 7 & 8 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, UK
Oct 11-13 at the O2 Arena in London, UK

No Burning Man Festival for 2021

Summer has long meant music festivals all across the country, but when the pandemic hit last year all of that came to a halt.

As the country begins to crawl out from under the lock downs and closures organizers of these festivals are looking for ways to launch once again.

The globally popular Glastonbury Festival in England has already announced that they will be dark for a second year…and they are not alone.

On April 27, organizers of the Burning Man Festival have also announced that they will not hold the summer music event in the Nevada desert.

After mulling over issues like crowd sizes, vaccinations, and social distancing; Burning Man organizers determined that there were too many unknows to safely and responsibly hold the festival August 26 to September 3.  Instead, organizers will focus on putting on a better show in 2022.

Organizers emphasize that they are not cancelling Burning Man, just the big festival in the desert.

The festival held in Black Rock City, north of Reno, brings approximately 80,000 music fans to the desert

NASCAR Reveals All Star Race Details

With few exceptions, the annual NASCAR All Star Race has been run on the mile and a half track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Ft Worth, Texas.

In 2021 the All Star race will be run for the first time at Texas Motor Speedway; and with a new track, comes a new format.  And only green flag laps will count.

A non-points race, the winner will earn $900,000 and the team with the fastest pit crew in a mandatory pit stop during the race will receive a $100,000 prize.

The race itself will feature 100 laps broken down into six rounds or “stages”…
No qualifying rounds, the starting lineup will be set by a random draw.
After lap 15, part of the field will be inverted – anywhere from eight to 12 cars based on a random draw.
After lap 30 the entire field will be inverted.
After lap 45, part of the field will again be inverted – between eight and 12 cars depending on the random draw.
Stage four is 15 laps, no inversions.
At this point all drivers must come down pit road for a four time pit stop.  After the “money stop” the field will be set by cumulative finishes from best to worst.
Stage six will be a 10 lap shootout with no inversions or lineup changes.

Texas Motor Speedway president and GM Eddie Gossage said, “drivers and pit crews better pack their lunch pails because they are going to have to work extremely hard to earn the honor of celebrating in Victory Lane.”

Pre-race ceremonies will include an old fashioned Western theme complete with a “metal rodeo” for a “big ol’ bag of dough.”

The rules package for the race will feature the superspeedway set-up.

To date 17 drivers have qualified for to run in the All-Star race:
Christopher Bell
Ryan Blaney
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Cole Custer
Austin Dillon
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Joey Logano
Michael McDowell
Ryan Newman
Martin Truex Jr

Any driver who wins a race who has not already won between now and the All Star race in June will also earn a spot in the lineup.

Prior to the main race on June 13, the All Star Open will run, giving more drivers the opportunity to race in the main event.  The Open will include three segments of 20, 20, and 10 laps.  Each segment winner and the overall winner will earn a spot in the All Star Race.

A driver will also make it in the main event via the fan vote.

Second Hand Tickets No Good at Buffett Concert

Music fans have long had to deal with dealers, scalpers, and opportunists who buy up large blocks of concert tickets only to resell them at exorbitant prices.

In recent years, there have been artists who have fought to combat the issues by requiring ID checks where the name of the ticket purchaser and the ID holder must match.

Always a party, Jimmy Buffett has long been a popular draw for his fans known as parrot heads.  Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band are set to kick off their tour at the Old School Square in Delray Beach next month.

When the tickets for the four concert dates on May 13, 14, 17, and 18 went on sale; they sold out withing a couple of minutes only to be offered up for resale at many times the original ticket price – as much as $10,000 for a pod of four seats!!!

Well, as it turns out; ticket holders will have to show their ID when entering the venue…and that name must match the name given at the time of the ticket purchase.  As a result, any tickets bought online from a ticket resale site will not be honoured. 

It is a mystery to ticket sellers at the Old School Square as to just how one person could acquire so many tickets since Eventbrite was the only company to have an agreement with the venue.  Also each ticket buyer was limited to one pod at a single show in order to allow as many fans as possible to see the show.

Obviously, there is going to be some very unhappy Parrot Heads; not to mention the ticket hounds that will lose out.

feature photo credit: [[File:Jimmy Buffett 1.jpg|Jimmy_Buffett_1]]

NASCAR Issues Talladega Penalty

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Racing at Talladega Superspeedway frequently brings numerous caution flags, big pile ups, and the occasional flying car.

Over the past weekend when the Xfinity and Cup Series drivers took to the high banked fast track, all of the above took place; but out of 80 cars only one team was charged with a penalty after the post-race inspection process.

After the overtime finish that brought the ninth different race winner of the season when Brad Keselowski crossed the finish line to earn the checkered flag, the number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car driven by Kyle Busch was the only car found to have one lug nut improperly secured.

As a result of the safety violation, the number 18 crew chief Ben Beshore was fined $10,000.

While all 40 cars passed the post race inspection process, three Xfinity Series teams failed the pre-race inspection process multiple times and will have to forfeit their pit stall selections for the race a Darlington Raceway on May 8 – the Kaulig Racing number 16 car driven by AJ Allmendinger, the RSS Racing number 39 driven by Ryan Sieg, and the Joe Gibbs Racing number 54 which uses multiple drivers.  Ty Dillon drove the number 54 car at Talladega.

Knockouts Conclude on ‘The Voice’

This week on “The Voice” the coaches will complete the knockout rounds with mega mentor Snooop Dogg.

John and Nick have used their steals. Kelly only has one member of her knockout team; while John has three. Nick and Blake each have two team members.

Team Nick gets the night of music started off by pairing Rachel Mac with “Foolish Games” and Zae Romeo with “Electric Love”. In rehearsals, Snoop said that Rachel has a lot of soul. Zae compared being around Snoop was like a visit to the neighbourhood barbershop.

John called Rachel’s high notes beautiful; adding that he felt Zae’s performance. Kelly said that Rachel has a great tone; noting that Zae loses himself in the song and his performance was incredible. Nick said that Zae gave his best performance and noted that Rachel keeps growing. Saying that the decision was very difficult, Nick chose Rachel as the winner of the knockout. Kelly used her steal on Zae.

Kelly paired Kenzie Wheeler with “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and steal Avery Roberson with “Tomorrow”. Avery had Snoop Dogg dancing in his chair. Kenzie had Snoop wanting a beer. Snoop told both guys that they were young and fresh. Blake had to get a good look at Kenzie’s mullet. Kenzie asked Blake if he was going to grow one. Nick said tht it was Avery’s best performance yet; adding that Kenzie brought the party. John felt like Avery was holding something back, but Kenzie is a star and people are going to want to hang out with him. Kelly noted that she thinks Avery doesn’t know how good he is. She said that Kenzie is the kind of perform people want to know. Kelly named Kenzie as the winner of the knockout.

For John’s last pairing, he put Detroit natives Zania Alake iwht “If I Were Your Woman” and Rio Doyle with “Issues”. Snoop noted that both girls have the ability to make music their life.

Kelly said that Zania sang like it was her song; adding that now she has to cover that song. Blake said that he had never seen “Issues” done any better on the show. Nick noted that Rio approached her song like theatre; adding that Zania just had a special moment and is one to watch. John said that both girls made him so proud. John said that Zania delivered a masterful moment. John named Zania Alake as the winner of the knockout.

For his last pairing, Blake put Conor Christian with “Youngblood” and Cam Anthony with “Feeling Good”. Cam brought the coahes to their feet with his performance. Nick noted that Conor has the lead singer for a band voice; but Cam was very impressed. John was jealous of Cam’s performance; adding that he is a true artist. John noted that Conor has a lot of fire. Kelly thought Conor’s tone was cool; but Cam was something special. Blake noted that Conor needs a lot of air with his style of singing; adding that Cam is the king of the mountain. Blake chose Cam as the winner of the knockout.

In a video clip, Nick paired Jose Figueroa and Raine Stern for a battle with Jose winning the knockout.

In the final knockout, Kelly paired Gihanna Zoe “Glitter in the Air” with and Anna Grace with “If I Die Young”. The tears were flowing during rehearsals; Kelly was ready to have tissues in her chair during the performances. Blake noted that this was going to be a hard one for Kelly to choose; noting that both girls are unique. Nick said that Anna made the song her own; adding that Gihanna shows up every week with something different. John liked the confidence in both of the girls. Kelly said that both girls are very powerful in different ways. Kelly chose Gihanna as the winner of the knockout. The only coach with a steal remaining, Blake pushed his button for Anna.

Team Kelly:
Corey Ward
Zae Romeo – steal
Kenzie Wheeler
Gihanna Zoe

Team Legend:
Ryleigh Modig – steal
Pia Renee
Victor Solomon
Zania Alake

Team Blake:
Jordan Matthew Young
Pete Mroz
Cam Anthony
Anna Grace – steal

Team Nick:
Dana Monique
Andrew Marshall – steal
Rachel Mac
Jose Figueroa Jr

The knockout teams are filled and ready for the live performances but now it is time for the fans to have the first vote of the season with the four way knockout battle between the four singers the coaches saved during the battle rounds.

Nick save Devin Blake Jones chose “Sign of the Times”.

Kelly save Savannah Woods chose “Black Hole Sun”.

Blake save Emma Caroline chose “Neon Moon”.

John save Carolina Rial chose “Anyone”.

The winner of the fan vote will be revealed at the beginning of next week’s live show.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – April 25, 2021

On April 24, the NASCAR Cup Series ran on the largest track in the circuit with the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. With his win, Brad Keselowski became the ninth different winner in the 2021 racing season.

Despite finishing in 32nd place, one lap down, Denny Hamlin maintains his lead in the points standings with 446 points – 87 points ahead of second placed driver Martin Truex Jr.

The top five remain the same with race winner Brad Keselowski moving up three spots to sixth.

In the manufacturer’s standings, Ford holds a two point lead with 362 points; while Chevrolet has 360 points. Toyota is in third place with 342 points.

The top 16 drivers in the point standings:
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Michael McDowell
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher

Diversity Rules at Historic Oscars

While many movie theatres have been closed over the past year, movie fans found ways to watch films; whether it be via a streaming service or renting it online.

After a delay of three months due to the Covid pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the 93rd annual Academy Awards for the best in film.

This year in a socially distanced event, The Oscars opened like the form they honour – a film.

The first award of the night went for the Best Original Screenplay and was awarded to Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman”; a film she wrote while filming “The Crown”.

The award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller for “The Father”.

Award winning actress Laura Dern presented the award for Best International Feature Film to “Another Round” from Denmark. 

The award for Best Supporting Actor went to Daniel Kaluuya for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Don Cheadle presents the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling to Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal, and Jamika Wilson for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

The award for Best Costume Design went to Ann Roth for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

Brian Cranston walks in an empty Dolby Theater as he spoke on the Motion Picture and Television Fund; a fund that was created in the wake of the 1918 Flu Pandemic.  Workers from the MPTF Home were presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. 

Live from Seoul, Korea, the award for Best Direction of a Feature Film went to Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland”.

Riz Ahmed presents the award for Best Achievement in Sound to Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michellee Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh for “Sound of Metal”.

The award for Best Live Action Short Film went to Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe for “Two Distant Strangers”.

Reese Witherspoon presented the award for Best Animated Short Film to Will McCormack and Michael Govier for “If Anything Happens I Love You”.

The award for Best Animated Feature Film went to Pete Docter and Dana Murray for “Soul”.

Marlee Matlin presented the award for Best Documentary Short Film to Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard for “Colette”. 

The award for Best Documentary Feature Film went to Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed, and Craig Foster for “My Octopus Teacher”.

The award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects went to Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Scott Fisher, and Andrew Lockley for “Tenet”.

Brad Pitt presents the award for Best Supporting Actress went to Yuh-Jung Youn for her role in “Minari”.  The Korean born actress said that she could not believe that she was here.

Award winning actress Halle Berry presented the award for Best Production Design to Donald Graham Burt and Jan Pascale for “Mank”.

The award for Best Cinematography went to Erik Messerschmidt for “Mank”.

Harrison Ford presented the award for Best Achievement in Film Editing to Mikkel E. G. Nielsen for the “Sound of Metal”.

Award winning actress Viola Davis presented the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Tyler Perry.  Perry learned his giving ways from his mother.  He says that his foundation is about turning tragedy into triumph.  He has turned his film company into a quarantine camp, fed thousands, provided shelter for those who needed it, and kept people working in a time of a pandemic.  Perry said that he hopes that in this day and age parents will teach their children to refuse hate.  He dedicated the award to anyone who wants to join him in refusing hate.  Perry received a standing ovation for his award and remarks.

Singer, dancer, and actress Zandaya presented the award for Best Original Score to Trent Reznor, John Batiste, and Atticus Ross for “Soul”.  Ross noted that they had the same 12 notes that Bach had to create their music.

The award for Best Original Song in a Film went to H.E.R., Dernst Emile, and Tiara Thomas for “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”.

Angela Bassett presents the In Memoriam segment of the show.  Along with the stars who have passed away over the past year, she mentioned the over three million people around the world who died as a result of the Covid virus and those who were lost due to inequality.  The music of Stevie Wonder played as the slide show of the entertainers aired.

Rita Moreno presented the award for Best Picture to “Nomadland”.

The award for Best Leading Actress went to Frances McDormand for her role in “Nomadland”.

The final award of the night was for Best Leading Actor and went to Anthony Hopkins for his role in “The Father”.

9th First Time Winner in 2021 at Dega for Cup Series

After three weeks of short track racing, the NASCAR Cup Series to Talladega Superspeedway – the circuit’s biggest track at 2.66 miles – for the Geico 500.

The Xfinity Series race on Saturday was shortened for rain, but on this Sunday afternoon, the skies are blue, warm, and ready for racing.

Cup Series points leader Denny Hamlin sits on the pole and will bring the field to green as he hopes to earn his first win of the season.  Joey Logano will start alongside Hamlin on the front row.

After failing the pre-race inspection process multiple times, Cody Ware will have to start the race from the back of the field.

BJ McLeod, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, and Harrison Burton will also have to start the race from the back of the field after their crews made some unapproved adjustments to the car.

The starting lineup for the Geico 500:
Denny Hamlin – moved to the back of the field
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr– moved to the back of the field
William Byron
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell– moved to the back of the field
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Austin Dillon
Kyle Larson
Matt DiBenedetto
Aric Almirola
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell
Bubba Wallace – moved to the back of the field
Chase Briscoe
Corey LaJoie
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Anthony Alfredo
BJ McLeod – moved to the back of the field
Quin Houff
Cody Ware – moved to the back of the field
Justin Haley
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
JJ Yeley
Kaz Grala
Harrison Burton– moved to the back of the field
Timmy Hill

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.

For the first time in NASCAR, the pace car is an all electric car.

Alex Bowman and Joey Logano bring the field down for the green flag start of the race with Alex Bowman getting out in front for the lead.  William Byron passes his team mate to take the lead

Lap two, the top five are Joey Logano, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Brad Keselowski.

Kyle Larson is reporting some overheating issues and has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road.

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

Lap four, After starting in the back of the field, Denny Hamlin is in 35th place.

Lap five Bubba Wallace has moved up 31 spots to enter the top 10 after having to start the race from the back of the field.

Lap six, Kyle Larson returns to the track two laps down after his pit stop for overheating issues.

Lap seven, the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Briscoe.

Kyle Larson’s car is smoking, he says that the car is blowing up.  A sheet of metal in front of the radiator contributed to his overheating issues.

Lap nine, Joey Logano continues to lead the race but Kevin Harvick is leading the charge from the inside lane.

Lap 13, Bubba Wallace passes Joey Logano for the lead after starting the race from the back of the field in a worst to first move.

Lap 14, the top five are Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 15, Kevin Harvick put his Busch Dog Brew number four car in the front to take the lead.

Lap 16, the to five are Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, and Joey Logano.

The drivers are three wide across the track.

Out of the race with a blown engine, Kyle Larson is the only driver not on the lead lap.

Lap 18, Kevin Harvick leads the race from the outside lane near the wall; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

Lap 19, Bubba Wallace retakes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 22, Kyle Busch takes the lead from the inside lane; Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  Three of the top five drivers started the race from the back of the field.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for a competition caution.

The drivers are easily achieving 200mph speeds around the track.

The top five at the competition caution; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell.

Kyle Busch brings the field down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road but Harrison Burton will have to restart the race from the back of the field after leaving his pit stall with the fuel can attached.

Martin Truex Jr was caught speeding on pit road.  Ryan Preece’s crew was charged with coming over the pit wall too soon.  Both drivers will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 and edges out Kyle Busch for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ruan Blaney, William Byron, and Christopher Bell.

Lap 33, the drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Lap 35, Aric Almirola is reporting a vibration.

Lap 36, Denny Hamlin leads the race; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 37, Kyle Busch takes the lead as the drivers get three and four wide across the track.

Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Lap 39, the caution flag comes out after Joey Gase blows a tire and gets into the wall.

Some drivers near the back of the field come down pit road for service; the top 24 drivers stay out on the track.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green floag restart on lap 44 and holds on to the lead after a little push from Ryan Blaney.

Lap 45, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 48, the leaders have gotten single file with Denny Hamlin leading the way; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Kurt Busch was reporting some issues with his car that turned out to be a track bar mount issue.  After being in the back of the field, he has moved back up to 12th place.

Lap 49, Ryan Blaney takes the lead after a push form Joey Logano; Cole Custer, Kevin Harvick, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Ten laps remain in stage one, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead with Deny Hamlin in second; Danny Hamlinm Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 54, Matt DiBenedetto has the number 21 Wood Brothers car in the lead with Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick battling for second.

Drivers are three wide across the track with 23 cars in the lead pack.

Lap 54, Ryan Preece takes the lead with Chris Buescher in second.

Lap 56, Matt DiBenedetto retakes the lead.

The caution flag comes out on the last lap of stage one for a wreck that sent Joey Logano airborne and lands him on all four wheels in the grass.  Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Bubba Wallace were also involved in the crash.

Matt DiBenedetto wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Dennhy Hamlin
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
Kevin Harvick
Michael McDowell

Joey Logano radios his team and reports that he is okay.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road. 

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 67 with Denny Hamlin alongside.  After going nose to nose, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with the help of a push from Matt DiBenedetto. 

Lap 69, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Chris Buescher

Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead.

Despite a little damage to his car from the wreck, Bubba Wallace is still reaching speeds of over 200mph.

After a push from Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin retakes the lead on lap 72.

Drivers are getting three and four wide across the track. With Denny Hamlin leading the way on lap 76.

The top five are Deny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Preece, Kevin Harvick, and William Byron.

Lap 80, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Ryan Preece, William Byron, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 84, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.  Many of the drivers are taking only two tires with a full load of fuel.

Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain were caught speeding on pit road.   They will have to serve a pass through penalty at pit road speed which is 60mph.

Lap 86, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Martin Truex Jr, Christopher Bell, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

After a slow pit stop, Chase Elliott came back on the track by himself and lost seven mph to the cars in the draft.  As a result, Chase Elliott is now one lap down in 34th place.

Lap 92, more drivers come down pit road for service.  Kevin Harvick and Chris Buescher were caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

The remaining drivers come down pit road for service including leader Denny Hamlin.  Hamlin overshot his pit box and had to back up the car; but he was also caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 96, the top five are Ryan Preece, William Byron, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillon.

While serving his pass through penalty, Denny Hamlin was caught speeding for a second time.

Lap 98, Ryan Preece is the leader with William Byron in second; Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

His two speeding penalties have put Denny Hamlin one lap down.

Lap 101, William Byron takes the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 103 for Kurt Busch’s smoking car.  Busch’s car now has flames coming out from under it.

Reports are that an oil line has come loose on Kurt Busch’s number one car.

Although they were on pit road not too long ago, some drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires.

Ricky Stenhouse was penalized for pitting too soon and Kevin Harvick was penalized for his crew coming over the wall too soon.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 109 and edges out Matt DiBenedetto to take the lead before DiBenedetto gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, Ryan Preece, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 110, William Byron takes the lead with Ryan Preece in second.

Lap 111, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead from the outside lane.

Kyle Busch makes a run through the grass after being blocked by Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 112, Bubba Wallace takes the lead with William Byron in second; Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Kurt Busch returns to the track after a loose oil line left him with a flaming car on pit road, seven laps down.

Five laps remain in stage two, Bubba Wallace leads the race.

Three laps remain in stage two and the drivers are three wide across the track battling for position.

The caution flag comes out just before the final lap in stage two for another wreck involving several drivers.  Alex Bowman, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott were all involved but are able to continue.

Like stage one, stage two ends under caution.  Ubba Wallace gets his first career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Bubba Wallace
Brad Keselowski
Michael McDowell
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Preece
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell
Harrison Burton

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ryan Blaney winning the race off of pit road.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Aric Almirola alongside.  There are 33 cars on the lead lap. 

On lap 127, Ryan Blaney gets out in front for the lead with Bubba Wallace in second.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski.

Involved in the last wreck, Alex Bowman was on the crash clock and his team did not complete the repairs in time.  He had to take his car to the garage and is out of the race.

Leader Ryan Blaney has a large piece of debris on his front grille.

Lap 130, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race even with the debris on his front grelle; Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 132, Ryan Blaney gets behind Aric Almirola in order to get the debris off of his car.  Almirola is now the leader of the race.

Lap 137, Aric Almirola leads the race for his first laps led this season.

The cars are single file with Aric Almirola leading the way; Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

There are 48 laps remaining in the race, but the drivers have to make one more stop for fuel.

With 43 laps to go, the drivers have gotten double file again as they battle for position.

Forty to go, Ross Chastain leads the pack of drivers on the inside lane and takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 150, Kevin Harvick takes the lead from Ross Chastain, but Ross Chastain makes it a battle asthe two drives swap the lead back and forth.

Lap 152, Ross Chastain takes the lead on the inside lane with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 153, Kevin Harvick takes the lead but Harvick and Chastain continue their battle of swapping the lead.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr spins out and hits the wall but the track stays green as several drivers come down pit road for their green flag pit stop.

Kevin Harvick is the leader with Aric Almirola in second; Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 158, more drivers come down pit road including leader Kevin Harvick. 

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road while serving his pass through penalty.  He will have to make a second trip for the penalty.

Christopher Bell is the new leader with Ros Chastain in second; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With 26 laps to go, Ross Chastain takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Reports are that Christopher Bell’s team told him that he was using too much fuel as the leader and to drop back.

Twenty to go, Ross Chastain leads the race; Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Several of the teams may not have enough fuel to make it to the end of the race; while others are being told that they barely have enough fuel.

Lap 169, Erik Jones takes the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out with 17 laps remaining in the race when Quin Houff gets into the wall.  Teams will now be able to ensure that their drivers have plenty of fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Ryan Preece was penalized for the crew coming over the wall too soon.

After the top 10 drivers stayed out on the track, Erik Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 12 laps remaining in the race.  Erik Jones edges out for the lead.

The top five are Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto, and Martin Truex Jr.

Eleven to go, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Nine to go, Matt DiBenedetto leads the race; Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell round ut the top five.

The drivers are three wide and battling for position.

Four drivers in the top 10 have yet to win a Cup Series race.

Seven to go, Matt DiBenedetto holds on to the lead with Ryan Blaney in second.

Martin Truex Jr has dropped to the back of the field with a possible tire going down.

The drivers who stayed out on the track have fallen through the field.

Five to go, Matt DiBenedetto is in the lead with Ryan Blaney on his bumper; Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr brings out the caution flag with just four laps to go when his tire comes apart.

A few drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

The race goes into overtime and have a two lap green/white/checker shootout for the finish.

Currently the Wood Brothers have a total of 99 Cup Series wins.  If current leader Matt DiBenedetto can win the race, he will give the Wood Brothers win number 100!

Brad Keselowski has five Talladega wins to lead all active drivers.

Matt DiBenedetto brings the filed down for the overtime restart from the inside lane with Ryan Blaney on the outside lane.  DiBenedetto edges out for the lead but the drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Drivers are four wide coming through the trioval.

Matt DiBenedetto takes the white flag but Brad Keselowski takes the lead after a pusgh from Michael McDowell.

Chris Buescher smacks the wall.  Erik Jones spins out and hits the wall.  Justin Haley gets into the wall

Drivers are wrecking four wide but Brad Keselowski notches Talladega win number six to become another first time winner in the 2021 season.

The unofficial results of the Geico 500:
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Michael McDowell
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Kaz Grala
Tyler Reddick
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Cole Custer
Chase Briscoe
Anthony Alfredo
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Aric Almirola
Ross Chastain
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Bubba Wallace
Harrison Burton
Chris Buescher
Corey LaJoie
Daniel Suarez
Chase Elliott
BJ McLeod
JJ Yeley
Erik Jones
Cody Ware
Timmy Hill
Justin Haley
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Gase
Kurt Busch
Quin Houff
Alex Bowman
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson

1st Time Winner at Rain Shortened Dega Race

After taking a week off, the Xfinity Series returns to go from the shortest track in the circuit – Martinsville – to the biggest – Talladega Superspeedway for the AG-Pro 300.

The Dash-4-Cash returns for the second of four races with Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones competing for the $100,000 prize.

Austin Cindric sits on the pole and will bring the field to green with Daniel Hemric alongside on the front row.


The starting lineup for the AG-Pro 300:
Austin Cindric
Daniel Hemric
Harrison Burton
Noah Gragson
Justin Haley
Joshy Berry
Brandon Jones
Justin Allgaier
Jeb Burton
Myatt Snider
AJ Allmendinger
Michael Annett
Brett Moffitt
Jeremy Clements
Josh Williams
Ty Dillon
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Brown
Riely Herbst
Jade Buford
Kyle Weatherman
Colin Garrett
Tommy Joe Martins
Gray Gaulding
Bayley Currey
David Starr
Timmy Hill
Caesar Bacarella
Joey Gase
Alex Labbe
Mason Massey
Landon Cassill
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Jesse Little
Joe Graf Jr
Matt Mills
Colby Howard
Natalie Decker
Ryan Vargas
Jason White

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.  The drivers can complete the first two stages on a single fuel load but must make at least one stop for fuel in stage three.

Cup Series drivers Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano join Adam Alexander in the FOX Sports broadcast booth for today’s race.

Justin Haley swept the Talladega races last year and is looking to make it three in a row.  Haley starts the race in fifth place.

The strategy of today’s race for many of the drivers is “checkers or wreckers” as they look to avoid “the big one” and take the checkered flag.

Joey Gase has taken his car to the garage with some mechanical issues.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and goes nose to nose with Daniel Hemric before Daniel Hemric gets out in front for the lead on lap two.

The top five are Daniel Hemric, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, and Justin Haley.

All four of the Dash-4-Cash drivers are in the top 10.

Lap four, Daniel Hemric controls both lanes to hold on to the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lap eight, Daniel Hemric has a narrow lead on Austin Cindric; Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones rout out the top five.  Joey Gase is the only driver not on the lead lap, six laps down after starting the race in the garage with mechanical issues.

Lap eleven, Daniel Hemric has a tenth of a second lead on Austin Cindric; Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 14, Daniel Hemric maintains his tenth of a second lead on Austin Cindric; Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

With nine laps remaining in stage one, Daneil Hemric has led every lap so far with Noah Gragson and Austin Cindric battling it out for second; Harrison Burton and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 18, Noah Gragson takes the lead from the inside lane as Gragson and Hemric battle for the lead.

Lap 19, Austin Cindric takes the lead but Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson are on his bumper.

Lap 20, as stage one approaches, the drivers continue to battle at the front of the field with Noah Gragson and Austin Cindric swapping the lead back and forth.

The drivers have spread out three wide across the field.

Lap 21,Noah Gragson is the leader with Justin Haley in second.

Lap 25, Justin Haley is the new leader.

Justin Haley wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Justin Haley
Jeb Burton
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Harrison Burton
AJ Allmendinger
Daniel Hemric
Brandon Jones
Brandon Brown
Justin Allgaier

Daniel Hemric led 18 of the 25 stage one laps.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and adjustments.  Taking only two tires, Jeb Burton wins the race off of pit road.  Several of the drivers took only two tires.

Brett Moffitt was penalized for the crew having an uncontrolled tire on pit road.

Jeb Burton brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane with Justin Haley alongside on the front row.  Jeb Burton gets out in front for the lead on lap 30.

The top five are Jeb Burton, Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, and Austin Cindric.

The only car not on the lead lap, Joey Gase was the “luckyh dog” and got one of his laps back.

Lap 32, Jeb Burton leads the race with Justin Haley in second; Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

The drivers are three wide through the field.

While the skies are blue, the weatherman has forecast for rain in the area.  Once stage two is complete, the race is listed as official.

Lap 28, Austin Cindric is the new leader of the race; Ty Dillon, Jeb Burton, Daniel Hemric and Justin Haley round out the top five.

Lap 40, the first three drivers – Austin Cindric, Ty Dillon, and Daniel Hemric – are single file with the remainder of the field three wide across the track.

Ten laps remain in stage two; Austin Cindric, Jeb Burton, and Ty Dillon battle for the lead and swapping the top spot as they move around the track.

Lap 42, the top five are Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Jeb Burton, Ty Dillon, and Justin Allgaier.

Lap 45, Austin Cindric and Justin Haley battle for the lead with Austin Cindric taking the top spot.

Lap 46, the top five are Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Ty Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, and Noah Gragson.

Lap 46, Justin Haley takes the lead briefly before Austin Cindric retakes the top spot.

Lap 47, top three are single fiel with Austin Cindric in the lead; Noah Gragson, Ty Dillon, Justin Allgaier, and Michael Annett round out the top five.

Noah Gragson edges out Austin Cindric to win stage two for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Noah Gragson

Justin Allgaier
Austin Cindric
Brandon Jones

Ty Dillon

Myatt Snider

Daniel Hemric

Brett Moffitt

Michael Annett

Brandon Brown

Drivers come down pit road for service with Noah Gragson winning the race off of pit road after taking only two tires.  Again several of the drivers took only two tires.

Despite some aggressive driving, the race has been very clean with no cautions flags for on track incidents.

There are some rain cells in the area but the skies are blue over the track.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 56 with Myatt Snider alongside on the front row.  Myatt Snider jumps out in front for the lead.

The top five are Myatt Snider, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst,and Austin Cindric.

Joey Gase, Jason White, and Bayley Currety are the only drivers not on the lead lap with White and Currey off the track.

Lap 59, Austin Cindric is the new leader with Josh Berry in second; Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider rounding out the top five.

Lap 60, Ceasar Bacrella goes one lap down.

Lap 63, 50 to go, Austin Cindric is the leader with Josh Berry, Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, and Myatt Snider rounding out the top five.

Jason White and Bayley Currey are out of the race.

Lap 69, drivers begin making their green flag pit stops including leader Austin Cindric.  Harrison Burton is the new leader.

Lap 70, Harrison Burton makes his pit stop and gives the elad over the Brandon Brown.

Brandon Brown makes his pit stop.

Jeffrey Earnhardt gets loose but saves the car and the track stays green.

Lap 71, Colby Howard is the new leader as green flag pit stops continue.

Colby Howard makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Ryan Vargas.

The caution flag comes out on lap 75 when Josh Berry looses a tire and spins out; making a big of a run in the grass.

The drivers who had not made a pit stop, come down pit road during the caution flag.  Harrison Burton is the leader.

Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart with 34 laps remaining in the race.  Burton edges out Austin Cindric for the lead.

The top five are Harrison Burotn, Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, and Myatt Snider.

With 33 laps to go, cousin Jeb Burton passes Harrison to briefly takes the lead before Harrison gets back out in front.

The Burton cousins continue to swap the lead back and forth.  Jeb takes the lead with 31 laps to go in the race.

Thirty to go, Jeb Burton leads the race, AJ Allmendinger, Myatt Snider, Harrison Burton, and Noah Gragson.

Drivers are getting three and four wide across the track as the laps count down.

Lap 84, the caution flag comes out for a big wreck.  Brandon Jones, Ty Dillon, Joey Gase, Ceasar Bacarella,  Colin Garrett, and Michael Annett were all involved.

After going a lap down with his flat tire, Josh Berry is the “lucky dog” and is back on the lead lap.

Brandon Jones is out of the race.

As the race is about to go green, a big cloud looms over the track and the yellow flag stays out.

Leader Jeb Burton was chanting rain, rain, rain as rain drops begin to fall.  The raindrops get bigger as NASCAR brings the field down pit road.

Now the rain really begins to fall as fans run for cover.

NASCAR displays the red flag, halting the race.  There are no lights at Talladega.  Depending on how long it rains and how long it takes to get the track dried, NASCAR may not be able to complete the race.  It is at this point an official race.

Twenty-three laps remain in the race.

The race has been called and Jeb Burton gets his first Xfintiy Series win at Talladega.

Soaked track and rain does not deter Jeb Burton from doing a big burnout!

Jeb Burton is the fourth Xfinity Series driver in eight races to win their first career win this season.

Noah Gragson is the Dash-4-Cash winner for the second week.

The unofficial results of the AG-Pro 300:

Jeb Burton

Austin Cindric

AJ Allmendinger

Riley Herbst

Noah Gragson

Rya Sieg

Brandon Brown

Justin Haley

Harrison Burton

Myatt Snider

Daniel Hemric

Tommy Joe Martins

Jeremy Clements

Timmy Hill

Brett Moffitt

Colin Garrett

Jade Buford

David Starr

Colby Howard

Landon Cassill

Alex Labbe

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Kyle Weatherman

Natalie Decker

Justin Allgaier

Matt Mills

Josh Williams

Jesse Little

Ryan Vargas

Mason Massey

Josh Berry

Michael Annett

Joe Graf Jr

Gray Gaulding

Ty Dillon

Joey Gase
Brandon Jones

Jason White

Ceasar Bacarella

Jason White

Bayley Currey

Giuliani, Lindell Top Razzie Winners

For the past 40 years, The Razzies – Golden Raspberry Awards – have been presenting the awards for the Worst in Hollywood on the night before The Motion Picture Academy presents the Best in Hollywood with the annual Oscars.

In a year where it was a bit difficult to find anything celebration worthy, The Razzies went from Washington, D.C. to Hollywood to find the worst of the worst for 2020.

Along with the usual awards, The Razzies presented a special Governor’s Award for 2020 itself! 

The year that “sucked” featured a global pandemic that just won’t quit, hundreds of thousands of people dead, millions of people out of work, and thousands of boxes delivered filled with essentials, masks, and sanitizer.

Five films shared the nine awards for the worst with “Music” taking the lead with three.  The winners were chosen by over 1,000 voting members.

The 2020 Razzie Award winners:
Worst Picture: the fake news faux documentary “Absolute Proof”
Worst Actor: (My Pillow Guy) Mike Lindell portraying himself in “Absolute Proof”
Worst Actress: Kate Hudson for her role in “Music”
Worst Supporting Actress: Maddie Ziegler in “Music”
Worst Supporting Actor: politician Rudy Giuliani in his role as himself in “Borat Subsequent Movie-Film”
Worst Screen Combo: Rudy Giuliani and his pants zipper in “Borat Subsequent Movie-Film”
Worst Director: Sia for her direction of “Music”
Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: “Dolittle”
Worst Screenplay: “365 Days” that was based on the novel “365 Dri” by Blanka Lipinska with the screenplay written by Tomasz Klimala, Barbara Bialowas, and Tomasz Mandes

feature photo credit: courtesy of The Razzies
 

HorrorPops Go Live on New LP

Recording a live album is a very expensive venture, making it a bit difficult for some bands to release a live event.

Rockers HorrorPops have announced that they will be releasing their first ever Live album on June 18.  The band recorded the show pre-pandemic last year during a performance at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, California.

The album is being released in several formats – Blu-Ray, DVD, CD, and vinyl packages.  The vinyl package will be offered in  traditional black vinyl, silver and gold.

NFL Owners Make Rule Changes

The 32 National Football League owners met virtually April 21 and have made a few adjustments to the rules of play but have tabled an onside kicking rule proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

There will be no more overtime in pre-season games which are being shortened due to an expanded regular season.

In a ruling that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady calls a bad move, the NFL owners have approved an expansion of uniform numbers for wide receivers, running backs, and defensive backs. The League noted that expansion of the uniform numbers was a matter of necessity with 16 practice players, a 52 man roster, and retired uniform numbers. The rule change was originally proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Under the new ruling running backs, tight ends, fullbacks, halfbacks, and wide receivers may now choose any open number between one and 49 or 80 to 89; defensive backs may select a number one to 49, linebackers from one to 50 and 90 to 99, offensive linemen can choose between 50 and 79, and defensive linemen can choose between 50 and 79 or 90 to 99. Quarterbacks, kickers, and punters will continue to select a number from one to 19.

On field officials will now have expanded options when reviewing plays including asking for “objective information” form a replay officials.

The Philadelphia Eagles had proposed that a team be given two chances each game to keep possession of the ball after scoring on a fourth and 15 conversion from the 25 yard line – the current option in lieu of the onside kick. Some of the teams felt the move was “too gimicky” and the proposal was tabled.

However, if a team chooses to attempt an onside kick, the offense may have the maximum number of players in the setup zone; while the defense is limited to nine players. This rule is currently on a one year trial basis.

The NFL will be cracking down on potential taunting penalties this season. The league said that there were too many potential taunting penalties las season.

Other rule changes include enforcement of accepted penalties during extra point attempts and adding a loss of down penalty for two passes from behind the line of scrimage on a single play.

The 2021 season will be the first time that the teams will play a regular season of 17 games.

The new schedule will be released on May 12.

Caleb Daugherty Asks ‘Where Does the Hobo Go’

Bluegrass Country band The Caleb Daugherty Band reflects on simpler times with their new single “Where Does a Hobo Go”. A time when hobos hopped a train to “ride the rails”. The single is the second single from their upcoming album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l654SY2TnZY

The Indiana native has planned some festival and fair dates over the next several months.

Caleb Daugherty tour dates:
April 23 at the Bluegrass Bash in Lexington, KY
May 30 at the Res, White, and Q in Panama City, FL
June 4 at the WOBO Bluegrass Bash in Owensville, OH
June 5 at the Happy Valley Bluegrass Festival in Batesville, IN
June 15 at the Jennings County Fair in North Vernon, IN
July 29 at the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival in Marengo, OH
July 30 & 31 at the Marshall Bluegrass Festival in Marshall, MI
Aug 3 at the Pickin’ in Parsons Bluegrass Festival in Parsons, WV
Aug 7 at the Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association Jam in Richmond, MN
Aug 28 at the Mansfield JamFest in Mansfield, OH
Sept 5 at the SamJam Bluegrass Festival in Piketon, OH
Sept 11 at the Bluegrass & Chili Festival in Wagoner, OK

Feature photo credit: courtesy of Moore Media and KDM Records

Bay City Roller Les McKeown Dies

The seventies pop boy band Bay City Rollers has lost another member with the death of Les McKeown. His family announced that McKeown died April 20, 2021. A cause of death was not revealed that the singer died at home at the age of 65.

The Bay City Rollers were formed in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late 60’s. McKeown joined the band in 1973 at age 18, taking over for original lead singer Gordon “Nobby” Clark.

Over their short career, The Rollers had a huge global teen following and sold over 100 million albums around the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGD27WgtKhI

MdKeown’s father was a tailor and made the band’s tartan costumes.

Some members of the British media referred to the Bay City Rollers as the “biggest group since the Beatles”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57g5Z_3kXOE

Like many bands, after breaking up in 1978 The Rollers reunited in 2015 for a short tour that played to sold out houses including women who were fans as teens and brought their young daughters.

After leaving The Rollers in 1978, McKeown released nine solo albums in the following years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hLvnjnWBlA

Leslie Richard McKeown was born November 12, 1955 in Edinburgh to Irish parents.

He is pre-deceased by Bay City Rollers founding member Alan Longmuir who died at age 70 in 2018.

is survived by his wife Peko Keiko and son Jubei.

feature photo credit: [[File:Oldienacht-Bay City Rollers-9581.jpg|Oldienacht-Bay_City_Rollers-9581]]

First Time Winner at Virtual Talladega iRacing

This weekend the Xfinity and Cup Series drivers will take to the high banks of Talladega; but first, some of the drivers will hop into their simulator rigs for a little iRacing at Talladega in the second Pro Invitational iRacing series.

Last year NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon joined the iraces but ended up going airborne and getting caught in the catch fence, but is not returning for a second attempt.

Fellow Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr is also in the field; as is the youngest driver in the Pro Invitational Series, eight year old Keelan Harvick – son of Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick. Naval Commander Jesse Iwuji has set up his rig at the Naval Academy in Annapolis and will join the race tonight.

While the drivers are getting the opportunity to qualify for only a hand full of races this season, the iraces will get a two minute chance to qualify their cars for the 70 lap race. Each driver will get two chances to “reset” their cars after an accident or other incident that damages the car. While they will have to wait the appropriate amount of time for the repair, they will return to the track with a virtually new car.

Drivers participating in tonight’s race are:
Quin Houff
Brad Keselowski
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Ryan Newman
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
James Davison
Chris Buescher
Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Christopher Bell
Matt DiBenedetto
Joey Logano
Bubba Wallace
William Byron
Joey Gase
Michael McDowell
Anthony Alfredo
Cole Custer
Ross Chastain
Erik Jones
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Alex Bowman
Garrett Smithely
Josh Bilicki
Justin Haley
BJ McLeod
Daniel Suarez
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Clint Bowyer
Keelan Harvick
Timmy Hill
Jesse Iwuji

The winner of the race will receive a $5,000 to donate to their charity of choice; however, if college student William Byron or eight year old Keelan Harvick should win the race, they will get Monday off from school. Byron is the winningest iRacing driver; winning half of the events last season and the Bristol on Dirst virtual race opener this season.

James Davison will sit on the pole with Anthony Alfredo alongside on the front row.

After not making a qualifying run, Keelan Harvick will start the race in 39th place.

The drivers will have to make at least on trip down pit road for fuel.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead as the drivers get single file.

The top five are James Davison, Garrett Smithley, Anthony Alfredo, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch. Dale Earnhardt Jr is in seventh place.

Lap four, James Davison continues to lead the race with Garrett Smithley in second; Anthony Alfredo, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch round out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr remains in seventh place.

Drivers are stretched out singe file through the field.

Corey LaJoie gets on the outside and gets some help as drivers begin to get double file.

Lap eight, James Davison has led every lap so farJesse Iwuji has some damage and is falling through the field.

The caution flag comes out on lap nine after Austin Dillon and William Byron make contact. Kevin Harvick is also involved. Dillon and Harvick make a run through the grass.

Keelan Harvick has moved up to 24th place.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 12 and holds on to his lead with Garrett Smithley in second; Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Once again, the drivers quickly get single file.

Lap 14, James Davison is in the lead with Garrett Smithley in second;Danny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell round out the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr is in 10th place.

Clint Bowyer goes spins out and brings out the caution flag on lap 17. Daniel Suarez made contact with Bowyer, sending Bowyer up the track.

Keelan Harvick is in 23rd place and dad Kevin is in 36th. Aric Almirola is the only car not on the lead lap.

Leaders stay out, James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 21 and gets out in front to hold on to his lead. Davison has led every lap so far.

The top five are James Davison, Garrett Smithley, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell. After the restart, Keelan Harvick is in 18th place.

Lap 24, James Davison continues to lead the race with Garrett Smithley in second; Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell round out the top five. The top three drivers have not changed since the race start.

Currently race leader James Davison is not scheduled to run the real world race at Talladega on Sunday.

A majority of the field is in single file with only a few drivers trying out the outside lane.

Joey Gase is off the pace after hitting the wall.

Keelan Harvick made a trip down pit road but did not stop.

Lap 30, James Davison continues to lead the race but the leaders will have to make a stop for fuel in the next few laps.

The top five are James Davison, Garrett Smithley, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell.

While drivers on Sundays are very serious in their cars; the drivers, especially the drivers listed as driver/commentators, have a lot of fun laughing and joking.

The drivers have split up into two packs with the second pack several seconds behind the lead pack of 14 or 15 cars.

Lap 36, James Davison has dominated the race so far with Garrett Smithley in second; Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

There are 36 cars on the lead lap. Aric Almirola is not in the race.

With 32 laps remaining in the race, drivers are beginning to make green flag pit stops for fuel.

James Davison makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 38, Dale Earnhardt Jr comes down pit road for fuel and gives the lead over to Joey Logano.

Lap 41, leader Joey Logano makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Austin Dillon. James Davison is back in 13th place.

The caution flag has come out with 24 laps remaining in the race for some on track confusion.

After pit stops, James Davison is back in the lead and brings the field to green for the restart with 22 laps remaining in the race.

The top five are James Dasvison, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, and Christopher Bell.

The caution flag comes out on lap 48 for a big crash. Kyle Larson, Chase Briscoe, Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin, and Corey Lajoie were all involved.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart with 18 laps remaining in the race. This time it is Brad Keselowski who gets out in front for the lead but has a side by side battle with James Davison for the spot.

After a lap of going back and forth for the lead, James Davison takes the lead as the drivers are getting three and four wide across the track.

Lap 54, the top five are James Davison, Brad Keselowski, Garrett Smithley, Kyle Busch, and Michael McDowell.

With just 14 laps remaining in the race, James Davison has led nearly all of the laps.

Austin Dillon spins out and brings out the caution flag.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 10 laps remaining in the race. The third generation Australian driver gets out in front once again for the lead with Garrett Smithley on his bumper; Brad Keselowski, Michael McDowell, and Justin Haley round out the top five..

The caution flag comes out with nine laps to go after Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, and Joey Gase have a big wreck that sent Larson and Gase airborne…but no catch fence.

There are 35 cars on the lead lap including Clint Bowyer.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart with just six laps to go and holds on to his lead.

The caution flag comes out for another big crash. Justin Haley, Michael McDowell, BJ McLeod, Bubba Wallace, and Mat DiBenedetto were all involved.

James Davison brings the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in the race. Davison edages out Brad Keselowski for the lead.

Brad Keselowski battle James Davison for the lead.

Brad Keselowski takes the white flag.

Brad Keselowski wins the race as cars are wrecking behind him for his first iRacing win.

The unofficial results of the Geico 70:
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Timmy Hill
Alex Bowman
Michael McDowell
Dale Earnhardt Jr
James Davison
Cole Custer
Austin Dillon
Justin Haley
Bubba Wallace
Kevin Harvick
Garrett Smithley
Ryan Blaney
Chris Buescher
Kyle Larson
Ryan Newman
Jesse Iwuji
Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik Jones
Daniel Suarez
Quin Houff
Josh Bilicki
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Anthony Alfredo
Ross Chastain
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Matt DiBenedetto
Joey Gase
Chase Briscoe
Joey Logano
Keelan Harvick
BJ McLeod
Aric Almirola

Thomas Rhett

The newest winner of the Academy of Country Music Awards Male Artist of the Year Thomas Rhett has announced that after a year of lock downs and closed venues will be returning to the road for a tour.

“The Center Point Road” tour will kick off in August and will include Cole Swindell and Gabby Barrett.

Like many artists, Rhett’s tour was interrupted by the pandemic last year.  Anyone who has purchased a ticket for the postponed shows will have those tickets honoured at the rescheduled shows.  Many of the dates are in outdoor venues.

Tickets for the new shows will go on sale April 23.

Rhett spoke on his upcoming return to the road saying, “I can’t even put into words what getting back out on the road means to me, my band and crew. We’ve dreamt about this moment for a long time and I feel more rejuvenated and excited than ever to get back out there as safely as possible to connect in-person over live music again, especially with so much new material to share. There’s no feeling in the world like it – see y’all out there!”

Thomas Rhett tour dates:
Aug 13 & 14 at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach, AL
Aug 20 at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, ME
Aug 21 at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, CT
Aug 22 at the CMAC in Canandaigua, NY
Aug 26 at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY
Aug 27 at the BB&T Pavilion in Philadelphia, PA
Aug 28 at the Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA
Aug 29 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sept 3 at the iTHINK Financial Amprhitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL
Sept 4 at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, FL
Sept 16 at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater in Syracuse, NY
Sept 17 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ
Sept 18 at the Xfinity Center in Boston, MA
Sept 23 at the Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
Sept 24 at the Ruoff Music Center in Indianapolis, IN
Sept 25 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Chicago, IL
Oct 1 at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Birmingham, AL
Oct 2 at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in ST. Louis, MO
Oct 3 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
Oct 7 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD
Oct 8 at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC
Oct 9 at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh, NC

Mudvayne Reunite for Festival Shows

It has been over a year since many musicians have seen their fellow band members because of the pandemic and lock down orders.

Twelve years ago the members of Mudvayne broke up and 10 years since any of the band members have been in the same room together.

This year the members of Mudvayne have decided that it has been long enough and will be reuniting for a performance at four U.S. festivals.

Spanning the country, the band will perform at the Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival, the Louder Than Life Festival, Aftershock, and Welcome to Rockville.

Festival organizer Danny Wimmer noted that Mudvayne has been the most requested bands in fan surveys.  Wimmer added that organizers had hoped to feature the band at their 2020 festivals but had to put plans on hold during the lock down.

KART Driver Get 15 Year Ban

It is not uncommon for on track conflicts to lead to retaliation and even off track altercations.  However, bringing out a caution flag on purpose or hurling equipment is seriously frowned upon by racing authorities and often leads to fines and penalties.

Long gone are the days when racers could “settle” their differences off track unseen; cameras are everywhere and the footage quickly makes its way through the ether to millions of race fans, officials, and internet trolls.

Last fall, kart racing driver Luca Corberi took his frustrations of being knocked out of the race by throwing a piece of his kart car at one of his competitors.  He missed and another driver hit the debris.  After the race, Corberi sought out the rival driver and engaged in a fisticuffs match.

Corberi took to Facebook to issue an apology to his racing rival – Paolo Ippolito -; adding that he was retiring from racing.

It has taken six months, but the FIA has handed down Corberi’s penalty for the altercation – a 15 year ban from racing in all FIA sanctioned events.

feature photo credit: [[File:Logo FIA Kart Championship.svg|Logo_FIA_Kart_Championship]]

NASCAR Issues Richmond Penalties

Loose lug nuts continue to plague NASCAR teams.

After the races in the Cup and the Camping World Truck Series this past weekend at Richmond Raceway, thee teams were penalized for lug nut violations  – two in the Cup Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series.

In the post race inspection process at the conclusion of the Toyota Owners 400, the Hendrick Motorsports number 24 car driven by William Byron with Rudy Fugle as crew chief and the number 51 Petty Ware Racing car driven by Cody Ware with Mike Hillman as crew chief were found the have one lug nut improperly secured.  The crew chiefs were fined $10,000 each.

In the Camping World Truck Series, the race winning truck from Kyle Busch Motorsports number four truck driven by John Hunter Nemechek was also found to have an improperly secured lug nut.  Crew chief Eric Phillips was fined $2,500 for the infraction.  The infraction does not affect Nemechek’s race win or points standings.

Idol Comeback Performances

Last year, the world of entertainment was turned upside down with the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic that locked down businesses all over the world including music, concerts, and television production.  Just as “American Idol” was preparing for the live shows, all in person productions were brought to a halt. 

Idol finished out the season by providing all of the finalists with lighting and cameras to stream their performances live with the judges commenting on the performances from their homes.

Since they missed out on any of the live shows last season, Idol has brought back some of those finalists to perform on the Idol stage.  Fans cast their votes for the singer they like the best with the winner moving on to fill out the top 10 for season four on ABC of “American Idol”.

Kicking of the Comeback Show performances is Cyniah Elise who sang “Edge of Midnight”.  Noting the plot twist, Katy loved the runs at the end; adding that Cyniah did a good job.  Luke said that it was fun to see Cyniah’s stage presence.  Lionel was happy to see Cyniah on the stage.

Next up was Nick Merico singing his original song “City Lights”.  Luke said that it showed who Nick wanted to be as an artist; adding that for him Nick didn’t knock it out of the park.  Lionel loved the dancing and how Nick commanded the stage.  Katy noted that Nick has taken the time to find his own personality on stage.

Aliana Jester sang the Lady Gaga song “I’ll Never Love Again”.  Lionel said that Aliana handled it with grace and poise.  Katy said that she didn’t recognize Aliana; adding it was like watching a Divas show.  Luke called the performance elegant and beautiful.

School of Rock teacher Franklin Boone rocked the house with “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot.  Katy noted that Franklin threw them a curve ball.  Luke noted that the big stage and lights are bringing out different things.  Lionel commended Franklin on taking a chance. 

Faith Becnel takes on Janis Joplin with “Cry Baby” – a song she sang last season but messed up and forgot some of the lyrics.  Luke noted that he was a fan of her; adding that it was a great song choice.  Lionel noted to all of the singers that coming back, they were all winners.  Katy noted that one of the biggest remarks from last season was a lack of balance; adding that what she saw tonight was balance.

Taking a break from the competition, Idol alum and Jazz legend Harry Connick Jr returns with a medley of songs from his album “Alone with My Faith” – an album he wrote and recorded during the lock down; performing every instrument including percussion, keyboards, tuba, and trumpet.

Last season runner up and Nepal native Arthur Gunn returns to perform the Goo Goo Dolls song “Iris”.  Lionel said that Arthur stuck the right chords with him; adding that his voice is immediately recognizable.  Katy loves that Arthur goes his own way; adding that he is authentic.  Luke said that in a room where everybody is overstated, Arthur can walk out and be recognized.  The song choice was a last minute decision for Arthur.

DeWayne Crocker Jr returned with a performance of “Voice of God”.  DeWayne said that faith is a big part of his life.  Katy said that DeWayne looked like an artist; adding that he connected with the audience.  Luke said that it was great seeing DeWayne again; adding it was a solid vocal and a great song choice.  Lionel said that DeWayne has clearly stepped into the light; adding that DeWayne had their attention from the beginning.

Last season’s judge’s save Makayla Phillips sang “Anyone” by Demi Lovato.   Luke called it a wonderful performance.  Lionel said that Makayla has a signature high end to her voice; adding they felt the performance.  Katy noted how Makayla kept building in the song.

Idol alum and award winning Christian singer Lauren Daigle returns to perform “Look Up Child”.

Olivia Ximines promises a dance break during her performance of “Say Yes”.  Lionel said that Olivia danced into their lives last year; adding that she has the ability to make everyone smile.  He called her performance amazing.  Katy called the performance the complete package; adding that she was meant for the stage.  Luke said that Olivia makes everyone feel comfortable in her world; adding that she has show business dialed in.

Closing out the night of comeback music is Louis Knight who as a songwriter, chose one of his own songs – “Maybe That” – for his comeback performance.  Katy said that Louis came out and bared his soul; adding that she felt the song.  Luke noted that Louis showed tremendous growth; adding it felt like a real show.  Lionel commended Louis on becoming a great songwriter.  Louis called the performance a dream come true.  Louis began writing the song during the auditions last year.

Idol fans have the rest of the week to cast their votes as to which one of the 10 comeback singers will join the season four top 10.

Idol returns on May 2 to reveal the top 10 who will sing songs from the Disney songbook.






Knockout Rounds Begin on ‘The Voice’

This week on “The Voice” the knockout rounds begin with surprise super mentor Snoop Dogg himself to help the coaches mentor their teams.  Known largely as a rapper, Snoop Dogg is a producer and collaborator that has won numerous awards.

And after taking a couple of weeks off due to illness, Kelly Clarkson returns after Kelsea Ballerini sat in.

And the steal returns…each coach will get one change to steal an eliminated singer.

First up is Team Kelly with Ryleigh Modig singing “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon and Corey Ward singing one of Kelly’s own songs “Already Gone”. In rehearsals Snoop Doog told Ryleigh to make herself one of the instruments; adding let the music find her and to make them feel what she is saying.  Snoop Dogg said that Corey gave him chills.  Kelly said that Corey did the song the way it should have been done; adding that he did it better than she did. 

Blake said that both singers did incredible.  Nick noted that they set the bar very high and what a way to kick off the knockout rounds.  John noted that Corey made Kelly’s song his own.  Kelly said that it was exciting to see them both perform in person.  A stressed Kelly chose Corey as the winner of the knockout.  Nick and John pushed their buttons together to steal; and then came Blake for a triple steal attempt.  Ryleigh chose John to be her new coach.

Next up, Blake puts Ethan Lively and Jordan Matthew Young for a knockout battle.  Snoop Dogg told Blake that he loves Country music.  Snoop feel in love with Ethan after hearing him talk.  Ethan chose “Help Me Hold On” by Travis Tritt and Jordan chose to sing “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crows.  Snoop said that Ethan is what Country music is supposed to be.  Snoop suggested a talking moment in the song; adding that it’s old school country.  Blake said that Jordan’s voice sounded incredible on the song.  Snoop told Jordan to channel some Snoop Dogg when he opens the song. 

Nick thought both performances were strong.  John said that Ethan has a cool voice and Jordan was in the zone.  Kelly called Ethan special; adding that Jordan’s performance was well thought out.  Blake wished that he could have taken a sick day because having to decide sucked.  Blake said that he was going with who he thought was ready now and chose Jordan as the winner of the knockout.  No one chose to steal Ethan.

Snoop Dogg jammed a little with the band.

John paired up Pia Renee with “What the World Needs Now is Love” and Ciana Pelekai with “Cause I Love You” by Lizzo.  Pia revealed that as they were gathering for the battle rounds that her mother passed away.  Snoop said that Pia made him think that Whitney was up there.  Snoop gave Ciana a little advise on how to rap on the song. 

Kelly called Pia’s performance beautiful and authentic.  Blake loved the performances.  Nick said that he felt like he was listening to Whitney with Pia’s performance.  John said that Pia’s performance was flawless; especially knowing what the song meant to her.  John chose Pia as the winner of the knockout. 

Nick paired Dana Monique chose the Ike and Tina Turner song “Nutbush City Limits” and steal Keegan Ferrell with “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations.  Keegan heard the song as a child with his dad.  Snoop noted that some of the best singers in the world have sung that song.  Snoop said that he felt Tina in the house; adding that Dana needs to sing how she feels and move. 

John called it excellent song choices.  Kelly loves Keegan’s tone; adding that Dana channeled all the people she loves.  Blake noted that Keegan never felt happier with that song; adding that Dana has a ton of talent.  Nick noted that Keegan has a phenomenal voice; adding that Dana is an unbelievable vocalist.  Nick chose Dana as the winner of the knockout.

For John’s next pairing, Victor Solomon sang “My Girl” by The Temptations – a song John said his dad always sang to his mom – and steal Gean Garcia with “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran.  Snoop was up dancing during the rehearsal; saying it was like he had never heard the song before.  John said that Gean has a beautiful voice.  Snoop told him to relax and engage the audience.

It wasn’t long before Victor had John out of his chair dancing during his performance.  Kelly called the performances amazing.  Blake was drawn to Gean’s performance but Victor really got his attention.  Nick said that they both did a great job.  John was happy with the performances.  John chose Victor as the winner of the knockout. 

In the final pairing of the night, Blake paired Pete Mroz with “Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi and Blake steal Andrew Marshall with “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz.  Snoop told Andrew to make them feel the song.  Snoop told Pete to channel a rapper with some of his lyrics.

Nick said that he didn’t know who to pick.  John thought that it was very close to being even.  Kelly said that there was something special about Pete; adding that Andrew’s voice was magical.  Blake said that this one was tough; adding that both guys had great moments.  Blake chose Pete as the winner of the knockout.

Before Andrew could say anything about being with Blake, Nick pushed his button to steal Andrew and bring him back to his team after loosing him in the battle rounds.

Team Kelly:
Corey Ward

Team Legend:
Ryleigh Modig – steal
Pia Renee
Victor Solomon

Team Blake:
Jordan Matthew Young
Pete Mroz

Tean Nick:
Dana Monique
Andrew Marshall – steal

Kennedy Center to Celebrate 50 Years

The past year has been a rough one for theatres and theatrical productions including The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

When theatres open once again, The Kennedy Center will celebrate 50 years of music and theater.  Among the planned productions are new commissions, artists-in-residence, and celebrity events.  The new commissions include works by Huang Ruo, David Henry Hwang, Ike Holter, Hansol Jung, Brian Quijada, Martyna Majok, Molly Smith Metzler, Marco Ramirez, and Kirsten Greenidge.

The celebratory season will conclude with “The Mass” by Leonard Bernstein and performed by the National Symphony Orchestra.  Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis originally commission Bernstein to create the work for the opening of the Center.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – April 19, 2021

At the end of the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 18, Alex Bowman edges out Denny Hamlin in the final laps of the race to become the eighth different winner of the 2021 NASCAR racing season.

Hamlin has ranked in the top five in eight of the nine races run so far and leads the field with five stage wins…but has yet to win a race.

His stage wins and race results have helped to keep Denny Hamlin as the leader in the point standings with 434 points.  With an 81 point lead, Hamlin could literally take a race off and still lead in the points standings.

However, the eight race winners from this season are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs; leaving only eight more drivers to make it in the playoffs of points.  Those eight drivers are Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, and Michael McDowell.

Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell currently sits in 17th in the points standings five points below the cut line.

After being the first driver of the season to win two races, Martin Truex Jr holds down the second place spot.

The top 16 in the points standings as of April 19, 2021:
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Austin Dillon
Alex Bowman
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kurt Busch
Chris Buescher

56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards

The Academy of Country Music takes over Nashville for their 56th annual awards gala with performances from all across the city.

Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton take over the hosting duties for the 2021 edition of the event.

The awards ceremony kicked off on Saturday night with ACM Lifting Lives. Buzz Brainard and Cassadee Pope hosted the event where Jimmie Allen, Lindsay Ell, Kameron Marlow, Ian Munsick, Tyler Rich, Lily Rose, Mitchell Tenpenny, Tenille Townes, Lainey Wilson, and co-host Cassadee Pope all performed.

The Academy of Country Music recognizes that the radio DJ’s also make a major contribution to Country Music and present the Radio Awards as a part of the annual ACM Awards.

Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn received the National On-Air Personality of the Year Award with his “American Country Countdown”.

The 2021 Radio Station and On-Air Personalities of the Year are:

On-Air Personality of the Year Major Market went to Double L – Lois Lewis – from KNIX-FM in Phoenix, AZ

On-Air Personality of the Year Large Market went to Lexi and Banks – Lexi Papadopoulos and Jared Banks – from KUBL-FM in Salt Lake City, UT

On-Air Personality of the Year Medium Market went to Buzz Jackson from KIIM-FJ in Tucson, AZ

On-Air Personality of the Year Small Market went to Steve, Ben, & Nikki – Steve Stroud, Ben Walker, Nikki Thomas – from WXBQ-FM in Bristol, VA

The Radio Station of the Year:
Major Market went to KNIX-FM in Phoenix, AZ
Large Market went to WQDR-FM in Raleigh, NC
Medium Market went to KUZZ-AM/FM in Bakersfield, CA
Small Market went to KKNU-FM in Eugene, OR

The night of celebration begins with a musical performance by Miranda Lambert and Elle King of “Drunk (and I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”.

Health workers from Vanderbilt who were socially distanced and vacinated were in attendance at the Grand Ole Opry House.

At the Ryman auditorium Chris Young and Kane Brown performed with a live audience present.

In his first public appearance after a serious vehicle wreck last year, Blanco Brown presented the first award of the night to Old Dominion for Group of the Year.

Thomas Rhett performs a medley of songs about being Country.

Miranda Lambert returns for a performance with Chris Stapleton from the Blue Bird Cafe.

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd recently had a baby together and join voices for a duet of “Chasing After You”.

Lady A perform “I Feel Like a Lady” on an outdoor stage along the river.

“American Idol” Gabby Barrett gives a performance from the Blue Bird Cafe.

Hootie himself – Darius Rucker – presented the award for Song of the Year to Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins, and Laura Veltz for “The Bones”.

Dierks Bentley and The Warren Treaty join up for a performance of “In the Name of Love”.

Dolly Parton introduced Carrie Underwood for a medley of songs from her new Gospel album. CeCe Wynams joins Underwood on stage during the performance.

Eric Church performs his new song “Bunch of Nothing” on the Ryman Auditorium stage.

On the Blue Bird Cafe stage Dan + Shay perform.

Luke Combs has paired up with Ford for the Guitars for Vets program – it uses teaching music to veterans as a form of therapy and healing. Combs performs “Forever After All”.

The most awarded artist in ACM history Miranda Lambert gives a special performance of “In His Arms”.

Jimmie Allen takes the stage of the Blue Bird Cafe for a performance of “Freedom is a Highway”. Unbeknownst to Allen, his duet partner Brad Paisley walks on stage to join in for the performance.

Martina McBride presents the award for Single of the Year. For the first time in ACM history, all of the nominees are women. Carly Pearce and Lee Brice for “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.

Four time ACM Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney takes the stage for a performance of “The Life”. At the end of the song the ACM’s presented the In Memorium segment of the show.

Ashley McBryde performs “Martha Divine”.

At the Ryman Auditorium, Alan Jackson performs a medley of songs.

Country music star and “The Voice” coach Blake Shelton takes the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House for a performance of “P.S. If This is Austin” and “Your Love is Money”.

Leslie Jordan presents the award for Duo of the Year to Dan + Shay.

Carly Pearce and Lee Brice take the stage to perform their award winning song “I Hope You’re Happy Now”.

Co-host Mickey Guyton takes the stage of the Opry House stage for a performance of her song “Hold On”.

Ingrid Andres presents the award for Male Artist of the Year to Thomas Rhett.

Co-host Keith Urban takes the stage with his band for their first performance of “Tumbleweed”. The Australian native is a 15 time ACM Award winner.

Back at the Ryaman, Brothers Osborne take the stage for a performance of “I’m Nor for Everyone”.

Kelsea Ballarini and Kenny Chesney join up for a performance of “Half of My Hometown”.

The award for Album of the Year went to Chris Stapleton for “Starting Over”.

Amy Grant presents the award for Female Artist of the Year to Maren Morris.

Three of the four members of Little Big Town perform on the streets of Nashville while the fourth – Phillip – is stuck at home after a positive Covid test.

The award for Entertainer of the Year went to “American Idol” judge Luke Bryan who accepted the award from Los Angeles via a video feed.

Brothers Osborne close out the show at the Ryman Auditorium.


Awards not presented during the live television broadcast:
New Female Artist of the Year: Gabby Barrett
New Male Artist of the Year: Jimmy Allen
Video of the Year: Kane Brown for “Worldwide Beautiful”
Music Event of the Year: Carly Pearce and Lee Brice for “I Hope You’re Happy Now”

feature photo credit: ACM Facebook page






Idol Goes to the Movies

Last week on “American Idol”, the top 24 contestants performed and in a special Monday night episode, host Ryan Seacrest revealed the top 12 singers.

On the Monday results show, Ryan Seacrest announced that Wyatt Pike left the show for what was later announced as personal reasons.

Former Idol judge Paula Abdul sat in for Luke Bryan after the Country music star tested positive for the Covid virus.

This week the top 12 will become nine in the first across the country simulcast with live voting. On Monday finalists from last season who never got to take the Idol stage due the the virus and lock down rules will take the stage with one of them joining the 2021 singers to fill out the top 10.

Gearing up for the annual Academy Awards presentation next week, the theme for tonight’s performances is songs from Oscar winning and nominated songs.

Idol judge Lionel Richie opens the show with a performance of his Oscar winning hit “Say You Say Me”.

After a week off for Covid, Luke Bryan returns to join fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

First up is Grace Kinstler for a performance of “Happy” by Pharrell. Katy said that Grace can sing the telephone book. Katy wondered what kind of record Grace would make and what kind of artist she is. Happy to be back, Luke liked the way Grace commanded the stage; adding that he loved hearing her voice. Lionel noted that Grace was in control; adding that she needs to pick songs that demonstrate who she is.

Ava August chose “City of Stars” from “La La Land”. Mentor Bobby Bones said that Ava is a singer far beyond her years. Bobby gave the 15 year old a driving lesson in the golf cart. Luke noted that Ava’s moments are amazing; adding her performance was incredible. Lionel said that Ava has managed to appear as if she been singing her whole life. Katy noted that she has socks older than Ava; adding that she wants her to BE 15.

Country boy Caleb Kennedy took on Willie Nelson with “On the Road Again”. Bobby took Caleb fishing and told him to channel the feeling while he was on the stage. Last week Caleb performed without his hat, this week the hat is back. Caleb had the house on their feet dancing…including the judges. Lionel called the performance fantastic; adding that they couldn’t wait to get back on the road again. Lionel said that if Caleb keeps it up, he will be on the road for a long time. Katy said that Caleb sounded great; adding it was so cool when Caleb invited them to join in. Luke noted that Caleb didn’t over sing; adding it was his best performance. Luke said that Caleb chose a great song.
Hunter Metts performs “Falling Slowly” from “Lost”. After some rousing applause, Katy said that it was his best performance ever. Hunter was very emotional after his performance. Katy called it an incredible song choice and connected with them. Luke said that it was intense for him watching; adding that Hunter took him on a crazy ride of emotions. Luke said that Hunter’s falsettos were some of the best he has heard on the show. Lionel related a time he forgot the lyrics and the audience took over. Hunter thought he messed up, but all of the judges and Ryan said that he did not mess up, he was emotional and perfect.

Madison Watkins takes on Whitney Houston with “Run to You” from “The Bodyguard”. Luke said that Madison always gives solid performances. Lionel said that she knocked it out of the park. Katy called it an A level performance; adding that Madison played the favourites.

Chayce Beckham chose the Bryan Adams song “Everything I Do (I Do for You)” from “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”. Lionel said that Chayce found himself in the second half of the song. Katy noted that there are a lot of young ladies thinking the song was just for them. Luke was so inspired by Chayce’s growth since the auditions; adding that he thinks Chayce is the front runner.

Judges save Beane performs “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing”. Beane put his own spin on the song and opened with the guitar and sitting on a stool before getting up to dance around the stage as he sang. Katy noted that she saw another side of Beane; adding the performance was cool. Katy said that Beane is ready for the stage.

Alyssa Wray chose “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”. Lionel called Alyssa a subtle force; adding that when the guns go off, they know it will be amazing.
Ryan announced that the nine remaining singers will go to Disney World in Florida after the show.

Deshawn Goncalves took on the iconic Barbra Streisand with “The Way We Were” from the film “The Way We Were”. Luke called the performance beautiful, classic, and classy; adding that he was caught up in the moment. When Luke couldn’t find the words, Katy mentioned Luther Vandross.

Casey Bishop performed the classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” made famous by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz”. Katy noted that Casey can do anything she wants; adding that Casey is the front runner. Luke said that Casey came out and gave another side of herself. Lionel said that it is one of his favourite songs. Lionel wonders what the DNA is made of from the 16 year old; adding that going from rock to Judy Garland is incredible.

Cassandra Coleman performed the Sam Smith song “Writing’s on the Wall” from the James Bond film “Spectre”. Luke said it was some of the most amazing stuff he has heard on the show. Lionel said that Cassandra brings them in. Katy told Cassandra that she isn’t what the world thinks of her but what she thinks of her.

The final performance of the night was from Willie Spence with a gospel inspired song from “Harriet” with “Stand Up” performed by Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia sent him a video message of thanks and encouragement. Standing, Lionel had a few words for Willie, “Amen, religious experiece, and you delivered the goods”. Katy called the performance powerful. Luke said that Willie taught him to never use the word front runner until the whole show is done.

After the nationwide voting, Ryan revealed the nine singers who would be moving on to the top 10…
Grace Kinstler
Casey Bishop
Willie Spence
Alyssa Wray
Caleb Kennedy
Deshawn Goncalves
Chayce Beckham
Cassandra Coleman
and Hunter Metts

Ava, Madison, and Beane have been eliminated from the competition.

On Monday, the comeback show where singers from last season will compete for the final spot in the top 10.

8th Winner of the Season in Cup Series at Richmond

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the NASCAR Cup Series takes to the track at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 and another week of short track racing.

Last week’s race winner Martin Truex Jr will sit on the pole and bring the field to green

Stage one of the race is 80 laps, stage two is 155 laps, and stage three is 165 laps in length for a total of 400 laps – 300 miles – around the three quarter of a mile track with points leader Denny Hamlin starting alongside on the front row. Truex’s win last week made him the first driver of the season to win more than one race.

The starting lineup for the Toyota Owners 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
William Byron
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Christopher Bell
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Chris Buescher
Tyler Reddick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Matt DiBenedetto
Kurt Busch
Ross Chastain
Ryan Newman
Brad Keselowski
Cole Custer
Aric Almirola
Michael McDowell
Alex Bowman
Ryan Preece
Chase Briscoe
Daniel Suarez
James Davison
Anthony Alfredo
Erik Jones
Josh Bilicki
Quin Houff
Cody Ware
Justin Haley
BJ McLeod
Corey LaJoie
Garrett Smithley
Austin Cindric

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 30. While drivers may come down pit road prior to the competition caution, they cannot fuel the cars until that caution comes out.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap two, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap five, most of the field is single file early in the race.

Lap six, Kyle Busch is dropping in the field. He is currently in 14th after starting the race in 10th. Chase Elliott has also lost a few spots since the race start.

Lap eight, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott.

Justin Haley is on pit road with an unscheduled stop.

Lap 12, Martin Truex Jr has a half second lead on Denny Hamlin; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Brad Keselowski has moved up five spots since the race started and is in 15th place.

Lap 20, Martin Truex continues to lead the race with Denny Hamlin in second; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Justin Haley has taken his car to the garage.

Kyle Busch is reporting multiple handling issues with his car.

There are 32 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 26, Martin Truex Jr’s lead on Denny Hamlin is now over half a second; third place driver Ryan Blaney is three ahd a half seconds back; Joey Logano and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

At the end of lap 30, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road.

Daniel Suarez was charged with the team having an uncontrolled tire on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 38 from the outside lane. Hamlin gets out in front for the lead with Martin Truex Jr and Joey Logano battling for second.

Lap 39, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney.

Lap 40, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. There are 33 cars on the lead lap. Justin Haley is out of the race.

Lap 47, Denny Hamlin holds on to his lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Marting Truex Jr is a second and a half back in third.

Lap 50, Denny Hamlin has increased his lead on Joey Logano to over a second.

Lap 53, after having to restart the race from the back of the field with a penalty, Daniel Suarez has moved up to 27th.

Lap 55, many of the drivers are holding on their same spots with little passing.

Lap 60, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney.

With 15 laps remaining in stage one, Denny Hamlin holds his lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney round out the otp five.

As the tires wear, the track speeds are slowing down; drivers are running laps of one to two seconds slower than when the race started.

Ten to go in stage one, there are 32 cars on the lead lap with one driver out of the race.

With just six laps remaining in stage one, Denny Hamlin’s lead is down to under a second on Joey Logano; but is getting challenged by Martin Truex Jr for the position.

Three to go in stage one, Denny Hamlin’s lead is back to over a second as Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr continue to battle for second place.

Martin Truex Jr gets around Joey Logano for second.

Denny Hamlin wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Christopher Bell
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Brad Keselowski
Kevin Harvick

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road; Martin Truex Jr comes out in second.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 91 and gets out in front to hold on to his lead with Martin Truex Jr in second.

Lap 92, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and William Byron.

Lap 94, there are 30 cars on the lead lap; Justin Haley is the only driver out of the race.

Lap 97, Kevin Harvick battles Alex Bowman for fifth place but Bowman holds on and passes Ryan Blaney for fourth.

Lap 100, Denny Hamlin has a narry lead on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr battle Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap 103, Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr continue to battle for the lead; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

With a stage of 155 laps, the drivers will need to make two pit stops for furel.

Lap 104, Martin Truex Jr finally gets past Denny Hamlin to take the lead.

Lap 114, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 119, Kyle Busch continues to report some major handling issues with his car. Busch is just outside of the top 10 in eleventh.

Lap 120, Denny Hamlin has closed the lead on Martin Truex Jr under half a second.

Lap 124, Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with Denny Halin in second; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 133, Martin Truex Jr encounters slower traffic as he maintains a lead of less than half a second on Denny Hamlin; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

The first multiple winner of the 2021 season, Martin Truex Jr has won two of the past three races at Richmond.

Lap 138, drivers begin making green flag pit stops including leader Martin Truex Jr who gives the lead over to Joey Logano.

Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Brad Keselowski.

The caution flag comes out on lap 141 in the first caution fo an on track event when Ryan Newman hits the wall in a three wide battle for position. Austin Cindric and Kyle Larson were also a part of that three wide battle.

This was the first caution flag for an on track event at Richmond in two years.

The top six drivers had yet to make their green flag pit stop – Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Matt DiBenedetto, Tyler Reddick, Corey LaJoie, and Daniel Suarez.

The top six make their pit stop for fuel and fresh tires.

Several drivers take the wave around to put 20 cars on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 148 with Martin Truex Jr getting out in front for the lead as drivers get three wide across the track.

Lap 149, the top five are Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Jeoy Logano.

Lap 151, Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin with Kevin Harvick over a second back in third.

Drivers continue to battle three wide through the field.

Lap 155, Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin. He is reporting that his brakes are shaking.

Lap 158, Joey Logano passes Brad Keselowski for fourth.

Lap 160, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 170, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of ovr half a second on Denny Hamlin; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

The three wide battles continue as the on track fueds ratchet up.

There are 20 cars on the lead lap with Justin Haley as the only driver out of the race. Ricky Stenhouse Jr is the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 179, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader MartinTtruex Jr to under half a second; Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 185, drivers are making green flag pit stops including leader Martin Truex Jr. Joey Logano is the new leader.

Several of the drivers are complaing about multiple handling issies.

Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead over to Brad Keselowski.

Denny Hamlin has had two pit stops under 12 seconds today at 11.8 and 11.9 seconds.

Lap 194, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race but has yet to make his pit stop; Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Kurt Busch makes his pit stop; leaving only Brad Keselowski. Once Keselowski makes his pit stop, Denny Hamlin will take over the lead of the race. Ryan Blaney has also not made his pit stop.

There are currently only seven cars on the lead lap.

Lap 200, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Brad Keselowski to eight seconds. There are now nine cars on the lead lap as drivers on fresh tires are unlapping themselves.

Lap 203, threre are 13 cars on the lead lap.

The teams were given nine sets of tires for today’s race.

Lap 204, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Brad Keselowski to under three seconds.

Lap 206, with 14 cars on the lead lap, Brad Keselowski loses his lead to Denny Hamlin. Hamlin passes Keselowski and pulls away from the driver.

Lap 209, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr who has passed Brad Keselowski for second. There are now 16 crs on the lead lap.

Lap 211, Denny Hamlin has a lead of oover four and a half seconds on third place driver Brad Keselowski who has yet to make a pit stop.

Lap 214, Joey Logano takes third from Brad Keselowski.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman.

Lap 220, Denny Hamlin has a one second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Brad Keselowski has dropped to sixth place with 15 cars on the lead lap.

Ten laps remain in stage two, Denny Hamlin holds on to his lead over Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Brad Keselowski has dropped to eighth. Ryan Blaney, who also did not make a pit stop, is one lap down in 18th.

Lap 230, six to go in stage two, there are 13 cars on the lead lap with Brad Keselowski in eleventh.

Five to go, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Three to go, leader Denny Hamlin puts Brad Keselowski one lap down; Keselowski was also passed by Chase Elliott and Tyler Reddick in a battle for the “lucky dog” spot. There are eleven cars on the lead lap.

Denny Hamlin wins stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Kyle Busch
William Byron
Christopher Bell
Aric Almirola

Drivers come down pit road for service with Denny Hamlin winning the race off of pit road.

Alex Bowman was charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road and Ricky Stenhouse Jr was charged with equipment interference.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 248 from the outside lane and gets out in front of Martin Treux Jr for the lead.

Lap 249, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick.

There are only 12 cars on the lead lap.

Drivers are getting three wide through the field.

Lap 254, Joey Logano battle Denny Hamlin for the lead. So far, Hamlin holds him off but Martin Truex Jr is on Logano’s bumper to make it a three way challenge. The three divers are separated by just half a second.

Lap 258, Joey Logano again battle Denny Hamlin for the lead but Hamlin holds on. Martin Truex Jr challenges Joey Logano for second.

Lap 270, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 275, Denny Hamlin pulls out to a one second lead on Joey Logano with 12 cars on the lead lap. Justin Haley remains the only driver out of the race.

Lap 282, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five. Brad Keselowski is in the “lucky dog” spot in 13th place.

With 111 laps remaining in the race, drivers are beginning the first of two planned green flag pit stops in stage three.

Leader Denny Hamlin makes his green flag pit stop on lap 294 and gives the lead over to Joey Logano.

Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop.

Denny Hamlin regains the lead of the race with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr was caught speeding on pit road and will have to make a pass through penalty. He returns to the track the last car on the lead lap in 12th place.

Lap 304, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second and a half on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

With 90 laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin has a second and a half lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Christopher Bell round out the top five. There are 12 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 314, there is 1.29 seconds separating leader Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano; Kyle Busch is nearly five seconds back in third place; Kevin Harvick and Christopher Bell are over eleven seconds back.

After serving his penalty, Martin Truex Jr returned to the track the last car on the lead lap in 12th place. Truex has passed Chase Elliott for eleventh.

Lap 323, Joey Logano has closed the gap on leader Denny Hamlin to under a second with Kyle Busch over five seconds back in third; Christopher Bell and Kevin Harvick are over 12 seconds back in fourth and fifth.

Lap 329, Martin Treux Jr has moved into 10th place.

Lap 331, Denny Hamlin’s lead over Joey Logano is down to under half a second. Hamlin has put Cup champion Chase Elliott one lap down.

Denny Hamlin is reporting a wheel shake. He has led 297 laps so far.

Lap 334, Joey Logano finally gets around Denny Hamlin to take the lead; Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

With 64 laps remaining in the race, there are only 10 cars on the lead lap.

With green flag pit stops looming, Michael McDowell comes down pit road for service.

Lap 240, Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin.

Drivers begin green flag pit stops.

Leader Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop on lap 243 and gives the lead over to Denny Hamlin.

Denny Hamlin brings his car down pit road and gives the lead over to Kyle Busch.

Lap 343, Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for service but has a commitment cone violation.

Lap 244, Martin Truex Jr makes his green flag pit stop and gives the lead back to Joey Logano.

Kyle Busch will have to serve a pass through penalty for his violation. He comes back on the track right behind the leader, one lap down…but he is currently in the “lucky dog” spot.

Fifty to go! Joey Logano has a lead of over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 353, Joey Logano has a near one second lead on Denny Hamlin; but Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick – 3rd, 4th, and 5th – are over 12 seconds back with nine cars on the lead lap.

Lap 358, Kenny Hamlin is just two tenth of a second behind leader Joey Logano.

Forty to go, the top five are Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick with nine cars on the lead lap.

Lap 365, Joey Logano has increased his lead over Denny Hamlin to over half a second; Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 369, Denny Hamlin has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to under half a second.

Thirty to go, Denny Hamlin battles Joey Logano for the lead.

With 27 laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin continues to challenge and battle Joey Logano for the lead.

Joey Logano passes Matt DiBenedetto; leaving only eight cars on the lead lap.

Denny Hamlin continues to challenge Joey Logano for the lead.

Kevin Harvick brings out the caution flag with just 20 laps remaining in the race. He hits the wall with a flat tire.

After passing Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch is the “lucky dog” and is back on the lead lap.

Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road in a battle with Joey Logano.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 12 laps remaining in the race from the inside lane. There were 25 drivers who took the wave around. Hamin gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 388, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, Aric Almirla, and Christopher Bell.

Alex Bowman battles Denny Hamlin for the lead.

With 10 laps to go, Alex Bowman takes the lead.

Now bald, FOX Sports broadcaster and former crew chief Larry McReynolds said that the last time Hendrick Motorsports won a race at Richmond, he had hair.

Seven to go, Alex Bowman has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin.

Five to go, the drivers are battling for position all through the field.

With a great deal of slower traffic in front of him, Alex Bowman takes the white flag.

Alex Bowman wins the race to become the eighth different winner this season. Bowman overcame a pit road penalty for the win.

This is the first time the number 48 car has been to victory lane since 2017.

Denny Hamlin gets his eighth top five finish in nine races with his second place finish.

The unofficial results of the Toyota Owners 400:
Alex Bowman
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
Martin Truex Jr
Aric Almirola
William Byron
Kyle Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch
Brad Keselowski
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kyle Larson
Erik Jones
Tyler Reddick
Corey LaJoie
Chase Briscoe
Cole Custer
Kevin Harvick
Chris Buescher
Bubba Wallace
Michael McDowell
Austin Cindric
Ryan Preece
Ryan Newman
Anthony Alfredo
BJ McLeod
James Davison
Quin Houff
Garrett Smithley
Cody Ware
Josh Bilicki
Justin Haley

Hot Harley Nights Celebrates 25 Years

J&L Harley Davidson is offering up some Hot Summer Nights in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with their 25th annual celebration of Hot Harley Nights – a weekend of music – July 9 thru 11.  Proceeds from the weekend’s events will go to the South Dakota Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Rodney Atkins is scheduled to he the headline artist for the Saturday night show.  Arch Allies and Rick Monroe and The Hitman will also be performing.

Along with the music, the weekend will feature bike shows, charity rides, poker runs, and other special events including the motorcycle parade.

Rodney Atkins spoke on his upcoming performance saying,
“I am so excited to be getting back on the road and playing music again.  It is even more exciting to be coming up to Sioux Falls to help out Hot Harley Nights for their 25th Year and raise money for Make-A-Wish.”

Tickets for the weekend come in a variety of General Admission and VIP packages and are available at HotHarleyNights.com

General Admission passes for the weekend are $19.99 to $39.99.
The Cruiser VIP package is $199,99 and includes a Hot Harley Nights limited edition hot sauce four pack, one can of beer, a pin, and koozie.

Only 10 of the Full Throttle VIP packages are available and run $499.99.  The package includes everything in the Cruiser package plus an exclusive Dixxon Flannel, a spot in the front of the pack for the parade, and a backstage photo with one of the performers.


There are also separate packages for a poker run, an owner’s pizza lunch ride, and a dinner ride.

J&L Harley-Davison has been a part of Sioux Falls for 45 years and for the past 25 years, they have been giving back to the community with their annual Hot Harley Nights celebrations.

feature photo credit: courtesy of 2911 Media

Brothers Osborne

Over the past year, music fans have seen numerous tours scheduled, postponed, cancelled, and scheduled again as acts continue to hope that they can return to do doing what they love…make music…and perorm live music once again.

Country music artists Brothers Osborne have announced a tour that is set to begin mid summer and run into the fall with a 50 city tour they are calling “We’re Not For Everyone”. With the Canadian border still closed and no indication as to when the border will reopen, the Brothers will be traveling around the United States. Several of the shows are in outdoor venues.

Travis Denning and Tenille Townes will be sharing the opening act duties on many of the dates.

At this time there is no information on restrictions or requirements for concert attendees due to the Covid pandemic.

Brothers Osborne tour dates:
July 29 at the Skyline Stage in Philadelphia, PA
July 30 at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA
July 31 at the Maine Savings Pavilion in Westbrook, ME
Aug 1 at the Bold Point Park in Providence, RI
Aug 4 at the Toledo Zoom Amphitheater in Toledo, OH
Aug 5 at St. Louis Music Park in Maryland Heights, MO
Aug 14 at Stir Concert Cove in Council Bluffs, IA
Aug 15 at the Casino Back Waters Stage in Dubuque, IA
Aug 19 at the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, NJ
Aug 20 at the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in bridgeport, CT
Aug 21 at the Long Island Community Hospital Amphitheater in Farmingville, NY
Aug 26 at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre in Charlotte, NC
Aug 27 at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, NC
Sept 2 at the Jacobs Pavilion in Cleveland, OH
Sept 3 at the TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis, IN
Sept 4 at the Michigan Lottery Amphitheater in Sterling Heights, MI
Sept 9 at The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
Sept 10 at The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN
Sept 16 at the Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, TN
Sept 17 at the Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR
Sept 18 at The Criterion in Oklahoma City, OK
Sept 22 at The Pavilion in Irving, TX
Sept 23 at the White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX
Sept 24 at the Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, TX
Sept 25 at Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, TX
Sept 30 at thr Rabbit Rabbit in Asheville, NC
Oct 1 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA
Oct 2 at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL
Oct 8 at the Mission Ballroom in Denver, CO
Oct 10 at the Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
Oct 12 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
Oct 13 at the Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 15 at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre in San Diego, CA
Oct 16 at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, Ca
Oct 17 at The Masonic in San Francisco, CA
Oct 20 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR
Oct 22 at the WaMu Theater in Seattle, WA
Oct 28 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, NY
Oct 29 at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, NH
Oct 30 at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY
Nov 11 at the Arvest Bank Theatre in Kansas City, MO
Nov 13 at the Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL
Nov 18 at the Altria Theater in Richmond, VA
Nov 19 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
Nov 20 at the UPMC Events Center in Moon Township, PA

Four in a Row for KBM at Richmond

After taking a week off to get all the dirt and mud cleaned out from the Dirt Race at Bristol, the Camping World Truck Series returns for some short track racing at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Care 250.

Ben Rhodes will sit on the pole and bring the field to green with Austin Hill alongside.

Stages one and two of the race are 70 laps each with stage lasting 110 laps for a total of 250 laps around the three quarter of a mile track.

Cup Series driver and Truck Series owner Kyle Busch returns to run the truck race. There have been nine different winners in the Truck Series at Richmond…none of them were Kyle Busch. The winningest driver in the series has never won a race on the short track at Richmond.

Josh Reaume makes his first start since being reinstated by NASCAR after his suspension for violating NASCAR rules.

Kris Wright returns to the track after missing a few weeks due to Covid issues.

The starting lineup for the Tohyota Care 250:
Ben Rhodes
Austin Hill
Grant Enfinger
Stewart Friesen
Raphael Lessard
Zane Smith
Matt Crafton
Todd Gilliland
Sheldon Creed
Austin Wayne Self
Tanner Gray
Kyle Busch
Carson Hocevar
Hailie Deegan
Chase Purdy
Ryan Truex
Brett Moffitt
John Hunter Nemechek
Johnny Sauter
Codie Rohrbaugh
Cory Roper
Kris Wright
Chandler Smith
Tate Fogleman
Spencer Davis
Spencer Boyd
Timothy Peters
Danny Bohn
Derek Kraus
Tyler Ankrum
Dawson Cram
Keith McGee
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Timmy Hill
Howie Disavino III
Jett Noland
Josh Reaume
Norm Benning
Ryan Reed
Sam Mayer

Ben Rhodes brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front for the lead as the drivers get three wide across the track before they even reach turn one.

Lap two, the top five are Ben Rhodes, Austin Hill, Gran Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, and Rapbael Lessard.

Lap three, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Grant Enfinger takes the lead with Ben Rhodes in second and Raphael Lessard in third.

Lap five, Grant Enfinger has a half second lead on Ben Rhodes; Raphael Lessard, Austin Hill, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five.

Johnny Sauter and Chase Purday make contact but the track stays green.

Lap nine, Grant Enfinger has pulled out to a one second lead on Ben Rhodes; Raphael Lessard, Austin Hill, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five. Kyle Busch is in eighth place. Cory Roper is the only driver not on the lead lap, five laps down.

Lap 13, Grant Enfinger continues to lead the race with a one second lead on Ben Rhodes.

Lap 20, Grant Enfinger has increased his lead on Ben Rhodes to a second and a half; Raphael Lessard, Austin Hill, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five with Kyle Busch in sixth place.

Lap 24, Grant Enfinger now has a lead of over two seconds on Ben Rhodes; Raphael Lessard, Austin Hill, and Kyle Busch round out the top five. There are 34 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 28, Ben Rhodes has closed the gap on leader Grant Enfinger to under a second; Raphael Lessard, Austin Hill, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Lap 31, Grant Enfinger’s lead is back to over a second on Ben Rhodes with 32 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 33, the top five are Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Raphael Lessard, Kyle Busch, and Austin Hill.

Lap 39, Grant Enfinger continues to lead the race with a lead of over a second on Ben Rhodes with Kyle Busch in third.

Lap 42, leader Grant Enfigner has encountered slower traffic. There are 30 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 44, the top five are Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, Raphael Lessard, and Austin Hill.

Lap 45, Kyle Busch passes Ben Rhodes for second.

Ryabn Truex is reporting some issues with his truck and takes it down pit road; reporting that they are done for the day.

Lap 48, Grant Enfinger has a leas of 1.34 seconds on Kyle Busch with 27 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 50, Grant Enfinger has increased his lead on Kyle Busch to over two seconds; Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Lap 55, Grant Enfinger is dominating the race with a lead of two and a half seconds on Kyle Busch.

Lap 56, John Hunter Nemechek passes Kyle Busch for second.

Lap 60, Grant Enfinger has a lead of over a second on John Hunter Nemechek; Kyle Busch, Ben Rhodes, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Reigning Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed is reporting some issues with his truck.

With seven laps remaining in stage one, there are 25 trucks on the lead lap.

Running only a partial schedule in the Truck Series this season, Grant Enfinger is not eligible for the championship, but is looking to add to his trophy collection.

With three laps to go in stage one, Grant Enfinger has a lead of less than half a second on John Hunter Nemechek.

On a cloudy Saturday afternoon. Grant Enfinger wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Grant Enfinger
John Hunter Nemechek
Kye Busch
Austin Hill
Carson Hocevar
Raphael Lessard
Todd Gilliland
Derek Kraus
Stewart Friesen

Drivers come down pit road for service with several drivers complaining of various issues. Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Stewart Friesen was caught speeding on pit road and Spencer Boyd’s team was charged with having an uncontrolled tire during the stop. Both drivers will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 80. Busch jumps out in front for the lead.

The top five are Kyle Busch, Grant Enfinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, and Austin Hill.

Lap 83, Kyle Busch has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Grant Enfinger.

Lap 85, the first caution flag for an ontrack incident comes out for Tate Fogleman who gets into the wall and sideways across the track after some on track contact with Hailie Deegan.

Matt Crafton is on pit road with some splitter issues, the team is trying to get the splitter off the track.

Hailie Deegan is on pit road getting repairs after the incident with Tate Fogleman.

Lap 92, Ryan Truex climbs out of his truck and is out of the race.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 99 and gets out in front to hold on to his lead with John Hunter Nemechek on his bumper.

Lap 100, the top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Busch, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, and Zane Smith.

Lap 100, Jennifer Jo Cobb brings out the caution flag when she spins out in a solo truck incident.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 105 and get out in front for the lead with Grant Enfinger in second.

Lap 106, the top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Zane Smith.

Tate Fogleman and Ryan Truex are the only drivers out of the race.

Only halfway through stage two, but the drivers are getting aggressive all through the field.

Lap 110, there are 26 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 111, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over half a second on Grant Enfinger; Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Lap 114, John Hunter Nemechek continues to lead the race by over half a second on Grant Enfinger; Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Lap 117, John Hunter Nemechek has increased his lead on Grant Enfinger to over a second; Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Zane Smith round out the top five.

Stewart Friesen is reporting some brake issues on his truck.

Lap 120, John Hunter Nemechek now as a one and a half second lead on Grant Enfinger.

With 15 laps remaining in stage two, John Hunter Nemechek has a two second lead on Grant Enfinger; Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Zane Smith round out the top five with 26 trucks on the lead lap.

Eleven to go in stage two, John Hunter Nemechek continues to increase his lead; he is now nearly two and a half seconds out in front of Grant Enfinger; Ben Rhodes, Kyle Busch, and Austin Hill round out the top five.

Lap 134, John Hunter Nemechek has a near three second lead on Grant Enfinger.

Twelfth place driver Sam Mayer is just 17 years old. He started the race in last place – 40th – and has worked his way to just outside the top 10.

Four laps remain in stage two; John Hunter Nemechek is running away from the field with a lead of nearly four seconds on Grant Enfinger.

John Hunter Nemechek wins stage two for his sixth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
John Hunter Nemechek
Grant Enfinger
Ben Rhodes
Austin Hill
Kyle Busch
Zane Smith
Raphael Lessard
Todd Gilliland
Derek Kraus
Chandler Smith

Drivers come down pit road for service with John Hunter Nemechek winning the race off of pit road, followed by Ben Rhodes.

Austin Hill was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 151 and gets out in front to hold on to the lead.

Lap 152, the top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Raphael Lessard, Zane Smith, and Kyle Busch.

Derek Kraus brings out the caution flag on lap 153 with a flat tire.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 158 and edges out Grant Enfinger for the lead as the drivers get three wide across the track.

Lap 159, the top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Zane Smith, Raphael Lessard, and Ben Rhodes.

Chase Purday spins out on lap 160 and backs into the wall when the drives tries to get four wide across the track.

Kyle Busch is reporting some issues with his front end, saying that it it extinct and non-existent.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with 85 laps remaining in the race and gets out in front to hold on to his lead.

Jennifer Jo Cobb gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag on lap 167.

There are 27 trucks on the lead lap with no driver just one lap down.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with 80 laps remaining in the race. Nemechek gets out in front of Zane Smith to hold on to the lead.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Raphael Lessard, and Ben Rhodes.

Brett Moffitt takes his truck to the garage.

Lap 175, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over half a second on Zane Smith; Grant Enfinger, Raphael Lessard, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

The eighth caution flag of the race comes out after Jennifer Joe Cobb and Norm Benning get together on the track; spinning out both trucks. Cobb takes her truck to the garage; reporting that something is broken on the front end.

Lap 179, some of the drivers come down pit road for that last set of fresh tires. The teams are withing their fuel window to make it to the end of the race.


John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 180. Nemechek continues to lead the race as drivers get three wide.

The caution flag comes out with 68 laps to go after Dawson Cram spins out.

NASCAR officials directed Jennifer Jo Cobb to park her truck.

A few more drivers come down pit road for fresh tires and service.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with 63 laps to go and holds on to his lead.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Todd Gilliland, Kyle busch, and Grant Enfinger.

With 59 laps remaining in the race, John Hunter Nemechek has pulled out to a near one second lead on Ben Rhodes; Kyle Busch, Todd Gilliland, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Lap 192, John Hunter Nemechek has a lead of over a second on Ben Rhodes with 27 trucks on the lead lap.

The 10th caution flag of the race comes out with 54 laps remaining in the race when Codie Rohrbaugh spins out after some contact from Austin Wayne Self.

John Hunter Nemechek comes down pit road and brings a pack of drivers with him for their final set of tires and service. Nemechek leads the race off of pit road with Kyle Busch right behind him.

Sheldon Creed was issued a penalty for a safety violation during his pit stop and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

After staying out on the track, Matt Crafton brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 209 with Johnny Sauter alongside. Chandler Smith makes it a three wide battle on the restart and jumps out in front for the lead.

The top five are Chandler Smith, Tyler Ankrum, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, and Austin Wayne Self. Drivers are thre wide across the track.

Lap 210, Chandler Smith leads the way with Johnny Sauter over half a second back; Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out when Kris Wright gets into a wreck and hits the wall. Raphael Lessard, Stewart Friesen, Tanner Gray, and Hailie Deegan were also involved in the incident.

A few drivers come down pit road, mostly the trucks involved in the most recent caution.

Chandler Smith brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Tyler Ankrum alongside. On lap 221. Smith jumps out in front for the lead as the drivers get three wide across the field.

The top five are Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Kyle Busch, Tyler Ankrum, and Johnny Sauter.

The top three trucks are all owned by Kyle Busch whose trucks have won the past three races. There has never been a four in a row wins from the same team with different drivers.

With 25 laps remaining in the race, Chandler Smith leads the race with team mate John Hunter Nemechek in second and boss man Kyle Busch in third; Tyler Ankrum and Johnny Sauter rounding out the top five.

Twenty to go, Chandler Smith has a narrow lead on John Hunter Nemechek; Kyle Busch, Tyler Ankrum, and Johnny Sauter round out the top five with 24 drivers on the lead lap.

Lap 232, John Hunter Nemechek challenged Chandler Smith for the lead and gets back in front with Kyle Busch in second and Smith in third; Tyler Ankrum and Johnny Sauter round out the top five.

Only 12 laps remain in the race, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Kyle Busch right behind him; Chandler Smith, Tyler Ankrum, and Johnny Sauter round out the top five.

Ten to go, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Kyle Busch right behind him. Tyler Ankrum and Chandler Smith battle for third.

Tyler Ankrum gets around Chandler Smith for third with seven laps to go.

Five to go, John Hunter Nemechek has a half second lead on boss Kyle Busch; Tyler Ankrum, Chandler Smith, and Johnny Sauter round out the top five.

Leaders encounter slower traffic with just three laps to go.

John Hunter Nemechek takes the white flag.

For the second time this season, John Hunter Nemechek beats out his boss Kyle Busch to win his second race of the season. This is the fourth race in a row that Kyle Busch Motorsports has won the race. Nemechek led a total of 114 of the 250 laps in the race.

During the week off, Nemechek and his wife Taylor had their first baby – daughter Aspen.

The unofficial results of the Toyota Care 250:
John Hunter Nemechek
Kyle Busch
Tyler Ankrum
Chandler Smith
Johnny Sauter
Todd Gilliland
Ben Rhodes
Grant Enfinger
Sam Mayer
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
Carson Hocevar
Stewart Friesen
Zane Smith
Derek Kraus
Spencer Davis
Hailie Deegan
Matt Crafton
Austin Wayne Self
Danny Bohn
Timmy Hill
Timothy Peters
Raphael Lessard
Tanner Gray
Dawson Cram
Jett Noland
Spencer Boyd
Chase Purdy
Ryan Reed

Keith McGee
Cory Roper
Norm Benning
Josh Reaume
Howie DiSalvino III
Kris Wright
Codie Rohrbaugh
Brett Moffitt
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Tate Fogleman
Ryan Truex

feature photo credit: [[File:NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Rockingham Speedway 2012.jpg|NASCAR_Camping_World_Truck_Series_at_Rockingham_Speedway_2012]]

Folkie Reggie Harris is ‘On Solid Ground’

Science fiction has long been an outlet for social commentary; but it is music, especially folk music, that leads the way when it comes to expressing thoughts and feelings of society itself and current events.

Folk artist Reggie Harris offers not only his thoughts on current events, but has a long standing Old Folkie answer to a current problem…LOVE!

The most recent recipient of the Folk Alliance International Spirit of Folk Award has just released his new album “On Solid Ground” that features 13 songs that include themes that have long been a staple of Harris’ career but take on a whole new meaning in an age of heightened racism, racial injustice, and hate.

Sliding from one genre to another, Harris penned nine of the 13 songs on the album; which also includes “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles, “Hello in There” by John Prine, and “It Isn’t Nice” by Malvina Reynolds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k46EAA1zrhI

Harris notes that “On Solid Ground” is an album that is about healing and inspiration in this age of injustice and dissension.

Like many of America’s citizens of colour, Harris can trace his ancestry back to slavery…and a mixed parentage; for Harris it is a Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham and one of his slaves – Bibhanna Hewlett.  As a child growing up in Philadelphia, Harris was a part of the movement toward integration and the civil right movement.

“On Solid Ground” tracklisting:
“It’s Who We Are”
“My Working Bones”
“Come What May”
“Standing in Freedom’s Name”
“All You Need is Love”
“On Solid Ground”
“May It’s Love
“Hello in There”
“Rise Up/March On”
“It Isn’t Nice”
“Let’s Meet Up Early”
“Tree of Life”
“High Over the Hudson”

Feature photo credit: IVPR Media

Black Sabbath Goes Deluxe on ‘Sabotage’

The hard rocking band Black Sabbath are releasing an expanded deluxe version of their album “Sabotage”. The album that was originally released in 1975 reached the top 10 in their native United Kingdom; as well as, being a hit in Europe and across the pond in the United States. The album titled was inspired by the legal battle that the band was embroiled in at the time with a former manager.

The new deluxe album is set for a June 11 release and will be available in CD and vinyl formats.

The four disc set will feature a remastered edition of the original album, a live 1975 performance that includes 13 tracks that have never been released, a seven inch single version of “Am I Going Insane” and “Hole in the Sky”, a replica concert book from the Madison Square Garden performance in 1975 and a tour poster.

The Polyphonic Spree Goes ‘Afflatus’ with Cover Album

The pandemic has put many musicians out of work when it comes to live performances; but many of them have kept busy by recording new music.

The Polyphonic Spree have been busy recording a new album of cover turns that spans from Rush to Barry Manilow.

“Afflatus” is set for an April 16 release with the promise of a full length original album for a fall release.

The first single from the new album is “The Spirit of Radio” by Canadian rockers Rush.

Each of the songs on the new album have some sort of special meaning or significance to the band members.

The tracklisting for “Afflatus”:
Don’t Change” by INXS
“You Put My Love Out the Door” by Daniel Johnston
“She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones
“Run to Me” by the Bee Gees
“The Porpoise Song” by The Monkees
“Could it Be Magic” by Barry Manilow
“The Visitors” by ABBA
“Let Em In” by Wings
“Never My Love” by The Association
“The Spirit of Radio” by Rush

feature photo credit: courtesy of The Polyphonic Spree and Jon Bleicher of Prospect PR



Bryant Park Sets Summer Outdoor Events

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo is slowly opening the state to entertainment events and allowing crowds to gather and enjoy those events.

In an outdoor socially distanced event, New York City’s Bryant Park has scheduled 25 live performances to begin this June.

Members from the New York Philharmonic will kick off Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare Bryant Park Presents in a four night event for a summer of dance, music, and theatrical productions.

Chris Thile will close out the summer of events on September 20 for the 100th anniversary celebration of “The Town Hall.

In between, productions from Carniege Hall, Lincoln Center, the New York City Opera, the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Joe’s Pub. The Paul Taylor Dance Company, th Limon Dance Company, “Elisa Monte Dance, National Sawdust, the Harlem Stage, the Greenwich House Music School, Music from the Sole, and the New York Chinese Cultural Center will all take the Bryant Park stage.

While all events are free and open to the public; but those interested in attending must register ahead of time and will be limited due to Covid protocols.  However, fans who are unable to attend the performances live, can stream them and are encouraged to picnic in their local parks as they watch.

feature photo credit: [[File:Lawn at Bryant Park, NYC IMG 1243.JPG|Lawn_at_Bryant_Park,_NYC_IMG_1243]]

Broadway Tours Set to Reopen

As the nation is painfully aware, it has been  13 months since America, along with the rest of the world, has been locked down with no gatherings for concerts, movies, and theatre productions.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…

While Broadway is looking to open in early summer, the national touring productions have begun scheduling shows for later this year and into 2022.

Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Greensboro, Hartford, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. have all gearing up to open theatres and let the show go on.

“Fiddler on the Roof”, “Hamilton”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “A Christmas Carol”, “Tootsie”, “Ain’t Too Proud”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Beautiful”, “Frozen”, “Mean Girls”, “The Prom”, “Dear Even Hanson”, “Hairspray”, “Hadestown”, “Pretty Woman”, “Wicked”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Rent”, “Oklahoma”, “My Fair Lady”, “Jersey Boys”, “The Lion King”, “Cats”, “Blue Man Group”, and a “Riverdance” 25th anniversary tour are all among the productions scheduled to run in the various cities.

NASCAR Issues Martinsville Penalties -4/10/21

The hardest part about racing at Martinsville Speedway isn’t running laps around the half mile paperclip shaped track, but navigating the curvy pit road and getting back out on the track in a timely fashion. 

Over the past weekend teams from both the Cup and Xfinity Series ended up with being served a penalty for infractions incurred while on pit road.

On Tuesday, NASCAR officials issued penalties to three Cup Series teams due to an improperly secured lug nut after the infraction was discovered during the post race inspection process.  The crew chief for each team was fined $10,000 each.

The three teams were:
The Hendrick Motorsports number five car driven by Kyle Larson with Cliff Daniels as crew chief.
The Stewart-Haas Racing number 14 car driven by Chase Briscoe with Johnny Klausmeier as crew chief.
And the JTG Daugherty Racing number 47 car driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr with Brian Pattie as crew chief.

There were no further penalties issued to the Trackhouse Racing number 99 car driven by Daniel Suarez after the team was penalized prior to the race for unapproved installation of extra ballast.  NASCAR ejected crew chief Travis Mack from the race, moved Suarez to the back of the field for race start, and docked both driver and owner 10 points in the standings.


For the Xfinity Series, NASCAR issued just one penalty for a lug nut infraction to the Joe Gibbs Racing number 19 car driven by Brandon Jones.  Crew chief Jeff Meendering was fine $5,000 for the infraction.

NASCAR also issued a suspension to the Our Motorsports number 23 team after driver Blaine Perkins lost a rear axle due to improper installation.  Crew member Brian Graham will miss the next race in Talladega.


NASCAR officials has suspended Sam Hunt Racing hauler driver Kurt Butcher for violation of the substance abuse policy.  Butcher drives the hauler for the number 26 Xfinity Series car.  He is suspended until he goes through the proper protocols and is reinstated by NASCAR.

NASCAR Cup Series Standings – April 11

Denny Hamlin continues to lead the NASCAR Cup Series points standings with 379 points – 76 points in front of the second place driver.  Hamlin continues to lead the points standing despite not being among the seven race winners this season.

Over the weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Martin Truex Jr became the first driver to win more than one race and takes over the second place spot in the standings.

This week Brad Keselowski falls out of the top five but remains in the top 10.

While points count toward who will make the playoffs, drivers who have won at least one race will claim a spot in the playoffs first; the remainder of the 16 driver field will be comprised of drivers who top the points standings.

To date Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell have all won a race.  Martin Truex Jr is the first driver to win two races.

The points standings as of April 11 are:
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher
Kurt Busch
Michael McDowell

Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell is just four points in front of the 17th place driver Alex Bowman.

To 12 Revealed on Idol

On Sunday’s episode of “American Idol”, host Ryan Seacrest revealed the top eight singers from the top 12 that performed last week. Each of the top 16 performed once again for fan votes.

On the Monday episode, Ryan will reveal the top 10 vote getters; plus two more singers chosen by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.

On Monday morning, Luke Bryan announced that he has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. Luke is at home and sitting in for him is Idol alum Paula Abdul.

Paula compared the top 16 to the Grammy’s Best New Artist.

With no further explanation, Ryan announced that Wyatt Pike has withdrawn for the competition.

Ryan reveals the top 10 singers in no particular order.

The first singer in the top 10 is Casey Bishop who performs “House of the Rising Sun”.

Colin Jamieson is in the danger zone and will have to sing for his life in hopes of earning one of the two judges choices. He sang “Waves”. Lionel said that Colin did exactly what he was supposed to do. Katy noted that Colin has grown so much; adding that all of his performances are like a celebration. Paula said that she enjoyed watching Colin because of his passion; adding that he made her smile.


Ryan revealed that the difference between votes with some of the singers was less than 900 votes.

Next up to learn their results was Deshawn Gonclves who has made it into the top 10. Donning a gold jacket, Deshawn took on the great Stevie Wonder with “Higher Ground”. He had Paula out of her seat dancing. It wasn’t long before Katy and Lionel were out of their seats too.

Cassandra Coleman is also in the top 10. She sang “Light On” by Maggie Rogers.

Caleb Kennedy is the next person to learn his fate. Normally seen wearing a hat, Ryan didn’t recognize him at first. Caleb chose an original song after learning that is in the top 10. The song “Nowhere” is one Caleb had started before his audition and has recently finished. Lionel said that Caleb has become a great songwriter. Paula called Caleb extremely talented.

Long time Idol alum Randy Jackson Facetimed Ryan on his ipad. He called all of the judges amazing.

Next week, Idol will broadcast live across the country with real time voting.

Madison Watkins is in danger and will have to sing for her life with “Hotline Bling” by Drake. Lionel said that it was very clear to him that she was singing for her career and put it all out on the floor. Katy noted that Madison came out and brought the light. Paula called Madison extraordinary; adding that her voice is like an old friend.

Next up is Ava August who is moving on to the top 10. The youngest singer in the competition at 15, she chose the Queen song “Love of My Life”. Lionel said that Ava makes him forget that she is 15; adding she sings like a long time pro. He said that she owned the song. Paula said that Ava leaves her speechless; adding that she reaches notes that don’t exist.

Luke sent a text message saying that he misses them and being sick stinks.

In the next results, Beane learns that he is in the danger zone. He sang “Grow as We Go” in hopes of earning one of the judges spots in the top 12. After bringing the judges to their feet, Lionel noted that Beane has grown into his artistry; adding that Beane gave a stellar performance. Saying there is only one Beane, Katy said that she is a card carrying “Beanie Baby”. Paula also admitted that she is a Beane fan; adding that he shines like a spotlight.

Chayce Beckham has earned a spot into the top 10. Singing his audition song; Chayce performed “What Brings Life Also Kills”. Katy said that Luke texted her saying, “dang I’m still not that cool”.

Ryan announced that in a two night event, the top 12 become nine and then on Monday 10 of the finalists from last season will return to perform live on the stage after having to perform from their homes last season and fans will vote one of them to join the lineup for this season to fill out the top 10.

Alyssa Wray is the next singer to learn her fate and will join the top 10. She chose to sing the Michael Masser and Linda Creed song “The Greatest Love of All” originally made a hit by George Benson. Alyssa chose to sing the Whitney Housston version of the song. Alyssas got a message from her idol Jennifer Hudson. Paula said that Alyssa looked like a pro. She advised Alyssa to pick songs that let her shine.

Next up was Alanis Sophia is not in the top 10 and will have to sing for her life with “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato. Lionel wondered how Alanis could hear that news and then give such a performance. He told her not to judge herself or think while she is performing. Katy said that she uses her rejections to fuel her fire. An impressed Paula agreed with Lionel of don’t think, just sing; adding to give it her all.

And then there were four…

Willie Spence blew the house away with his performance on Sunday night and earned his way into the top 10. Willie’s choir room performance of “Diamonds” by Rihanna went viral back in 2017; tonight he performs it live for the first time. Willie had his fellow contestants and the judges on their feet during hs performance. Katy called Willie brilliant; adding that he has an old soul vibe.

Only Grace, Hunter, and Graham remain…

Grace Kinstler is moving on to the top 10. She chose to sing “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. Lionel said that Grace has an amazing attitude on stage; adding that it was an oh my god performance.



It’s down to Hunter and Graham…two great friends.

Hunter Metts is the final singer in the top 10 and sang the Bonnie Raitt song “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. Paula noted that Hunter’s vocals are very distinct; adding that she is a big fan. She noted that the whole night has been incredible.


In the final performance of the night, Graham Defranco sings for his life with “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell. Lionel asked Graham if he understood what he has done; adding that he is punching his way to the future. Katy said that she thinks Graham got very close; adding that she thinks he has finally taken flight. Paula called Graham’s voice so comforting; adding that it was like butter…so smooth.

After the judges deliberation…

Lionel announced that after a tough evening that Madison Watkins is moving on to join the top 10.

The final spot in the top 12 is….
Saying that based on tonight’s performance, Katy announced in a unanimous decision Beane is in the top 12.

Colin Jamieson, Alanis Sophia, and Graham Defranco has been eliminated from the competition.

Battles Conclude on ‘The Voice’

It’s the final week of the Battle rounds on season 20 of “The Voice”.

Kelly and Nick have both used their save and their steal for this round. Blake still have his steal and John still has his save.

Team Legend gets the night of music started off with Deion Warren and Victor Solomon for “You Got it Bad” by Usher. John got Brandy to give him a little help in mentoring the singers. Nick said that the guys reminded why he had pushed for them in the blinds; adding that he loves both of them. Kelsea said that she felt like she was at a show. A happy coach, John called it a fantastic performance that was entertaining. John chose Victor as the winner of the battle.

Team Kelly, with a little help form Luis Fonsi, paired Anna Grace and Ainae for a battle of the Amy Winehouse song “”You Know I’m No Good”. Blake said that they did a great job. Nick said that hearing Ainae’s voice on a record would be fun. John enjoyed hearing them both. Kelsea noted that Kelly loves both of the girls. Kelsea named Anna Grace as the winner of the battle.

Nick got some help from Darren Criss with a pairing of Andrew Marshall and Raine Stern for a battle of “Adore You” by Harry Styles. John felt that Andrew was, “in the pocket”. Nick noted that this one was tough. He agreed with the other coaches that Andrew did a better job of the song. Saying that they both deserve to be there, Nick chose Raine as the winner of the battle. Blake used his steal on Andrew. There are no more steals for this round.

Blake paired up Savannah Chestnut and Pete Mroz for a battle of “Have a Little Faith in Me” by John Hyatt. Blake brought in Dan + Shay to help mentor his team. Blake noted that Pete was a great singer 25 years ago when they were in a band together and he is still a great singer. Blake chose Pete as the winner of the battle. Blake’s team is complete.

For her last pairing, Kelly chose JD Casper and Kenzie Wheeler for a battle of “Fishin’ in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Blake noted that it was such a fun song to sing and stands the test of time. Nick said that Kenzie feels like he jumped out of a time machine; adding that JD is a wonderful artist. John noted htat both guys sound like they know who they are. Kelsea said that she enjoyed the performance. Kelsea named Kenzie as the winner of the battle. Kelly’s team is now full.

For his final pairing, Nick put Bradley Sinclair and Rachel Mac for a battle of “Your Song” by Sir Elton John. John called the performance beautiful; adding it was what music was supposed to feel like. Kelsea said that she wished Kelly could have felt the performance in the room. Nick said that they both just gave the best performance of the battle rounds. Saying that both of them were amazing and deserve to be in the competition, Nick chose Rachel as the winner of the battle.

In the final pairing of the battle rounds, John put Carolina Rial and Rio Doyle for a song he said that he has wanted to do on the show for a while – “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye and Kimbra. During rehearsals Brandy said that they sang from their souls and moved her. Kelsea called both singers incredible. Nick called both singers exceptional. John loved the confidence and composure of the teens. Saying that it was a tough decision, John chose Rio as the winner of the battle. John used his save on Carolina.

All the teams are full and the knock out rounds begin next week…with a big surprise super mentor!

Battle Round winners:
Team Kelly:
Ryleigh Modig
Avery Robertson – steal
Gihanna Zoe
Corey Ward
Savanna Woods – save
Anna Grace
Kenzie Wheeler

Team Legend:
Gean Garcia – steal
Pia Renee
Zania Make
Ciana Pelekai
Victor Solomon
Rio Doyle
Carolina Rial – save

Team Blake:
Connor Christian
Ethan Lively
Cam Anthony
Emma Caroline – save
Jordan Matthew Young
Andrew Marshall – steal
Pete Mroz

Team Nick:
Dana Monique
Devin Blake Jones – save
Jose Figueroa Jr
Keegan Ferrell – steal
Zae Romeo
Raine Stern
Rachel Mac

Top 16 Revealed on Idol

The top 24 artists have performed their solos and celebrity duets on “American Idol”. And now it is up to the fans to cast their votes and choose the top 16. One third of the singers will be sent home by the end of the show.

The top 24 performed over two nights. Host Ryan Seacrest will be announcing the top eight vote getters from each night.

The first singer moving on to the top 16 is Alyssa Wray who performs the Roberta Flack hit “Killing Me Softly with His Song”. Katy said that the performance was totally a vibe; adding that she was an actual artist. Agreeing with Katy, Luke called it a great song choice. Lionel noted that it was down ot confidence; adding that it was a stellar performance.

The next singer moving into the top 16 is survey pilot Graham Defranco who performed the Frank Sinatra song “That’s Life”. Luke noted that Graham is the guy who can’t believe he is here; adding that Graham has a timeless voice. Lionel noted that the crowd feeds off of Graham having fun. Katy said that Graham picked the best song for his voice; adding that he has an incredible voice.

The next singer moving on to the next round is Grace Kinstler who sang “Elastic Heart” by Sia. Standing, Lionel called Grace a force to be reckoned with; adding that she draws them into her performances. Katy noted that Grace can sing everything. Luke said that Grace has an amazing voice.

Ryan Seacrest named Alonis Sophia who chose to perform “The Story by Brandi Carlile. Katy thought it was a great song choice for her voice. Luke noted that it was a rangy song. Lionel wanted to know if they witnessed an explosion; adding that Alonis needs to learn how to work the stage.

The next singer into the top 16 is Willie Spence who sang “The Prayer” with Katherine McPhee for his duet last week. This week, Willie chose to sing the Adele song “Set Fire to the Rain”. Luke said that the coolest thing Willie did was suck them in. Lionel stood and said that God took control; adding that tit was close to a Donnie Hathaway, Luther Vandross moment and brilliant! Katy said that Willie was possessed in a Godly way.

Next in the top 16 is Deshawn Goncalves who took on the iconic “Feeling Good” and began the song A Cappella before playing the piano. He brought the judges to their feet with his performance. Lionel noted that the hardest thing for a singer is to open with a cold start; adding that he owned the piano as well. Katy said that Deshawn went to the next level with his performance. Luke said that Deshawn put it all together. Ryan asked if the 16 year old had any butterflies with that cold start. Deshawn said absolutely.

The next singer in the top 16 is street singer Wyatt Pike who sang the Kings of Leon song “Use Somebody”. Katy noted that Wyatt looked so nervous; adding that he is an authentic singer songwriter. Luke said that Wyatt is going to be able to do music for the rest of his life. Lionel noted that Wyatt has a style on stage that makes them want to watch; adding that Wyatt made the song his own. Katy wants to hear Wyatt sing something to make them cry. Wyatt said that he would like to do that.

The final singer from the top 12 on last Sunday night is Cassandra Coleman. She chose to sing the Chris Isaak hit “Wicked Game”. Luke said that her verses were incredible but needs to soar more on the choruses. Lionel noted that the key word is confidence; adding don’t concentrate, just sing. Katy said that she would love to see what would happen on a tour.

Alana, Cecil, Andrea, and Anilee have all been eliminated from the competition.

The first singer from the top 12 on Monday night’s performances is Caleb Kennedy. The 16 year old Country singer chose the Chris Stapleton song “Midnight Train to Memphis”. Lionel said that he is convinced Caleb has ice water in his veins; adding he gave a great performance. Katy noted that Caleb has a grit and is becoming an outlaw. Luke noted that Caleb has a course he wants to follow and is doing a great job.

Next up is rocker Colin Jamieson who chose to perform the Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. Colin had the audience clapping and dancing along. Katy said that Colin is an incredible vocalist. Luke noted that Colin was working the camera; adding that he “sang his butt off”. Lionel noted that it is called show business; adding that Colin was having fun on stage.

The next singer moving into the top 16 is Casey Bishop who sang the Soundgarden song “Black Hole Sun”. Luke noted that Casey can sing anything; adding her performance was impressive. Lionel said that it is fascinating to watch Casey; asking where is the extra pair of lungs. Katy called it the best performance from Casey so far.

Continuing to build the top 16, Madison Watkins is the next to perform. She chose “Gravity” by Sarah Bareilles. Lionel said that Madison gave a perfect presentation. Katy was surprised; saying that she was locked from the first few notes; adding it was her best performance. Luke said that Madison gave a flawless vocal performance.

Bean is lucky number 13 in the list of 16 singers. Beane chose to perform “Searching for a Feeling”. Katy said that Beane showed another side of himself. Luke noted that he thinks America wants to be entertained and Bean gave that to them. Lionel said that watching Beane perform is inviting.

The next singer moving to the top 16 is Hunter Metts performed “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver. Luke said that Hunter really dug in; adding no one sounds like Hunter. Lionel agreed with Luke. Katy said that Hunter gave them growl which was impressive.

Next into the top 16 is 15 year old Ava August who sang “2002” by Ann Marie. Lionel said that he is going to declare Ava 15 and dangerous. Katy reminded Ava that classic always turmps cool…and Ava is classic. Luke told Ava not to forget the classic and grace.

The final singer in the top 16 is Chayce Beckham who chose to sing “Waiting in Vain” by Bob Marley and Wailers. Chayce sat on a stool and played his guitar as he sang the classic raggae song. Katy said that Chayce checks all the boxes. Luke said that the count off was the coolest thing; adding he can deliver. Lionel said that if you can identify with real, then America will fall in love…and they did.

Jason, Mary Jo, Llahona, and Hannah have all been eliminated from the competition.

On Monday’s results show the top 12 will be revealed – 10 by fan vote and two selected by the judges.




First 2 Time Winn in Cup Series at Martinsville

After taking the weekend off for Easter, the NASCAR Cup Series returns for some Saturday night short track racing at Martinsville Speedway for the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. 

Mother Nature has plagued the races with rain showers.  The Xfinity Series race has been postponed due to the rain and the start of the Cup Series race is delayed for a bit to get the track ready for racing.

Daniel Suarez was scheduled to start the race in eleventh place, but after it was discovered during the pre-race inspection process that the number 99 car had added ballast, a rule book violation, Suarez will have to start the race from the back of the field.  Suarez also loses his crew chief Travis Mack for the race and both Suarez and Trackhouse Racing will lose 10 points for the infraction.

Suarez is not alone in having to start the race from the back of the field.  The number eight car driven by Tyler Reddick will have to drop to the back of the field after the crew made unapproved adjustments. 

 Corey LaJoie, James Davison,
and Justin Haley will have to move to the back of the field after multiple failures during the inspection process.

Joey Logano will sit on the pole with Denny Hamlin starting alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500:
Joey Logano
Denny Hamlin
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr
Ryan Newman
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Daniel Suarez – moved to the back of the field
Kyle Busch
Tyler Reddick – moved to the back of the field
Michael McDowell
Chris Buescher
Erik Jones
Ryan Preece
Austin Dillon
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Matt DiBenedetto
Christopher Bell
Chase Briscoe
Bubba Wallace
Cole Custer
Ross Chastain
JJ Yeley
Quin Houff
Justin Haley – moved to the back of the field
Aric Almirola
Cody Ware
Josh Bilicki
Corey LaJoie – moved to the back of the field
Anthony Alfredo
BJ McLeod
James Davison – moved to the back of the field

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 paperclip shaped track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 60.

After an hour delay for rain and track drying, the engines fire and the drivers get moving.  The drivers are making some extended pace laps to allow the track dryers to dry out pit road where the cars had been parked.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and jumps out in front for the lead after the waving of the green flag by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace.

Lap two, the top five ae Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott.

The shortest track on the circuit at a half mile, it will not take long for the leaders to reach slower traffic.

Lap five, Denny Hamlin passes Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap six, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap eight, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second on William Byron.

Lap 10, the top five are Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 12, William Byron has closed the gap on leader Denny Hamlin to under a second; Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 14, after having to start the race from the back of the field, Daniel Suarez has moved up to 30th place and Tyler Reddick is in 29th.

Lap 17, Denny Hamlin has a one second lead on William Byron; Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 20, Quin Houff is the only driver not on the lead lap in 37th place.

Lap 21, the leaders are approaching slower traffic.

Lap 22, Denny Hamlin has increased his lead on William Byron to over a second and a half; Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 24, Chase Elliott reports that his brakes are “too cold” and is turning off the fans to warm them up.

Lap 25, Joey Logano is challenging William Byron for second.

Lap 28, Denny Hamlin holds on to his lead of over a second and a half on Joey Logano; Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap 35, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with a lead of over a second and a half; Joey Logano, Martin TruexJr, Ryan Blaney, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out for James Davison when he spins out and contacts the wall.

Drivers can make a pit stop for tires and adjustments but cannot fuel the cars until the competition caution.  Many of the drivers come down pit road for service.

Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road; followed by Joey Logano.

All of the lead lap cars came down pit road but the lap down cars stayed out on the track.  There are 29 cars on the lead lap.  Anthony Alfredo is the “lucky dog” and will make it 30 cars on the lead lap.

NASCAR has red flagged the race when heavy rains returned with 42 laps in the books.

NASCAR Hall of Famer and former FOX Sports broadcaster Darrell Waltrip had a long standing theory he termed “the vortex theory”.  As long as the drivers were making laps on the track at speed, the rains will stay away.  His theory was that the heat from the engines would keep the rain from falling on the track.  James Davison wrecked bringing out the yellow flag and slowing the cars…the rains began falling.

After a delay of an hour, heavier rains began to fall and NASCAR has called the race with a scheduled resumption of the race at 4pm on Sunday afternoon following the Xfinity Series race.



It’s a warm sunny day at Martinsville Speedway and the drivers are ready to go with the completion of the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. 

Points leader Denny Hamlin leads the race,

James Davison and Justin Haley are the only driver not on the lead lap.

The lineup at the time the race was red flagged:
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
William Byron
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Ryan Preece
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Chris Buescher
Matt DiBenedetto
Erik Jones
Bubba Wallace
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kurt Busch
Ryan Newman
Aric Almirola
Christopher Bell
Tyler Reddick
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Cole Custer
Chase Briscoe
Michael McDowell
Corey LaJoie
Anthony Alfredo
Justin Haley
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Josh Bilicki
Cody Ware
Quin Houff
James Davison

The cars are moving under the yellow flag with the laps counting.

The drivers who did not pit during the caution flag on Saturday night take the wave around.

After the Xfinity Series concluded their race and laid rubber on the track, NASCAR has announced that there will be no competition caution on lap 60.  The teams were allowed to top off their fuel prior to getting back out on the track.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the restart of the race on lap 47 and gets out in frton to hold on to the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Martin Treux Jr.

Kurt Busch brings out the caution flag on lap 51 after making contact with Erik Jones and spinning out.  He keeps the car off of the wall.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 57 with Ryan Blaney on the outside.  Hamlin gets out in front to hold on to the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Martin Truex Jr.

Martin Truex Jr gets around Joey Logano for fourth place.

Lap 61, Denny Hamlin has a haf second lead on Ryan Blaney with 34 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 65, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over half a second on Ryan Blaney; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

JJ Yeley has made an unscheduled trip down pit road.

Lap 69, Ryan Blaney has closed the gap on leader Denny Hamlin to under half a second.

After having to start the race from the back of the field due to penalties, Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez have entered the top 20.

Lap 73, Ryan Blaney has caught up to leader Denny Hamlin and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 75, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin battle for the lead.

Lap 76, Ryan Blaney is the new leader.

Lap 77, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano.

JJ Yeley returns to the track six laps down.

After being involved in an on track incident, Kurt Busch has moved up to 22nd place.

Lap 82, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 85, Daniel Suarez comes down pit road with a possible tire issue.  FOX Sports broadcasters report that some of the teams may or may not have gotten all five of the lug nuts properly secured during the caution flag before the race was halted on Saturday night.

Lap 92, with over 400 laps remaining in the race, the drivers are already getting very aggressive on the track; beating and banging with their fellow drivers.

Lap 95, Ryan Blaney has a near one second lead on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 100, there are 25 cars on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney has extended his lead on Denny Hamlin to over a second; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

AT just over half a mile, Martinsville is the shortest track on the NASCAR circuit; as a result, it does not take long for the leaders to encounter slower traffic.

Lap 105, Ryan Blaney continues to pass cars; there are 22 cars on the lead lap.  Blaney has a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin with Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson rounding out the top five.

Twenty laps to go in stage one and the drivers are getting three wide in an attempt to stay on the lead lap.

Lap 112, Ryan Blaney now has a second and a half lead on Denny Hamlin with 22 cars on the lead lap.  Third place driver Martin Truex Jr is nearly three seconds behind Blaney.

Lap 115, Ryan Blaney has pulled out to a two second lead on Deny Hamlin.  Drivers are making laps at around 20 seconds per lap.

Ten laps remain in stage one; Ryan Blaney has a lead of nearly two seconds on Denny Hamlin with 2 cars on the lead lap. 

Five to go in stage one; the top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Chase Ellliott, and Kyle Larson.

Ryan Blaney wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Alex Bowma
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ryan Blaney winning the race off of pit road; Denny Hamlin comes out second.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane and goes nose to nose with Denny Hamlin in a battle for the lead before Denny Hamlin edges out in front.

Lap 142, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, and William Byron.  There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

All 37 drivers that started the race are still out on the track.

Lap 148, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron.

Lap 151, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second on Ryan Blaney; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 154, Alex Bowman gets around team mate William Byron for fifth.

Lap 156, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, and Chris Buescher make contact but they save the cars and the track stays green.

Lap 159, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race by one second over Ryan Blaney; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.  There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

BJ McLeod has made an unscheduled trip down pit road.

Lap 164, Ryan Blaney has closed the gap on leader Denny Hamlin to just over half a second; Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 168, Denny Hamlin has a lead of just over half a second on Ryan Blaney; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 171, Ryan Preece is off the pace with reports of alternator issues.

Today is race start number 550 for Denny Hamlin.

Lap 173, Ryan Blaney has closed the gap on leader Denny Hamlin to just a quarter of a second and is challenging for the lead.

Lap 175, Ryan Blaney battle Denny Hamlin for the lead.

Lap 176, new leader; Ryan Blaney takes the lead.

Lap 177, Ryan Blaney has a third of a second lead on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 185, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over half a second on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five with 21 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 190, there are nearly three seconds between leader Ryan Blaney and fif place driver Kyle Larson.

Lap 194, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over a second (1.26) on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five; Kyle Busch is in sixth nearly five seconds back.

Lap 194, the gap between leader Ryan Blaney and fifth place driver Kyle Larson is now nearly five seconds.

Lap 200, Ryan Blaney holds a lead of over a second on Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson round out the top five with 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 204, Ryan Blaney continues to increase his lead and is now over a second and a half in front of denny Hamlin.

BJ McLeod is now 21 laps down and in 37th place.

Lap 207, Ryan Blaney is now over two seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 216, Ryan Blaney continues to extend his lead on Denny Hamlin and the field.  Blaney is now two and a half seconds in front of the field; Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  There are 18 cars on the lead lap.  Joey Logano is the last car on the lead lap.

With 36 laps remaining in stage two, Ryan Blaney has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin with 18 cars on the lead lap.

After being on pit road with an alternator issue, Ryan Preece is back on the track five laps down with fresh tires and is looking to earn at least one of his laps back by passing race leader Ryan Blaney.

Thirty to go in stage two, Ryan Blaney is now three seconds in front of Denny Hamlin; Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lapa 219, drivers continue to battle it out through the field.  Ryan Blaney has a three second lead on Denny Hamlin and is on team mate Joey Logano’s bumper.

Cody Ware brings out the caution flag spins out with a flat tire and hits the wall.  The caution flag saved Joey Logano from going a lap down.

With 100 laps on their tires, drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.  Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road.

Joey Logano was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with just 13 laps remaining in stage two and jumps out in front of Denny Hamlin for the lead.

the top five are Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Busch.

Denny Hamlin battle Ryan Blaney for the lead but Blaney hold on to the top spot.

Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson make contact battling for position but the track stays green.

Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Newman make contact, doing some damage to their cars.

Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin continue to battle for the lead.

Lap 251, the caution flag comes out after all the contact.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag restart for a two lap shootout to end stage two.  Ryan Blaney jumps out in front for the lead with Martin Truex Jr battling Denny Hamlin for second.

Ryan Blaney wins stage two for the stage sweep with Denny Hamlin at his door for second.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Tyler Reddick
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch

Even though they were on pit road a short time ago, the drivers come down pit road for service including fresh tires.  Ryan Blaney wins the race off of pit road followed by Martin Truex Jr.

After staying out on the track, Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three and gets out in front of Brad Keselowski for the lead.

Lap 270, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Kurt Busch. Ryan Blaney restarted the race in eleventh place.

Lap 275, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski with 23 cars on the lead lap.

Justin Haley spins out bringing out the seventh caution flag on lap 277.  Michael McDowell is the “lucky dog”.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 283 and holds off Brad Keselowski for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, William Byron ,and Kurt Busch.  There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 287, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a half second lead on Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 290 when Cody Ware spins out again.

Drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road with Joey Logano in second.

Austin Dillon is being held on pit road for pitting outside of his pit box.

After staying out on the track, Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 297.  Fifty laps ago, Wallace was two laps down.  Bubba Wallace and Ryan Newman battle it out for the lead with Bubba edging out to take the top spot.

Lap 298, the top five are Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez,and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The drivers are three wide across the track.

Lap 300, Bubba Wallace leads the race with 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 302, the top five are Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez, and William Byron.

Lap 307, Bubba Wallace holds on to the lead with Ryan Newman a third of a second behind; William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.  Ryan Blaney is mired in traffic back in eleventh place.

William Byron battle Ryan Newman for second place.

Lap 311, Ryan Blaney enters the top 10 after passing Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 313, Bubba Wallace has led 21 laps so far; the most he has ever led as a Cup Series driver.  William Byron is looking to take the lead in a battle with Wallace.

Lap 315, William Byron passes Bubba Wallace to become the fifth different leader of the day.

Ryan Blaney is reporting that the temperatures in his car are way up.

Lap 317, the top five are William Byron, Bubba Wallace, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, and Kyle Larson.?

Brad Keselowski is reporting some issues with his power steering.

Kyle Busch brings out the caution flag after spinning out.  Busch just missed backing into the wall.  Busch reports that the right rear feels like a pogo stick.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 328 and edges out William Byron for the lead.


The top five are Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, and Joey Logano.

The 10th caution flag comes out with 170 laps remaining in the race after an on track issue involving Anthony Alfredo.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart with 165 laps remaining in the race.  He edges out William Byron for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Newman, and Joey Logano.

Lapa 339, Brad Keselowski brings out the caution flag after making contact with Daniel Suarez and spinning out.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service.  While Keselowski was on pit road, the crew replaced the power steering fluid in his car.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 347 from the inside lane.  Denny Hamlin jumps out in front for the lead with Alex Bowman in second.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, William Byron, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Newman gets turned around and brings out the twelfth caution flag of the race. 

Aric Almirola brings his car down pit road with lots of front end damage to his car.

Choosing the inside lane, Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 355 and edges out Alex Bowman for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney.

There are 27 cars on the lead lap with all 37 drivers still in the race.

Lap 358, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over half a second on Alex Bowman; Joey Logano, William Byron, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney passes William Byron for fourth with Denny Hamlin over a second out in front of Joey Logano.

Lap 364 Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second and a half on Joey Logano; Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Alex Bowman reports a bad vibration in his car.  He is trying to work his way to pit road.

Lap 268, Denny Hamlin has a lead of nearly two seconds on Joey Logano; Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.



Erik Jones brings out the caution flag when he spins out on lap 371.

Alex Bowman had a loose wheel.

Drivers come down pit road for service.  They can make it to the end of the race from this point.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road. 

In an incident on pit road, Corey LaJoie has part of his front end torn off of the car.

Christopher Bell brings the field down for the green flag restart with 123 laps remaining in the race.  Bell beats out Ross Chastain for the lead.

The top five are Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, and Joey Logano.

Drivers are three wide across the track.

Lap 380, Christopher Bell has a lead of nearly half a second on Denny Hamlin; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Daniel Suarez gets run up the track but the track stays green.

With 115 laps to go, the drivers are getting very aggressive on the track.

The caution flag comes out for a big wreck that completely blocked the track.  Daniel Suarez, Justin Haley, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, Cole Custer, Anthony Alfredo, Ryan Preece, Michael McDowell, Matt DiBenedetto, Kyle Busch, Chris Buscher, James Davison, Brad Keselowski, and Kurt Busch were all involved.  Daniel Suarez’s car is on fire; he is out of the car and fine.

NASCAR has displayed the red flag at 6:54pm in order to get the track cleaned up.

After a 20 minute red flag delay, NASCAR displays the caution flag and the engines get fired.  The drivers are moving around the track once again.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires.

Ross Chastain was caught speeding on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Of the  car that were involved in the big wreck, only five are out of the race: Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Alex Bowman, Ryan Preece, and Justin Haley.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart as the lights come on with Ryan Blaney alongside on lap 395.  Denny Hamlin jumps out in front to take the lead with Ryan Blaney on his bumper.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson.

Kyle Larson makes contact with Martin Truex Jr but Truex saved the car and the track stays green.

Corey LaJoie is also out of the race.

Drivers are getting three wide across the track as they battle for position.

Lap 401, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 405, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over half a second on Ryan Blaney. 

Erik Jones takes his car to the garage down a cylendar.

With 89 laps remaining in the race, Denny Hamlin holds on to a lead of over half a second on Ryan Blaney; Martin Truex Jr, Joey Logano, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Chase Elliott passes Joey Logano on the outside to take fourth place.

Kyle Larson passes Joey Logano on the outside to take fifth place.

Christopher Bell passes Joey Logano.

Eighty to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of less than half a second on Ryan Blaney.

Lap 421, Ryan Blaney is on leader Denny Hamlin’s bumper and challenging for the lead.  So far Hamlin has led 218 laps.

With 75 laps to go, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

With 19 cars on the lead lap, Ryan Blaney is right on leader Denny Hamlin’s bumper.

Lap 433, Ryan Blaney continues to ride leader Denny Hamlin’s bumper in a challenge to take the lead; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Sixty to go, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney on his bumper; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Fifty to go, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Ryan Blaney riding his bumper; Martin Truex Jr, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson round out e the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 451 when Chase Briscoe spins out and hits the wall.

Drivers come down pit road for that one last set of sticker tires.  Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.  Ryan Blaney will have to serve a penalty for removing equipment from his pit box when the air hose gets stuck and he takes it with him.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with 42 laps remaining in the race from the inside lane with Denny Hamlin alongside on the outside.  Truex gets out in front for the lead but Hamlin comes up and passes Truex on the outside to take the lead./

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano.  Ryan Blaney is the last car on the lead lap in 19th place.

With 37 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

 Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, and Christopher Bell are in a battle for the fourth place spot.  Ryan Blaney has moved up to 15th place.

Thirty to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of under half a second on Martin Truex Jr; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Ryan Newman’s car is smoking after beating and banging with Kyle Busch for tenth place.

Lap 475, Martin Truex Jr has caught up to leader Denny Hamlin and is battling for the lead.

If Hamlin can hold on to the lead and win the race, he will be the eighth different winner this season.

Twenty to go, Denny Hamlin has a narrow lead as Martin Truex Jr continues to battle for the position; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and William Byron round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, team mates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr continue to battle for the lead and Martin Truex Jr has finally gotten past Hamlin for the lead with losts of traffic ahead; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 487, Chase Elliott challenges Denny Hamlin for second place.  Martin Truex Jr is nearly a second out in front.

Ten to go, Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Denny Hamlin who has Chase Elliott on his bumper; Chase Elliott and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 494, Chase Elliott takes second from Denny Hamlin.

Five to go and Martin Truex Jr has a two second lead on Chase Elliott.

With a lead of over two seconds, Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag.

Martin Truex Jr becomes the first two time winner this season.

the unofficial results of the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500:
Martin Truex Jr
Chase Elliott
Denny Hamlin
William Byron
Kyle Larson
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
Tyler Reddick
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Matt DiBenedetto
Chris Buescher
Austin Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Ross Chastain
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
Aric Almirola
Kurt Busch
James Davison
Josh Bilicki
Quin Houff
JJ Yeley
Anthony Alfredo
Chase Briscoe
Cody Ware
BJ McLeod
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell
Daniel Suarez
Brad Keselowski
Alex Bowman
Justin Haley
Ryan Preece
Corey LaJoie

First Time Winner for Xfinity Series in Martinsville

After having a couple of weekends off, the Xfinity Series returns to kick off a doubleheader weekend with the Cup Series for some short track racing on the half mile track at Martinsville, better known as The Paperclip with the Cook Out 250.

With six races in the books, there has been five different winners with Austin Cindric as the only driver to win more than once with two race wins.

The Dash-4-Cash races return this year with the race at Martinsville as the first of four races where drivers can earn extra case for beating out some fellow competitors. Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson will all compete for an extra $100,000.  Only full time Xfinity Series drivers can qualify for the Dash-4-Cash prize.

The remaining Dash-4-Cash races are being held at Talladega, Darlington, and Dove.  The top four Series regulars finishers will qualify for the Dash-4-Cash at the next race.

Dash-4-Cash driver Harrison Burton sits on the pole and will bring the field to green.  Cousin Jeb Burton is hoping to be the fourth member of the Burton clan to win a race at Martinsville; joining cousin Harrison, dad Ward, and uncle Jeff.  Burton starts the race in 13th place.

The starting lineup for the Cook Out 250:
Harrison Burton
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allmendinger
Daniel Hemric
Justin Haley
Austin Cindric
Riley Herbst
Noah Gragson
Myatt Snider
Michael Annett
Jeremy Clements
Ryan Sieg
Jeb Burton
Landon Cassill
Josh Williams
Ty Gibbs
Tommy Joe Martins
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Brandon Brown
Timmy Hill
Jesse Little
Alex Labbe
Colby Howard
Brandon Jones
Brandon Gdovic
Bayley Currey
Brett Moffitt
Joe Graf Jr
Josh Berry
Jade Buford
Kyle Weatherman
Blaine Perkins
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Ryan Vargas
Matt Mills
George Gorham Jr
Stefan Parsons
Gray Gaulding
Matt Jaskol

Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon join Adam Alexander in the FOX Sports broadcast booth for the race.

Oddly enough, after NASCAR tested running a race under wet weather conditions earlier in the week, it was a rainstorm that has delayed the race.

Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 130 laps for a total of 250 laps around the half mile track.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 25.

With real fans in the stands, Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and edges out Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Lap two, the top five are Harrison Burton, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Justin Haley, and Austin Cindric.

Lap four, Harrison Burton leads the field with AJ Allmendinger just a tenth of a second back.

Lap six Jade Buford brings out the first caution flag of the race when he spins out from 28th place.

Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eleven from the inside lane and gets out in front to hold on to the lead with AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier battling for second.

Lap 12, the top five are Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Noa Gragson, and Ryan Sieg.

AJ Allmendinger makes an unscheduled trip down pit road for a flat tire.

Matt Mills is six laps down.

Lap 14, Harrison Burton has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Justin Allgaier.  AJ Allmendinger returns to the track two laps down.

Lapa 23, Justin Allgaier has closed the gap on leader Harrison Burton to under half a second.

The yellow flag comes out at the end of lap 25 for the competition caution.

During the caution, AJ Allmendinger made another trip down pit road for what he thought was a flat tire.  The tires were fine, but he is reporting that something has broken on the front end of the car.

Lap 33, Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Austin Cindric alongside.  Burton gets out in front to hold on to the lead.

Lap 35, Harrison Burton has a lead of over a second on Austin Cindric; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and Myatt Snider round out the top five.  There are 37 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 38, Noah Gragson takes second from Austin Cindric with Harrison Burton over a second out in front.

The caution flag comes out on lap 45 when Stefan Parsons spins out.

AJ Allmendinger makes another trip down pit road.

Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart with 13 laps remaining in stage one and holds on to the lead.

Jeb Burton had to restart the race from the back of the field after being charged with “holding back” on restarts.


The caution flag comes out on lap 49 when Michael Annett spins out.  AJ Allmendinger is the “lucky dog” and gets one of his laps back.

Some of the drivers come down pit road for service including leader Harrison Burton.

With just five laps remaining in the race, Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane and takes the lead.

The caution flag comes out with just two laps remaining in stage one when Myatt Snider gets turned around after contact on the track, Tommy Joe Martins and Riley Herbst were also involved in the incident.

Ending under the caution flag, Noah Gragson wins stage one.


The top 10 drivers at the end of stage one:
Noah Gragson
Austin Cindric
Justin Haley
Ty Gibbs
Brandon Brown
Myatt Snider
Jeremy Clenents
JJ Yeley
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Bayley Currey


The isue with AJ Allmendinger’s car is a sway bar issue.

Brett Moffitt brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane and edges out Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Lap 68, the top five are Brett Moffitt, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, and Ryan Sieg.

Lap 71, Brandon Jones gets around Brett Moffitt for the lead with Josh Berry taking second.

Lap 75, Brandon Jones has a quarter of a second lead on josh Berry; Brett Moffitt, Daniel Hemric, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 78, Josh Berry passes Brandon Jones for the lead.

Lap 82, Josh Berry has the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Daniel Hemric, Brett Moffitt, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Lap 88, Josh Berry has the lead but is getting challenged by Brandon Jones.

Lap 89, Brandon Jones retakes the lead.

Lap 90, the rains come down and NASCAR red flags the race.

After a delay for rain of over three hours, NASCAR has called the race and will resume the event at noon on Sunday – April 11.



Some 36 hours after NASCAR called the race due to rain, the Xfinity Series drivers return to complete the Cook Out 250 that was started on Friday night.

The cars were originally set up for racing under the lights, but will return to the track to race in the daylight.

The running order at the time of the red flag:
Brandon Jones
Josh Berry
Daniel Hemric
Brett Moffitt
Jeb Burton
Ryan Sieg
Harrison Burton
Austin Cindric
Noah Gragson
Justin Allgaier
Michael Annett
Justin Haley
Ty Gibbs
Myatt Snider
Jeremy Clements
Tommy Joe Martins
Blain Perkins
Kyle Weatherman
George Gorham Jr
Josh Williams
Brandon Brown
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Gray Gaulding
Joe Graf Jr
Jade Buford
Riley Herbst
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Alex Labbe
Landon Cassill
Ryan Vargas
Brandon Gdovic
Stefan Parsons
Bayley Currey
Colby Howard
Jesse Little
Timmy Hill
Matt Jaskol
AJ Allmendinger
Matt Mills

As soon as the drivers take to the track on lap 91, the yellow flag is out and the laps are counting.

Early in the race, AJ Allmendinger had an issue with his car and made a number of pit stops for what he thought were flat tires. The issue turned out to be a bolt coming off of the sway bar.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 97.

Daniel Hemric takes the lead.

Ryan Vargas has an issue with his car and makes it to pit road; the track stays green.

Justin Allgaier made a pit stop prior to the green flag for adjustments and fresh tires.

With 18 laps remaining in stage two Daniel Hemric leads the race; Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Myatt Snider makes contact with Josh Williams and gets a flat tire bringing out the caution flag with 15 laps remaining in stage two. Josh Williams spins out after the contact.

AJ Allmendinger is the “lucky dog” and is back on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service. The teams were given only three sets of tires for the race. Make a pit stop for fresh tires during this caution have only one set of sticker tires remaining in their pits.

NASCAR has determined that Josh Williams intentionally caused the caution flag; as a result, he was penalized one lap.

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag restart with just eight laps remaining in stage two.

Daneil Hemric gets out in front to hold on to the lead with Noah Gragson in second.

Lap 114, the top five are Daniel Hemric, Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, Michael Annett, and Jeremy Clements. There are 34 cars on the lead lap. Ryan Vargas is out of the race and Blaine Perkins is off the track.

Daniel Hemric wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Daniel Hemric
Noah GragsonJeb Burton
Michael Annett
Jeremy Clements
Tommy Joe Martins
Stefan Parsons
JJ Yeley
George Gorham Jr
Josh Berry

The drivers who did not make a pit stop during the last caution flag come down pit road for service. After taking fuel only, JJ Yeley wins the race off of pit road.

Tommy Joe Martins brings the field down for the green flag sgtart of stage three on lap 132 from the inside lane but it is Josh Berry who jumps out in front for the lead.

The top five are Josh Berry, Justin Haley, Riley Herbst, Tommy Joe Martins, and Austin Cindric.

Lap 134, Josh Berry has pulled out to a half second lead on Justin Haley; Riley Herbst is in third with Austin Cindric and Tommy Joe Martins battling it out for fourth.

Now back on the lead lap, AJ Allmendinger has moved up to 30th place.

Lap 140, the caution flag come out for a spin out and hitting the wall by Colby Howard after some contact from Kyle Weatherman.

Josh Berry brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 146 with Justijn Haley alongside. Berry jumps out in front for the lead in his number eight car.

The top five are Josh Berry, Justin Haley, Austin Cindric, Brandon Jones, and Ty Gibbs.

Blaine Perkins is back on the track 19 laps down. Colby Howard is on pit road.

Lap 150, Josh Berry holds on to the lead of the race with 35 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 152, the top five are Josh Berry, Justin Haley, Austin Cindric, Ty Gibbs, and Harrison Burton.

Lap 153, Brandon Gdovic brings out the caution flag after spinning out after some contact from Jeremy Clements.

Dash-4-Cash drivers Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson are all in the top 10 with AJ Allmendinger in 22nd place. The driver who finishes the highest will earn $100,000.

Josh Berry brings the field down for the green flag restart with 91 laps remaining in the race. Berry jumps out in front to hold on to the lead with Austin Cindric in second.

The top five are Josh Berry, Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, and Ty Gibbs.

With 86 laps to go, Riley Herbst has a flat tire and has to make an unscheduled pit stop. The track stays green.

Lap 163, Josh Berry leads the race with Austin Cindric in second; Justin Haley, Ty Gibbs, and Harrison Burton round out the top five. AJ Allmendinger has entered the top 20 in 19th place.

Eighty to go, Josh Berry has a near half second lead on Austin Cindric; Justin Haley, Ty Gibbs, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Tommy Joe Martins makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a possible tire issue.

The caution flag comes out with 75 laps to go after contact between Blaine Perkins and Joe Graf Jr.

The crew is pushing Tommy Joe Martins car down pit road.

Josh Williams is the “lucky dog” and gets his lap back.

Drivers come down pit road for that final set of tires, adjustments, and fuel. Josh Berry wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Bayley Currey brings the field down for the green flag restart with Stefan Parsons alongside with 67 laps to go. Coming from four rows back, Josh Berry moves up to third on the restart with Bayley Currey in the lead.

Lap 183, the top five are Bayley Currey, Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, and Stefan Parsons.

Lap 186, Josh Berry retakes the lead.

AJ Allmendinger has moved up to 16th place but has been unable to move forward.

Sixty to go, the top five are Josh Berry, Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, and Harrison Burton.

With 57 laps remaining in the race, Ty Gibbs passes Josh Berry for the lead.

Je Graf Jr is out of the race. Colby Howard continues to remain off the track.

With 32 cars on the lead lap, Ty Gibbs has a quarter of a second lead on Josh Berry with 52 laps remaining in the race.

Lapa 200, the top five are Ty Gibbs, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson, and Harrison Burton.

Landon Cassill is on pit road.

There are 28 cars on the lead lap. Colby Howard is out of the race.

The caution flag comes out on lap 204 when Alex Labbe spins out after being in a three wide battle for position.

AJ Allmendinger has moved up to 14th place.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart with 40 laps to go and gets out in front for the lead with Josh Berry in second.

The top five are Ty Gibbs, Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones.

Lap 215, Ty Gibbs has a third of a second lead on Josh Berry; Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton, and Brand Jones round out the top five.

Jeffrey Earnhardt and Landon Cassill are off the track. Colby Howard, Joe Graf Jr, and Ryan Vargas are the only cars out of the race.

There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Thirty to go, Ty Gibbs holds on to a narrow lead on Josh Berry but Berry is on his bumper and challenging for the lead.

Lap 221, Josh Berry passes Ty Gibbs for the lead. Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs battle for second.

Noah Gragson gets around Ty Gibbs for second and sets his sights on team mate Josh Berry for the lead.

Twenty-five to go, the top five are Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, and Harrison Burton.

Lap 229, Josh Berry has a near one second lead on Noah Gragson; Ty Gibbs, Daniel Hemric, and Brandon Jones round out the top five with 26 cars on he lead lap.

Lap 234, Josh Berry has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson; Daniel Hemric, Ty Gibbs, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Ten to go, Josh Berry has a near one second lead on Noah Gragson; Daniel Hemric, Ty Gibbs, and Brandon Jones round out the top five. AJ Allmendinger is in 13th place.

Eight to go, Josh Berry holds on to his near one second lead on Noah Gragson. Currently, Gragson is the highest placed driver of the the four Dash-4-Cash drivers and is in position to take home the $100,000 prize.

Gray Gaulding’s car is reportedly smoking.

Josh Berry takes the white flag.

Josh Berry wins the race for his first career Xfinty Series win…and the grandfather clock! Noah Gragson wins the Dash-4-Cash prize. The last driver to win at Martinsville Speedway in the Xfinity Series in the number eight car was car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.

The unofficial results of the Cook Out 250:
Josh Berry
Noah Gragson
Daniel Hemric
Ty Gibbs
Brandon Jones
Austin Cindric
Harrison Burton
Justin Haley
Justin Allgaier
Michael Annett
Jeb Burton
Brett Moffitt
AJ Allmendinger
Jeremy Clements
Myatt Snider
Josh Williams
Brandon Gdovic
George Gorham Jr
Jade Buford
Stefan Parsons
Gray Gaulding
David Starr
Ryan Sieg
JJ Yeley
Kyle Weatherman
Bayley Currey
Brandon Brown
Matt Jaskol
Riley Herbst
Timmy Hill
Alex Labbe
Jesse Little
Matt Mills
Tommy Joe Martins
Blaine Perkins
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Landon Cassill
Joey Graf Jr
Colby Howard
Ryan Vargas

Joe Graf Jr Pairs Up with NFL Star

In recent years, athletes from other sporting genres have been entering the world of NASCAR to add their presence…and money…to racing teams.

The latest sports star to join Coach Joe Gibbs, Brad Daugherty, and Michael Jordan as a NASCAR owner is Buffalo Bills running back Antonio Williams.

A long time race fan, Williams likes what he sees in NASCAR and the changes that have taken place in the past couple of years – most notably the fight against social justice – and is looking to pave the way for a more diverse ownership in stock car racing.

Williams began watching races with his grandfather who rooted for Bill Elliott. But when Williams saw his first race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he cheered for Tony Stewart.

His grandfather died last year and as a way to pay tribute to the man who introduced him to racing, Williams began looking into how he could be a part of the auto racing sport.

Speaking with NASCAR.com, Williams said, “if you look at basketball and football, the biggest separation between those sports is that there is not just one demographic that watches it; everyone watches those sports. What NASCAR is doing is opening the door for that type of demographic and for everyone to be a fan of it now.”

After a tweet asking for NASCAR connections, Williams received 323 replies including Nate Blasdell who is a part Joe Graf Jr’s racing team. A lunch date at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Rochester, New York was William’s first step to becoming a part of the team.

Next came a January trip to Mooresville, North Carolina and a first meeting with Joe Graf at the race shop. Williams says, “there was a great connection, and we both have the same mindset of wanting to be great in our respective sport. I definitely want to help him out in his.” Since that first meeting, Williams and Graf have bonded and are looking forward to working together.

Williams is at the track as much as possible before he has to report to Bills training camp this summer.

Williams is now an investor in the team and will help to recruit sponsors for Graf’s number seven Xfinity Series car. Williams believes that his being a part of the NFL will help to open doors that otherwise would not be open to the SS Green Light Racing team.

Joe Graf noted that Williams, “has helped so much on the business side of it. I don’t think people realize how involved he really is. He’s helped close on a lot of sponsorship deals. He’s helped start a lot of conversations with sponsors we’re talking to now.”

Williams is looking to parlay his investorship into being a car team owner at some point in the future saying, “I think it would be fun and great to have owners of diversity within the sport, other owners of diversity. I think putting myself in that position would be good for my grandfather’s legacy and the sport in general.”

feature photo credit: Joe Graf Jr’s Facebook page

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Dies

For over 70 nears he stood by her side as a consort, confidant, and companion; His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh died April 9, 2021 at Windsor Castle just two months before his 100th birthday.  Buckingham Palace reports that the Prince died peacefully.  His Royal Highness had recently spent time in the hospital.

With a marriage to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 74 years, the couple hold the record for the longest marriage in British history.

Up until his retirement from public life a few years ago, Prince Philip made thousands of appearances fulfilling various engagements for the British Empire that included heading charities, founding programs to benefit the Commonwealth’s children, and had a hand in raising his four children.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II once referred to the Prince as “her rock”.  As for Prince Philip, he saw his job as to “never let her down”.

In British tradition, Prince Philip served in the military during World War II before marrying into British royalty.  His only “job” was that of consort to Her Majesty the Queen; walking three paces behind her in public appearances.  The Prince once noted, “constitutionally, I don’t exist”.

Along with his title of Prince and Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Philip holds the Order of Merit, is a Knight of the Thistle, had a license to fly fixed wing, helicopter, and private planes, was the first person to hold the position of President of the World Wildlife Fund – a position he held for 20 years -, is the Earl of Merioneth, the Baron Greenwich, is a Knight of the Garter, is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, and is a Companion of the Order of Australia.  He also holds the titles of Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, and is a Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

The Prince was known for speaking his mind; at times seemingly brash, insensitive, and controversial.

He was born Philippos Andreou of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Glücksburg Prince of Greece and Denmark on the dining room table of the family home in Corfu, Greece.  He was the fifth child, and only son, born to Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Battenberg.  His father was the younger brother of the King of Greece.  His grandfather came from Denmark in the 1860’s to become the King of Greece.  His great-great-grandmother was Queen Victoria; as is Her Majesty Queen Elilzabeth.  His family moved to France when young Philip was only 18 months old after his father was put on trial after a military defeat.

After his British education, Philip attended Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth before joining the Royal Navy where he served on battleships in the Mediterranean; as well as, the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  He was present when Japan surrendered in 1945.

In July 1947, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of then Princess Elizabeth; the couple were married on November 20 of that year.

A young mother of two, Princess Elizabeth became Queen of Britain in 1952 after the death of her father King George VI.  And Prince Philip had to give up his career in the Royal Navy to begin his lifetime engagement as the consort to the Queen.  During the coronation he pledged to be “her liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship”.

With Covid lockdown rules firmly in the foreground, plans for Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements will not include a lying in state, but will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel and is expected to include a “significant” military presence.  Large crowds will not be allowed to gather for the funeral events but will be able to view them via television.  Once the health crisis is over, a public memorial service may be possible.

Now living in the United States, grandson Harry may have to quarantine prior to attending the funeral.

Prince Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, children – Princess Anne and Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward; eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grand children.

feature photo credit: [[File:Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.jpg|Prince_Phillip_of_Edinburgh]]

Broadway Talk Live to Air ‘Broadway Masked Singer’

Cashing in on the success of the FOX television series “The Masked Singer”, Michael Hull and Dylan Bustamante of the Broadway Talk Live Network have created the “Broadway Masked Singer” as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Premiering April 26, eight Broadway professionals will compete attired in full body costumes.  Each character will perform before a panel of judges who will attempt to guess who is “under the mask”.

To date Broadway Talk Live has revealed clue packages from “The Bee and The Flamingo. 

https://www.playbill.com/article/live-interactive-broadways-masked-singer-series-is-coming?jwsource=cl

https://www.playbill.com/article/can-you-guess-which-broadway-star-is-the-flamingo?jwsource=cl

Fans will have to tune in on April 26 on  BC/EFA’s YouTube at 8pm EDT to find out who else will be performing.  The April 26 and 28 episodes will feature four each of the characters with the final four performing on April 30.

While fans will determine who stays and who goes home via their donation votes; a panel of theatre industry veterans Natalie Weiss, Ben Cameron, Jackie Cox, Hayley Podschun, Marty Thomas, Marissa Rosen, Nick Cearley, Abby DePhillips, Patrick Goodwin, Felicia Fitzpatrick, Christopher Metzger-Timson, Kevin Metzger-Timson, and Drew Wutke will try to help in determining who is behind the mask of the costumes.

The first two episodes will feature four of the performers with the lowest vote getter being unmasked.  The remaining three performers will perform a second time for votes with the character receiving the lowest votes unmasked at the beginning of the next episode.  The final episode will feature the final four characters to determine the winner.

Feature photo credit: The Flamingo Courtesy of Michael Hull

Actor Kevin Dobson Has Died

Actor Kevin Dobson died September 6, 2020 in a French Camp, California hospital as a result of complications from a autoimmune disorder at the age of 77.

Like many actors, he got his start in a daytime drama in 1968 when he played Governor Harrison Brooks in “One Life to Live”.

After making his television debut on “One Life to Live”, Dobson appeared in dozens of productions including “Mod Squad”, “Emergency”, “Ironside”, “Cannon”, “Midway”, an episode of “Captain Kangaroo”, 117 episodes of “Kojak”, nearly 300 episodes of “Knots Landing” and its subsequent reunions, “Touched by an Angel”, Detective Leo McCarthy on “F/X: The Series”, an episode of “Nash Bridges”, “The Bold and the Beautiful”, “Days of Our Lives”, “CSI: Crim Scene Investigation”, “Hawaii Five-O”, and “House of Lies”. He is listed as one of the cast members for “12 to Midnight” which will premiere later this year.

He was born Kevin Patrick Dobson on March 18, 1943, one of seven children, in New York City. An Irish American, He grew up in the Jackson Heights area of Queens. Before becoming an actor, Dobson worked for the Long Island Railroad, as a waiter, and was an MP in the Army.

Dobson is survived by his wife of over 50 years Susan, children – Mariah, Patrick, and Sean -, siblings – Dennis Brian, Mary Alice, and Jane, and five grandchildren.

feature photo credit: [[File:Kevin Dobson 1975.JPG|Kevin_Dobson_1975]]

Bunny Wailer Has Died

Bunny Wailer – the founding member of The Wailers – has died at the age of 73. Wailer died March 21, 2021 in a Kingston, Jamaica hospital. While an official cause of death was not given, Wailer had been in and out of the hospital dealing with issues as a result of his second stroke last year.

In a career that spanned seven decades, the Raggae star originally formed The Wailers with Bob Marley, and Peter Tosh in 1963.

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness spoke on Wailer via Twitter saying, “this is a great loss for Jamaica and for Reggae, undoubtedly Bunny Wailer will always be remembered for his sterling contribution to the music industry and Jamaica’s culture”.

He was born Neville O’Reiley Livingston on April 10, 1947 in St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. Bunny and Bob Marley knew each other since they were both small boys. It was while being mentored by the “godfather of raggae” Joe Higgs, that the boys met Peter Tosh. The trio formed what would become The Wailers and ventured to Kingston where they recruited Junior Braithwaite, Beerley Kelso, and Cherry Smith for the band. Their first taste of success was with the song “Simmer Down”. The Marley penned song was a number one it in Jamaica.

A number of personnel changes and various obligations from original members sidelined the band for a time but the original trio got back together and resumed making music where by 1973, they were the biggest band in Jamaica.

Along with making hit song, The Wailers made the Rastafarian culture cool.

When he wasn’t traveling the world sharing the love of Raggae, Wailer enjoyed his Jamaican mountain home, farming, and writing music.

Bunny Wailer was the last surviving original member of The Wailers. No list of survivors was released.

Bunny Wailer discography:
“Blackheart Man”
“Protest”
“Roots Radics Rockers Reggae”
“Sings the Wailers”
“Struggle”
“Rock’n’Groove”
“Hoo, Line & Sinker”
“Live”
“Marketplace”
Rootsman Skanking”
“Rule Dance Hall”
“Liberation”
“Time Will Tell: A Tribute to Bob Marley”
“Gumption”
“Dance Massive”
“Just Be Nice”
“Hall of Fame: A Tribute to Bob Marley’s 50th Anniversary”
“Communication”

feature photo credit: Dubdem Sound System :: Jamaican Tour 2009

Top 24 Perform on Idol, pt 2

On the Sunday episode of “American Idol”, 12 of the top 24 singers took to the stage for a solo performance and a duet with an all star artist.

Tonight, the remaining 12 will take the stage for their turn to perform; first a solo and an all star duet before a live audience.

The top eight vote getters from each night will be revealed next Sunday for the 16 singers remaining of the hundreds who came for the auditions.

The judges can express their opinions, but now it is all up to the fans.

First up is Jason Warrior with “Call Out My Name” by The Weeknd and brought the judges to their feet.  Jason joins PJ Morton for a performance of “How Deep is Your Love” by The Bee Gees that again brought the judges to their feet.  Katy called it the best solo and duet performance she has heard so far.  Luke called it good old fashioned entertainment.  Lionel said that it doesn’t get any better than what Jason just did.  Host Ryan Seacrest said what a way to start the show.

Madison Watkins performed “Holy” before joining Idol alum Tori Kelly for a performance of the Stevie Wonder song “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”.  Luke called Madison a natural entertainer; adding that she really showcased her voice.  Lionel noted how Madison reacted to Tori, not just sang the words.  Katy called the performance a show of vocal Olympics.

Beane takes the stage for a performance of “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa.  Beane shared the stage with international star Josh Groban for a performance of “Angels” by Robbie Williams.  The performance had the house on their feet and Lionel yelling yes.  Lionel said that they noticed exactly what he was doing.  Katy said that Beane has incredible artistic vision; adding that she would sign him.  Luke noted that Beane is growing in every round of the show.

Hannah Everhart sang “ I Was Wrong” by Chris Stapleton before taking the stage with award winning Country music star Jason Aldean for a performance of “She’s Country”.  The duo had Katy up dancing and Luke singing along.  Katy appreciated the risks Hannah took in her solo.  Luke said that it was fun watching Hannah grow.  Lionel agreed with his fellow judges; adding that she held her own with Jason Aldean.

Mary Jo Young sang the Ed Sheeran song “Castle on the Hill” before taking the stage with platinum selling artist Jewel for a performance of “Foolish Games”.  Luke said that he was proud of Mary Jo.  Lionel said that Mary Jo represented her generation.  Katy said that Mary Jo is legitimately becoming an artist before their eyes.

Next up is Chayce Beckham with “Afterglow” by Ed Sheeran.  For his duet, Chayce joins Incubus front man Brandon Boyd for “Drive” by Incubus.  Chayce is the first contestant that plays an instrument – guitar – on his duet.  Lionel said that Chayce has a magical voice; adding that Chayce needs to engage the audience.  Katy called Chayce a bona fide musical artist.  Luke noted that Chayce is just naturally cool.

Colin Jamieson sang the Bruno Mars song “Locked Out of Heaven” before taking the stage with Tori Kelly for a performance of “Hollow”.  Katy said that Colin looked like he performs 300 shows a year.  Luke called Colin infectious with his having fun.  Lionel said that Colin has the secret, performing like he is in his living room and they just stopped by.  Ryan said that Colin is seamless.

Llahona Olayan sang “Just Friends” before taking the stage with PJ Morton for a performance of Morton’s song “Say So” and brought the judges to their feet.  Luke said that Llahona is radio ready.  Lionel said that she has come so far since the first time they saw her.  Katy agreed that Llahona is radio ready.

The youngest singer remaining in the competition, Ava August performs “drivers license”.  The 15 year old performed the Joni Mitchell classic “Both Sides Now” with Josh Groban.  Lionel said that Ava is singing far past her age.  Katy called Ava an old soul.  Luke said that watching Ava and Josh Groban was like watching Judy Garland.

Caleb Kennedy chose The Allman Brothers classic “Midnight Rider” for his solo performance.  The 16 year old joined up with Jason Aldean for a duet performance of “Fly Over States”.   The 16 year old revealed that the song came out when he was in kindergarten.  Katy said that Caleb is authentically himself.  Luke thought that “Midnight Rider” showcased him better.  Lionel said that Caleb has been possessed by an old country man; adding that he has so much promise in his future.

Hunter Metts sang “Chandelier” by Sia before he joined Jewel for a performance of “Who Will Save Your Soul”; a song Jewel said that she wrote when she was 16.  Luke said that the beauty of Hunter is that he has an undeniable voice.  Lionel agreed with Luke; adding that Hunter has everything he needs to be a super star.  Katy fells that Hunter is judging himself against others; adding he has a voice of his own.

The final performance of the top 24 is Casey Bishop with “Decode” by Paramore.  Brandon Boyd returns to perform another song from the Incubus songbook “Wish You Were Here”.  Lionel wondered what America was going to do with all the talent this year; adding that Casey owned the stage.  Katy told Casey to grasp it.  Saying that Casey needs to listen to Katy, Luke noted that Casey is a 16 year old girl trying to bring rock back.



Battles Continue on ‘The Voice’

It’s week two of the battle rounds on “The Voice” with Kelsea Ballarini continuing to sit in for an ailing Kelly Clarkson.

Team Blake gets the night of music kicked off with Cam Anthony and Emma Caroline with a performance of “10,000 Hours” by Team Blake mentors Dan + Shay.  In rehearsals Dan + Shay noted that Cam and Emma did a better job than the original.  Nick said that the duo did very nice. John said that Emma has a lovely tone; adding that Cam sings win fire and conviction.  Kelsea noted that Emma’s voice is her superpower; adding that Cam is impressive on stage.  Coach Blake called Emma an incredible vocalist and Cam looks like he was born to be on the stage.  The winner of the battle is Cam.  Blake used his save on Emma as she was walking away. 

Last week Kelly/Kelsea and John used their only steal of the round and Nick used his save.

Kelly paired up Halley Grace and Gihanna Zoe for Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”.  Talking with mentor Luis Fonsi, Kelly said that she could never cover “Despacito”.  Luis noted that the pairing was going to be a girl power battle.  Blake said that Halley’s voice is really different; adding that Gihanna has a voice older than her age.  Nick said that Halley has all the makings of a great singer and he told Gihanna that if he closed his eyes, he could imagine Beyonce.  John called Halley interesting and Gihanna is fantastic.  Kelsea said that Kelly loves both of the singers.  Kelsea called Gihanna a technically perfect singer; adding that Halley is quirky…and that is a good thing.  Kelsea chose Gihanna as the winner of the battle. 

John paired Zania Make and Durell Anthony for “Emotions” originally recorded by The Bee Gees.  The singers were shocked to see Brandy was their mentor.  Brandy called them amazing singers.  John told the singers that they wanted their artists to be great storytellers; as well as, good singers.  John have them a standing ovation.  Kelsea said that they complimented each other well; adding that she was blown away.  Blake said that they sounded great.  Nick called the song choice brilliant.  John loves Durell’s falsetto voice; adding that Zania has poise and grace.  Saying that both singers were wonderful, John chose Zania as the winner of the battle.

Blake paired Jordan Matthew Young and Keegan Ferrell for a battle of “Calling All Angels” by Train.  There were a lot of wows from the coaches after the performances.  John enjoyed the performance.  Kelsea also enjoyed the performance.  Blake called both of the guys incredible.  Blake chose Jordan as the winner of the battle.  Nick pushed his button to steal Keegan.  Jordan was glad that Keegan got stolen.  Nick is the first coach to use both his save and steal.

Nick paired up Lindsay Joan and Zae Romeo for a performance of “Rewrite the Stars”.  Nick brought in actor/musician Darren Criss as his guest mentor.  Lindsay and Zae threw each other kisses before they sang.  John called it a powerful duet; adding that seeing them soar together was a sight to behold.  Kelsea called it an interesting song choice.  Nick called the performance a learning opportunity for them; adding that he was honoured to coach them.  Nick chose Zae as the winner of the battle.

In a video clip…
John paired Denisha Dalton and Ciana Pelekai for a battle with Ciana taking the win.

In the final battle of the night, Kelly paired Corey Ward and Savanna Woods for a battle of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac.  Savanna said that they expected to be paired together for a battle.  In rehearsals, Kelly said that she has never seen two people more destined to form a band.  Luis called them the real deal.  Blake said that they both did great.  Nick called them both special artists.  John noted that it appeared both singers loved being on the stage.  Kelsea said that they made the song their own.  Kelsea chose Corey as the winner of the battle.  Kelsea pushed her button to save Savanna after getting a text from Kelly.

Next week the battles will conclude.

Battle Round winners:
Team Kelly:
Ryleigh Modig
Avery Robertson – steal
Gihanna Zoe
Corey Ward
Savanna Woods – save

Team Legend:
Gean Garcia – steal
Pia Renee
Zania Make
Ciana Pelekai

Team Blake:
Connor Christian
Ethan Lively
Cam Anthony
Emma Caroline – save
Jordan Matthew Young

Team Nick:
Dana Monique
Devin Blake Jones – save
Jose Figueroa Jr
Keegan Ferrell – steal

Zae Romeo

2021 SAG Awards

As with all awards shows this season, the Screen Actor’s Guild presents their annual awards a few months late in a trimmed down presentation.  With crowd restrictions still in place, the SAG Awards cannot hold their party styled setting with actors eating and drinking around tables during the award presentations.

Winners in the annual SAG awards are chosen by the actors themselves.

While the actors may be accepting and presenting awards from home; the actors are dressed up as if they were gathered in a theatre.

In between the naming of the awards, the actors spoke on what they have done with their time during the pandemic.

The first award of the night was for Best Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series and went to Mark Ruffalo for his role in “I Know This Much is True”.

The award for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Limited Series went to Anya Taylor-Joy for her role in “The Queen’s Gambit”.

The award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series went to Jason Sudeikis for his role in “Ted Lasso”.

The award for Best Female Actress in a Comedy Series went to Catherine O’Hara for her role in “Schitt’s Creek”.

The award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series went to “Schitt’s Creek”.

The award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Film went to Daniel Kaluuya for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah”.

The award for Best Female Actress in a Supporting Role in a Film went to Yuh-Jung Youn for her role in “Minari”.

Viola Davis introduced the In Memorium segment that included Chadwick Boseman who received posthumous nominations for the SAG and Academy Awards.

The award for Best Female Actor in a Drma Series went to Gillian Anderson for her role in “The Crown”.

The award for Best Male Actor in a Drama Series went to Jason Bateman for his role in “Ozark”.

The award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series went to the ensemble of “The Crown”.

The award for Best Female Leading Actor in a Film went to Viola Davis for her role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

The award for Best Male Leading Actor in a Film went to Chadwick Boseman for his role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.  Boseman’s widow accepted the award in his honour.

The final award of the night was for the Best Ensemble in a Film went to the cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7”.

The awards for Best Stunt Ensembles were presented prior to the live television broadcast with the cast of “Wonder Woman 1984” taking the win for the Best in a Film and the award for the Best Stunt Ensemble in a Drama or Comedy Television Series going to “The Mandalorian”.

Top 24 on Idol, pt 1

Last week Lionel, Luke, and Katy revealed the top 24 singers to move on and to perform before a live audience and fan votes, “American Idol” has brought in some all star performers to join the top 24 to perform once in a lifetime duets.

After having to stay home last week due to a possible Covid-19 exposure, Lionel returns to join his fellow judges in the theatre.

On Sunday 12 of the singers will take the stage where fans will vote for their favourites.  Eight of the 12 will move on.

For the first time in two years, Idol singers will perform before a live, socially distanced (in pods) audience.

Alanis Sophia takes the stage for a performance of “Alive” by Sia.  Jimmie Allen joins Alanis for a performance of “Shallow”.  Katy enjoyed the solo performance; adding that it was controlled.  But, she felt that Alanis was a bit overwhelmed in the duet.  Luke said that Alanis has an amazing voice but needs to learn how to own the stage.  Lionel agreed with Luke; adding that her nerves got the best of her.

Cassandra Coleman performed “Find Me” for her solo performance.  She is joined by One Repulic’s Ryan Tedder for “Apologize”.  Lionel called it a great performance but noted he could see her trying to concentrate.  Luke said that she needs to control the nerves.  Katy called Cassandra’s voice an otherworldly experience.

Alyssa Wray performs “Something in the Water” by Idol winner Carrie Underwood.  Alyssa pairs up with Idol alum Katherine McPhee (Foster) for a performance of a Whitney Houston song “I’m Your Baby Tonight”.  Lionel said that watching Alyssa perform is like trying to cap a volcano; adding that the duet looked like they had been doing it for years.  Katy noted that Alyssa was the first singer to feel comfortable with a star.  Luke called Alyssa a star on the stage.

Wyatt Pike performs “rubberband”.  Luke noted that Wyatt felt like a star.  Ben Rector joins Wyatt for a performance of “Brand New”.  Ryan said that Wyatt looked like he had been living on the stage.  Katy noted that Wyatt practiced; adding that he could go on tour right now and fit in.  Luke admits that he was emotional the whole time; adding that Wyatt was in his moment.  Lionel noted that Wyatt owned the moment.

Alana performed “Blow Your Mind” by Dua Lipa.  Award winning performer Brian McKnight joins Alana for a performance of “Back at One” – a song that earned him a Songwriter of the Year award.  McKnight noted that this is the first time he will perform the song as a duet.  Katy called Alana a star.  The duet brought the judges to their feet.  Luke said that Alana had great energy on the stage.  Lionel said that Alana has the stage presence to be a star but needs to work on the attitude.  Katy said that Alana embodied entertainment.

Anjlee List sang the Billie Eilish song “my future” before taking the stage with Joss Stone for a performance of “Tell Me Something Good”.  Joss admits that the last time she sang the song, it was a duet with John Legend and she came in in the wrong key.  Lionel said that it was a perfect example of seeing a person who was very comfortable on stage; telling Anilee to go with it.  Katy said that Anilee has a powerhouse voice and took them to church.  Luke said that Anilee is so close to next level greatness; adding that she needs to enjoy the moment.

DeShawn Goncalves sang the Bob Dylan song “Forever Young” and had Lionel calling the performance great.  Ryan Tedder returns to sing “I Lived” with DeShawn.  Ryan noted that he wrote the song about his child after an incident on an airplane.  Katy said that DeShawn has one of the most iconic voices on the show.  Agreeing with Katy, Luke and Lionel told DeShawn to enjoy himself.

Graham Defranco sang “Raye” before taking the stage with Ben Rector for “Love Like This”.  Ben noted that it is a difficult and challenging song to sing.  Luke said that Graham’s voice is so listenable and able to turn songs into his own style; adding that Graham did a great job.  Lionel said that Graham moved them.  Katy said that Graham drew her in with his duet.

Andrea Valles sang the bilingual song (English and Spanish) “Lo Vas a Olividar”.  She joins Brian McKnight for a performance of “Careless Whisper” by George Michael.  Sporting an eye patch, Andrea said that she recently had retina detachment surgery.  Lionel was amazed; saying the two’s voices complimented each other.  Katy noted that Andrea made the eye patch look fashionable.  Luke noted that the singers had to capture people’s attention, and her performance put her on the map.

Cecil Ray sang “Paint Me a Birmingham” before joining Jimmie Allen for a performance of “Freedom Was a Highway” and brought the judges to their feet.  Calling Cecil the underdog, Katy called the solo ok; adding that Cecil needs to let it go.  Luke noted that there were some pitch issues.  Lionel said that they need some stage presence and attitude.

Willie Spence took on the Bette Midler hit “Wind Beneath My Wings.  Joining Katherine McPhee, the duo performed the iconic “The Prayer”.  Willie dedicated the song to his grandfather recently due to Covid.  He said that he grew up hearing his grandmother sing the song in church.  Luke said that Willie does not wrong in his eyes; adding he loves the way Willie goes about performing.  Lionel called his Willie Pavarotti; adding that Willie is mesmerizing and makes every song his own.  Katy called the duet performance “goosebump central”.

Closing out night one of the top 24, Grace Kinstler sings “Queen” by Jessie J before pairing up with Joss Stone for a performance of “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight.  Lionel said, “Wow!”.  Lionel called Grace a winning package.  Katy called the duet timeless; adding that Grace’s gift are those classic songs.  Luke said that he couldn’t belief he has a front row seat.

The remaining 12 members of the top 24 will perform on Monday night with the results revealed next week.



Daryl Roth Theatre Open with ‘Blindness’

New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has eased some of the restrictions on crowds and entertainment events.

One of the first events to open is “Blindness” – a sound installation – at the Off-Broadway venue the Daryl Roth Theatre.

Not an April Fool’s joke, “Blindness” opened on April 2 with an open date for the shows ending.  This marks the first ticketed event in New York City since the city was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic over a year ago. Productions are currently scheduled to run through September.

Via the “Flex Venues” program initiated by Cuomo, the Daryl Roth Theatre can hold socially distanced events with a 33 percent capacity or a maximum of 100 people.

In a art imitates life event, “Blindness” is based on the Jose Saramago novel that leaves people blind after a global pandemic.  Attendees experience the story via headphones in with atmospheric lighting.

According to the “BlindessEvent” web page, the event is about demonstrating that, “together —and safely—they will experience the importance of community in our present moment, and be reminded of the hopeful end that lies ahead”.

Tickets must be purchased in pairs of two or four and show goers are separated into pods.  Face coverings and temperature checks are required for all attendees.  The theatre has installed an enhanced ventilation system and routinely sanitizes the theatre.

Tickets are available at BlindnessEvent.com.  Doors open only 10 minutes prior to showtime and late arrivals will not be permitted into the theatre. 

“Blindness” debuted last year before the shut downs in London.  The production is planning performances in Mexico City, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.

feature photo credit: “BlindnessEvent” Facebook page

MLB Moves All Star Game

Like it or not, politics has entered every aspect of our lives.  One of the most prominent examples was when the state of North Carolina enacted a law surrounding gender and who could use which facilities when answering the call of nature.  As a result of that law, numerous sporting and entertainment events were moved in protest of the law.

Once again, as a result of an enacted law, – this time it is a voting rights law in Georgia that severely restricts the voting rights of some of the state’s residents – events are being moved away from the state in protest.

The new voting law was enacted and quickly signed by Governor Brian Kemp on March 25 was in response to un-substantiated reports of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.  Included in the new law are restrictions on mail-in voting, limits voting locations, and prohibits anyone was providing food or beverages to the lines of people waiting to cast their vote.

The 2021 MLB All Star Game was originally scheduled to be played in Truist Park – the home of the Atlanta Braves.  However, after the CEOs of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola strongly objected to the law, Major League Baseball has taken the All Star game out of Georgia.

Normally held in June, MLB has moved the annual baseball amateur draft to be a part of the All Star festivities.  The draft has also been moved out of Georgia.

A new location has yet to be named for the All Star game as the 2021 baseball season gets underway for a full season of games after the severely shortened Covid season.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke with players, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and the Players Alliance before making the decision.  Speaking on the decision, Manfred said, “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All Star Game and MLB draft.  Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

Set to see a huge economic boost to their home park and the area, the Atlanta Braves spoke on Manfred’s announcement saying, “we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city.  The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.”

While the White House has reported that President Joe Biden supports the decision to move the All Star Game, the former president, who continues to spout that the election was stolen from him, is urging his supporters to. “boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also spoke on the decision saying that it was a “knee-jerk decision”; adding, “cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.  This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from (President) Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections”.  Kemp continued,  “I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied.” 

A part of the All Star week festivities was to honour Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron who died in January at the age of 86.  Aaron spent much of his career with the Braves.  Commissioner Manfred said that those plans are still in place, no matter where the game will end up being held.

feature photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kuroda/52043725/, taken by Michael Kuroda


Banks Returning to DWTS

Over the past few years, there has been a good bit of controversy in one form or another on “Dancing with the Stars”; from accusations of marriage breakups and voter fraud to cast members changes.

Last summer, DWTS producers cited wanting to “shake things up” and the desire to draw in a larger audience as the reason for a rather unceremonious firing of hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.  DWTS brought in model and talk show host Tyra Banks which has resulted in numerous complaints and threats from long time fans to stop watching the show.

Fans of DWTS have noticed a big difference in the way Banks has hosted the show; including a focus on herself, missed cues, and her numerous costume changes.

Despite all of those complaints, ABC and DWTS has chosen to retain Banks as the host for the 30th season of “Dancing with the Stars” in the fall.

Creator of “America’s Next Top Model”, Banks is also listed as an executive producer for the series.

Banks spoke on her DWTS hosting duties saying, “I know that when you come into something that has been around for a long time, some people are not going to be comfortable with that.  But obviously I still took the opportunity. That’s just who I am. I go toward risk. I go toward putting myself out there. I go toward taking a chance.”

With lockdowns and travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic, head judge Len Goodman was not able to join his fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli at the judges table.  DWTS champion Derek Hough sat in for Goodmen.  All four of the judges are expected to return for the new season.

Dancers, celebrities, and premiere date will be announced at a later date.

MLB Allowing Fans at Games for 2021

After a season of professional baseball with no fans in the stands, Major League Baseball will begin the 2021 season with fans in the stands.

While it has been advertised that the Texas Rangers will allow full capacity, most of the ball parks will be allowing only a percentage of capacity when the season opens on April 3.  And this time the players will be playing a full 162 game season.

Many fans are anxious to see their favourite players on the field once again, but there are also fans who are not quite ready to join the crowds to watch the games live.

Along with the normal restrictions for bags; stadiums are requiring proper face coverings with many also requiring proof of a negative Covid test or a vaccine.

Below is a list of the capacity requirements at each of the MLB stadiums:
Atlanta Braves – 30%
Arizona Cardinals – 25%
Baltimore Orioles – 25%
Boston Red Sox – 12%
Chicago Cubs – 25%
Chicago White Sox – 22%
Cincinnati Reds – 30%
Cleveland Indians – 30%
Colorado Rockies – 42.6%
Detroit Tigers – 20%
Houston Astros – 50%
Kansas City Royals – 30%
Los Angeles Angels – 20%
Los Angeles Dodgers – 20%
Miami Marlins – 25%
Milwaukee Brewers – 25%
Minnesota Twins – 26%
New York Mets – 20%
New York Yankees – 20%
Oakland Athletics – 20% – CA residents only
Philadelphia Phillies –  20%
Pittsburgh Pirates – 20%
San Diego Padres – 20%
San Francisco Giants – 20%
Seattle Mariners – 20%
St. Louis Cardinals – 32%
Tampa Bay Rays – 20%
Texas Rangers – 100%
Toronto Blue Jays – TD Bank Park (spring training facility) – 15%
Washington Nationals – 12.1%