Point Standings – Feb 28

After the race at Auto Club Speedway over the weekend, rookie driver Austin Cindric remains the leader in the points standings with 85 points. In the playoff standings, Cindric also leads with 2,020 points.

Cindric and Kyle Larson have both secured spots in the first round of the playoffs after winning the first two races of the season.

Currently, reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson is listed in eighth place in the playoff standings with 2,008 points.

The top 16 playoff drivers are each given a base of 2,000 points and then any stage and playoff points earned are added to the base.

The top 16 drivers in the point standings are:
Austin Cindric – 85
Joey Logano – 77
Martin Truex Jr – 73
Ryan Blaney – 70
Chase Briscoe – 69
Erik Jones – 68
Aric Almirola – 66
Kyle Larson – 65
Bubba Wallace – 65
Brad Keselowski – 64
Kyle Busch – 61
Kurt Busch – 53
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 53
Austin Dillon – 52
Daniel Suarez – 52
Cole Custer – 48


In the Xfinity Series, AJ Allmendinger tops the points standings with 90 points. He currently tops the playoff standings with 2,015 points.

The top 12 drivers in the point standings for the Xfinity Series are:
AJ Allmendinger – 90
Noah Gragson – 89
Justin Allgaier – 87
Riley Herbst – 71
Ryan Sieg – 71
Ty Gibbs – 71
Josh Berry – 63
Anthony Alfredo – 62
Daneil Hemric – 61
Brandon Brown – 60
Austin Hill – 57
Sam Mayer – 51


There was no change in the point standings for the Camping World Truck Series. The drivers had the week off.

‘Squid Game’, ‘CODA’ Big Winners at SAG Awards

Often called the precursor to the annual Academy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild gather to present their annual awards for Film and Television.

This year the 28th annual SAG Awards are being held inside of an airline hangar.

Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odem Jr, and Lin-Manuel Miranda are hosting the awards this year.

While the theme is together again and the cast members are sitting together, Covid protocols are still in play. Many of the nominees are present but there are some who will be present via video dueo to cast quarantine rules, etc.

The first award of the night was for Male Actor in a Supporting Role went to Troy Kotsur for his role in “CODA”. A deaf actor, Kotsur signed his acceptance speech with an interpreter. His speech included a thank you to Apple TV for including authentic actors – actors who happen to be deaf.

The award for Female Actor in a Supporting Role went to Ariana DeBose for her role in “West Side Story”. This was her first nomination and first win.

The award for Male Actor in a Comedy Series went to Jason Sudeikis for his role in “Ted Lasso”. Sudeikis thanked the Covid crew who kept them safe as a part of his acceptance speech.

The award for Female Actor in a Comedy Series went to Jean Smart for her role in “Hacks”. This is her first SAG win. Smart noted that actors are important – the storytellers of the tribe.

The award for Ensemble in a Comedy Series went to the cast of “Ted Lasso”.

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw present the award for Male Actor in a Drama Series to Lee Jung-Jae for his role in “Squid Game”. The Korean actor spoke through a translator. This was his first SAG win.

The awward for Female in a Drama Series went to Jung Ho-Yeon for her role in “Squid Game”. Also a Korean actor, she spoke through a translator but added a few words of her own in English. This was her first SAG win.

Via video, Kate Winslet spoke on Dame Helen Mirren – the recipient of the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. Back in Hollywood, Kate Blanchett also spoke on Dame Helen and presented the award to her. Dame Helen said that she believes that she absolutely does not deserve the award.

Over the course of her career, Dame Helen has appeared in over 140 productions. She spoke to her fellow actors in her speech. She called them a magnificent tribe.

The award for Ensemble in a Drama Series went to the cast of “Succession”. The is the first nomination and win for the ensemble cast.

The award for Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series went to Kate Winslet for her role in “Mare of Eastown”

After the In Memoriam segment, the award for Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series was presented to Michael Keaton for his role in “Dopesick”. Keaton noted that he is fortunate to do what he does. He noted that the world is filled with inequity; adding that he is blessed to do something that may change a person’s life. He became very emotional when dedicating the award to family members who have died.

The award for Female Actor in a Leading Role went to Jessica Chastain for her role as Tammy Faye Baker in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”. Chastain said that she was stunned to win the award.

The award for Male Actor in a Leading Role went to Will Smith for his role as Richard Williams in “King Richard”. This is Smith’s first SAG win in this category. He noted that working with the actors who played Venus and Serena was a great pleasure; adding it was a great pleasure to bring the story of the Williams family to the world.

Leslie, Lin, and Daveed present the final award of the night for Cast in a Film to the cast of “CODA”! Speaking through an interpreter, Marlee Matlin was shocked at the win. She noted that the deaf acting community has come a long way in the past 35 years; adding that it validates that actors who are deaf can act.


Champ Repeats in SoCal

It has been over 700 days since the NASCAR Cup Series drivers have been to southern California and Auto Club Speedway to kick off the “west coast swing” of the NASCAR schedule.

The season is only in the second week and once again, several teams have been hit with inspection issues. A total of seven teams had to make more than one trip through the inspection process with one driver failing three times.

Driving for 23XI Racing, Kurt Busch’s number 45 car failed pre-qualifying inspection three times; as a result he will not be allowed to make a qualifying run, will start the race from the back of the field, lose his car chief David Bryant for the race, and have to serve a pass-through penalty down pit road once the race begins.

Six other teams failed the inspection process two times and will lose a member for the race and their pit stall selection…

the Stewart-Haas Racing number four driven by Kevin Harvick

the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing number six car driven by Brad Keselowski

the Team Penske number 12 car driven by Ryan Blaney
The Team Penske number 22 car driven by Joey Logano

the 23XI Racing number 23 car driven by Bubba Wallace

and the Live Fast Motorsports number 78 driven by BJ McLeod

Kevin Harvick moves to the back of the field after as the result of a crash during the practice/qualifying session.

Austin Cindric earns his his Cup Series pole in his ninth Cup Series start. Cindric is the first rookie to lead the points standings in 20 years. Jimmie Johnson was the last rookie to do so.

Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth joins Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the broadcast booth for the race.


The lineup for the Wise Power 400:
Austin Cindric
Erik Jones
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
Daniel Hemric
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Tyler Reddick
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Daniel Suarez
Austin Dillon
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ty Dillon
Christopher Bell
Chris Buescher
Cole Custer
Harrison Burton
Michael McDowell
Chase Briscoe
Corey LaJoie
Todd Gilliland
Cody Ware
Josh Bilicki
Garrett Smithley
BJ McLeod
Aric Almirola
Kevin Harvick
Ross Chastain
Bubba Wallace
Justin Haley
Kurt Busch

Stages one and two of the race are 65 laps each with stage three lasting 70 laps for a total of 200 laps around the two mile track.

The drivers can run 38 to 42 laps on a single load of fuel, but the tires fall off much quicker than that. The drivers will have to take care of their tires until they can get a fresh set.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution on lap 20 to check the condition of the tires. The teams each 12 sets of tires for the race.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and jumps out in front but Erik Jones comes up front the inside lane to take the lead.

Drivers are already three and four wide across the wide track.

Erik Jones leads lap one.

The top five are Erik Jones, Austin Cindric, Denny Hamlin, Tyler Reddick, and Ryan Blaney.

After failing the inspection process three times, Kurt Busch had to serve a pass through penalty once the race started and stayed on the lead lap.

Lap four, Erik Jones leads the pack with Austin Cindric in second; Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. This is the first time that Jones has led a lap in California.

Lap seven, Tyler Reddick passes Austin Cindric for second.

After starting at the back of the field, Kyle Larson has already moved into the top 20 in 16th place.

Lap eight, after starting the race in third place, Kyle Busch is falling through the field; reporting numerous handling issues.

Lap nine, Erik Jones has led every lap so far; Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 10, Tyler Reddick passes Erik Jones from the outside lane to take the lead.

Kyle Busch brings out the first caution flag of the race on lap 15 when he spins out after getting stuck in a seam. NASCAR has named this the competition caution. Crews can check tires and fuel the cars.

The field comes down pit road for service with Tyler Reddick winnng the race off of pit road.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 20 from the outside lane. Reddick takes the lead with Chase Elliott in second; William Byron, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Lap 22, Tyler Reddick battles with Chase Elliott for the lead with Elliott taking the lead from the inside lane.

Lap 23, the top five are Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Erik Jones, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 24, all 36 drivers are on the lead lap.

Lap 25, a rim rider, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has been passing cars on the bottom of the track and is currently in fourth place.

Kyle Larson’s team reported excessive wear on the tires after the competition caution of lap 15.

Lap 27, Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Tyler Reddick; William Byron, Erik Jones, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Lap 33, Chase Elliott continies to lead the race with Tyler Reddick in second a second a half back.

Leader Chase Elliott slaps the wall but the track stays green…and he holds on to the lead, but is now less than a second out in front.

Lap 35, the top five are Chase Elliott, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Erik Jones, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lap 36, Tyler Reddick retakes the lead.

Lap 37, Kyle Busch is reporting some temperature issues and is coming down pit road. He has some debris in the grille.

Chase Elliott brings out the second caution flag of the race when he spins out on lap 38. BJ McLeod is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service. Tyler Reddick is reporting some issues; saying that there may be an issue with his seat. Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 43 and gets out in front of Erik Jones to hold on to the lead.

Lap 44, the top five are Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Martin Truex Jr, and Erik Jones.

Cody Ware is off the track with car issues.

Tyler Reddick reports that his left leg is numb and he is having difficulty concentrating. FOX broadcaster Clint Bowyer reports that the driver restraints may be too tight in the groin area and cutting off Reddick’s circulation.

There are 31 cars on the lead lap.
Lap 47, despite his issues, Tyler Reddick leads the race with William Byron in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Martin Truex Jr, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

With 16 laps remaining in stage one, Tyler Reddick is pulling away from the field. He may not have any feeling in his left leg, but his right leg – the gas pedal – is doing just fine.

The caution flag comes out on lap 54 when Josh Bilicki spins out and gets stuck in the grass. Martin Truex Jr brushes the wall but saves the car.

Only eleven laps remain in stage one, but the drivers come down pit road for service.

Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road once again.

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

On the previous caution flag, Austin Dillon was also caught speeding on pit road.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart with eight laps remaining in stage one and holds on to the lead.

Drivers are spreading out four and five wide across the track.

Lap 59, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with Erik Jones in second; William Byron, Chase Briscoe, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Cody Ware has returned to the track 14 laps down.

Five laps remain in stage one, Tyler Reddick has a half second lead on Erik Jones.

Daniel Suarez is wearing the visorcam again this week. The view through the camera, the track is so rough it looks like a bobble head.

After leading more than half of the laps, Tyler Reddick wins stage one by over half a second for his fifth stage win of his career.

The top 10 at the end of stage one;
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones
William Byron
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Austin Cindric
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Chase Elliott is the “lucky dog”.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Tyler Reddick winning the race off of pit road once again. Reddick believes that his bulking up over the off-season is the cause of his discomfort. He has been loosening his seat belt during cautions for relief. He has led 42 of the 69 laps run so far.

Todd Gilliland lost a wheel during his pit stop; NASCAR had to retrieve the tire.

Mark Martin made a surprise visit to the FOX Sports broadcast booth.

Kurt Busch’s crew reports some issues with getting all of the tires on the car.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the outside lane with Chase Briscoe alongside on lap 74. Chase Briscoe edges out for the lead after a push from Kyle Larson.

Kyle Larson comes from the inside lane and takes the lead.

Lap 75, Tyler Reddick pushes Chase Briscoe to the front.

The top five are Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Joey Logano.

Lap 76, Tyler Reddick blows by on the inside lane to battle for the lead but Chase Briscoe holds him off..

Lap 77, Kyle Larson and William Byron battle with Tyler Reddick for second.

Lap 78, Chase Briscoe leads the race, Tyler Reddick, William Bryon, Kyle Larson, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 81, Chase Briwscoe continues ot lead the race with Tyler Reddick in second.

Lap 85, the top five are Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Ryan Blaneuy, and Kyle Larson.

Kyle Busch has another issue with his car when he gets a flat tire. The four time Fontana winner is curerently four laps down.

Lap 88, Alex Bowman reports issues with the “dirty air”.

Lap 89, Chase Briscoe has a lead of less than half a second on Tyler Reddick; William Byron, Ryan Blaney, and Jogy Logano round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out for a crash on lap 91. Denny Hamlin was coming down pit road at the time of the caution with temperature issues. Christopher Bell spins out. He is stuck on the track with flat tires.

Chase Elliott is the “luck dog” once again.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Tyler Reddick winning the race off of pit road.

Denny Hamlin is caught with too many men coming over the wall too soon.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 97 from the outside lane with Chase Briscoe on the inside. Reddick takes the lead while the drivers get four and five wide across the track.

The top five are Tyler Reddick, William Byron, Chase Briscoe, Kyle Larson and Erik Jones.

Lap 100, Tyler Reddick has a half second lead on William Byron; Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Alex Bowman makes some contact with Austin Cindric but they did not wreck and the track stays green.

Lap 101, William Byron passes Tyler Reddick for the lead.

Christopher Bell has taken his car to the garage.

Lap 109, William Byron has a lead of over a second on Kyle Larson; Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 112 when Chris Buescher blows a tire and hits the wall hard. His car is stalled with the driver’s side against the wall.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires. William Byron’s team has truble with the tires. Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road once again.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart with 15 laps remaining in stage two. As the cars spread out across the track, Erik Jones gets out in front but Tyler Reddick comes form the inside to battle for the lead.

Lap 117, Brad Keselowski spins out and ends up in the grass to bring out the caution flag. Josh Bilicki is the “lucky dog” and gets one of his laps back.

Upon further inspection, the tire issue in William Byron’s pits was due to a lug nut gun. The crew is changing out to a new gun.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag restart with 10 laps remaining in stage two. Drivers immediately spread out three, four, and five wide across the track. Erik Jones gets out in front for the lead. Tyler Reddick comes form the inside to pass Jones for the lead.

Lap 123, the top five are Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, and Cole Custer.

Chris Buescher and Christopher Bell are out of the race.

Five laps remain in stage two, Tyler Reddick has a lead of over a second on Erik Jones.

With a lead of over a second, Tyler Reddick wins stage two for the stage sweep. Since stage racing began, the driver who won stage one has also won the race.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Tyler Reddick
Erik Jones
Joey Logano
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Larson
Austin Cindric
Aric Almirola
William Byron
Denny Hamlin

Something has hit the camera on top fof Kyle Busch’s car and busted the lens.

Tyler Reddick has led more laps today than he did all of last season.

Josh Bilicki is the “lucky dog” and is now back on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Tyler Reddick winning the race off of pit road once again.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 137. Drivers quickly get three wide across the track. Tyler Reddick takes the lead but Joey Logano is challenging on the inside lane.

Aric Almirola spins out but the track stays green as drivers scatter across the track. Almirola drives down pit road and keeps going to stay on the lead lap.

Lap 139, Aric Almirola says that he has flat spotted the tires and comes down it road for fresh tires.

Lap 140. Tyler Reddick has a lead of over half a second on Joey Logano; Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

Lap 142, Tyler Reddick has increased his lead to over a second on Erik Jones.

Lap 145, Tyler Reddick has dominated the race and continues to lead with Erik Jones in second. He has now led more laps than he has in his entire Cup career.

Lap 147, the top five are Tyler Reddick, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Alex Bowman.

Josh Bilicki has a flat tire but makes it to pit road under a green track.

Lap 150, 50 to go, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with Erik Jones in second; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Tyler Reddick reports vibration with a flat tire. The caution flag comes out when Reddick and William Byron make heavy contact on lap 151.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires with Erik Jones winning the race off of pit road.

Tyler Reddick remains in the race but William Bryon had to be towed back to pit road.

Aric Almirola is the “lucky dog”.

Denny Hamlin is caught speeding on pit road.

Tyler Reddick makes a second trip down pit road for repairs. The two in the car is out of whack.

Erik Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart with 44 laps remaining in the race with 28 cars on the lead lap. Joey Logano gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 154, Joey Logano leads the race with Kyle Larson in second; Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

The 10th caution flag comes out for a big crash involving Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, Austin Cindric, and Harrison Burton.

Daniel Hemric is the “lucky dog”.

Previously it NASCAR had to two a driver, they were considered out of the race; but a change has been made allowing crews to repair the cars once they have been towed to pit road after not being able to get moving on the track.

Even though they had just pitted for fresh tires and fuel, several drivers have come down pit road for more service. They can now finish the race without running out of fuel.

Joey Logano is reporting some clutch issues.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart with Kyle Larson alongside. Drivers are four and five wide across the track with Joey Logano out in front for the lead.

With 35 laps to go the top five are Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Erik Jones.

Lap 166, Kyle Larson takes the lead with Joey Logano in second; Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

“Mr Where Did He Com From” Kevin Harvick has entered the top 10 with 32 laps remaining in the race.

Harrison Burton and William Byron are out of the race.

Lap 169, Kyle Larson has a one second lead on Ryan Blaney; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 171, Ross Chastain brings out the caution flag after spinning out. The car is stuck half on the track and half on the apron. Kyle Busch is the “lucky dog” and gets one of his two laps back.

Once Ross Chastain’s car has been delivered to pit road, the pit are open and the field comes down for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road. Team mates Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson come out next.

Chase Briscoe, Garrett Smithley, and BJ McLeod stay out on the track.

Chase Briscoe brings the field down for the green flag restart with 22 laps remaining in the race. On fresh tires, Kyle Larson jumps out to take the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.

Lap 178, Alex Bowman slaps the wall but the track stays green. Bowman makes his way to pit road.

Chase Elliott also slaps the wall but stays out on the track.

Twenty to go, Kyle Larson leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With just 17 laps to go, Kyle Larson has a lead of nearly half a second on Joey Logano; Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Lap 186, Daniel Suarez slaps the wall.

Lap 187, Kyle Larson has increased his lead to over a second on Joey Logano.

Ten to go, Kyle Larson holds on to the lead of the race with Joey Logano in second; Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

The sun has dropped to an angle that visibility has become an issue in turn three.

Lap 191, Chase Elliott brings out the 12th caution flag of the race when he spins out.

Kyle Busch is the “lucky dog” and is now back on the lead lap since going laps down early in the race.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Larson winning the race off of pit road and Daniel Suarez right behind him.

Though on the lead lap, Garrett Smithley and BJ McLeod have been pitting with the lap down drivers in order to stay out of the way of contenders on pit road.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart with just four laps remaining in the race. Daneil Suarez starts alongside on the front row. Kyle Larson gets out in front for the lead after a push from Joey Logano.

Joey Logano comes down to make it a three way battle for the lead between Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez, and Joey Logano.

Daniel Suarez takes the lead with three laps to go.

Kyle Larson makes a run to take the lead with two laps to go.

Austin Dillon makes a run for Kyle Larson with two laps to go but fails to pass Larson.

Kyle Larson takes the white flag.

The number 31 car makes a run through the grass but the track stays green.

Kyle Larson takes the checkered flag to win the surfboard trophy. Larson is a California native. This is his 17th career win and his eleventh with Hendrick Motorsports. Larson was among the drivers who had to start the race from the back of the field after making a part change prior to the race.

The unofficial results of the Wise Power 400:
Kyle Larson
Austin Dillon
Erik Jones
Daniel Suarez
Joey Logano
Aric Almirola
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
Daniel Hemric
Ricky Stenhouse Jr

Cole Custer
Austin Cindric
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Denny Hamlin
Chase Briscoe
Ty Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Bubba Wallace
Todd Gilliland
Justin Haley
Garrett Smithley
BJ McLeod
Tyler Reddick
Alex Bowman
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Corey LaJoie
Ross Chastain
Josh Bilicki
Michael McDowell
Cody Ware
Harrison Burton
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell

Triple Overtime Finish at Auto Club for Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series

NASCAR returns to Fontana and Auto Club Speedway after two years of being away from the track.

The Xfinity Series takes to the track for a short practice session before making a one lap qualifying run for the Production Alliance Group 300.

Nearly a third of the field have never driven a car at Auto Club. And to compound the issue, winds are an issue with gusts over 30 miles an hour.

Forty-one teams have brought cars to fill 38 spots in the race.

Brennan Poole is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run.

After being out of a car since 2014, Trevor Bayne returns to the track and makes a qualifying run of 40.093 seconds around the two mile track.

After a harrowing crash last week at Daytona, Myatt Snider puts down a lap of 41.704 seconds. Snider’s car went airborne in a crash that left car parts including the engine scattered all over the track and infield. Snider walked away from the crash with only a slight injury to his left leg that he describes as “some discomfort”.

AJ Allmendinger put down a lap of 40.038 seconds to put his number 16 car on the pole.

Jeremy Clements is making his 400th career start in today’s race.

The starting lineup for the Production Alliance Group 300:
AJ Allmendinger
Cole Custer
Brandon Jones
Trevor Bayne
Daniel Hemric
Noah Gragson
Landon Cassill
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
Jeremy Clements
Josh Berry
Ty Gibbs
Sam Mayer
Ryan Sieg
Jade Buford
Riley Herbst
Brett Moffitt
Joe Graf Jr
Alex Labbe
Justin Allgaier
Jeb Burton
Kyle Weatherman
Stefan Parsons
JJ Yeley
Matt Mills
Bayley Currey
Tommy Joe Martins
Anthony Alfredo
Kaz Grala
Brandon Brown
Myatt Snider
Ryan Vargas
Mason Massey
Josh Williams
Jesse Iwuji
Joey Gase
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Kyle Sieg

Stages one and two of the race are 35 laps each with stage three lasting 80 laps for a total of 150 laps around the two mile track.

Team Penske drivers Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano joins Adam Alexander in the broadcast booth for today’s race.

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jeb Burton, Jesse Iwuji, Joey Gase, Tommy Joe Martns, and Josh Williams were all moved to the back of the field after the crews made some unapproved adjustments to their cars. Ky Sieg had to move to the back of the field after an engine change and Joe Graf Jr was moved to the rear of the field after a driver change.

AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Cole Custer alongside on the insdie. Allmendinger gets out in front initially, but Custer keeps it close.

AJ Allmendinger leads lap one.

The top five are AJ Allmendinger, Cole Custer, Trevor Bayne, Noah Gragson, and Brandon Jones.

Austin Hill is off the pace after getting into the wall. The car is still running but there is a lot of smoke in the cockpit.

Lap four, Austin Hill makes his way to pit road. Cole Custer challenges AJ Allmendinger for the lead.

Lap five, leader AJ Allmendinger and Cole Custer continue to battle for the lead.

Sheldon Creed also gets into the wall but the track stays green.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap seven for Landon Cassill’s flaming car. He gets out of the car safely. Both front tires were in flames with more flames under the car.

Daytona winner Austin Hill is on pit road getting repairs; he is four laps down.

Jeremy Clements made a trip down pit road for a flat tire. The teams are given only four sets of tires for the race.

Jesse Iwuji has to have his car pushed down pit road with ignition issues.

The choose rule returns, AJ Allmendinger brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane on lap 14 and goes nose to nose with Trevor Bayne for the lead. Trevor Bayne is the new leader.

Lap 16, Trevor Bayne leads in the number 18 Joe Gibbs Racing car with Cole Custler in second; AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five. There are 35 cars on the lead lap.

Austin Hill returns to the track three laps down.

Lap 18, Trevor Bayne holds on to the lead as drivers get three wide across the track.

The caution flag comes out on lap 19 for a flat tire on Mason Massey’s car.

Trevor Bayne brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 25 from the outside lane with Noah Gragson on the inside.

Trevor Bayne takes the lead with Cole Custer in second; Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

After two cautions and two “lucky dogs”, Austin Hill is only two laps down in 36th place. Landon Cassill and Jesse Iwuji are off the track.

Lap 27, Mason Massey is one lap down in the “lucky dog” position.

Lap 27, Trevor Bayne has a lead of nearlyhalf a second on Cole Custer; Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five. Josh Berry in ninth and Sam Mayer in tenth put all four of the JR Motorsports cars in the top 10.

Lap 30, Trevor Bayne holds on to the lead iwht Cole Custer in second; Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Five laps remain in stage one; Trevor Bayne and Cole Custer battle for the lead with Bayne holding on to the lead; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Three laps to go in stage one, drivers are three wide for position; while Trevor Bayne and Cole Custer continue to battle.

Trevor Bayne wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Trevor Bayne
Cole Custer
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Ryan Sieg
Daniel Hemric
Sam Mayer

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ryan Sieg winning the race off of pit road after missing his pit box. Daniel Hemric is the first driver off of pit road.

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the outside lane with Ty Gibbs alongside on lap 43. Ty Gibbs gets out in front but Daniel Hemric makes a run to battle for the lead. Ty Gibbs brings out the caution flag when he spins out and makes a run through the grass. Daniel Hemric takes the lead. Gibbs reports that he was trying to side draft when he spun out.


Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Noah Gragson on the inside on lap 49. Justin Allgaier makes it a three wide battle with Daniel Hemric getting out in front for the lead.

Lap 50, the top five are Cole Custer, Daniel Hemric, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, and Jusitn Allgiaer.

Bayley Currey is having some temperature issues. He gets his number four car to pit road and the track stays green.

Lap 53, Cole Custer has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Noah Gragson; Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 54, there are 32 cars on the lead lap. Jesse Iwuji has returned to the track, 20 laps down.

Jeffrey Earnhardt may have some water temperature issues, he is spewing water. He has some debris on his front grille.

Lap 56, the drivers have gotten spread out through the track with Cole Custer over a second out in front.

Lap 57, Brandon Jones brings out the fifth caution flag of the day when he spins out.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with 10 laps remaining in stage two. Custer takes the lead with Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier battleing it out for second.

Lap 61, the top five are Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, and Daneil Hemric.

After bringing out the caution flag, Brandon Jones has already moved inside the top 10.

Lap 65, Cole Custer has pulled away from the field with a lead of over a second and a half; Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, and Daniel Hemric rounds out the top five.

Lap 68, Brandon Jones passes Noah Gragson for third and sets his sights on Justin Allgaier. Cole Custer has a near three second lead on the rest of the field.

Cole Custer wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Cole Custer
Brandon Jones
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
Daniel Hemric
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Sam Mayer
Riley Herbst

Drivers come down pit road for service with Brandon Jones winning the race off of pit road.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 77 and edges out Noah Gragson for the lead. Cole Custer and Trevor Bayne had slow pit stops and restarted back in the field.

Lap 78, Cole Custer has come from eighth place to take the lead.

NASCAR reviewed the restart and determiend that it was good.

Lap 80, Cole Custer has pulled out to a one second lead on Noah Gragson; Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 82, AJ Allmendinger makes an unscheduled pit stop saying that he has a vibration in his car. Allmendinger was in the top five when he made the stop.

Lap 83, the top five are Cole Custer, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, and Ty Gibbs.

With 65 laps to go, Cole Custer has increased his lead to two seconds over Noah Gragson; Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five. After a slow pit stop at the end of stage two, Trevor Bayne is now in th etop 10 in seventh place.

Lap 90, Cole Custer has a lead of over two seconds on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

With 57 laps to go, AJ Allmendinger is the first car one lap down in 32nd place after having to make a pit stop for a vibration.

Lap 94, Daniel Hemric and Ty Gibbs battle for fifth place.

Lap 97, Cole Custer has encountered slower traffic but maintains a near two second lead on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

In 32nd place, one lap down, AJ Allmendinger has caught up to seventh place drivers Josh Berry.

Lap 100, Kaz Grala has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road with a flat tire.

Lap 102, Brandon Brown brings out the caution flag after he spins out and has a flat tire.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Justin Allgaier winning the race off of pit road. Cole Custer lost six spots on pit road with another slow pit stop.

AJ Allmendinger took the wave around and is back on the lead lap.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 108 and gets out in front for the lead from the outside lane with team mate Noah Gragson in second.

Lap 109, Noah Gragson takes the lead with Josh Berry passing Justin Allgaier for second; Cole Custer and Brand on Jones round out the top five.

Lap 110, Cole Custer passes Josh Berry for third.

Lap 111, Cole Custer passes for second, but Josh Berry comes back to take second with Justin Allgaier in third. Cole Custer drops to fourth. Sam Mayer in fifth makes it all four JR Motorspors drivers in the top five..

Lap 113, Noah Gragson has increased his lead to over a second on team mater Josh Berry; Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, and Sam Mayer round out the top five. Cole Custer is the only non JR Motorsports driver in the top five.

Thirty five laps remain in the race, Noah Gragson has a lead of over two seconds on Josh Berry. Since getting back on the lead lap, AJ Allmendinger has moved up to 28th place.Thirty to go, Noah Gragson now has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Josh Berry; Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer battle for third with Sam Mayer in fifth place.

There are 27 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 123, Noah Gragson continues to lead but his lead is down to under a second and a half.

Jade Buford brings out the caution flag after he spins out on lap 125.

Drivers come down pit road for that one last set of fresh tires. Justin Allgaier wins the race off of pit road but not all of the drivers made a pit stop. Leader Noah Gragson overshot his pit stall and had to back up before he could get service; as a result, he came back out on the track in the middle of the pack.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with 22 laps remaining in the race. Justin Allgaier gets out in front for the lead with Travor Bayne in second; Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.

Trevor Bayne comes up to battle with Justin Allgaier for the lead but Allgaier holds on to the lead.

Twenty to go, Noah Gragson retakes the lead with Justin Allgaier in second.

Myatt Snider has a smoking car and gets it on the apron for the track staying green.

Lap 131, Noah Gragson leads the race with Cole Custer in second; Josh Berry, Trevor Bayne, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

With 18 laps to go, Noah Gragson has a lead of just two tenths of a second on Cole Custer; Josh Berry, Trevor Bayne, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 134, Cole Custer is challenging Noah Gragson for the lead.

Cole Custer takes the lead and begins to pull away.

Lap 136, Cole Custer has increased his lead to over half a second on Noah Gragson.

Ten to go, Cole Custer has a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson; Josh Berry, Trevor Bayne, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

The ninth caution flag comes out with just nine laps remaining in the race for debris on the track.

A few drivers come down pit road for service including Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, and Anthony Alfredo. Alfredo had one last set of sticker tires.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag restart with just six laps remaining in the race with Noah Gragson on the inside. Anthony Alfredo restarts the race in 24th place. Noah Gragson narrowly misses getting out in front for the lead.

Cole Custer is the leader with Trevor Bayne in second.

Five to go, Anthony Alfredo jumped eight spots in a single lap.

The caution flag comes out for a flat tire in Brett Moffit’s car. Anthony Alfredo moved up to 14th at the time the caution flag came out.

The race goes into overtime for the second week in a row.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the overtime two lap shootout with Trevor Bayne on the inside lane. Anthony Alfredo restarts in ninth place. Cole Custer gets out in front but Brandon Jones brings out the caution flag after he gets spun out by Daniel Hemric.

The race goes into a second overtime shootout for the finish.

Anthony Alfredo will restart the race in fifth place.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag shootout once again. Cole Custer gets a push from Noah Gragson and edges out Trevor Bayne for the lead. Anthony Alfredo is working the bottom lane. The caution flag comes out once again for Brandon Jones. Sheldon Creed and Stefan Parson were also involved in the wreck. The barrels of sand at the entrance of pit road are destroyed thowing sand everywhere. Brandon Jones is out of the car and walking to the ambulance.

Brothers-in-law Stefan Parsons and Sheldon Creed made contact and Brandon Jones gets caught up and is sent down the track sideways. He hits the barrels with the right rear quarter of his car.

NASCAR has red flagged the race in order to get everything cleaned up and put back together.

Brandon Jones has been checked and released from the infield care center.

Trevor Bayne reports that there is some fluid in turn one.

NASCAR has finally gotten everything cleaned up and replaced after a 23 minute red flag condition. The cars are moving once again as they prepare to make a third overtime start with Cole Custer in the lead.

The sun is setting but the lights are on and the race will go on.

With a third overtime finish looming, there is some question as to whether all of the drivers have enough fuel.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag with Anthony Alfredo on the inside lane. Justin Allgaier gives Anthony Alfredo a push but Cole Custer comes on strong from the outside lane to take the lead.

Cole Custer finally takes the white flag.

In the third overtime shootout, Cole Custer takes the checkered flag to win the race. Trevor Bayne and Anthony Alfredo both have top five finishes. All of the JR Motorsports drivers finished in the top 10.

The unofficial results of the Production Alliance Group 300:
Cole Custer
Noah Gragson
Trevor Bayne
Josh Berry
Anthony Alfredo
Sam Mayer
AJ Allmendinger
Justin Allgaier
Riley Herbst
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Brown
Daniel Hemric
Ty Gibbs
Jeb Burton
Joe Graf Jr
Kyle Weatherman
Jeremy Clements
Kyle Sieg
Brett Moffitt

Joey Gase

Josh Williams
JJ Yeley
Matt Mills
Alex Labbe
Kaz Grala
Myatt Snider
Austin Hill
Mason Massey
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Stefan Parsons
Tommy Joe Martins
Sheldon Creed
Brandon Jones
Bayley Currey
Ryan Vargas
Jesse Iwuji
Jade Buford
Landon Cassill

Spins, Wreckers Dominate Cup Series Qualifying

It has been over 700 days since the NASCAR Cup Series drivers have been to southern California and Auto Club Speedway to kick off the “west coast swing” of the NASCAR schedule.

The Cup Series returns with a new car and more challenges.

The season is only in the second week and once again, several teams have been hit with inspection issues. A total of seven teams had to make more than one trip through the inspection process with one driver failing three times.

Driving for 23XI Racing, Kurt Busch’s number 45 car failed pre-qualifying inspection three times; as a result he will not be allowed to make a qualifying run, will start the race from the back of the field, lose his car chief David Bryant for the race, and have to serve a pass-through penalty down pit road once the race begins.

Six other teams failed the inspection process two times and will lose a member for the race and their pit stall selection…

the Stewart-Haas Racing number four driven by Kevin Harvick

the Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing number six car driven by Brad Keselowski

the Team Penske number 12 car driven by Ryan Blaney
The Team Penske number 22 car driven by Joey Logano

the 23XI Racing number 23 car driven by Bubba Wallace

and the Live Fast Motorsports number 78 driven by BJ McLeod

In a format almost as unique as Daytona, the drivers will be divided into two groups; each will get a 15 minute practice session before qualifying. Group A will qualify and then group B will qualify; the top five drivers from each group will make a qualifying run to determine who whill sit on the pole.

During practice, Kevin Harvick hit the wall and had to have his car car towed to the garage. Stewart-Haas Racing has a single backup car for use in case of a crash and four race teams.

Chris Buescher spins outr but drives his car to the pit road.

Ross Chastain hits the wall hard and is stalled on the track. The safety crew has to two the car back to the garage. After having the wind knocked out of him, Chastain will not make a qualifying run.

The drivers are not the only ones who are getting used to the new cars, the safety crews are learning how to attach the cars to the trucks for towing.

Winds are a big issue for the teams today with gusts blowing up to 35 miles per hour.

The track surface is very abrasive causing tires to fall off and lose grip very quickly. Earlier in the week, track officials did some grinding on the track to try and smooth it out a bit.

Christopher Bell spins out with a flat tire just as the Group A practice session comes to an end. He noted that the cars are difficult to drive, but he is having a good time and is excited to run the race.

Group B takes to the track for practice.

Bubba Wallace spins after getting loose.. Bubba takes his Wheaties car to pit road. The team is working on the car but are not sure it will be ready in time for qualifying.

Group B practice has completed.

NASCAR has announced that once a driver takes his car to the garage after practice, they will not be allowed to make a qualifying run. Any changes to the car would be seen as making unapproved adjustments and sending the driver to the back of the field to start the race. Any adjustments and repairs must be made from pit road only and are very limited.

After Ross Chastain has decided not to make a qualifying run, Denny Hamlin is the first driver from Group A to take the track to qualify. He ran a time of 41.566 seconds around the two mile track.

Kevin Harvick did not make a qualifying run.

Joey Logano tops the list of the Group A drivers with a time of 41.358 seconds.

Justin Haley did not make a qualifying run.

The five drivers from Group A to make a second run for the pole are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Daniel Hemric, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch.

William Byron gets Group B qualifying started off with a time of 41.478.

Erik Jones takes the top spot with a time of 41.316 seconds.

Due to inspection issues, Kurt Busch will not qualify.

Chase Elliott takes the top with 41.177 seconds.

Aric Almirola gets loose and is sideways on the track but saves the car.

Joining Chase Elliott in the Group B in a battle for the pole are Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, Eric Jones, and William Byron.

Kyle Busch is the first driver of the top 10 to make a run for the pole. Busch runs a lap of 41.437 seconds

Brad Keselowski spins out during his top 10 qualifying run. His car has to be taken back to pit road on the wrecker.

Joey Logano hits the wall during his qualifying run but drives the car to pit road.

Erik Jones takes the top spot with a time of 41.326 seconds.

Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric takes over the top spot with a time of 41.226 seconds.

William Byron spins out during his qualifying run and ends up in the grass with flat tire(s) and has to be towed back to pit road.

Chase Elliott is the final driver to make a run for the pole and also gets loose and spins out.

Austin Cindric earns his his Cup Series pole in his ninth Cup Series start. Cindric is the first rookie to lead the points standings in 20 years. Jimmie Johnson was the last rookie to do so.

Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth joins Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the broadcast booth for the race.

Anne Elise Hastings Unmasks the Characters

With a very appropriate title for today’s world, Anne Elise Hastings releases her new album “Unmasking A Confidence Trickster”.

The Appalachian roots music artist mixes old Country music with a modern flair for this album and shows a wide range of emotions in the process. Hastings is looking to “break down the image that people have created for themselves, enveiling the con artist within everyone.”

The New Orleans resident cites her influences of everything from Dolly Parton to Janis Joplin. She calls her band Anne Elise Hastings and Her Revolving Cast of Characters. And while the characters frequently change, the format and ability to play multiple instruments does not.

The tracklisting for “Unmasking a Confidence Trickster”:
“Twice Married, Twice Divorced”
“Missouri”
“Make You Care”
“Close Enough”
“Sara Jane”
“The Hardest Part”
“Jack Kerouac”
“Protest Song”
“Still Afraid”
“Loving You”
“Between My Teeth”

feature photo credit: courtesy of IVPR

Grammy Museum to Pay Tribute to Mary Wilson

The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is paying tribute to Motown legend Mary Wilson, who died last year. The event will run on March 4 from 7 to 9pm at the Grammy Museum Live in Los Angeles.

Daughter Turkessa Babich will tell stories and original Miracles member Claudette Robinson will be on hand as a part of the tribute. Michelle Chapman, Rita Coolidge, the Four Tops, Linda Green, Tamron Hall, Barbara Hawkins, Bubba Knight, the Pointer Sisters, the Temptations, and Dionne Warwick will be among those sending tributes via video.

While Diana Ross is the best known member of The Supremes, it is Mary Wilson who founded the group. More than a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother; Wilson was a fashion icon, actor, motivational speaker, and cultural ambassador. It was Mary Wilson who was in integral part of getting the Music Modernization Act passed – a law that updates copyright issues in regards to audio recordings in the digital age.

Fans who are unable to attend the tribute, may watch the festivities on collectionlive.com on March 6, 2022 at 3pm – Wilson’s birthday.

UMe is releasing “The Motown Anthology” to help celebrate the life and career of Wilson. The Anthology is a comprehensive two CD collection of music from The Primettes, aand Mary Wilson’s solo career. It will be available on March 4 and at the Tribute event at the Grammy Museum; as well as, Wilson’s book “Supreme Glamour”.


feature photo: courtesy of the Grammy Museum

The Happy Fits

After selling out some dates, The Happy Fits have extended their What Could Be Better tour around the U.S. Sarah and the Sundays will be joining them of the tour. The Maine and Charlotte Sands will also be along on some dates.

Noting that many of the upcoming dates will be in smaller cities, lead singer Calvin Langman said, “we’re just as ecstatic to be hitting the road for our What Could Be Better Tour 2022. We’ll be headlining smaller US cities and fans in those cities usually don’t get to see their favorite band passing through, so they’re always ready to go and give it their all! It’s so cool that we get to bring Sarah And The Sundays on the road with us, too, since we’ve been fans of their music for a while. Touring with The Maine is going to be an experience unlike any other, as we’ve never played the 1500-2000 capacity rooms they’re headlining every night. We’re excited to pump up their crowd with our bangers-only set, and we’re also looking forward very much to seeing the amazing Charlotte Sands perform.”

The Happy Fits tour dates:
Feb 25 at The Southern in Charlottesville, VA
Feb 26 at the Canal Club in Richmond, VA
Feb 27 at the Radio Room in Greenville, SC
March 1 at The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC
March 2 at the New Brookland Tavern in West Columbia, SC
March 3 at The Signal in Chattanooga, TN
March 4 at Saturn in Birmingham, AL
March 6 at the Duck Room in St. Louis, MO
March 7 at xBk in Des Moines, IA
March 8 the Record Club in Kansas City, MO
March 10 at the Rose Music Hall in Columbia, MD
March 11 at Odyssey in Springfield, MD
March 12 at the Tower Theater in Oklahoma City. OK
March 15 at the Lowbrow Palace in El Paso, TX
March 17 at the 191 Tooke in Tuscon, AZ
March 19 at The Rock Box in San Antonio, TX
March 20 at the White Oak Music Hall in Houston, TX
March 22 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Jacksonville, FL
March 23 at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL
March 26 at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN
March 27 at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, NC
March 28 at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, PA
March 30 at the House of Blues in Bosotn, MA
March 31 at Club XL Live in Harrisburg, PA
April 1 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ
April 2 at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD
April 4 at Webster Hall in New York City, NY
April 5 at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, NY
April 7 at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH
April 8 at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL
April 9 at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI
April 10 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN
April 12 at the Gothic Theatre in Denver, CO
April 21 at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA
April 22 at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA
April 23 at the Independent in San Francisco, CA
April 24 at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA
April 26 at the Showbox in Seattle, WA
April 28 at The Complex in Salt Lake City, UT
May 1 at the Shaky Knees Fest in Atlanta, GA
May 3 at the Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, KY
May 4 at Top Cats in Cincinnati, OH
May 6 at The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI
May 8 at the Velvet Underground in Toronto, ON
May 10 at Bar Le Ritz in Montreal, QC
May 28 at the BottleRock Fest in Napa, CA

feature photo credit: courtesy of BigHassle.com

Music Row Names Independent Artist of the Year

There was a time when earning the title of independent music artist was a slap in the face and the insinuation that the artist was not very good. Today the title of Independent Music Artist is a badge of honour to be worn with pride.

Music Row has named James Robert Webb as its Independent Artist of the Year as a part of their Country Breakout Awards.

With his singles “Okfuskee Whiskey”, “Stealing Home”, and “Good Time Waitin’ to Happen”; Webb garnered the most record plays in 2021on the MusicRow Country Breakout Radio Chart.

Webb spoke on receving the award saying, “I just want to say thank you to the fans and to the stations on the panel that gives independent artists like me a chance. To anyone that played a JRW song, you make it about the music and the power of a song- and that’s how it should be. So this is really your award. But, I sure am happy to accept it for y’all.”

His last six singles have charted in the top 25 of the Music Row music chart and has his debut self titles album streamed nearly three million times.

The Oklahoma native is not just a country singer; he is also, a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, AND a practicing physician! Webb has shared the stage with the Marshall Tucker Band, Ray Stevens, and Montgomery Gentry.

Feature photo credit: 117 Group

Michael Shaw Went ‘One the Road’

Songwriter and musician Michael Shaw is set to release his debut album on June 3. “He Rode On” is listed as an album “for fans of unabashedly honest country and western music.”

Shaw, unknowingly, found inspiration in his surroundings when he worked as a horseman and wilderness ranger at Glacier National Park.

The album is available for pre-order on https://michaelshawmusic.net/shop/.

John McTigue III and Robbie Turner make guest appearances on the album.

Songs on the album include “Bad Honky Tonker”, “Outlaw’s Refuse”, and “Billy”.

Scabaret are no ‘Hothouse Flower’

The female trio Scabaret combines cabaret styled music and pop into a whole new form of music. Octave Records has just released their new album “Hothouse Flower” – an album of original music that features vocals, piano, and viola.

Hannah Jackson was on the competition reality show “The X Factor”. Amy Faris is the songwriter and pianist of the group. And Kimberly Sparr is the viola player who has appeared with numerous symphonies. Together they are Scabaret!

Amy Faris spoke on the trio saying, “I feel like with this group of people we can do any style in the world. The sky’s the limit.”

Speaking on the album Hannah Jackson said, “we take people through the low lows and the high highs, and all the colors that go into the mosaic of life. That’s how we approach all of those topics, from our experiences as women.”

The recording process makes it seem like the listener is in the room with the trio including every breath, movement, or touch of the pedal.

The tracklisting for “Hothouse Flower”:
“You Think You Can”
“Hothouse Flower”
“Better on Paper”
“Life at Lightning Speed”
“Burn”
“Casualty”
“Cave”
“The Hot Spring”
“Two to Tango”
“Scabaret”
“Who Loves Me”

feature photo: album cover

Necronomicon and The Convalescence

With more concerts coming out of Canada, rockers Necronomicon and The Convalescence are joining forces to co-headline a tour around the United States. Alukah, Reflaction of Flesh, and Psycho Mantis will be joining the tour as opening acts.

The tour is set to begin in late April and run into the beginning of June.

Necronomicon and The Convalescence tour dates:
April 29 at Papa Pete’s in Kalamazoo, MI
April 30 at the Main Street Bar & Grill in Toledo, OH
May 1 at the WC Social Club in Chicago, IL
May 2 at the High Noon Saloon in Madison, WI
May 3 at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul, MN
May 4 at Big’s Bar in Sioux Falls, SD
May 5 at The Venue in Denver, CO
May 6 at The Loading Dock in Salt Lake City, UT
May 7 at The Shredder in Boise, ID
May 8 at The Big Dipper in Spokane, WA
May 9 at The Funhouse in Seattle, WA
May 10 at Dante’s Theater in Portland, OR
May 11 at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, CA
May 13 at Brick by Brick in San Diego, CA
May 14 at the Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale, AZ
May 15 at the Juggernaut Music in Gallup, NM
May 16 at the Rockhouse Bar & Grill in El Paso, TX
May 17 at Come and Take it Live in Austin, TX
May 18 at Amplified Live in Dallas, TX
May 20 at the Paper Tiger in San Antonio, TX
May 21 at the Acadia Bar & Grill in Houston, TX
May 22 at Jimmy’s Jukebox in Cresview, FL
May 24 at the Brass Mug in Tampa, FL
May 25 at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, FL
May 26 at The Haven Lounge in Winter Park, FL
May 27 at Furnace 41 in Jonesboro, GA
May 28 at the Concourse in Knoxville, TN
May 29 at the Bar XIII in Wilmington, DE
May 30 at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, MA
May 31 at Geno’s Rock Club in Portland, ME
June 1 at the Montage Music Hall in Rochester, NY
June 2 at the Lovedraft’s Brewing Co in Mechanicsburg, PA
June 3 at the Rockstar Lounge in Fort Wayne, IN
June 4 at the Diesel Concert Lounge in Chesterfield, MI

Simple Plan and Sum 41 ‘Blame Canada’

Canadian rockers Sum 41 and Simple Plan are joining forces for a new tour of the United States they are calling the “Blame Canada” tour. It is the first time that the two bands are joining forces for this co-headlining tour.

Set to begin the end of April, the tour will feature both bands performing their debut albums as a part of the set.

Members of Simple Plan spoke on the upcoming tour saying, “we’re so happy to finally be able to play shows again and couldn’t be more excited to head out on the ‘Blame Canada’ tour with Sum 41! It’s hard to believe this will the first time we will co-headline a tour together, but the timing couldn’t be better as we both celebrate the 20th anniversary of our debut albums!”

The guys oof Sum 41 also spoke on the upcoming tour saying, “we have known the guys in Simple Plan for a very long time and know these shows are going to be great. We cannot wait to hit the road with them! We have a lot of fans in common and we know they have waited for this for a very, very long time! After not being able to tour for almost two years due to the pandemic, we’re gonna go out there and play our hearts out, enjoy every second of being on these stages and we’ll make sure everyone in the crowd has the time of their lives!”

Tickets go on sale February 25 at 10am local time via the Sum41.com and OfficialSimplePlan.com websites.


“Blame Canada” tour dates:
April 29 at The Ritz in Raleigh, NC
April 30 at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC
May 2 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia, PA
May 3 at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA
May 4 at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD
May 6 at The Palladiumin Worcester MA
May 7 at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ
May 8 at the Pier 17 Rooftop in New York City, NY

May 10 at The Fillmore in Detroit, MI
May 11 at the House of Blues in Cleveland, OH
May 13 at the ICON Music Center in Cincinnati, OH
May 14 at Eagles in Milwaukee, WI
May 15 at Radius in Chicago, IL
May 17 at Myth in Minneapolis, MN
May 18 at Uptown in Kansas City, MO
May 20 at Harra’s Stir Cove in Council Bluffs, IA
May 21 at The pageant in St. Louis, MO
May 22 at Marathon in Nashville, TN
May 24 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA
May 25 at the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa, FL
May 27 at the Orpheum Theater in New Orleans, LA
May 28 at the So What? Music Festival in Dallas, TX
July 29 at the Cains Ballroom in Tulsa, OK
July 30 at Stubb’s Walller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, TX
July 31 at the House of Blues in Houston, TX
Aug 3 at The Van Buren in Phoenix, AZ
Aug 5 at SOMA in San Diego, CA
Aug 6 a the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA
Aug 9 at The Masonic in San Francisco, CA
Aug 10 at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento, CA
Aug 12 at the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR
Aug 13 at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle, WA
Aug 14 at The Knitting Facgtory in Spokane, WA
Aug 16 at Revolution in Garden City, ID
Aug 17 at The Complex in Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 18 at The Fillmore in Denver, CO

Lavender Country Returns

It is often said in the world of entertainment that everything old is new again.

Truer words were never spoken when it comes to Country music pioneers Lavender Country.

Caught in a time when the phrase LGBTQ+ was never spoken and homosexuals and lesbians remained far back in the closet, Seattle resident Patrick Haggerty took a brave step and formed the band Lavender Country. Along with some friends, the group recorded an album by the same name that for years languished somewhere in the ether of time.

Fifty years later, Haggerty has returned with a reformed Lavender Country…and a new album filled with songs with an LGBTQ+ theme…and no apologies.


Now 78, Haggerty spoke on the original album saying “‘Lavender Country’ had no commercial value when we made it because it was too outlandish. But it was really too outlandish for any genre. So we didn’t have any choice except to make it ourselves and the community of folks who were doing Stonewall rebellion stuff in Seattle.”

Haggerty estimates that they sold around 1,000 copies of the original album.

He continued, “there was a little wound in my heart about the fact that Lavender Country was dead and wasn’t ever going to go anywhere and nobody was ever going to listen to it. But it turned out that I was wrong.”

Now married with a family, Haggerty was surprised when in 1999 the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum reached out and wanted to add the album in a roundup of gay oriented country music.

Despite being out of print, the album appeared on YouTube where a music collector brought the album to the record label Paradise of Bachelors. The label surprised Haggerty once again when they reached out to him and reissued the album in 2014. The album was turned into a ballet and was performed in San Francisco.



Seeing his dreams of being a Country music star revived, Haggerty has collaborated with Trixie Mattel, Orville, Peck, and Paisley Fields.

Fields is one of the musicians who have joined Haggerty and Lavender Country for the new album “Blackberry Rose and Other Songs of Sorrow”.


Out now, “Blackberry Rose” includes original Lavender Country songwriters and over a dozen news contributors. The new album includes “Gay Bar Blues”, “Clara Frazer, Clara Frazer”, and “Stand On Your Man”. The album’s title track “Blackberry Rose” strays from the gay theme to tackle racism with a folk tale of a mixed couple and murder in the South.

James Brown may be the godfather of Soul, but Patrick Haggerty is the godfather of queer Country music.


Noting that the album was originally created to foster social change, Haggerty said, “I made ‘Lavender Country’ to use it as a vehicle to foment social change. I was using it as a vehicle to fight fascism. And now 50 years later, I get to use ‘Lavender Country’ for the exact reason I made it in the first place.”

feature photo credit: Lavender Country – Sarah Stierch – 2019 16.jpg

NASCAR Issues First Penalties of Season

As expected, NASCAR came down heavily on two teams that had tire issues during the Daytona 500 this past weekend,

The number 31 Kaulig Racing car driven by Justin Haley and the number 50 Money Team car driven by Kaz Grala both lost a wheel during the race. The new 18 inch wheels use a single central hub lug nut intead of the five lug nuts used on the old 15 inch tires.

Citing a safety violation, NASCAR has penalized both teams with suspensions. On the number 31 car, crew chief Trent Owens, front tire changer Jacob Nelson, and Jackman Marshall McFadden; and number 50 crew chief Tony Eury Jr, jackman Chris Zima, and rear tire changer Aaron Powell were all suspended four races each. The penalties were issued under the “Loss or separation of an improperly installed tire/wheel from the vehicle with the note: Loss of tire/wheel during the event” in the rule book.

After having their tires confiscated, NASCAR issued no further penalties to Team Penske and RFK Racing.

NASCAR issued a statement saying, “NASCAR met with Next Gen suppliers and several race teams this week to discuss wheel specifications. Following that discussion, NASCAR made small adjustments to increase the upper tolerance on pin and pilot bores for Fontana. NASCAR will reevaluate with suppliers and race teams and determine a path forward following this weekend’s race.”


F1 Gets New Car

The NASCAR Cup Series aren’t the only race car drivers that will be getting a new car. The Formula One Series is also getting a new car.

The drivers will get their first taste of the car in a testing session at Barcelona on February 23.

F1 has implemented a series of major changes that are designed to improve racing and more competitive. The changes include aerodynamic and tire requirements. The cars will have new rear and front wings, bigger wheels, and an increase in down force.

In some money saving measures, the teams will be using a higher ratio of sustainable fuel, new safety features, lower budget caps, and adjustments to race weekend schedules.


F1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn spoke on the changes saying, “every decision we have made has been towards not dumbing down the sport but making it more achievable for more of the teams and to get a closer competition going on for the future while still leaving it a meritocracy so the best teams still win.”

This is the first time F1 has made any car changes since 2017, but Mercedes and Red Bull continued to dominate the sport.

Brawn added, “I honestly don’t think the regulations will change the general order of things dramatically. It will bring it a lot closer and I think we’ll see some of what were the mid-field teams challenging. I think we’ll have a bigger group of competitive teams.”

The changes come after what F1 considers the greatest season that saw Max Verstappen edge out Lewis Hamilton to take the title with Red Bull. Verstappen’s win ended seven years of Mercedes dominance.

“I’m optimistic about the coming season. The good teams will always do a good job. They’ve got the expertise and the experience. Although I’d love to see it, I don’t think we’re going to see teams further back all of a sudden dominating this year,” said Brawn.

The F1 drivers will get a second testing session next month in Bahrain shortly before the season is scheduled to open on March 20 in the longest season ever with 23 races. Miami joins the race schedule with Japan, Canada, Austraila, and Singapore returning after being dropped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 champion Max Verstappen spoke on the new cr saying, “now with the new regulations, you have to get used to the car. It’s not like you just jump in and it’s an upgrade from last year. A lot is unknown about the car … I’m very curious to see how the car is behaving on track.”

feature photo credit: Noida F1 2013, Indian Grand Prix(Ank Kumar, Infosys Limited) 13.jpg

‘Harmony’ Set to Open in April

After creating the award winning musical “Copacabana” based on the song by the same name, Bruce Sussman and Tony Award winning entertainer Barry Manilow wrote “Harmony” based on a group of humorists from the 1930’s during the Nazi occupation.

While the musical has been seen in a few locations, it is finally making it Broadway debut this spring at the Edmond J. Safra Hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage–A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will presenting the musical with shows scheduled to begin April 13 and run through May 8.

Tony Award winning director Warren Carlyle is choreographing and directing the production. Broadway veterans Sierra Boggess and Chip Zien will star in the musical. Sean Bell, Danny Kornfeld, Eric Peters, Blake Roman, Steven Telsey, Jessie Davidson, Ana Hoffman, and Kenny Morris are also set to appear in the production.

The Comedian Harmonists took Germany…and the world…by storm during the 1920’s with their harmonies and stage antics; but when a Jewish singer joined the group, everything began to change.

Sigur Ros

It has been nearly five years since the Icelandic band Sigur Ros has toured the world. All that will change later this spring and summer.

But before Jónsi, Georg and Kjartan hit the road, they are busy working on new music for an album; their first since “Kveikur” in 2013. They band also says that they will be debuting the new music on the tour; along with music that spans their 25 year career.

Information of the new album release will be forthcoming soon.

Tickets for the new tour go on sale beginning February 25. More tour dates covering areas outside of North America will be revealed at a later date.


Sigur Ros tour dates:
April 30 at Festival Vaiven in Morelos, Mexico
May 3 at the Citibanamex Auditorium in Monterrey, Mexico
May 5 at the Aiditorio Telemex in Guadalajara, Mexico
May 9 at the Orpehum Theatre in Vancouver, BC
May 11 at the Theater of the Clouds in Portland, OR
May 13 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA
May 17 at the Frost Amphitheater in Stanford, CA
May 19 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA
May 23 & 24 at the ACL Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TX
May 25 at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, TX
May 27 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, GA
May 28 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
May 31 at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, MN
June 1 at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI
June 3 at the Mason Temple Theatre in Detroit, MI
June 4 at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, IL
June 6 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
June 7 at The Met in Philadelphia, PA
June 8 at the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, MA
June 10 at the Place Des Arts in Montreal, QC
June 11 at the Meridian Hall in Toronto, ON
June 14 at the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, NY
June 17 & 18 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, NY

NASCAR Speaks on Tire Issue

When NASCAR developed the new Next Gen car, they changed the wheel assembly so that instead of a 15 inch tire with five lug nuts, the new wheels are 18 inches and have only one central lug nut.

During the Daytona 500 on February 20, Kaz Grala lost a tire during stage one; noting that it wasn’t good when the wheel passes by without you.

On February 18, NASCAR confiscated the wheels from Team Penske and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing over some apparent modifications to the wheel – a clean violation of the rule book. The crews noted that they were concerned about a safety issue.

During a SiriusXM radio interview, NASCAR Seinior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller spoke on the events of the weekend saying, “we have some meetings with vendors and other team folks and analyzing deeper what we saw there. You’ll be hearing some more about that later in the week I’m sure. And honestly, it’s just one of those things that is really another one of the learning processes of what needs to be. Some people thought something needed to be one way, and others another. It’s the newness of it all, and we’re continuing to dig in.”

In relation to the mishap with Kaz Grala’s car, Miller noted that any information would be forthcoming along with the information on the wheel confiscation; adding, “a four-race suspension for crew chief Tony Eury Jr. is possible based on NASCAR’s new deterrence policy.”

Miller also spoke on the wreck involving Harrison Burton, whose car went airborne and flipped over before landing on its wheels after being hit by Brad Keselowski’s car saying, “we have to look at what led up to creating that. Every one of those situations when a car gets hit, the angle it gets hit, the angle it is going backwards when it gets hit, contributes a lot to the learnings for us. … We had a lot of other cars spin around at speed with no contact that did the job exactly as designed. When there’s contact involved that’s a big variable so it’s something we study with the safety team and learn from.” Miller noted that the lug nut is, “supposed to be fool proof. When it’s tightened on the wheel, a safety locking pin pops out to prevent the lugnut from backing off the wheel stud.” He added, “the wheel likely wasn’t placed into the alignment pins. That prevented the single lugnut from getting tight. It’s unclear if that was related to any mechanical issue or an installation error.”

Previously teams would sometimes cheat on getting all of the lug nuts tight in order to save time on pit road, but with the new wheel assembly and a single lug nut, the crews are having to wait for the fuel tank to fill after the tires have been changed.

MLB Cancels Early Spring Training Games

It has been a rouch couple of years for Major League Baseball and its fans.

First a pandemic cut the schedule to only 60 of the originally scheduled 160 games. While the fans returned to the seats for 2021, some of the stands were still limited.

Then no sooner had the Atlanta Braves closed out the season by winning the World Series, the owners locked out the players over an expired contract.

Now, as the negotiations, sparse though they may be, continue to be strained; the beginning of the 2022 season and spring training has been canceled.

In a normal year, the pitchers and catchers report to camp in mid February. The baseball fields in Florida and Arizona remain dark.

Currently the cancellation runs through March 4; but unless the 79 day impasse and work stopage ends quickly, those dates will be extended. The latest meeting between MLB owners and the Major League Baseball Player Association lasted a mere 15 minutes.

MLB issued a statement saying, “we regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of spring training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5. All 30 clubs are unified in their strong desire to bring players back to the field and fans back to the stands.” MLB believes that February 28 is the last day to reach an agreement and still begin the 2022 season on time.

The MLB Players Association also issued a statement saying, “nothing requires the league to delay the start of spring training, much like nothing required the league’s decision to implement the lockout in the first place. Despite the decisions by the league, players remain committed to the negotiating process.”

MLB Commissioner noted that the owners instigated the lockout hoping to alleviate a strike later in the season.

Both sides claim to be committed to reaching a fair agreement but appear to be doing little if anything to achieve that goal.

All is not bad news for the fans; anyone who has purchased tickets to canceled games can get a refund.

Sir Paul McCartney

Sir Paul McCartney is ready to head out on the road for some dates beginning late in April.

April 28 at the Arena in Spokane, WA
May 2 & 3 at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA
May 6 at the Arena in Oakland, CA
May 13 at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
May 17 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX
May 21 at Truist Field in Atlanta, GA
May 25 at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL
May 28 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, FL
May 31 at the Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN
June 4 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY
June 7 at Fenway Park in Boston, MA
June 12 at Oriole Park in Baltimore, MD
June 16 at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ

NASCAR Points Standings

After the races at Datona International Speedway this past weekend, the first points standings of the season have been released.

In the Cup Series, Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric has secured himself a spot in the first round of the playoffs and is at the top of the points standings with 54 points; ties with team mate Brad Keselowski. After sweeping stages one and two, Martin Truex Jr comes in third with 49 points.

Cup Series point standings:
Austin Cindric – 54
Brad Keselowski – 54
Martin Truex Jr – 49
Bubba Wallace – 47
Chase Briscoe – 41
Ryan Blaney – 41
Michaekl McDowell – 39
Kyle Busch – 38
Chris Buescher – 35
Chase Elliott – 34
Joey Logano – 33
Aric Almirola – 32
David Ragan – 29
Ty Dillon – 26
Ricky Stenhouse Jr – 25
Kurt Busch – 24

According to the playoff standings, all of the 16 playoff drivers have received 2,000 points and were then awarded playoff points according to who they finished in the stages and at the end of the race. Austin Cindric also tops the playoff standings with 2,021 points. Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr follow with 2,010 points.


In the Xfinity Series, Austin Hill won the race, but it is AJ Allmendinger who sits atop the points standings with 51 points.

Xfinity Series point standings:
AJ Allmendinger – 51
Austin Hill – 47
Riley Herbst – 42
Justin Allgaier – 42
Ryan Sieg – 41
Noah Gragson -40
Ty Gibbs – 35
Brandon Brown – 34
Sheldon Creed – 31
Anthony Alfredo – 30
Daniel Hemric – 29
Josh Bilicki – 28


In the playoff points, Allmendinger and Hill are tied at 2,015 points.

Camping World Truck Series driver Zane Smith won the truck race on Friday night in an overtime event with 46 points.

Camping World Truck Series point standings:
Zane Smith – 46
Ben Rhodes – 44
Christian Eckes – 41
Tanner Gray – 36
Ty Majeski – 35
Chandler Smith – 33
John Hunter Nemechek – 33
Parker Kligerman – 32
Jesse Little – 31
Danny Bohn – 29

Final Winter Olympics Medal Count

The Olympic flame has been extinguished and the torch passed to Milan for the Winter games in 2026.

The final days of the Olympics were brutal for athletes out on the slopes.

In the Mixed Team Parallel alpine skiing event, the Austrian team dominated the slope and the competition to take the gold medal.

In the men’s four man bobsled event, Germany continued their dominance of the sliding events with the gold medal. There are 10 events in the sliding sports; Germany won gold in nine of them and has a total 16 overall medals. Germany also won the silver medal.

In the Women’s 30k Mass Start Cross-country skiing event, Noway won the gold with the United States taking the silver medal.

In the women’s curling event, Great Britain won the gold medal; beating out Japan.

Om the men’s gold medal hockey game, Finland won their very first gold in hockey; beating out the team from Russia.

In the final medal count, Norway takes home the win with 16 gold medals and a total of 37 overall. Norway and the Russian OlympicCommittee are the only countries to top 30 total medals.

2022 Beijing Olympics final medal count:
Norway – 37
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 32
Germany – 27
Canada – 26
United States – 25
Sweden – 18
Austria – 18
Japan – 18
Netherlands – 17
Italy – 17
People’s Republic of China – 15
France – 14
Switzerland – 14
Republic of Korea – 9
Finland – 8
Slovenia – 7
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
New Zealand – 3
Great Britain – 2
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
Belgium – 2
Slovakia – 2
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Estonia – 1
Ukraine – 1

Rookie Wins Daytona 500!

The big day has finally arrived at Daytona International Speedway!

But before the drivers hit the high banks of the two and a half mile track, Country music star Luke Combs entertains a packed house of race fans. This year there is not an empty seat, infield spot, or RV available.

The 64th annual Daytona 500 is a historic event not just because it is the first major race in a new car; but it is the first time in history that the track director is a man of colour and four of the teams in the race have men of colour and one Latin owner.

Several of the drivers in today’s race would also like it to be a historic day for them winning their first Daytona 500.

During the Duel races on Thursday night, Joey Logano wrecked his car on the last lap and had to move to a backup car. Logano will have to start the race from the back of the field.

One of the oldest drivers in the race, Jacques Villeneuve will have to move to the back of the field after the crew made an engine change after the Duel races.

On Friday, NASCAR confiscated the tires from Team Penske and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing over an issue that the racing teams call a safety issue. The tires were sent to the NASCAR R&D Center in North Carolina. If there are any penalties, they will be announced once the investigation is completed.

Two drivers will find themselves starting the race from the back of the field after failing the pre-race inspection process.

The number 16 Kaulig Racing car driven by Daniel Hemric failed inspection three times; as a result, he will not only have to start the race from the back of the field, but have to serve a pass through penalty – driving down pit lane at pit road speed – once the race begins and lose car chief JD Frey.

The number 14 Stewart-Haas Racing car driven by Chase Briscoe also failed inspection and will also lose crew member George Spencer for the race in addition to starting the race from the back of the field.



The starting lineup for the Daytona 500:
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Brad Keselowski
Chris Buescher
Austin Cindric
Michael McDowell
Ryan Blaney
Harrison Burton
Chase Briscoe – moved to the back of the field
Kyle Busch
Chase Elliott
Christopher Bell

Erik Jones
Martin Truex Jr
Tyler Reddick
Bubba Wallace
Kurt Busch
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ross Chastain
Joey Logano – moved to the back of the field
Daniel Suarez
Kevin Harvick
William Byron
Corey LaJoie
Justin Haley
Ty Dillon
Landon Cassill
Greg Biffle
Todd Gilliland
Denny Hamlin
Cole Custer
Cody Ware
Daniel Hemric – moved to the back of the field
David Ragan
Kaz Grala
Austin Dillon
BJ McLeod
Aric Almirola
Noah Gragson
Jacques Villeneuve

Stages one and two of the race are 65 laps in length with stage three lasting 70 laps for a total of 200 laps. The drivers cannot complete any of the stages on a single load of fuel and will have to make at least one pit stop.

Tony Stewart joins Mike Joy and Clint Bowyer in the broadcast booth. Stewart is a three time Cup Series champion and has won 19 races at Daytona – second only to Dale Earnhardt Sr in wins – but none of them was the 500. Stewart said that he would trade all 19 of his Daytona wins for a 500 win.

NFL Hall of Famer Charles Woodson is the grand marshall for the race and will give the command. And a rousing command it was too.

Pole sitter Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and edges out team mate Alex Bowman for the lead.

Coming up from the outside lane, Brad Keselowski passes Kyle Larson for the lead to lead lap one.

The top five are Brad Keselowski, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, and Kyle Busch.

Lap three, Leaders get single file on the outside lane with Brad Keselowski leading the way.

Lap five, Brad Keselowski continues to lead ther ace with Austin Cindric in second; Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Harrison Burton in the number 21 car leads the pack on the inside lane and is getting a push from Chase Elliott.

Lap seven, some of the drivers in the outside lane move down to the inside lane.

Lap eight, leading the inside lane, Kyle Busch leads the race with Brad Keselowski leading the outside lane.

Lap nine, Brad Keselowski gets back in front for the lead.

Lap 10, the top five are Brad Keselowski, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Daniel Hemric goes one lap down.

Lap 15, Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, and Ricky Stenhouse jr round out the top five. There are 38 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 17, after starting the race from the back of the field, Joey Logano has moved up to 18th place.

Lap 18, the top 12 cars are single file in the outside lane.

Lap 19, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race with Austin Cindric in second.

Lap 23, Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead from the outside lane; Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five. So far, Keselowski has led 22 or the 23 laps run.

After starting the race in 30th place, Denny Hamlin has moved up to 15th place.

Lap 26, the inside lane has caught up to the outside lane and is challenging for the lead with Kyle Busch in front of the pack.

Lap 28, Kyle Busch passes Brad Keselowski for the lead briefly.

Lap 30, Kyle Busch has retaken the lead with Brad Keselowski in second; Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 31 Brad Keselowski retakes the lead as he and Kyle Busch swap the lead back and forth.

Lap 32, Kyle Busch is now the leader.

Lap 32, Brad Keselowski passes Kyle Busch for the lead and brings Austin Cindric with him.

Lap 33, Kyle Busch retakes the lead with Christopher Bell in second; Brad Keselowski, Austin Cindric, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

With pit stops approaching, the outside lane is blocked out of moving down to the inside lane on their way to pit road.

Lap 36, the top eight drivers are single file on the inside lane.

The hood flap has come off of Christopher Bell’s car. It is one of the mandatory parts of the car and will have to be repaired.

Lap 38, drivers begin green flag pit stops.

With the new single hub wheel, teams are having to wait on the fuel before leaving pit road. Many of the teams took only two tires.

Jacques Villeneuve spins out coming down pit road but saves the cars.

Ty Dillon was caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 40, Joey Logano is the leader after pit stops.

The first caution flag comes out on lap 42 when Kaz Grala’s car looses a wheel. Grala noted that he was in trouble when he saw the wheel pass him by. FOX broadcaster Mike Joy reports that the loss of a tire is a major infraction that will result in a four race suspension for the crew chief plus two crew members.

Chris Buescher spins out coming to the caution but doesn’t hit anything.

A few drivers came down pit road for service during the caution.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 46 and edges out Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 47, the top five are Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Harrison Burton, and Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Busch retakes the lead with Joey Logano in second.

Lap 50, Kyle Busch leads the race from the inside lane with Denny Hamlin in second; Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

The second caution of the race comes out on lap 52 for a broken wheel on Justin Haley’s car.

Justin Haley has an extended stop on pit road for possible suspension damage after losing a wheel.

Ryan Blaney’s crew is having issues fitting the tires.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with nine laps remaining in stage one. Kyle Busch leads the race with Denny Hamlin in second; William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 58, Kyle Busch leads the race but William Bryon is coming up on the outside lane to take the lead.

Lap 59, Harrison Burtin comes from the outside lane to take the lead. Martin Truex Jr gives Burton a push to the lead.

Lap 60, Martin Truex Jr jumps down to the inside lane to take the lead briefly.

Lap 61, Harrison Burton and Martin Truex Jr battle for the lead.

Lap 61, Martin Truex J leads the race with Harrison Burton in second; Brad Keselowski, William Byron, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out for a crash at the front of the pack involving William Byron, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Harrison Burton, Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Alex Bowman on lap 63. Harrison Burton ended up on his roof briefly before landing back on all four wheels. William Byron hit the inside wall hard.

Stage one ends under caution with Martin Truex Jr winning the stage.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Todd Gilliland
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Logano
Austin Dillon
Kurt Busch
Erik Jones
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott

Denny Hamlin takes his car to the garage.

Harrison Burton is out of the race. After being checked at the infield care center, he is fine.

Kurt Busch has taken his car to pit road for repairs.

Once pit road is open, the drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.

Christopher Bell also ended up hitting the wall.

After the crash Denny Hamlin, Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain, and William Byron are out of the race.

Erik Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of the race on lap 72 and tkes the lead.

Christopher Bell says that everything in the rear of the car is broken and doesn’t know whether he can make minimum speed.

Lap 73, Ryan Blaney takes the elad; Austin Cindric, Erik Jones, Chris Buescher, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Greg Biffle is off the track.

This is the first time in 17 Daytona 500 races that Denny Hamlin has failed to finish the race.

Lap 76, Christopher Bell has taken his car to the garage with suspension issues and is out of the race.

Lap 77, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Austin Cindric in second; Chris Buescher, Erik Jones, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.

Lap 83, the ovals lead the pack with Ryan Blaney leading the way, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 89, Ryan Blaney holds on to the lead with Austin Cindric in second with 34 cars on the lead lap. Greg Biffle returns to the track after repairing a fuel line and is 60 laps down.

Lap 92, the top five are Ryan Blaney, Austin Cindric, Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 100, halfway, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Austin Cindric in second and Chris Buescher in third.

Lap 102, the drivers are single file through the field.

Lap 103, Ryan Blaney has led 31 laps so far.

Lap 103, drivers begin coming down pit road for green flag pit stops.

Lap 106, the top eight cars are Fords with Ryan Blaney leading the way.

Lap 109, most of the remainder of the drivers come down pit road for their pit stops. Chase Briscoe missed his pit box coming down pit road.

Lap 110, the final green flag pit stops for stage two come down pit road and has to back up to get service. Chase Elliott gets stalled on pit road.

Daniel Suarez was caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 110 Brad Keselowski takes the elad with Chris Buescher in second; Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, and Todd Gilliland.

Lapa 118, drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Lap 120, Brad Keselowski leads the race with team mate Chris Buescher in second; Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, and Todd Gilliland round out the top five.

With just seven laps remaining in stage two, Bard Keselowski holds on to the lead with Kyle Larson in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Joey Logano, and Martin Treux Jr round out the top five.

Lap 125, Kyle Larson takes the lead.

Lap 126, Brad Keselowski retakes the lead with Joey Logano in second.

Lap 129, drivers get three wide in a battle for the lead as stage two approaches the end.

Lap 130, Joey Logano takes the lerad.

Martin Truex Jr comes from second place to win stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano/

Bubba Wallace
Brad Keselowski
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Austin Cindric
Chris Buescher
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Larson
Todd Gilliland

After pit road opens, Martin Truex Jr brings the field down pit road for service. Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.

Some of the drivers make a second trip down pit road to top off on fuel.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 138 from the outside lane. Keselowski gest out in front for the lead with Austin Cindric in second; Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Michael McDowell was caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 140, there are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 141, Brad Keselowski leads the race with Austin Cindric in second and Bubba Wallace in third.

Lap 146, Brad Keselowski continues to lead the race with rookie Austin Cindric in second; Bubba Wallace, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Fifty to go, Brad Keselowski is out in front, he has led 62 laps so far.

Lap 151, the caution flag comes out for a big crash that incoves Joey Logano, Jacques Villeneuve, Tyler Reddick, Kurt Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. Tyler Reddick has damage to both ends of his car. Kurt Busch and Joey Logano made a run through the grass.

Joey Logano is stuck on the track with two flat right side tires. Logano eventually makes it to pit road for fresh tires.

David Ragan threaded the needle to avoid any damage.

Drivers can run 38 to 42 laps on a single load of fuel; there are 45 laps remaining in the race. Drivers who come down pit road may be able to make it to the end of the race if they get the fuel cell packed.

Tyler Reddick takes his car to the garage.

Pit road is open and drivers come down pit road for service.

Kyle Larson gets stalled on pit road but gets the car moving again.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 41 laps remaining in the race. Cindric and Bubba Wallace go side by side before Ryan Blaney puts Cindric out in front with a push.

Forty to go, the top five are Austin Cindric, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, and Bubba Wallace.

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According to broadcaster Mike Joy there are Fords on the bottom, Toyotas on the top, and Chevrolets whereever you can find them.

With 37 laps remaining in the race Bubba Wallace takes the lead with Austin Cindric in second.

Austin Cindric retakes the lead; putting Bubba Wallace in second; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr rounding out the top five.

Thirty-six to go, Bubba Wallace has the lead with Kyle Busch in second and Austin Cindric in third.

Thirty five to go, Kyle Busch takes the lead briefly before Bubba gets back out in front.

With 34 laps to go, Austin Cindric takes the lead with Bubba Wallace in second; Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr rounding out the top five.

Thirty-two laps to go, Bubba Wallace and Austin Cindric continue to swap the lead back and forth.

There are 30 laps remaining in the race; Bubba Wallace and Austin Cindric continue to swap the lead back and forth with Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, and Brad Keselowski rounding out the top five.

There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 172, Austin Cindric leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

One of the roof flaps on Kyle Busch’s car has come loose and is flapping around.

Lap 174, Bubba Wallace has come back up to lead the outside lane and is battling with Austin Cindric for the lead.

Lap 175, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch get a big push and jump out in front before moving down to the bottom lane.

Lap 177, Ricky Stenhouse Jr comes up from the outside to battle with Bubba Wallace for the lead. Stenhouse’s car is own by JGTDaugherty – Brad Daughterty was an NBA player – and Michael Jordon – an NBA player.

Lap 178, Bubba Wallace retakes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Twenty to go, Ricky Stenhouse Jr takes the lead with Chris Buescher in second.

There are 18 laps remaining in the race; Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Kyle Larson, Todd Gilliland, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads the race with Chris Buescher in second.

Lap 188, Ricky Stenhouse Jr holds on to the lead with Chris Buescher in second; Kevin Harvick, Austin Cindric, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Eleven to go, drivers are starting to make moves for position. Big crash brings out the caution flag involving Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Noah Gragson, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott, and Todd Gilliland.

NASCAR has red flagged the race to get the debris field cleaned up.

Once NASCAR has pulled the red flag and displayed the caution, the drivers get moving and the teams can begin making repairs.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with just six laps remaining in the race. Austin Cindric edges out for the lead with team mate Ryan Blaney giving him a push. Ricky Stenhouse Jr gets a push from Brad Keselowski.

The cauitn flag comes out for a crash on lap 196 involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr who hits the wall, Bubba Wallace, and Chris Buescvher. It all began with a push form Brad Keselowski.

The race will go into overtime.

Austin Cindric is the lead with team mate Ryan Blaney alongside.

Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag two lap overtime shootout with Austin Cindric getting out in front for the lead. Brad Keselowski has some help on the outside lane and is making a push for the lead.

Austin Cindric takes the white flag.

Ryan Blaney pushes leader Austin Cindric while Chase Briscoe tries to push Brad Keselowski the lead.

Drivers crash crossing the finish line with rookie driver Austin Cindric just edging out Bubba Wallace the win. What a birthday present for car owner Roger Penske. This is Penske’s fifth Daytona 500 win.

The unofficial results of the Daytona 500:
Austin Cindric
Bubba Wallace
Chase Briscoe
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Kyle Busch
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Brad Keselowski
Chase Elliott
Ty Dillon
Daniel Hemric
Martin Truex Jr
Corey LaJoie
Landon Cassill
Chris Buescher
Cody Ware
Daniel Suarez
Kurt Busch
Cole Custer
Joey Logano
Jacques Villeneuve
Justin Haley
Alex Bowman
Austin Dillon
Kaz Grala
BJ McLeod
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Erik Jones
Kevin Harvick
Noah Gragson
Kyle Larson
Todd Gilliland
Christopher Bell
Tyler Reddick
Greg Biffle
Denny Hamlin
William Byron
Harrison Burton
Ross Chastain


Doping, Scandal Mar Olympics

The career of an Olympic athlete is short, but Russian figure skaters under the tutelage of Eteri Tutberidze that career is even shorter. There has never been a repeat Olympic medal winner under Tutberidze.

Back in 2014 when the winter Olympic games were held in Sochi, Russia a huge doping scandal resulted in an official ban of the Russian athletes. A ban that is scheduled to end this year resulted in Russian athletes having to compete under the Olympic flag with the Olympic anthem played in stead of their own.

Whether that ban comes to an end as scheduled or gets extended could very well depend on coach Eteri Tutberidze and the new doping scandal involving her 15 year old skater Kamila Valieva who tested positive for a banned substance prior to the Olympics.

Tutberidze is known for being very strict, quick to criticize, and focus on very young pre-teen and teen skaters who can perform jumps previously only seen by the male skaters. This year at the winter games in Beijing, her team of three female skaters was known as the “quad squad” since they all featured quadruple jumps in their routines.

As a result of Valieva’s positive test for a banned heart medication used to treat angina and viritgo, the Court of Arbitration for Sport met. At 15 Valieva is considered a “protected person” and was allowed to skate. A separate investigation will be conducted to determine who is responsible and whether any punishment will be handed down. All medals earned in any event where Valieva skated will be held over until after the completion of the investigation. That investigation is likely to include a close examination of how Tutberidze operates her figure skating regime.

With Eteri Tutberidze as her coach, Kamila Valieva became the first female ice skater to perform a quadruple jump in competition.

The investigation could also focus on Russian doctor Filipp Shvetsky who has already been banned from the Russian rowing team after a previous doping issue.

Valieva tested positive for the heart medication trimetazidine. In the CAS hearing she claimed that she took the drug by mistake; saying that the drug belonged to her grandfather. The drug “ increase blood flow efficiency and improve endurance”.

In her paperwork given to the IOC prior to the Olympics, Valieva listed two other oxygen enhancing drugs that are currently legal – L-carnitine and Hypoxen. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tried to have Hypoxen banned but failed. L-camitine is legal but only to a certain amount.

The issue of holding Olympic medals also affects the American team who won the silver medal in the team skating event.

The United States government recently passed a law that makes it a crime under U.S. law for doping schemes in international sporting events. Punishment includes a fine of up to $1 million and/or jail time up to 10 years. The law directly affects doctors and coaches who knowingly give performance enhancing drugs to their athletes and holds them accountable. The law was enacted after the doping scandal in Sochi.

The issue has sparked a debate as to whether the age limit should be raised for figure skaters and other athletes. The International Olympic Committee currently has no age limits for the athletes; however, there are a few sports that do impose minimum age limits including gymnastics – another sport that features teen aged performers – at 16.

Tutberidze once said, “when there are no difficulties, you can’t understand what happiness is.” While Tutberidze had skaters to win the gold and silver medals, it wasn’t without drama with one even saying that she hates the sport and will never skate again. After Valieva finished fourth, there was no happiness in the Russian skating camp.

The Russian ice skaters were not the only victims of numerous issues during these Olympic games, there were a number of incidents on the slopes including causing major risk of injury after forcing a snowboarder to cover her board due to a logo which also covered the wax needed on the board.

One team was disqualified due to their uniforms allegedly not conforming to requirements. And at one time during the competition, athletes on the snow faced brutal conditions of snow and winds.

There was even an issue in some of the judging.


feature photo credit: NBC Olympics Facebook page

Last Lap Crash Gives Rookie 1st Win at Daytona

Xfinity Series

The NASCAR Xfinity Series gets their season started off with a qualifying run in preparation for the Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner 300 on Saturday.

Forty-seven teams have brought cars to Daytona for 38 spots to run the high banks of Daytona International Speedway.

The drivers will each make a single qualifying lap with the top 10 drivers making a second run to determine who will sit on the pole.

Josh Williams is the first driver on the track in a new car. He posts a time of 50.005 seconds.

Caesar Bacarella was the tenth driver out and the first driver to break the 50 second mark with a time of 49.985 seconds around the two and a half mile track.

The next driver out, Austin Hill, tops the leaderboard by almost half a second on Bacarella with a time of 49.551.

Jade Buford breaks, Austin Hill’s time by making a run of 49.372 seconds to put his number 48 car at the top of the list. He is the fifth driver so far to break into the 49 second bracket.

After half of the field has made their qualifying run, seven drivers have broken the 50 second mark. Qualifying runs go from the slowest to the fastest cars. As the drivers get faster, there will be more drivers posting faster speeds.

With just a few drivers waiting to qualify, Daniel Hemric clocked a time of 49.301 seconds around the track.

David Starr, Natalie Decker, Gray Gaulding, Harrison Rhodes, Tim Viens, Ronnie Bassett Jr, Alex Labbe, Stefan Parsons, and Mason Massey all failed to qualfy for the race.

The top 10 is set with the Chevrolets dominating the list; there are only two Toyotas and a single Ford in the lineup.

Daniel Hemric
Jade Buford
Ryan Vargas
Sheldon Creed
Brett Moffitt
Austin Hill
Brandon Jones
Josh Berry
Landon Cassill
and Riley Herbst
will all compete for the pole to lead the filed to the green flag.

Riley Herbst is the first of the top 10 drivers to take the track and posts a time of 49.657 seconds. He is guaranteed to be the only Ford in the top 10.

Josh Berry clocked a time of 49.552 seconds.

Landon Cassill posts a time of 49.552 seconds to tie with Josh Berry.

Next up is Brandon Jones with a time of 49.591 seconds.

Rookie Austin Hill ran a time of 49.336 seconds.

Next up is former Truck Series driver Brett Moffitt and posts a time of 49.548 seconds.

Truck Series champion and rookie Sheldon Creed posted a time of 49.451 seconds.

Ryan Vargas has already secured his best starting spot in his Xfinity Series career. He posts a time of 49.580 seconds.

Jade Buford posted a time of 49.355 seconds, almost mirroring his first round time.

The final car to qualify is Daniel Hemric who posted a time of 49.221 seconds. The reigning Xfinity Series champion starts his 2022 season off by sitting on the pole at Daytona.

The starting lineup for the Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner 300:
Daniel Hemric
Austin Hill
Jade Buford
Sheldon Creed
Brett Moffitt
Josh Berry
Landon Cassill
Ryan Vargas
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst
AJ Alllmendinger
Drew Dollar
Brandon Brown
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
Anthony Alfredo
Justin Allgaier
Matt Mills
Ryan Sieg
Jeffrey Earnhardt
JJ Yeley
Caesar Bacarella
Kyle Weatherman
Josh Williams
Bayley Currey
CJ McLaughlin
Jeb Burton
Joey Gase
Joe Graf Jr
Jesse Iwuji
Josh Bilicki
Tommy Joe Martins
Myatt Snider
Sam Mayer
Jeremy Clements
Kyle Sieg
Shane Lee
Ryan Truex

Stages one and two of the race are 30 laps each with stage three lasting 60 laps. The drivers cannot complete stage three on a single load of fuel and will have to make at least one pit stop.

Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin and former crew chief Chad Knaus join Adam Alexander in the FOX Sports broadcast booth. Spotter Coleman Pressley joins the broadcast crew from the spotter’s stand. Pressley is the spotter for Cup Series driver Joey Logano.

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and edges out to take the lead. Hemric earned his first Xfinity Series race last year in Phoenix.

Daniel Hemric leads lap one.

The top five are Daniel Hemric, Austin Hill, Jade Buford, Sheldon Creed, and Brett Moffitt.

The right side window on Anthony Alfredo’s car flies out. He will have to come down pit road to repair the window.

Lap four, Daniel Hemric and Austin Hill battle for the lead, swapping back and forth.

Lap five, Daniel Hemric has a narrow lead on Austin Hill; Sheldon Creed, Jake Buford, and Landon Cassill round out the top five.

Lap six, Austin Hill and Daniel Hemric continue to swap the lead back and forth; Landon Cassill, Sheldon Creed, and Jade Buford round out the top five as drivers continue to move up and down depending on which lane edges out in front.

Lap seven, Austin Hill has the lead as he goes side by side with Daniel Hemric.

Drivers are double file through the field.

On pit road to get the window repaired, Anthony Alfredo has gone two laps down and is in danger of going down a third after losing the draft.

Lap 10, Daniel Hemric leads the race with Austin Hill in second; Jade Buford, Sheldon Creed, and Brett Moffitt round out the top five.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 14 when Drew Dollar and Jeremy Clements crash. Sam Mayer also has some damage to his car. Dollar also had a crash in the ARCA Menards race.

Some of the drivers came down pit road for service and adjustments.

Noah Gragson had an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop and will have to start from the back of the field.

Jeffrey Earnhardt is having some battery issues

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 20 and gets ut in front for the lead.

Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Myatt Snider, Riley Herbst, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Drivers are getting three wide across the track as they shuffle back and forth in the field.

The sun is becoming a major issue for the drivers as it begins to set.

The drivers have only four sets of tires for the race – the ones on the car and three in the pits.

Lap 22, Daniel Hemric holds on to the lead with drivers shuffling back and forth for position depending on which lane is moving forward.

Jeremy Clements and Drew Dollar are out of the race after their crash. Jeffrey Earnhardt is off the track with battery issues.

Lap 25, Daniel Hemric leads the race; Austin Hill, Josh Berry, Riley Herbst, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

There are 35 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 26, AJ Allmendinger has moved up to second place behind team mate Daniel Hemric; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five after the leaders have gotten single file.

Daniel Hemric wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Daniel Hemric
AJ Allmendinger
Riley Herbst
Austin Hill
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Brandon Brown
Ryan Sieg
Sam Mayer

Drivers come down pit road for service with Brandon Brown coming out of pit road first after taking fuel only. Several drivers gained position after taking only two tires.

After staying out on the track, Joe Graf Je brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 37 with Brandon Brown alongside. Brandon Brown and Joe Graf battle for the lead with Brown taking the lead.

The top five are Brandon Brown, Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst, Austin Gill, and Ty Gibbs.

Lap 39, Brandon Brown leads the race with Noah Gragson in second; Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five.

Caesar Bacarella is out of the race.

Anthony Alfredo and Jeffrey Earnhardt are the only cars one lap down.

Daniel Hemric is mired back in eleventh after the restart.

Lap 42, Brandon Brown continues to lead the race with Noah Gragson in second. The drievers have gotten single file.

Lap 48, the sun has moved behind the grandstands. Brandon Brown continues to lead the race with Noah Gragson in second; Ryan Sieg, Austin Hill, and Daniel Hemric round out the top five.

Lap 49, Noah Gragson passes Brandon Brown for the lead and brings Ryan Sieg along.

Lap 50, the top five are Noah Gragson, Ryan Sieg, Austin Hill, Daniel Hemric, and Justin Allgaier.

Drivers are spreading out two and three wide across the track.

Lap 53, Noah Gragson leads the race with Daniel Hemric in second; AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, and Brandon Brown round out the top five.

Five laps remain in stage two with Noah Gragson out in front; Daniel Hemric, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Btrown, and Ryan Sieg round out the top five with 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 60, drivers get three wide in front with Daniel Hemric taking the lead.

Daneil Hemric wins stage two for the stage sweep.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Daniel Hemric
Ryan Sieg
Sam Mayer
AJ Allmendinger
Justin Allgaier
Brandon Brown
Ty Gibbs
Josh Berry
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst


As the sun continues to set, the lights are on at Daytona.

Drivers come down pit road for service. Sam Mayer’s team will also have to deal with a roof hatch collapse.

After taking two tires, Daniel Hemric leads the race off of pit road.

Daniel Hemric brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with team mate AJ Allmendinger alongside on lap 67. Hemric gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Daniel Hemric with Ty Gibbs battling for the lead; Sheldon Creed, Landon Cassill, and AJ Allmendinger.

Lap 68, Ty Gibbs takes the lead as he continues to battle with Daniel Hemric.

Lap 68, Daniel Hemric retakes the lead.

Lap 70, the top five are Daniel Hemric, AJ Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Sheldon Creed, and Landon Cassill.

With the setting sun, track temperatures are beginning to drop.

With 47 laps remaining in the race, teams are preparing to make green flag pit stops.

Leader Daniel Hemric, along with his Kaulig Racing team mates, are the first drivers to come down pit road for fuel.

Ty Gibbs is the new leader.

Sam Mayer brings his car down pit road for service and spins out on pit road but gets the car going the right direction.

A mass of cars come down pit road for service with 44 laps to go. Most of the drivers are taking fuel only.

Josh Berry is the leader of the race.

With 43 laps to go, drivers continue to make their green flag pit stops. Josh Bilicki leads the race as pit stops continue to cycly through.

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

When Sam Mayer had his issue getting on to pit road, the bumper cover flew off and he will have to make another trip down pit road to repair it.

The caution flag comes out on lap 83 for debris on the track. Drivers who have not made a pit stop previously come down pit road for service. Sam Mayer lost his bumper cover again.

Daniel Hemric was caught speeding on pit road and will have to start the race from the back of the field.

Austin Hill leads the race and brings the field down for the green flag restart with 30 laps remaining in the race. Austin Hill edges out in front but Noah Gragson has some help with a push and goes side by side with Hill before Hill gets out in front for thel ad.

NASCAR is reviewing the restart.

The caution flag comes out for a big wreck involving several drivers including Daniel Hemric. Jeffrey Earnhardt, CJ McLaughlin, Tommy Joe Martins, Brett Moffitt, Shane Lee, Joey Gase, and Kyle Weatherman were also involved in the crash that sent drivers through the grass and down pit road.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 97 with Noah Gragson alongside. Austin Hill gets out in front for the lead. Landon Cassill gives AJ Allmendinger a push and helps to give him the lead.

The top five are AJ Allmendinger, Austin Hill, Laondon Cassill, Noah Gragson, and Ty Gibbs.

Lap 98, Austin Hill retakes the lead.

Drivers who were on the “crash clock” have met the requirements and are still in the race.

Lap 99, AJ Allmendinger takes the lead as drivers get two and three wide across the track.

Lap 100, drivers are three wide across the track with just 20 laps remaining in the race. AJ Allmendinger leads the race with Landon Cassill in second, Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Lap 101, Austin Hill retakes the lead with Noah Gragson in second.

Austin Hill and AJ Allmendinger continue to battle for the lead; swapping it back and forth; along with Noah Gragson.

Lap 104, six of the top 10 cars have yet to win an Xfinity Series race.

Rookie Austin Hill leads the race with AJ Allmendinger in second; Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst, and Jade Buford round out the top five.

Drivers are double file with AJ Allmendinger and Austin Hill leading the lanes and battling for the lead.

Thirteen laps remain in the race with AJ Allmendinger in the lead; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

Ten to go! AJ Allmendinger leads the way with Austin Hill in second; Noah Gragson, RileyHerbst, and Sheldon Creed round out the top five.

Seven to go, AJ Allmendinger holds on to the lead of the race. Leaders have gotten single file.

Drivers are beginning to move down to the inside lane in preparation for making a move for the lead.

Four to go, AJ Allmendinger holds on to the lead with Austin Hill in second.

Drivers begin making their moves to position for a run to the lead. Noah Gragson and AJ Allmendinger battle for the lead.

AJ Allmendinger takes the white flag. The next flag ends the race.

Big Crash that sent Myatt Snider airborne!

Austin Hill passes AJ Allmendinger to the finish line; however, NASCAR freezes the field once the caution flag comes out.

Myatt Snider climbs out of the car and walks to the ambulance.

Rookie Austin Hill has been named the winner of the race!

The engine of Myatt Snider’s car is sitting in the grass.

The unofficial results of the Beef, Its What’s for Dinner 300:
Austin Hill
AJ Allmendinger
Noah Gragson
Riley Herbst
Sheldon Creed
Justin Allgaier
Anthony Alfredo
Ryan Sieg
Josh Bilicki
Brandon Brown
Ty Gibbs
Ryan Truex
JJ Yeley
Landon Cassill
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Josh Berry
Brandon Jones
Ryan Vargas
Jeb Burton
Bayley Currey
Kyle Sieg
Myatt Snider
Jade Buford
Tommy Joe Martins
Matt Mills
Joey Gase
Jesse Iwuji
Daniel Hemric
Joe Graf Jr
Sam Mayer
Josh Williams
Kyle Weatherman
Shane Lee
Brett Moffitt
CJ McLaughlin
Drew Dollar
Jeremy Clements
Caesar Bacarella

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 19

The 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing, China will not be soon forgotten; not for the record breaking feats from the athletes, but for the plethora of controversies surrounding the games.

The American pairs figure skating couple of Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier find themselves in a spot of bother from the musicians who perform the song the couple used for their short program. Heavy Young Heathens have filed a suit againt the skaiting pair over their use of the band’s version of “House of the Rising Sun” which was originally recorded by The Animals in 1964. Heavy Young Heathens members Robert and Aron Marderosian claim that the skaters did not contacted to get permission to use the song.

Normally, a band would be overjoyed to have the free exposure of such a large audience; however, the brothers are claiming the skaters “cause great harm” saying, “these violations cause great harm to the value of (the Marderosians) command for such a well known piece of their recording catalog, and insults the integrity of their professional reputation. While Knierim/Frazier, USFS, NBC, USA, Peacock are all profiting from the revenue the 2022 Winter Olympics generate, (the Marderosians) have been and continue to be deprived of what their creation ‘House of the Rising Sun’ earns them per license.”

The U.S. skating team has filed a grievance of their own when they filed a petition with the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have their silver medals awarded before the end of the Olympic games. The CAS has denied the petition. While giving no immediate reason for the decision, the CAS has said that they will elaborate on the decision at a later date.

After it was revealed that Russian ice skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned substance, the CAS allowed the 15 year old to skate but added that there would be no medal ceremonies for any event in which she would be on the podium. The doping incident will be further investigated before it is determined whether or not, the Russian skaters, including Valieva, will be allowed to keep their gold medals earned in the team event or have them taken away. No medals will be awarded until that investigation has been completed.

The Germans continue their winning ways in the sliding events when the women’s two person bobsled event. They have now earned eight of the nine gold medals – and a total of 14 medals in the sliding events.

Elana Meyers Taylor added to her Olympic medal count when she earned the bronze medal for her fifth medal of the Beijing games. A woman of colour, Meyers Taylor has made Olympic history as winning the most Olympic medal in bobsled by any American. She called the stat, “overwhelming”.

In other events:

In the men’s 30k mass start cross-country ski event, Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov took the gold on a frigid and windy day.

In the men’s curling event, the Swedish team takes the gold; beating the United Kingdom 5 to 4.

In the women’s curling event, Sweden defeated Switzerland to win the bronze medal. This is the fifth time that Sweden has won an Olympic medal in curling for the women’s team.

In the pairs figure skating event, Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China continued their winning ways by placing first in the free skate after setting a new world record in the short program.

In the men’s halfpipe freestyle skiing event, athletes had to battle fierce winds along with their fellow athletes. New Zealand’s Nico Porteous was successful in topping the leaderboard and earning the gold medal.

In the men’s hockey event, Slovakia takes home the bronze for their first ever Olympic medal in hockey. Slovakia beat the American team to move into a medal game.

In the final speedskating event, the men’s mass start speedskating event, Belgium’s Bart Swings won the gold medal.

In the women’s mass start speedskating event, Dutch skater Irene Schouten won the gold for her third medal in these Olympic games. This was the final event in the speedskating competition.

Norway and Germany remain the only countries to have reached double digits in the gold medal count. Norway continues to hold on to the lead in the overall medal count with 34.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 18 medal count:
Norway – 34
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 27
Canada – 24
Germany – 22
United States – 21
Austria – 17
Japan – 17
Italy – 16
Sweden – 16
Netherlands – 16
People’s Republic of China – 14
France – 14
Switzerland – 14
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 7
Finland – 6
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
New Zealand – 2
Poland – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1
Estonia – 1
Ukraine – 1

Big One, Overtime Begin Truck Series Season

The Camping World Truck Series gets their 2022 racing season started with a single truck qualifying run in preparation for the NextEra Energy 250.

The drivers will race under the lights on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway as Speedweek continues to start the 2022 NASCAR season.

There are several new teams this season and several more teams who have new drivers as drivers have moved up to the Xfinity and Cup Series.

Forty-one teams have brought trucks to the track to fill 36 spots in the race.

The first driver on the track is driver/owner Jennifer Jo Cobb with a time of 51.39 seconds.

This year, NASCAR brought a whole new car to the Cup Series, but they also made some adjustments to the Truck Series vehicles; making them all more resemble the vehicles fans drive on the streets.

After all 42 trucks made a qualifying run; Jordan Anderson, Clay Greenfield, Matt jaskol, Chase Purdy, and Jennifer Jo Cobb have failed to qualify for the race.

The top 10 drivers on time will run again to determine who will sit on the pole:
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Tyler Ankrum
Grant Enfnger
Corey Heim
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Jesse Little
Lawless Alan
Riley Herbst

Riley Herbst is the first of the top 10 drivers to get out on the track and runs a time of 51.04 seconds.

After his water temperatures rose to over 240 degrees, Lawless Alan brought his truck to a stop on the backstretch and aborted his second run. He will start the race in tenth place.

With a time of 50.245 seconds, Ty Majeski puts his number 66 truck on the pole for his first career pole in the truck series. John Hunter Nemechek will start alongside on the front row with a time of 50.308 seconds.

The starting lineup for the NextEra Energy 250 is:
Ty Majeski

John Hunter Nemechek
Chandler Smith
Tyler Ankrum
Stewart Friesen
Corey Heim
Grant Enfinger
Riley Herbst
Jesse Little
Lawless Alan
Jack Wood
Kris Wright
Austin Hill
Christian Eckes
Spencer Boyd
Austin Wayne Self
Dean Thompson
Colby Howard
Blaine Perkins
Zane Smith
Bret Holmes
Carson Hocevar
Matt DiBenedetto
Tanner Gray
Brayn Dauzat
Hailie Deegan
Ben Rhodes
Danny Bohn
Matt Crafton
Derek Kraus
Parker Kligerman
Tate Fogleman
Jason M. White
Thad Moffitt
Timmy Hill
Johnny Sauter

The race is 100 laps with stages one and two lasting 20 laps each and stage three lasting 60 laps for a total of 250 miles around the two and a half mile track.

Cup Series driver Kurt Busch joins Vince Welch and Michael Waltrip on the FOX Sports broadcast booth.

In his first year as a full time driver, Ty Majeski brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane and jumps out in front to take the lead with John Hunter Nemechek right behind him.

Ty Majeski leads the first lap.

Lap two, the top five are Ty Majeski, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Ankrum, Corey Heim, and Chandler Smith. Tyler Ankrum passes John Hunter Nemechek for second.

Lap five, Ty Majeski continues to lead the race with John Hunter Nemechek in second; Tyler Ankrum, Chandler Smith, and Corey Heim round out the top five.

Lap seven, after starting the race in 27th place, Hailie Deegen is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.

Lap eight, Ty Majeski holds a narrow lead on John Hunter Nemechek. This is the first time in his career that Majeski has led laps on the race track.

Lap 12, Ty Majeski has led every lap so far; John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Corey Heim, and Stewart Friesen round out the top five. All 36 trucks are still on the lead lap.

Drivers are getting three wide across the track in a battle for positon before the end of stage one.

All of the top five drivers are in a Toyota. The Kyle Busch Motorsports drivers are two, three, and four.

Lap 15, Ty Majeski leads the race with John Hunter Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Corey Heim, and Stewart Friesen rounding out the top five.

With four laps remaining in stage one, the drivers have gotten single file with Ty Majeski leading the way.

With just one lap remaining in stage one, Ty Majeski falls through the field to seventh place.

John Hunter Nemechek wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
John Hunter Nemechek
Chandler Smith
Stewart Friesen
Corey Heim
Grant Enfinger
Zane Smith
Ty Majeski
Tanner Gray
Bret Holmes
Tyler Ankrum

Stage one winner John Hunter Nemechek won more stages than any other driver last season.

As the drivers were coming to the green checkered flag, Tate Fogleman saved his truck; reporting a flat tire.

Drivers come down pit road for service with some taking fuel only.

Corey Heim and Dean Thompson make contact on pit road causing some damage to Heim’s number 51 truck.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 27 with Stewart Friesen alongside. Nemechek edges out in front for the lead.

Lap 27, the top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Ty Majeski, and Tanner Gray.

Lap 29, side by side, Stewrt Friesen comes up on the outside to challenge leader john Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 30, Stewart Friesen takes the lead after a push from Ty Majeski.

Lap 31, Stewart Friesen and Ty Majeski bttle for the lead; Friesen holds on for the lead.

Lap 31, Getting a push from Derek Kraus, Ty Majeski is looking to take the lead. Stewart Friesen holds on to the top spot.

The drivers qualified for the race running times of over 50 seconds; thanks to the draft during the race they are running times in the 48 second range.

Lap 32, Ty Majeski retakes the lead.

Lap 33, the top five are Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, Derek Kraus, John Hunter Nemechek, and Tyler Ankrum.

Lap 35, Derek Kraus takes the lead with Tyler Ankrum in second.

Lap 36, Tyler Ankrum takes the lead.

Lap 36, the top five are Tyler Ankrum, Derek Kraus, Ty Majeski, John Hunter Nemechek, and Christian Eckes.

Lap 38, there are 31 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 38, John Hunter Nemechek is the new leader with Chandler Smith in second; Tyler Ankrum, Christian Eckes, and Derek Kraus round out the top five.

Lap 40, Dean Thompson has a flat tire and is spewing sparks everywhere as he makes his way to pit road.

Just edging out Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemechek wins stage two for the first stage sweep of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
John Hunter Nemechek
Ben Rhodes
Chandler Smith
Christian Eckes
Matt Crafton
Austin Wayne Self
Tyler Ankrum
Derek Kraus
Austin Hill
Ty Majeski

Drivers come down pit road for service. Bret Holmes has an issue with his truck coming out of his pit stall. He appeared to lock up a wheel.

NASCAR issued three penalties during the pit stop…
Jason White was caught speeding on pit road, Riley Herbst had an uncontrolled tire during the stop, and Blaine Perkins has a crew member over the walll too soon.

Colby Howard brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 47 and gets out in front for the lead with John Hunter Nemechek on his bumper; Zane Smith, Derek Kraus, and Matt Craftn round out the top five.

Lap 48, drivers are getting three wide in a battle for position.

Colby Howard leads the race with John Hunter Nemechek in second; Zane Smith, Derek Kraus, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

Bret Holmes and Dean Thompson are off the track.

Lap 53, John Hunter Nemechek takes the lead with Zane Smith in second; Colby Howard, Derek Kraus, Ben Rhodes runding out the top five.

Lap 55, John Hunter Nemechek has led 21 laps so far as he begins to dominate the race.

Lap 56, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Zane Smith in second; Derek Kraus, Colby Howard, and Ben Rhodes round out the top five.

Lap 61, Corey Heim continues to have issues with his truck and is working his way to pit road with a flat tire.

Lap 62, Johnny Sauter is on pit road with the hood up.

John Hunter Nemechek leads the single file train of drivers; Zane Smith, Derek Kraus, Colby Howard, and Ben Rhodes round out thetop five.

Lap 64, Jack Wood loses control of his truck and spins out hitting the wall; bringing out the first caution flag of the race for an on track incident.

Johnny Sauter’s team takes his truck to the garage and is out of the race.

Drivers come down pit road for service. The drivers can not complete stage three on a single load of fuel and are now within their fuel window. Many of the crews are doing fuel only.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 67, holding on to the lead from the inside lane.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Colby Howard, Zane Smith, Tyler Ankrum, and Stewart Friesen.

Colby Howard takes the lead from the outside lane after gettting a push.

Lap 69, Tyler Ankrum takes the lead with Colby Howard in second; Ben Rhodes, John Hunter Nemeckes, and Christian Eckes round out the top five.

Lap 70, drivers get three wide with Tyler Ankrum in the middle.

Lap 71, Colby Howard takes the lead with Ben Rhodes in second.

John Hunter Nemechek passes Ben Rhodes for seocnd.

Lap 71, John Hunter Nemechek and Colby Howard battle for the lead with Nemechek retaking the lead.

The top five are John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Colby howard, Christian Eckes, and Zane Smth.

Lap 74, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race from the outside lane; Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Zane Smith, and Grant Enfinger round out the top five.

Leaders have gotten single file.

Colby Howard saves a loose truck once again and lands in sixth place.

Jack Wood, Bret Holmes, Dean Thompson are out of the race. Johnny Sauter is off the track.

There are 29 trucks on the lead lap.

Lap 77, John Hunter Nemechek leads the race with Ben Rhodes on his bumper; Christian Eckes, Zane Smith, and Grant Enfinger rund out the top five.

The caution flag comes out on lap 79 for a flat tire on Corey Heim’s truck. There is significant damage to the front of Heim’s truck. Part of the tire carcas is rolling around on the track.

Some of the drivers back in the field come down pit road for service with 19 laps remaining in the race. Leaders stay out.

John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 16 laps remaining in the race. Nemechek gets out in front with Ben Rhodes on his bumper. Drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Tate Fogelman and Kris Wright wreck bringing out the caution flag. Jason White was also involved in the wreck.

The track has been cleaned off and John Hunter Nemechek brings the field down for the green flag restart with just eleven laps remaining in the race. Nemechek jumps out in front for the lead.

Ben Rhodes gets around Nemechek for the lead.

The top five are Ben Rhodes, Parker Kligerman, John Hunter Nemechek, Christian Eckes, and Grant Enfinger.

Ten to go, drivers are two wide bumper to bumper in a battle for position.

Nine to go, leaders have gotten single file with Ben Rhodes leading the way.

Drivers are two and three wide after the first few drivers.

Eight to go, drivers are beginning to make some moves to try and get to the front.

Seven to go, Ben Rhodes leads the race with team mate Christian Eckes in second; John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith,, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Six to go, drivers continue to battle for position with Ben Rhodes leading the race.

Five to go, drivers are getting three and four wide. John Hunter Nemechek went below the double yellow line.

Christian Eckes takes the lead with John Hunter Nemechek in second.

Four to go, drivers continue to shuffle with drivers three and four wide across the track.

NASCAR reports that all is good, Nemechek did not improve his position when he went below the “no go” line.

Three to go Christian Eckes lead the race with Tyler Ankrum in second and John Hnter Nemechek in third.

Two to go, the field is packed tightly together with some drivers three and four wide.

Trucks are everywhere as the white flag and the yellow flag come out together.

NASCAR reports that the white flag did not come out prior to the caution flag waving for a wreck.

The race goes into overtime.

Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, Hailie Deegan, Derek Kraus, John Hunter Nemechek,Parker Kligerman, Chandler Smith, Austin Wayne Self, Jesse Little, Austin Hill, Blaine Perkins, Riley Herbst, Thad Moffitt, Lawless Alan, Stewart Friesen, Colby Howard, Ty Majeski, and Grant Enfinger were all involved in the crash.

NASCAR has displayed the red flag, temporarily stopping the race in order to get the track cleared and cleaned up.

After a delay of around 10 minutes, NASCAR pulls the red flag and displays the caution. The drivers begin moving once again.

Some of the drivers may be a bit close on fuel.

Christian Eckes brings the field down for the two lap overtime shootout. Christian Ecked gets out in front after a push from Ben Rhodes.

Zane Smith also got a push from Parker Kligerman and gets out in front for the lead.

Zane Smith takes the white flag.

The caution flag comes out after another wreck involving Jason White and Kris Wright. Zane Smith wins the race under caution. Smith has secured himself a spot in the first round of the playoffs with the win.

The unofficial results of the NextEra Energy 250:
Zane Smith
Christian Eckes
Tanner Gray
Parker Kligerman
Carson Hocevar
Jesse Little
Ty Majeski
Danny Bohn
Matt DiBenedetto
Riley Herbst
Ben Rhodes
Spencer Boyd
Austin Wayne Self
Timmy Hill
Austin Hill
Stewart Friesen
Hailie Deegan
Thad Moffitt
Kris Wright
Jason White
Chandler Smith
Tate Fogleman
Bryan Dauzat
John Hunter Nemechek
Lawless Alan
Derek Kraus
Matt Crafton
Tyler Ankrum
Grant Enfinger
Colby Howard
Blaine Perkins
Corey Heim
Jack Wood
Johnny Sauter
Bret Holmes
Dean Thompson

NASCAR Confiscates Wheels of Two Teams

On June 17, the Cup Series drivers ran the Bluegreen Vacations Duel races to complete setting the field for the Daytona 500. New car owner Brad Keselowski won Duel number one to start the race behind pole sitter Kyle Larson. In Duel number two, fellow Roush Fenway Keselowski driver Chris Buescher won the race to start the 500 beside his team mate and boss Brad Keselowski.

On Friday afternoon NASCAR has confiscated the wheels of the RFK Racing team. NASCAR has also taken the wheels of the Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Austin Cindric, and Ryan Blaney.

NASCAR gave no details as to why the wheels were confiscated. They have been sent to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.

The new Next Gen car no longer has a five lug nut wheel; but a larger 18 inch single center hub lug nut that is reusable.

Coming to the finish line in Duel number two, Joey Logano made contact with Chris Buescher and wrecked his car. Logano will start the Daytona 500 in a backup car.

Last month NASCAR announced a new set of penalties to go along with the new car. As predicted, the penalties are much harsher than those for the previous models. If a penalty is severe enough or has been repeated enough times, it can reach $500,000 and/or loss of participation in the playoffs.

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 18

The 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing, China is winding down with just a couple more days of competition remaining.

The recent controversy over 15 year old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva has sparked the conversation over whether the Olympics should change the age of eligibility for competition to at least 16.

Under current rules involving the World Anti-Doping Agency considers an athlete under the age of 16 as a “protected person” who may not know what they are doing; pushing the responsibility and accountability to the “adults in the room” – ie, coaches, trainers, etc.

Currently the IOC does not have an age limit for competition; but some of the specific sports do have age requirements lie alpine skiing where skiers must be at least 17 years old and in the biathlon competitors must be 22 to compete. In gymnastics, a sport that also features teen performers, has a minimum age of 16 in order to compete.

While the controversy continues on the ice with the women’s events; Chinese pair skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong set a new world record with their short program when they scored 84.41 points. The duo also held the old record of 82.83 points.

In the men’s 15k mass start biathlon event, Norwegian Johannes Thingnes Boe dominated the event to win the gold medal.

In the women’s 12.5k mass start biathlon event, France’s Justine Braisaz-Bouchet took the gold medal. She was carrying a French flag as she crossed the finish line.

In the men’s curling event, Canada beat out the United States for the bronze medal.

Sweden and Great Britain will battle it out for the gold medal on Saturday.

In the men’s freestyle skiing skicross, Ryan Regez of Switzerland beat out team mate Alex Fiva for the gold.

In the women’s ski halfpipe American born Chinese skier Eileen Gu earned the gold medal; making her the first action-sports competitor to win three medals in the same Olympics. She will take home two golds and a silver once the games are over.


In the men’s 1,000 meter speedskating event, Dutch skater Thomas Krol won the gold. The win give the Netherlands gold in three straight winter Olympic games. So far, the Netherlands have won five of the 12 gold medals.

Earning five medals in a single day, Norway becomes the first country to top the 30 medal mark with 34. Norway also holds the gold medal lead with 15.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 18 medal count:
Norway – 34
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 27
Canada – 24
Germany – 22
United States – 21
Austria – 17
Japan – 17
Italy – 16
Sweden – 16
Netherlands – 16
People’s Republic of China – 14
France – 14
Switzerland – 14
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 7
Finland – 6
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
New Zealand – 2
Poland – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1
Estonia – 1
Ukraine – 1

Winter Olympic Games Medal Count – Feb 17

The on ice portion of the Russian sweep and doping issue of the women’s figure skating competition came down to an anti-climatic finish after expected star – Kamila Valieva – fell twice during her free skate.  But the competition was not without some controversy when second place skater Alexandra Trusova was outraged when she didn’t take the gold after performing five quads. 

Russian skater Anna Shcherbakova won the gold with Trusova taking the silver and Japan’s Kaori Sakamato getting the bronze.  Valieva finished in fourth.

In the women’s combined alpine skiing event, Michelle Gisin of Switzerland successfully defended her gold medal by earning a second gold medal.  American Mikaela Shiffrin failed to complete the race for her third DNF of these Olympic games.

With Gisin’s win, Switzerland now has a record setting five gold medals in a single Olympic games.

In the women’s freestyle skicross, Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund added an Olympic gold medal to her world championship.

Fanny Smith of Switzerland was originally listed as the third place finisher but after a review it was determined that she placed a ski in the path of Germany’s Daniela Maier and was disqualified.  Maier is the bronze medal winner.

In the women’s gold medal hockey game, Canada beat the United States 3-2 to take the gold for their fifth Olympic gold medal.  It is the fourth silver medal in the event for the American women.

In the Team Gundersen Large Hill/4 X 5k cross country event, Norway won the event in commanding fashion even with the loss of skiing star Jarl Magnus Riiber who had tested positive for Covid.

In the women’s 1,000 meter speedskating event, Japan’s Miho Takagi won her fourth medal of the Beijing Olympics.  It was her first gold medal in her skating career with a record setting time of 13.19 seconds.  America’s Brittany Bowe won the bronze medal.

Norway continues to lead the gold medal count with 14 and the overall medal count with 29.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 17 medal count:
Norway – 29
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 26
Germany – 22
United States – 21
Canada – 20
Austria – 17
Japan – 17
Italy – 16
Sweden – 15
Netherlands – 15
People’s Republic of China – 13
France – 13
Switzerland – 12
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 7
Finland – 6
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
New Zealand – 2
Poland – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1
Estonia – 1
Ukraine – 1

Duel Races Set 500 Lineup

On Wednesday night 42 drivers took to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway to set the front row for the Daytona 500.  Reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson put his number five Hendrick Motrosports car on the pole with team mate Alex Bowman starting alongside on the front row.  This is Bowman’s fifth time at starting on the front row for the 500; setting a new record at Daytona and tying an all time record.

Open drivers, drivers who do not have a charter, Noah Gragson and Jacques Villeneuve secured a spot in the 500 after making their qualifying runs.

Tonight the drivers will be divided into two groups for the Bluegreen Vacation Duel races.  Two of the open drivers will be sent home after the duel races when the field is set.

Drivers who finished in the odd number positions after qualifying will race in Duel number one with the drivers who finished        qualifying in the even positions will race in Duel number two.  The drivers who advance from Duel number one will start the 500 from the inside lane; while the drivers who advance from Duel number two will start the 500 from the outside lane.

The drivers will run 60 laps for a total of 150 miles.  With a fuel load of around 40 laps, the drivers will have to make their first live pit stops.

Oh…and for the first time, this is a points race!

The starting lineup for the Bluegreen Vacation Duel number 1:
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Chase Elliott
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Daniel Hemric
Ryan Blaney
Tyler Reddick
Brad Keselowski
Chase Briscoe
Austin Cindric
Erik Jones
Kurt Busch
Justin Haley
Cole Custer
Todd Gilliland
Noah Gragson
Landon Cassill
Kaz Grala
BJ McLeod
JJ Yeley

Kaz Grala is moved to the back of the field after the team made some unapproved adjustments to the car.

With a notebook full of unknowns, the green flag flies and Kyle Larson gets the race started from the outside lane.  Larson gets out in front to lead the race.

Drivers are getting three wide right away.  Noah Gragson has fallen back in the field.  Knowing that he will be in the 500, he is staying back and hopefully out of harms way.

Kyle Larson leads lap number one.

Lap three, the top five are Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, William Byron, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Briscoe.

Lap four, Kyle Larson continues to lead the race with team mate William Byron and Ross Chastain battling for second; Tyler Reddick and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

Lap five, drivers are two by two throughout the field.

Lap six, the drivers are packed closely together.  The top five drivers have gotten single file.

Lap seven, Kyle Larson has the lead with Williak Byron in second; Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap eight, the drivers have all gotten single file.

Lap nine, the top three drivers are all Hendricks Motorsports drivers with Kyle Larson leading the way; followed by William Byron and Chase Elliott.

Lap 13, Kyle Larson has led every lap so far; William Byron, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Kurt Busch in eighth place is the only Toyota in race number one.

Lap 15, currently single file, Kyle Larson leads the way with fellow Hendricks drivers William Byron and Chase Elliott behind him; Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 18, the top 10 drivers are separated by just over a second; the top five by only half a second.

Lap 19, Kyle Larson continues to lead the race; William Byron, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 20, Noah Gragson has gone a lap down.  Gragson secured a spot in the 500 after qualifying and is working to protect his car.  The team only brought one car and have no backup should anything happen.

Lap 25, Kaz Grala has lost the draft and is running laps of about 51 seconds.

Lap 26, Kyle Larson continues to lead the race with William Byron in second; Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Kurt Busch has a few drivers with him in the top lane, working his way to the front.

Lap 28, the drivers are in their pit window and can make it to the end of the race.

Lap 29, the top 16 drivers are separated by about four seconds, the remainder of the field are at least 15 seconds and more behind the leader.

Lap 30, halfway, Kyle Larson continues leading the field with team mates William Byron and Chase Elliott behind; Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

For the first time since the early laps, the head of the pack begins to change.  Lap 32, JJ Yeley and BJ McLeod go a lap down.  Kyle Larson continues to lead the race with Chase Elliott in second; Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez, and Kurt Busch round out the top of the field.

Lap 33, leaders are approaching Kaz Grala.

Lap 34, Kyle Larson puts Kaz Grala a lap down; there are 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 34, leaders, and Chevrolets, come down pit road for a green flag pit stop.  Ryan Blaney is the new leader.

Lap 35, the Fords come down pit road for their pit stops.

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

Lap 36, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.  Kyle Larson has fallen to ninth place.

Lap 40, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Seventeen laps to go, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Brad Keselowski on his bumper; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.  Kyle Larson has moved up to eighth with 16 cars on the lead lap.

No matter where he finishes the race, unless he wrecks the car and has to go to a backup, Kyle Larson knows that he will be the pole sitter and bring the field to green on Sunday in the 500.

With 14 laps to go, the gap between the fifth place driver Tyler Reddick and Chase Elliott in sixth is over five seconds.

The “unapproved adjustment” on Kaz Grala’s car was replacing the digital dash on the car.  The change may or may not have contributed to Grala’s speeding penalty.

Ten to go, Ryan Blaney leads the race with Brad Keselowski on his bumper pushing; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Tyler Reddick round out the top five.

Lap 52, the top four drivers have broken away from the rest of the field.

Lap 53, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race with Brad Keselowski in second; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  Kyle Larson is in seventh.

Five to go, Ryan Blaney has the lead with Brad Keselowski in second; Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  There ae 16 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 56, Brad Keselowski pulls out with Chase Briscoe behind him and passes Ryan Blaney to take the lead.

Three to go, drivers are beginning to make their moves…Brad Keselowski leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  There are 15 cars on the lead lap.

Brad Keselowski takes the white flag.

Ryan Blaney drops to fourth as Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe move up.

Brad Keselowski wins the race…and his very first duel win.

Kaz Grala edges out JJ Yeley to make it into the 500!

The unofficial results of the Bluegreen Vacations Duel race number one:
Brad Keselowski
Austin Cindric
Ryan Blaney
Chase Briscoe
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Kyle Larson
Tyler Reddick
Kurt Busch
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
William Byron
Justin Haley
Landon Cassill
Todd Gilliland
Cole Custer
Daniel Hemric
Kaz Grala
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Noah Gragson


The starting lineup for the Bluegreen Vacation Duel number 2:
Alex Bowman
Aric Almirola
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Harrison Burton
Joey Logano
Christopher Bell
Bubba Wallace
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Michael McDowell
Ty Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Chris Buescher
Corey LaJoie
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Cody Ware
Jacques Villeneuve
Greg Biffle
David Ragan
Timmy HIll

This time around there are five Toyota’s.

Jacques Villeneuve’s car is stuck on pit road.  The team pushes the car to his pit stop after it fails to start.   The hood is up on the car.

Alex Bowman brings the field down for the green flag start of Duel number two from the inside lane and jumps out in front for the lead.

Drivers are side by side through the field and already battling for position.

Alex Bowman leads lap one.

Lap two, the top five are Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Harrison Burton.

The team did get Jacques Villeneuve’s car moving and he is on the track.  There is a throttle cable issue with the car.  The team told him to go as best he could.  He has secured his spot in the 500.

Lap four, Alex Bowman has the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second; Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Harrison Burton round out the top five.

Lapa five, Alex Bowman leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Martin Truex Jr, Harrison Burton, and Austin Dillon round out the top five. 

Lap six, Joey Logano and Alex Bowman battle for the lead.

After starting on the front row, Aric Almirola has fallen to the back of the field and is in danger of losing the draft.

Lap eight, the drivers are still running side by side and have not gotten single file.

Lap nine, Alex Bowman and Joey Logano continue to battle back and forth for the lead; Harrison Burton, Martin Truex Jr, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.  The top 17 cars are separated by less than one second.

The first duel as caution free.  Frequently when one race is caution free the other race is caution filled.

Lap 16 , Austin Dillon has taken the lead of the race with brother Ty in second; Chris Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

After being out of a Cup Series car for five years, Greg Biffle has moved into tenth place.  He is one of the drivers who has to race his way into the 500.

Lap 19, with 19 cars on the lead lap, Chris Buescher and Ricky Stenhouse Jr battle for the lead.

The drivers continue to run side by side through the field.

Lap 20, the top five are Chris Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, and Joey Logano.

Drivers have finally gotten single file.

Lap 22, Chris Buescher leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, and Joey Logano round out the top five.  In only his second Cup Series start. Rookie Harrison Burton is in sixth place.

Lap 25, Chris Buescher continues to lead the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second; Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 26, the Toyota drivers are the first to come down pit road.  Denny Hamlin spins out coming on to pit road and makes an off road excursion.  Drivers take two tires.  Hamlin has lost the pack on pit road and takes four tires.

Lap 30, halfway, after losing the lead, Alex Bowman has dropped to 16th place.  He has secured a front row start for the 500 after qualifying on Wednesday night.

Lap 30, there are 14 cars on the lead lap.  Bubba Wallace is the last car on the lead lap in 13th.

Lap 32, the Fords plus Ricky Stenhouse Jr come down pit road for service.  The Chevrolets also come down pit road.  The Dillon brothers make contact on pit road.  Greg Biffle had an extended stay on pit road.

Lap 34, Joey Logano leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap 38, the top four breakaway – Joey Logano leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the top five.  There are 15 cars on the lead lap.

Twenty to go, Jacques Villeneuve has taken his car to the garage.

Lap 41, Joey Logano leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Joey Logano has the lead with Chris Buescher in second; Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Groups of drivers are spread out all around the track.

Ten to go, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Chris Buescher on his bumper; Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.

Eight to go, there are 13 cars on the lead lap.  Leader approach slower traffic.

Five to go, with just 10 cars on the lead lap, Joey Logano leads the race.  Austin Dillon brings his car down pit road for tires.

The top five are Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, Harrison Burton, and Kyle Busch.

Joey Logano takes the white flag.

Drivers wreck on the final lap giving Chris Buescher the win.  Joey Logano spins out and ends up in the grass.  Greg Biffle makes the 500 but Timmy Hill joins JJ Yeley as the two open drivers out of the race.

Chris Buescher was below the double yellow line which is not allowed, but NASCAR determined that Buescher was trying to avoid the wreck and has allowed the move.

With Buescher’s win, RFK Racing sweeps the duels.

The unofficial results of the Bluegreen Vacatons Duel number 2:
Chris Buescher
Michael McDowell
Harrison Burton
Kyle Busch
Christopher Bell
Martin Truex Jr
Bubba Wallace
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Logano
Kevin Harvick
Corey LaJoie
Ty Dillon
Greg Biffle
Alex Bowman
Denny Hamlin
Cody Ware
David Ragan
Austin Dillon
Aric Almirola
Timmy Hill
Jacques Villeneuve

Ty Gibbs Gets Full Time Ride

Last season Ty Gibbs ran just a part time schedule driving for his grandfather Joe Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing.  This season, the 19 year old Gibbs will run the entire season in the Xfinity Series.  Gibbs won four of the 18 races he ran last season including two road course races.  Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, and John Hunter Nemechek also won races driving the number 54 car last season.

He also ran 20 races in the ARCA Menards Series, winning 10 of them and won the championship.

Gibbs will continue to drive the number 54 car that had several different drivers last season.  Chris Gayle will be the crew chief for the car.

Gibbs spoke on his full time ride via a team release saying, “I’m excited to get going on the 2022 season.  Chris Gayle and the crew guys from the 54 were great last year and hopefully we can have even more success this year. Of course, I can’t thank everyone at Toyota and TRD enough for all their support as well. I’m just ready to get going in the No. 54 Toyota GR Supra.”

Pole Set for Daytona 500

It’s media day at Daytona as the teams get ready to begin the 36 race season.  It is also qualifying day for the pole position.

It has already been a very busy day for the racing teams.  After two practice sessions on Tuesday evening, NASCAR discovered that the teams were making some adjustments to the cars in an effort at looking for more speed.  The new Next Gen cars were designed to more resemble the cars sold to the average citizen. 

While NASCAR has promised some severe penalties for breaking the rules, for the moment officials issued a new ruling on the changes and opened the garage three hours earlier on Wednesday in order for teams to make appropriate adjustments.


Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is like no other race, the qualifying run the drivers make is to set only the front row.  The two dual races will set the remainder of the field.  Forty-two teams have made the trip to Daytona in hopes of earning one of 40 spots on the grid.

The first driver on the track for single lap qualifying is Daniel Hemric – the reigning Xfinity Series driver is running a part time schedule in the Cup Series this season while running full time in the Xfinity Series.  Hemric posted a time of 50.159 seconds – 179.429mph.

Rooke driver Harrison Burton puts the Wood Brothers number 21 car in the number one spot with a time of 50,139 seconds.

Ross Chastain makes a qualifying run of 50.051 seconds to take the top spot.

Chase Elliott was the first driver to break the 50 second mark with a time of 49.927 seconds.

Alex Bowman has started the 500 from the front row four times.  In round one of the qualifying run, he put up a time of 49. 870 seconds.

In his final year of full time racing, Aric Almirola was the first driver in a Ford to break 50 seconds with a time of 49.946 seconds.

William Byron is the third Hendrick Motorsports driver to break 50 seconds with a time of 49.765.

Reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson made it a Hendricks sweep with a time of 49.789 seconds.

Six open cars also made an attempt to qualify for the race; Jacques Villeneueve and Noah Gragson have secured spots in the Daytona 500.

In round two, only the top 10 drivers will run for the pole and number two starting spot.

William Byron
Kyle Larson
Alex Bowman
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Ross Chastain
Martin Truex Jr
Harrison Burton
Denny Hamlin
Daniel Suarez

Daniel Suarez in the Trackhouse Racing number 99 car is the first driver out on the track to begin round two of pole qualifying.  He sets the mark at 50.106 seconds.

Denny Hamlin put up a time of 50.077 seconds.

Harrison Burton ran a time of 50.137 seconds.

Martin Truex Jr ran a lap of 49. 989 seconds.

Known as the “watermelon man” Ross Chastain ran a lap of 50.043 seconds.

Florida native Aric Almirola ran a lap of 49.854 seconds.

Chase Elliott is the first of the four Hendricks drivers and sets a time of 49.913 seconds.

Alex Bowman is looking to put his number 48 car on the front row for a fifth record setting time with a lap of 49.711 seconds.

Champion Kyle Larson puts his number five car on the pole with a time of 49.680.

The final driver on the track is William Bryon with a time of 49.765.

And for the fifth time, Alex Bowman puts his car on the front row next to pole sitter and team mate Kyle Larson.

The remainder of the field will be set on Thursday night with the two duel races.


Natalie Decker Gets a New Ride

Part time Camping World Truck Series driver Nataie Decker has signed a deal with Reaume Brothers Racing to driver the number 33 car in the Xfinity Series beginning with the race in Daytona. 

Decker spoke on her new ride saying, “I’m so thankful and so excited to be racing with Reaume Brothers Racing.  They are such an amazing team and I’m excited to be able to kick off my 2022 season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona with functional beverage Nerd Focus and N29 Partners on board.  I can’t believe this is happening and this is a dream come true for me to be able to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on the high banks of Daytona.”

Josh Reaume of RBR added,  “I am really looking forward to having Natalie behind the wheel with Reaume Brothers Racing at Daytona. Natalie has shown success on the high banks in the past, and we are looking forward to sharing more of her success with her.” 

Earlier this week, Busch Light has announced a new initiative – Accelerate Her Program – to aid female drivers in NASCAR. The adult beverage purveyor has earmarked $10 million for the project to sponsor and aid female drivers in the sport.

Since Janet Guthrie entered NASCAR, there have been only a handful of female drivers across all three levels of NASCAR.  Currently, with the exception of Decker who has just signed on to the Xfinity Series, all female drivers in NASCAR are in the ARCA and Camping World Truck Series.  Jennifer Jo Cobb is the only female driver/owner in the sport with her own Truck Series team.

The Busch Light Accelerate Her Program is set to sponsor every female driver at least 21 years old over the next three years.

Camping World Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan does not qualify for the program since she is not yet 21 years old – she will be 21 on July 18.

Drivers involved in the Accelerate Her Program for 2022:
Natalie Decker – Xfinity Series
Jennifer Jo Cobb – Camping World Truck Series
Toni Breidinger – ARCA Menards Series
Amber Balcaen – ARCA Menards Series
Brittney Zamora – ARCA Menards Series
Stephanie Moyer – ARCA Menards Series
Melissa Fifield – Whelen Modified Tour

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 16

The hits just keep on coming for athletes in the Winter Olympic games in Beijing, China.  On top of disqualifications for uniform infractions, questionable judging calls, and doping issues; now there are questions surrounding sponsorships.

Sponsoring aspiring athletes is big business for companies.  They depend on the “free advertising” on outfits and equipment to bring in revenue.  But the International Olympic Committee has sponsors of their own and are not allowing those they do not approve of to be viewed.  Unapproved sponsors are being covered over all over the city…and on athletes equipment.

After American snowboarder Julia Marino was told to cover up her Prada logo because the IOC did not approve.  Marino had to cover over the logo with a sharpie – a board that is designed to have nothing but wax on the bottom; anything else alters the board’s function.  Marino said that after the board felt “off” and “unsteady” during the big air competition.  As a result, she withdrew from the competition.  Incidentally, the IOC had no issue with the snowboard during the slopestyle event.

The USOPC has filed an appeal, noting that covering the logo on the board alters the core characteristics.  The appeal was denied.

U.S. figure skater Vincent Zhou missed the men’s competition after being in isolation for a week with the Covid-19 virus.  He had just helped the U.S. earn the silver medal (for now) in the team competition when he received the news of the test.  But he does plan on skating as a part of the exhibition that is a part of the closing ceremonies.  Zhou said that he had no idea how or where he contracted the virus.


In the continuing saga surrounding the doping issue and the 15 year old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva.  It has now been revealed that Valieva admitted to using two substances that are not banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency – L-carnitine and Hypoxen.  Both substances are used to increase oxygen flow to the heart.

The revelation of the two new substances sheds some doubt on Valieva saying that she took the trimetazidine – the banned substance – by accident after getting things mixed up with her grandfather’s medications.

Previously the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency attempted to have Hypoxen banned but failed.  L-carnitine is allowed but only up to a certain amount.  According to Valieva’s mother, Kamila uses the Hypoxen to “treat heart variations”.

While Valieva is being allowed to skate in the women’s competition, WADA stated that Valieva’s explanation of how the trimetazidine got into her system was not enough to clear her of the doping charge.  The investigation is ongoing.

In the medal roundup for February 16:

In the men’s alpine skiing slalom event, Clement Noel of France came from sixth place to win the gold by more than half a second over Austrian Johannes Strolz.

In the women’s 4 X 6k biathlon relay, Sweden won the gold medal.

In the men’s team sprint cross-country skiing, Norway took the gold with the help of Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo who has the gold medal in both the individual and team events twice.

In the women’s team sprint event, Germany won the gold in 22:9.85.

In the men’s aerials freestyle skiing event, Qi Guangpu of China after including a quint-twisting triple back flip in his run.

In the men’s freestyle slopestyle event the United States won the gold and silver medals.  Gold medalist Alex Hall included a rotation that stopped in mid-air and then continued in the opposite direction.  Since the event’s debut in 2014, the Americans have won six of the nine medals.

In the women’s ice hockey event, the gold medal match will be between the United States and Canada once again.  The bronze medal went to Finland to earn its fourth Olympic medal

After being beaten by the team form Slovakia, the U.S. men’s hockey team are out of the Olympics.  After a serious outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in the NHL, the professional men were not able to attend the games.  As a result, the U.S. fielded a “junior” team.

In the men’s 5,000 meter speedskating relay, Canada took the gold to win their eighth medal in the event.

In the women’s 1,500 meters speedskating event, South Korean skater Choi Minjeong repeated as the gold medal winner with a time of 2:17.789.


There are now 13 countries who have reached double digits in the medal count with Norway leading the way. Norway and Germany have reached double digits in the gold medal count but Norway still holds the overall medal count with 28.

Ukraine joins the list of medal winners for a total of 27.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 28
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 24
Germany – 20
United States – 19
Canada – 18
Austria – 17
Italy – 15
Japan – 14
Netherlands – 14
Sweden – 14
People’s Republic of China – 13
France – 13
Switzerland – 10
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 7
Finland – 6
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
New Zealand – 2
Poland – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1
Estonia – 1
Ukraine – 1

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 15

The controversy over figure skater Kamila Valieva continues as the women take to the ice to begin the competition.  While the 15 year old Russian skater has some supporting her and even some feeling sorry for her predicament; there are also several of her fellow skaters; as well as, other athletes that are less than thrilled that despite testing positive for a banned substance, Valieva is being allowed to continue on in the competition.

But while the doping scandal is dominating the Winter Olympic games, there are many other events taking place and medals being awarded…

In the women’s downhill skiing event, Switzerland’s Corinne Suter won the gold medal even after having injured both of her legs earlier in the season.

In the men’s biathlon 4 X 7.5k relay, Norway took the gold medal, edging out the French team.

In the two man bobsled event, the Germans continued their dominance of the sliding sport by adding to their collection of gold medals.  Germany also took the silver and bronze medals to become the first country to sweep the podium in an Olympic bobsled event.  With their seventh gold medal, Germany tops the list of gold medal winners in what is known as the sliding events – bobsled, luge, and skeleton.  The sweep gives them a total of 12 of their 18 medals in the sliding events.

In the women’s freeski slopestyle event, Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud won the gold medal on a frigid February day.  Estonian skier Kelly Sildaru earned the bronze medal to get Estonia their first medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

In the men’s individual Large Hill/10K cross country event, Norway’s Joergen Graabak won the gold medal after being down by over two minutes.

In the men’s big air snowboarding event, host country Chinese boarder Su Yiming won the gold medal.  The 17 year old former child actor already has a silver medal from the slopestyle event.

In the women’s big air snowboarding event, Austria’s Anna Gasser defended her Olympic gold medal performance in Korea with a second gold in China.

In the men’s team pursuit speedskating event, Norway took the gold in their second straight Olympics; beating the Russian team by over two seconds.  The American team brings home the bronze medal.

In the women’s team pursuit speedskating event, the Canadian women earned the gold after a fall from a member of the Japanese team.  Their time of 2:53.44 set a new Olympic record.

Norway extends their lead gold medal lead to 12 – three ahead of Germany – and continues their lead in the overall medal count with 26.

Two countries now have at least 20 medals – Norway and the Russian Olympic Committee.  Estonia adds their name to the list of countries to win a medal at the winter games in Beijing.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 26
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 20
Germany – 18
United States – 17
Canada – 17
Austria – 16
Japan – 14
Netherlands – 13
Italy – 13
People’s Republic of China – 12
France – 12
Sweden – 11
Switzerland – 10
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
New Zealand – 2
Poland – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1
Estonia – 1

NFL Names Honors & HOF Players

On February 10, 2022 the NFL revealed their annual awards presentations including the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

While there were no first time ballot players being inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2022, there are eight new members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joining the NFL Hall of Fame in 2022 are:

Tony Boselli – the first player drafted into the Jacksonville Jaguars. A shoulder injury cut Boselli’s career short to just seven seasons with the Jags.

Safety for the Green Packers his entire 12 year career, LeRoy Butler created a legacy in Green Bay that has lasted far past his career – the Lambeau Leap! Butler is also the only player in the history of the NFL that has at least three interceptions and three sacks in three consecutive seasons. He is also one of only six players to have at least 30 interceptions and over 20 sacks in his career.

New Orleans Saints defensive player Sam Mills played Canadian football before coming to the NFL. Along with being one of the original Carolina Panthers; Mills also played for the Cleveland Browns. This is a posthumous induction for Mills who died as a result of cancer in 2005.

A member of three Super Bowl winning teams as a part of the New England Patriots, Richard Seymour spent 12 years in the NFL – eight with the Patriots.

Playing his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers, Bryant Young played in the NFL for 14 seasons, starting 208 games, after being drafted in the first round. When he retired in 2007, Young had 89.5 sacks to his credit.

Also a posthumous induction after his death in 2019, Cliff Branch spent his entire 14 year career with the Raiders. A member of the Raiders under John Madden, Branch is also a three time Super Bowl winning player.

Known as the “Father of Modern Officiating” Ar McNally spent over two decades as the head of the officials. McNally spent nine years on the field as a field judge and referee before moving up to the head office.

Coach Dick Vermeil is one of only two coaches who led two different teams to the Super Bowl – the Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams. He also spent five years coaching the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring for the last time.


Other awards presented during the annual NFL Honours:

Rookie of the Year: Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals

Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Best Moment of the Year: the 66 yard field goal by Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens

Offensive Rookie of the Year:Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinnati Bengals

Offensive Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys

Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award: Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots special teams

Comeback Player of the Year: Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals

Assistant Coach of the Year: Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

Salute to Service Award: Andrew Beck of the Denver Broncos

Unstoppable Performance of the Year: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burow in the week 17 game against the Kansas City Chiefs

Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award: T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Air & Ground Players of the Year: quarterback Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and running back Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts

Celly of the Year: Christian Wilkins of the Miami Dolphins for his “worm”

Coach of the Year: Mike Vrabel – head coach for the Tennessee Titans

Fantasy Player of the Year: Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams

NFL Fan of the Year: Atlanta Falcons fan Henry Ison

Most Valuable Player: quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers

Walter Payton Man of the Year: Andrew Whitworth of the Los Angeles Rams

Olympic Medal Count – Feb 14

In the early hours of Monday morning, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that the three judge panel had determined that 15 year old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva will be allowed to skate in the women’s competition beginning on Tuesday.

Shortly after the announcement, the International Olympic Committee made the announcement that there would be no medal ceremonies where Valieva was involved. A full investigation into the entire doping issue surrounding Valieva will take place. While the Russian Anti-Doping Agency will be conducting the investigation, the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency can appeal the decision.

While the drama surrounding Kamila Valieva unfolded, there were a number of historic events taking place around the Olympic village.

On the heels of American Erin Jackson making history on the speddskating track, American Monobob bobsledders Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor became the first Americans to medal in the new sport. Getting her American citizenship less than two months before the games, former Canadian Olympican Kallie Humphries took home the gold with fellow American Elana Meyers Taylor earning the silver.


While both athletes have previously earned Olympic medals, it was a first in the new monobob event.

In the ice dance competition, French skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won the gold with a new world record. There were two American couples in the top five with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue taking the bronze.


In the women’s aerials freestyle skiing, Xu Mengtao from host country China won the gold medal. The jump that included three somersaults brought China the first Chinese woman to win the event.The U.S. took home the bronze with Megan Nick’s jump.

In the men’s team ski jumping event, Austria took the gold medal.

Norway holds on the lead in gold medals with nine and continues their lead in the overall medal count with 21.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 21
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 18
United States – 16
Austria – 15
Germany – 15
Canada – 15
Netherlands – 12
Italy – 11
Sweden – 11
Japan – 11
France – 11
People’s Republic of China – 10
Switzerland – 8
Slovenia – 7
Republic of Korea – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 4
Finland – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Belarus – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1

Greg Biffle Looks to NASCAR Return

With the Daytona 500 less than a week away, drivers are still being added to the potential lineup for the big race. NY Racing has announced that Greg Biffle makes his return to NASCAR with an attempt at making the lineup for the 500.

Biffle has been out of the NASCAR Cup Series since 2016. At 52 he will potentially be the oldest driver in the field.

Biffle will be driving the number 44 car with the paint scheme saluting the HBCU Grambling State University car.

Biffle spoke on his new ride saying, “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to drive the Next Gen car and help NY Racing make its entry into the 2022 season. I’ve always said since the day I stepped away from full-time competition that I would return under the right circumstances.”

Jay Guy will serve as crew chief for the number 44 car.

NY Racng is owned by Grambling graduate John Cohen and is a part of Urban Edge Network, Inc.. The team is getting help from Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports for the cars and engines.

Urban Edge Network, Inc. CEO Todd F. Brown spoke on the team saying, “Urban Edge Network, Inc., is excited to announce our relationship with black owned NY Racing. John is an alumni of Grambling State University. We’re excited to bring our HBCU audience across 101 campuses into the NASCAR arena virtually and physically. We know that our fan base supports sports that reflect and invite blacks into the experience. We’re looking forward to branding and partnering with Fortune 500 companies to support this fully black owned team as they’ve supported other NASCAR teams in the past.”

feature photo credit: Greg Biffle’s Facebook page

Rush to Release Anniversary Album

Rock and Roll and Canadian Music Hall of Famer rockers Rush are celebrating 40 years since the release of their album “Moving Pictures”.

Set for an April 15 release, the album is being released in several different versions nd formnts – a Super Deluxe, a three CD Deluxe, a five LP Deluxe, a single LP, a digital Deluxe, and a Dolby Atmos digital edition. Fans may pre-order their choices on Amazon.


Originally recorded in Quebec in 1981, the album went on to top the charts in Canada and included the hit “Tom Sawyer”. It has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – for selling five million copies in the United States.

The Super Deluxe edition of the album features three CD, a Blu-ray audio, and five vinyl albums. Along with a remastered edition of the album, the set includes previously unreleased music, live bonus music including a previously unreleased concert at the Maple Garden in Toronto, music videos. The set will also feature numerous goodies including a hard cover book with previously unreleased photos, new artwork, and extensive liner notes.

The three CD Deluxe version includes the album plus the live Toronto show, and a 24 page book.

The five LP editon will also include the remastered album; as well as, the live Toronto show. The collection will come in a slip case with tow gatefold jackets. The 24 page book is also included in this package.

In the single LP package, each album comes with one of six Neil Peart hand-drawn lyric sheets in a limited-edition premium gatefold jacket.

The deluxe digital release will include the album plus the live performance in Toronto.

The final edition is a Dolby Atmos mastered digital release of the album.



2022 Olympics Medal Count – Feb 13

While the Summer Olympic Games is a veritable rainbow of skin tones when it comes to the athletes; the vast majority of the athletes in the Winter Olympic Games are as white as the ice and snow they run on.

On February 13, 2022, American skater Erin Jackson, who calls sunny Florida home, became the first woman of colour to win a gold medal in speedskating at any Olympics! The Ocala native earned the gold medal in the women’s 500 meter race with a time of 37.04 seconds. It was also the first medal of any kind in speedskating for the winter games in Beijing. It has been over 10 years since the American team has won a medal of any kind in speedskating.

It was a historic moment that almost did not happen. Jackson placed third in the U.S. trials leading into the Olympics; putting her chances for an Olympics shot in jeopardy. But first place skater Brittany Bowe gave up her chance to go to the Olympics in order to give Jackson a chance. As luck would have it, both skaters made the trip but it was Jackson who came out on top.

Jackson is also the first woman of colour to win a World Cup title in speedskating.

In the meantime, 15 year old Russian skater Kamila Valieva, the Russian ice skating team, and the rest of the world await a decision by the IOC – International Olympic Committee – and WADA – the World Anti-Doping Agency on whether she will receive any punishment after it was revealed htat Valieva tested positive for a banned substance.

In other medal presentations:

In the men’s giant slalom, Swiss skier Marco Odematt won the gold medal as real snow fell on the ground of fake snow created for the event. He had to endure a 75 minute weather delay and poor visibility to win the gold.

In the women’s 10k biathlon pursuit, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland added to her collection of gold with her third of these Olympics. Strong winds and blowing snow did not keep her form crossing the finish line first.

In the men’s 4 X 10k cross-country skiing relay, the Russian team took the gold medal. Russia took the lead in the first segment and never gave it up.

In the men’s 500 meter speedskating event, Liu Shaoang of Hungary earned the gold medal with a time of 40.338 seconds.

Norway takes over the lead in gold medals with nine and has increased their lead in overall medals as the first team to top the 20 medal mark with 21.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 21
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 17
Austria – 14
Germany – 14
Canada – 14
United States – 12
Netherlands – 12
Italy – 11
Sweden – 11
Japan – 11
France – 10
People’s Republic of China – 9
Switzerland – 8
Slovenia – 6
Republic of Korea – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 4
Finland – 4
Hungary – 3
Czech Republic – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1

ASL Included in Halftime Show at Super Bowl

Much has been made about the halftime entertainment for the NFL’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles since its announcement late last year.

While rap music among the most listened to genre today, it is not the “cup of tea” of many older adults.

Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige will all be taking the stage as a part of the halftime show in what is sure to be a very busy 13 minutes.

Veteran entertainer Dr Dre is also bringing along something very special as a part of the show – Warren “Wawa” Snipe and Sean Forbes will be giving a visual interpretation of the performance via American Sign Language. Wawa and Forbes are performers who are also deaf.

Forbes spoke on the upcoming appearance saying, “the opportunity to be here at the Super Bowl is just unreal. I never in a million years dream of, imagined, ever being here. As a performer, this is about as high as it gets. It’s the biggest stage in the world. To be here, to represent the deaf community, and to really put ASL on the map.”

Wawa also spoke on the opportunity saying, “the 21st century, we’re starting to be seen. Many doors are opening throughout our community. Many people are seeing what our talented deaf people can do as actors, musicians, producers, directors, writers, artists in general. We are here and we are ready. We’ve been here and we’ve been knocking on that door for a long, long time, trying to gain this access.”

This will be the second Super Bowl appearance for Wawa who signed both the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful” last year at Raymond James Stadium.

This year Sandra Mae Frank will sign the anthem and “America the Beautiful” while Country music singer Mickey Guyton and R&B artist Jhene Aiko sing.

Wawa added, “it’s different and it’s historic. This has never happened before, where deaf people actually sign. Now is the time. I hope that this is a door open and it continues to be open for the halftime show from this point. We need that.”

Players from the California School for the Deaf will stand alongside players from the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angles Rams as honourary captains for the coin toss at mid-field.

National Association of the Deaf CEO Howard A. Rosenblum noted, “the mission of the NAD is to advance equal access and equality of deaf people, and there’s no bigger way to elevate visibility of ASL as an art form and to showcase the talents of deaf artists than the Super Bowl.”

NFL spokeswoman Jordyn White spoke on the inclusivity of the game and broadcast saying, “it’s all about us continuing to be more inclusive and providing more opportunities for everyone. It’s all about celebrating people for their differences, and coming together for the things we love. Inclusion is a priority for the league, and we hope the fans get to see that, especially at halftime and pregame.”

While closed captioning has been available for many years, it is akin to reading subtitles in a film as opposed to actually hearing…or seeing…the actual language.

Unfortunately, NBC has chosen to show only glimpses of Wawa and Forbes’ performances and only making it available in full via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

feature photo credit: So Fi Stadium Facebook page

NASCAR Lifts Suspension

When it comes to following the rules laid down in the NASCAR rule book, officials have a no tolerance policy and leave little room for any doubt.

Last October after the race at Talladage Superspeedway, NASCAR suspended crew chief Eddie Troconis on the number 02 Young’s Motorsports car after he violated Section 12.8.1.c of the rule book.

On February 11, NASCAR reinstated Troconis who can now return to all NASCAR related activities.

While NASCAR did not specify the infraction, Section 12.8.1.c pertains to the behaviour of personnel. NASCAR would only say that the infraction did not involve an on track incident.

Prior to his suspension, Troconis sat on the pit box in both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 12

The 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing, China and surrounding areas has reached the halfway point. Over the past few days, the games themselves have ceased to be the major topic of conversation; but instead, have been replaced by rumours, speculations, and accusations of cheating, doping, and scandal.

Who will win the remaining gold medals has been replaced by should a gold medal winning ice skater be stripped of her gold and forbidden to compete for a second.

The decision of the fate of Russian ice skater Kamila Valieva is set with a hearing on Sunday – February 13 – morning, just a couple of days before the women are scheduled to begin the figure skating competition.

Earlier in the week, it was revealed that Valieva tested positive for a drug that is used to treat angina (a heart condition) and vertigo – trimetazidine; the drug is also banned for use by athletes both in and out of competition.

Normally there would be no hesitation in banning the skater from The Games but the rules became muddied because Valieva is only 15 and according to the rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) anyone under the age of 16 is a “protected person” and may or may not be responsible for their actions.

In the case of Kamila Valieva, the court must first determine who is at fault before determining a punishment. The three judge panel – an American, an Italian, and a Slovenian – will only decide whether Valieva will be allowed to compete in the remainder of the 2022 games. The decision of whether the Russians – Russian Olympic Committee – will be allowed to retain the gold medal won in the team competition in which Valieva performed the first quadruple jump by a female will be determined at a later date.


While not all parties involved are at the Olympic games, an accusation of inappropriate behaviour has been made toward the coach of the American snowboard coachPeter Foley and former team mate Hagen Kearney by Callan Chythlook-Sifsof who has not been a part of the Olympic in over a decade.

Slopestyle snowbarding has also had its share of controversy after Canadian Max Parrot did not complete a proper move. The judges believed – without benefit of a replay – that Parrot grabbed his snowboard as is required. However, Parrot was later accused of grabbing his knee instead.

After receiving the gold medal in the event, Parrot admitted that he indeed did not fully execute the grab as required on his first of three runs.

As the ice dancing competition gets started, French skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron set a new world record with 90.83 points; eclipsing their old record.


In the competition on February 12:

In the cross country women’s 4 X 5k relay, the Russian women earned the gold medal.

In the women’s skeleton event, Germany continues it dominance over the sliding sports when Hannah Neise won her first ever gold medal in the sport.

In the men’s large hill ski jumping event, Norwegian Marius Lindvik won the gold medal with a jump of 140 meters.

In the mixed team snowboardcross event, the U.S. duo of Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner earned the gold medal. It was the second gold medal for Jacobellis. The duo are also the oldest snowboarders in the games.

In the men’s 500 meter speedskating event, host country China won its first gold medal in its speedskating history.


While Germany continues to hold on to the lead in the gold medal count with eight; Norway has edges ahead of Austria to take the overall lead in the medal count with 17.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Norway – 17
Austria – 14
Germany – 14
Canada – 13
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 13
United States – 11
Netherlands – 11
Italy – 11
Sweden – 10
Japan – 10
People’s Republic of China – 8
Switzerland – 7
France – 7
Slovenia – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 4
Republic of Korea – 4
Finland – 4
Hungary – 2
Czech Republic – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1

NASCAR Drivers Create Advisory Council

At times it appears that NASCAR officials and the sport’s drivers are at odds over the rules; however, the safety of the drivers is a top priority for everyone in the sport.

After a failed attempt to form a driver’s council in 2014, some of the drivers have formed a new council formed from drivers at the front of the field on a regular basis and drivers from further back in the field; as well as, a couple of former drivers.

Called the Drivers Advisory Council, the group hopes to aid in enhancing the communication between NASCAR officials and the drivers and crews.

Known for his emphasis on safety and always looking for ways to make a dangerous sport less so for the drivers, Jeff Burton was often called The Mayor when he was a drivers.  Now a member of the NBC Sports broadcast crew, Burton has been tapped to head the council.  Fellow BNC Sports broadcasting crew member Kyle Petty is also a part of the new advisory council.

Other council members include driver/owner Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, and Daniel Suarez.

Each member of the council will be a representative for a smaller group of drivers; a la a representative and constituents. 

Denny Hamlin spoke on being a part of the council saying, “as a current driver and also a team owner, I now see things from a different perspective and that has made me appreciate the importance of collaboration across the industry. The new council will deliver a unified, collective voice from the drivers to help address any challenges we  f  ace and help accomplish the common goals the industry shares.”

Talk of relaunching the council began at the NASCAR Awards ceremony last December when drivers had issues with NASCAR moving to bring in the Next Gen car this season.

NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell spoke on the new advisory council saying, “collaboration is critical to our growth, and we welcome any opportunity to strengthen communication with our drivers.  We often look to drivers for input when making decisions that affect the sport, and the Drivers Advisory Council will help streamline that communication. Working together, we will continue to deliver the great NASCAR racing experience our fans expect and deserve.”

The Race Team Alliance  – a group of 14 Cup Series organizations – is supporting the new Driver Advisory Council.

President of Joe Gibbs Racing Dave Alpern noted, “having a formalized group through which the drivers can better communicate will be a great asset for all of us.”

Driver Joey Logano noted that the advisory council is,  “made up with experienced, forward-thinking drivers” who can help improve a broken communication system between the competitors and NASCAR stakeholders.  This will most definitely help clarify feedback from drivers and help move our sport forward with a unique perspective from behind the wheel.”

Mexican born driver and the only driver on the council to graduate from NASCAR’s diversity program Daniel Suarez added, “this will benefit present and future sponsors, our current and future fan base, as well as the teams and viewership in general — I say this with great sincerity and commitment to support this sport, the fans and the sponsors we represent.”

Crews Learn New Pit Stops

With the introduction of the Next Generation car, NASCAR fans will see a drastic change when it comes to the teams making pit stops.  Previously, teams had to change five lug nuts on each of the four wheels.  Any team found to have any of those lug nuts loose during post race inspections would face a penalty.

With the Next Gen cars, each wheel will have a single lug nut!

Choreographed like a ballet performance, teams have gone back to the drawing board for how they will plan out the dance of the wheel changes beginning next week with the duel races at Daytona in preparation for the 500 on February 20.

Each team is allowed five crew members over the wall during a pit stop.  NASCAR rules state that a crew member may not “come over the wall” until the driver is one pit stop away.

With the five lug nut wheels, teams were making pit stops of around 12 seconds; but while the crews can change tires much quicker with a single lug nut, the driver must still wait for the fueler to fill up the gas tank.

The difference between changing tires and fueling the car means that crew chiefs will have decision to make on whether to let the driver leave pit road with a less than full fuel tank or wait to fill the tank and hope the driver can make up the time on the track.

Along with the single lug nut, the new tires are also 18 inches – a bit larger than the old tires.  A larger tire also means a bulkier tire for the tire carriers to deal with.

As pit crews practice their new “pit road dance”, Joe Gibbs Racing’s car number 19 tire changer Houston Stamper noted that the hard part was learning the difference between a tight wheel and a loose wheel. ““When you hit five lug nuts for 16 years, you know without a shadow of a doubt whether that wheel’s going to hold or not, or if it’s going to be borderline. That’s probably the one thing I’m concentrating on the most is really trying to zero in on what’s going to be tight and what isn’t going to be tight,” he noted.

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 11

The 2022 Winer Olympic Games are nearly halfway through but the controversy doesn’t seem to be dying down.

First there was some controversy over the uniforms in the ski jumping competition; now there is a question of whether or not the gold medal winning Canadian Max Parrot  actually grabbed his snowboard during the slopestyle snowboard run.  To make matters worse, the silver medal winning jumper is from the host country.

Apparently there are some camera angles that suggest Parrot did not grab his snowboard but rather his knee during his first jump.  Grabbing the snowboard during a trick is as important part of the trick itself as the landing.  Skiers and snowboarders who do not grab the skis or snowboards can receive a reduction in points.

Parrot won the gold by just 2.26 points over Su Yiming – a difference that would have been erased if the judges would have deducted for an errant board grab.

Unlike professional football games where officials get to see numerous angles of a play, snowboard officials noted that they do not have access to any of camera shots seen by fans on TV or on social media sites.  Head official Iztok Sumatic spoke on the controversy and whether Parrot’s run would have been scored differently saying, “it would be different scores yes.  But there are so many factors. All I can say, in Max’s defense … is that it was still an insane run. He killed it, especially on the rails.”

During the halfpipe competition that aired on NBC, one of the commentators skewered the judges for their scores when Japanese boarder Ayumu Hirano was not placed in first place after being the first person to successfully perform the triple cork – three off axis flips – during his second run.  In the end Hirano took home the gold after American favourite Shaun White failed on his third and final run, causing him to end up in fourth place.

Other gold medals awarded were:

In the women’s Super-G Lara Gut-Behrami of Switzerland earned her first gold medal.  Finally completing a run, American Mikaela Shiffrin ended up in ninth place.

In the men’s 15k cross country skiing competition, Iivo Niskanen of Finland earned his third Olympic gold medal.

In the women’s 1,000 meter speedskating event, Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting successfully defended her title and won the gold and setting a new Olympic record in the quarterfinals.

Italy’s Arianna Fontana was penalized after making contact with American skater Kristen Santos in a lane change; causing both skaters to go down and slide into the padding.

After dominating in the luge, Germany won its first gold in skeleton with Christopher Grotheer’s run.

In the men’s 10,000 meter speedskating event, Sweden’s Nils van der Poel brought home his second gold medal of the games after breaking his own world record by nearly two seconds.  He beat out the Olympic World record by over nine seconds.

Belgium has joined the medal count with their first medal of the games with a bronze.

Germany continues to hold the lead in the gold medal count with seven; but Norway and Austria are tied with the overall medal count with 14.  Eight countries have now reached double digits in medal wins.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 11 medal count:
Austria – 14
Norway – 14
Canada – 12
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 12
Germany – 11
United States – 10
Netherlands – 10
Italy – 10
Sweden – 9
Japan – 8
People’s Republic of China – 7
Switzerland – 7
France – 6
Slovenia – 5
Finland – 4
Australia – 3
Republic of Korea –
Hungary – 2
Czech Republic – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1
Belgium – 1

94th Annual Oscar Nominations

On February 8, 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the nominees for the 94th annual Academy (Oscar) Awards.

The film “Power of the Dog” leads the way with a total of 12 nominations; “Dune” follows with a total of 10.

“Drive My Car”, “West Side Story”, “Belfast”, “Being the Ricardos”, “Licorice Pizza”, and “No Time to Die” also earned multiple nominations.

The streaming service Netflix leads the nominations of streaming services with 27.

While Spidey has smashed box office records, his latest film “Spider Man: No Way Home” has earned just a single nomination…and that was for the film’s visual effects.

While the world continues to re-adjust to the world according to Covid, the annual film awards are airing approximately a month later than normal on March 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The nominees for the 94th annual Academy Awards are:

Best Picture:
“Belfast”
“CODA”
Don’t Look Up”
“Drive My Car”
“Dune”
“King Richard”
“Licorice Pizza”
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”

Best Actress:
Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
Penelope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers”
Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
Kristen Stewart in “Spencer”

Best Actor:
Will Smith in “King Richard”
Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”
Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM”

Best Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson for “Licorice Pizza”
Kenneth Branagh for “Belfast”
Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog”
Steven Spielberg for “West Side Story”
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi for “Drive My Car”

Best Original Screenplay:
“Licorice Pizza”
“Belfast”
“Don’t Look Up”
“King Richard”
“The Worst Person in the World”

Best Adapted Screenplay:
“The Power of the Dog”
“The Lost Daughter”
“CODA”
“Dune”
“Drive My Car”

Best Supporting Actor:
Ciaran Hinds in “Belfast”
Troy Kotsur for “CODA”
Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”
Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”

Best Supporting Actress:
Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
Aunianue Ellis in “King Richard”
Judi Dench in “Belfast”

Best Cinematography:
“Dune”
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”
“West Side Story”

Best Costume Design:
“Cruella”
“Cyrano”
“Dune”
“Nightmare Alley”
“West Side Story”

Best Film Editing:
“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune”
“King Richard”
“tick, tick…BOOM!”
“The Power of the Dog”

Best Documentary Feature:
“Summer of Soul (or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)”
“Flee”
“Attica”
“Ascension”
“Writing with Fire”

Best Original Song:
“Be Alive” form “King Richard”
“Dos Orunuitas” from “Encanto”
“Down to Joy” from “Belfast”
“No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die”
“Somehow You Do” form “Four Good Days”

Best International Film:
“Drive My Car” from Japan
“Flee” from Denmark
“The Hand of God” from Italy
“The Worst Person in th World” form Norway
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” from Bhutan

Best Animated Feature:
“Encanto”
“Flee”
“Luca”
“The Mitchells vs. the Machines”
“Raya and the Last Dragon”

Best Animated Short Film:
“Affairs of the Art”
“Bestia”
“Boxballet”
“Robin Robin”
“The Windshield Wiper”

Best Original Music Score:
“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune”
“Encanto”
“Parellel Mothers
“The Power of the Dog”

Best Live Action Short Film:
“Ala Kachuu”
“Take and Run”
“The Dress”
“The Long Goodbye”
“On My Mind”
“Please Hold”

Best Short Subject Documentary:
“Audible”
“Lead Me Home”
“The Queen of Basketball”
“Three Songs for Benazir”
“When We Were Bullies”

Best Production Design:
“Dune”
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”
“West Side Story”

Best in Makeup and Hairstyling:
“Coming 2 America”
“Cruella”
“Dune”
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
“House of Gucci”

Best in Sound:
“Belfast”
“Dune”
“No Time to Die”
“The Power of the Dog”
“West Side Story”

Best in Visual Effects:
“Dune”
“Free Guy”
“No Time to Die”
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”
“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 10

A week into the Winter Olympic games in Beijing, the United States finally earns its first gold medals with Nathan Chen and Chloe Kim.

In the men’s combined alpine skiing, Austrian Johannes Strolz won the gold. It was 34 years ago that his father Hubert won a gold medal in the same event at the Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. The combined event is a downhill run and a slolam run.

In the women’s 10k cross-country skiing event, Norwegian Therese Johaung took the gold medal for her second gold of these Olympic games.

In the men’s individual free skate, American Nathan Chen continued his redemption after the 2018 games in Pyeongchang where he ended up in fifth. In the short program Chen set a new Olympic scoring record. In the free skate he scored 218 points to secure a gold medal with the next three sakers all coming from Japan.

In the mixed team freestyle skiing aerials, the United States stood atop the podium earning the gold medal. This was the first time in over a decade that the American team will bring home a medal. It was the first Olympic medals for team members Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis, and Justin Schoenefeld. This was the debut of the Aerials for the Olympics.

In the team relay luge event, Germany continued their winning ways by sweeping the event, winning gold in all events. Germany is eleven for 12 in gold medals over the past three Olympic games.

In the women’s halfpipe snowboard event, American Chloe Kim successfully defended her title with a gold medal.

In the men’s snowboardcross event, Austrian Alessandro Haemmerle beat out Canadian Eliot Grondin in a photo finish to win the gold medal.

In the women’s 5,000 meter speedskating event, Dutch skater Irene Schouten sept the distance events with the gold medal and breaking a 20 year old Olympic record in the process.

In the medal count for February 10, Latvia and Spain add their names to the list of medal winners for a total of 25 countries.

With five countries in double digit medal wins, Austria has taken over the overall lead with 13; while Germany holds on to the lead in gold medals with six.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 10 medal count:
Austria – 13
Norway – 12
Canada – 12
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 11
United States – 10
Germany – 9
Netherlands – 8
Italy – 8
Sweden – 7
Japan – 7
France – 6
People’s Republic of China – 6
Slovenia – 5
Switzerland – 4
Finland – 3
Australia – 2
Hungary – 2
Republic of Korea – 2
Czech Republic – 2
Poland – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1
Spain – 1
Latvia – 1
Poland – 1

Teams Add More Drivers

There is less than two weeks before the official beginning of the 2022 NASCAR season and teams continue to sign drivers.

One of those drivers is the grandson of an iconic member of the NASCAR community. Known as The King, Richard Petty’s grandson Thad Moffitt will be joining GMS Racing and the Reaume Brothers Racing to drive the equally iconic number 43 car in the Camping World Truck Series in the NextEra Energy 250 on February 17. During his career, Petty drove the number 43 with STP as his sponsor. Moffitt will also have STP for a sponsor.

Moffitt is planning to make his debut at Daytona International Speedway for his first ever NASCAR race outside of the ARCA Series.

Moffitt spoke on his new ride saying, “I am super excited to make my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Daytona in the No. 43 Reaume Brothers Racing Chevrolet with team support from GMS Racing. Daytona is a track that has a lot of family history, and having STP onboard makes it that much more special. It truly is an honor to run the iconic STP branding on my Silverado along with my fire suit, and I am hoping to represent their longtime support of my family in a great way.”

Josh Reaume of Reaume Brothers Racing also spoke on the new addition to the team saying, I am thrilled to be able to partner with GMS and have their support; they are an extremely strong and highly respected organization that I have a great relationship with. Everyone at Reaume Brothers Racing is excited to work with Thad and have him make his Truck debut with us. Lastly, it’s an honor to play a role in helping continue the Petty Family racing tradition. Thad is a very talented young driver, and it will be fun to watch him grow and see where his career takes him.”

Grandpa Richard had a few words to say on Thad’s driving in the CWTS saying, “obviously, I’ve watched Thad’s career grow and he is ready for this next step in the Camping World Truck Series. It will be great to see another member of the Petty family racing with STP.” said Petty.


In the Xfinity Series, Coach Joe Gibbs has added to his stable of drivers with the signing of former Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne to drive the number 18 car for seven races.

Coach Gibbs is expected to sign more drivers for the car in the coming days.

Trevor Bayne spoke on the signing via a release saying, “over the past three years I didn’t know if I’d ever get an opportunity to race for wins again, but my desire to do so never faded. I’m so excited to have this opportunity to work with Jason and everyone at JGR. I want nothing more than to come back stronger than ever and put that Devotion Nutrition Supra into Victory Lane.”

Daytona 500 – A Coveted Win

In just a little over a week, the NASCAR kicks off the regular Cup Series season with the Daytona 500. While it officially begins the season, the 500 is the biggest race of the season. Putting their car in victory lane is not only a coveted win, but it is also a big high mark in a driver’s record book.

Winning the race more than once is a big deal for the teams but a massive feat accomplished by only a small number of drivers. The winningest driver at Daytona, Dale Earnhardt Sr took 20 tries before he managed to cross the finish line first. He died protecting his drivers on the last lap of the 500 in 2001.

Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Sterling Marlin, and Bill Elliott have all won the big race twice.

Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Allison, and Dale Jarrett have all made three 500 visits to victory lane.

Cale Yarborough did it four times, but The King himself, Richard Petty tops the list of winners with a total of seven Daytona 500 wins!

But there is one NASCAR driver who has amassed over 200 career wins but has yet to notch a Daytona 500 win on his list of accomplishments. In 16 years as a Cup Series driver, he has finished the 500 in the top 10 only four times.

Speaking at a teleconference Busch said, “I’ve yet to win that race. That’s kind of the biggest thing, the last checkbox on my radar, my career that I’ve yet to get.” He added, “that would be nice. And to do it in the Next Gen car would be fantastic as the first superspeedway race with it.”

The new Next Gen car made its debut during The Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on February 6 but will get its first real test on the high banks of the two and a half mile track of Daytona when the drivers will make 188 laps around the track.

Kyle Busch is currently the only active driver with more than one Cup Series championship – one in 2015 and one in 2019. He has 59 career Cup Series wins over 100 wins in the Xfinity Series and 60 Camping World Truck Series wins.

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 9

The controversy continues with the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing with the first reports of doping.

Hossein Saveh Shemshaki, The Islamic Republic of Iran’s only male athlete has tested positive for anabolic Steroids. It is the first confirmed case of any type of doping at this year’s Olympics. Shemshaki was tested on Monday by the International Testing Agency before his competition was set to begin. He has been suspended and will be unable to compete. This is Shemshaki’s third Olympic games.

In other controversial news, the medal presentation for the figure skating team event are being held up for what the IOC is calling “a legal issue”. A Russian newspaper is reporting that Russian figure skater 15 year old Kamila Valieva has tested positive for the heart related drug trimetazidine – used to treat angina – which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency for athletes in and out of competition.

At just 15 years of age, Valieva is considered a “protective person” which means she may escape the sever penalty of being disqualified.

The country of Russia has been banned from participating in the Olympics since 2014 when WADA uncovered a massive doping scheme. However, the athletes may compete under the name of Russian Olympic Committee without their national anthem being played during medal ceremonies.

There is no word as of yet on the fate of Valieva and the ROC team.

She was one of the team members who competed in the team figure skating event and became the first female to ever complete a quad jump. The ROC scored enough points to win the gold medal with the U.S. taking silver and the Japanese earning the bronze.


Germany continues to extend its dominance in the luge competition when they won the men’s doubles event for their third consecutive gold medal event.

There is only one remaining event in the luge competition; if the Germans win the gold medal, they will have swept the events.


In the men’s 1,500 meters speedskating event,Hwang Daeheon took the gold beating out nine other skaters in the final event.

Ren Ziwei and Sjinkie Knegt were penalized for an arm block during their speedskating events.


After 16 years of trying, American skiier Lindsey Jaobellis earned the U.S. their first gold medal in the snowboardcross event.

In the women’s slalom, Petra Vlhova won the gold medal to earn the eastern European country of Slovakia their first medal of the 2022 Olympics.

In the men’s big air competition, Norwegian Birk Ruud took the gold medal with America’s Colby Stevenson earning the silver.

In the Individual Normal Hill – 10k cross-country event, Vinzenz Geiger from Germany won the gold medal.

In the medal count, Germany takes over the lead in the gold medal count with five; but the Russian Olympic Committee continues to hold on to the overall count with eleven but Norway and Austria are right behind with 10.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 9 medal count:
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 11
Norway – 10
Austria – 10
Germany – 8
Canada – 8
Netherlands – 7
Italy – 7
Sweden – 7
United States – 7
France – 6
People’s Republic of China – 5
Slovenia – 5
Japan – 4
Switzerland – 4
Australia – 2
Hungary – 2
Republic of Korea – 2
Finland – 1
Poland – 1
Czech Republic – 1
New Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Slovakia – 1


Break in Tradition After Daytona 500

Since the construction of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America outside the high banked tri-oval at Daytona International Speedway the winning Daytona 500 car has gone directly from victory lane to the museum where it sat until the next year when it was replaced by the new winning car.

At the end of the Daytona 500 on February 20, 2022; there will be a temporary break in the tradition.

This year NASCAR has introduced a brand new car – the Next Generation or Next Gen car – that is completely different from previous Cup Series cars.  Delayed a year due to the Covid pandemic, parts for the car are in somewhat of a short supply.

With the teams no longer allowed to build and make their own parts, they are subject to the availability of supply chains.

Each team only has between two and four cars.  And Daytona is known for crashes…and “the big one” which could leave teams with an even shorter supply of cars; especially with the unique qualifying format used at Daytona – a pole qualifying run, two duel races, and the 500 itself.

The second race of the season is across the country at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  Teams will be sending haulers to California right after the 500 with no time for repairs.

As a result, the winning Daytona 500 car will not be placed in the Motorsports Museum but will be returned to the winning team after an overnight stay in Daytona and a celebratory breakfast.

Instead a Next Gen prototype will be wrapped – complete with confetti – in the paint scheme of the winning car and placed in the museum.

Plans are to return the tradition in 2023.

Big Class in Rookie of the Year for 2022 NASCAR Season

As drivers move up in the ranks or a veteran driver retires and leaves a spot open, it gets filled in one of two way – another drivers from the same series takes over the car or a new driver comes into the series to fill the spot.

Each year the official NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco presents the Rookie of the Year award to a new driver for the best performance at the end of the season.  When the season officially begins next week, a total of eleven drivers across all three of the racing series will be eligible for the Rookie of the Year honours.

While all three are veterans of NASCAR racing, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Todd Gilliland are eligible for Rookie of the Year in the Cup Series.  Last season Cindric and Burton were full time drivers in the Xfinity Series; while Gilliland was a Camping World Truck Series regular.  Cindric is the 2020 Xfinity Series champion.

Driving the iconic Wood Brothers number 21 car, Harrison Burton is the youngest full time driver in the Cup Series at 21 years of age.

The son of retired driver David Gilliland, Todd Gilliland bypasses the Xfinity Series and jumps to the Cup Series to become team mates with the 2021 Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.

Former Camping World Truck Series drivers Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill have made the move up to the Xfinity Series and will complete with new full time driver Jesse Iwuji for the Rookie of the Year honours. 

Iwuji announced earlier this week that he has partnered with NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith to for Jesse Iwuji Motorsports where he will drive the number 34 car.

In the Camping World Truck Series a total of five drivers will compete for the Rookie of the Year honours when Jack Wood, Dean Thompson, Lawless Alan, Corey Heim, and Blaine Perkins drive full time this season.

The action begins on February 16 with pole qualifying in the Cup Series for the Daytona 500.

Medal Count – Feb 8

It has been a history making day at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing with more penalties, disqualifications, and record setting performances.

South Korea has filed a protest over penalties assessed in short track speedskating events.  After Hwang Daeheon and Lee Juneseo were both disqualified in the semifinals of the 1,000 meter race, South Korea has filed protests with International Skating Union and International Olympic Committee.  This was just the latest in a series of issues involving athletes in the 2022 Winter Olympic games.

Five women from four countries were disqualified from the ski jumping competition for the design of their uniforms.  The outfits were deemed loose fitting or baggy.

It was a record setting night for the men in the short program in figure skating.  In a night where the quadruple jump was the big feature, American Nathan Chen set a new world record with a score of 113.97 points, eclipsing the old record by over two points.

Despite not throwing any quads into his routine, fellow American Jason Brown performed an artist masterpiece that put him in sixth place heading into the long program on Thursday.

Olympic favourite and the previous record holder Yuzuru Hanyu failed to land his first jump – a quad salchow – ended up in eighth place with 95.15 points.  Hanyu said that there was a hole in the ice at the spot he had planned to jump and it kept him from making the jump.

In the medals awarded during the day…

In the men’s super-g Austria’s Matthias Mayer successfully defended his gold medal by earning his third gold.

American Ryan Cochran-Siegle made history when he won the silver medal – 50 years after his mother earned a medal of her own in the Olympics.

In the men’s 20k individual biathlon, France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet added to his collection of medals with the gold.  He was also a part of the silver medal winning mixed relay team.

In the men’s sprint free cross country skiing event, Norwegian Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo successfully defended his Olympic title with another gold, leading the race from start to finish.

In the women’s sprint free cross country skiing event, Jonna SUndling of Sweden took home the gold; finishing nearly three seconds ahead of fellow country member Maja Dahlqvist. 

American Jessie Diggins made history by being the first women in the U.S. to win a medal in the Winter Olympics for the event when she won the bronze medal.

In the mixed doubles curling event, Italy took home the gold in a near perfect event.

In the women’s Big Air, Eileen Gu won the gold for host country China.  Gu has been in the news for being one of two American born athletes who chose to represent China in the Olympics.

In the women’s single luge, Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger became the first women to become a three time Olympic gold winner.

In the men’s snowboarding Parallel giant slalom, Austria’s Benjamin Karl took the gold.

In the women’s snowboarding parallel giant slalom, the Czech Republic won their first medal of the Olympics when Ester Ledecka earned her second gold, successfully defending her title as champion.

In the men’s 1,500 meter speedskating event, Kjeld Nuis from the Netherlands successfully defended his title winning the gold medal.

Three more countries join the list of medal inners for a total of 22 countries winning awards.  The ROC continues to lead the list of medal winners as it becomes the first country to reach double digits.  Sweden holds the lead in gold medals with four.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 8 medal count:
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 10
Norway – 8
Netherlands – 7
Italy – 7
Austria – 7
Sweden – 6
Canada – 6
People’s Republic of China – 5
Germany – 5
Slovenia – 5
France – 5
United States – 5
Japan – 4
Switzerland – 3
Australia – 2
Hungary – 2
Finland – 1
Poland – 1
Czech Republic – 1
Ne Zealand – 1
Belarus – 1
Republic of Korea – 1

Jesse Iwuji Goes Full Time in NASCAR

Wendell Scott was the first man of colour to run…and win…in a NASCAR Cup Series race.  During the era of Jim Crowe laws, Scott never received his trophy. It took over 50 years for NASCAR to present the trophy to his family.

With the help of Richard Petty, Bubba Wallace, the sport’s first bi-racial driver, followed in Scott’s footsteps.  Last season in his first year with 23XI Racing, Wallace won his first race in a rain shortened Talladega.

Naval commander Jesse Iwuji – the first naval officer to run in NASCAR – has been a part-time driver in NASCAR driving predominantly in the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series…until now. 

Teaming up with NFL Hall of Fame player Emmitt Smith, to form Jesse Iwuji Motorsports for a full time run in the Xfinity Series.  Iwuji will be driving a Chevrolet with the number 34 car – the same number as Wendell Scott.  The number 22 – Smith’s jersey number – is already in use by Team Penske.

Iwuji spoke on the choice of car number saying, “Wendell Scott, back in the day, he had the 34 and it meant a lot because he was the first African American to win a Cup Series race.  With everything he did to pave the way for African Americans in the future, we just felt like it would be fitting.”

Iwuji and Smith join Brad Daugherty, Michael Jordan, and Pitbull as owners or part owners who are non-white.

Speaking on the new venture Iwuji said, “We’re building together a team of people who are on the same mission and we’re grinding for it every single day. There will be good days, there will be bad days but if everyone just stays together, continues to unite, we’re all about sharing the dream and sharing the moment.”

Emmitt Smith added, “Once you got a chance to know this young man and spend time and discipline to understand his process and the way he thinks, not to mention the service he has provided to this great nation, all of those things became part of something I could get behind.”

Serving full time in the United States Navy, Iwuji reserved his commission in 2017 in order to focus on racing cars.

Jason Houghtaling will be Iwuji’s crew chief.

feature photo credit: Jesse Iwuji Racing Facebook page

Olympic Medal Count – Feb 8

As the first full week of competition begins at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China; there is plenty of competition on the ice and on the slopes.

On February 7 several more medals were handed down including the delayed men’s down skiing events which came a day late due to bad weather.

In the men’s downhill event Switzerland’s Beat Feuz took the gold.  Frenchman Johan Clarey set a record for being the oldest man to win an Olympic medal at age 41.  He beat out American Bodie Miller to set the record.

The women’s giant slalom saw several skiers go down in the first round.  Sweden’s Sara Hector held on to take the gold medal.

In the women’s 15k individual biathlon, Germany’s Denise Hermann missed only one shot on her way to winning the gold medal.

The team figure skating event concluded on with a dominating run by the Russian Olympic Committee team that included 15 year old Kamila Valieva who became the first female skater to successfully perform a quadruple jump.  She completed two of the jumps before falling on the third.

The United States added to their collection of silver medals.

In the mixed team ski jumping competition Slovenia won the gold medal.

In the men’s slopestyle snowboard event, Canadian Max Parrott won the gold medal.

In the women’s 500 meter short track speedskating event, Italy’s Arianna Fontana added to her impressive list of medals with another gold to bring her total to nine.  She was also on the silver medal winning mixed relay team.

In the men’s 1,000 meter speedskating even, host country China earned the gold with Ren Ziwei being awarded the gold after Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor was penalized twice and given a yellow card.  Officials handed the penalty down to Liu despite the fact that Ren grabbed Liu as they approached the finish line.

In the women’s 1,500 meters race, Dutch skater Ireen Wüst added to her collection of Olympic medals with another gold.  Wüst has a total of 12 Olympic medals – half of them gold – to become the most decorated speedskater in the Netherlands.

Switzerland added their name to the list of medal winners when Beat Fuez took the gold medal in downhill skiing.

Sweden takes over the lead in gold medals with three, but it is the ROC who holds the overall lead with a total of seven medals.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 7 medal count:
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 7
Canada – 6
Netherlands – 5
Italy – 5
People’s Republic of China – 4
Norway – 4
Japan – 4
Austria – 4
Germany – 3
Sweden – 3
Slovenia – 3
United States – 3
France – 3
Australia – 2
Switzerland – 2
Hungary – 2
Finland – 1
Poland – 1

Bear’s Den

The British band Bear’s Den is getting ready to hit the road for a tour, and this time they have planned some dates across the pond in North America.

The music and fun begins in late April and will feature some new tunes and old favourites alike.

Bear’s Den tour dates:
April 23 at Parkteatret in Oslo, Norway
April 24 at Debaser Strand in Stockholm, Sweden
April 26 at Studi 2 in Copenhagen, Denmark
April 28 at Astra in Berlin, Germany
April 29 at Fabrik in Hamburg, Germany
May 1 & 2 at Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 5 at Kaufleuten in Zurich, Switzerland
May 7 at Carlswerk Victoria in Cologne, Germany
May 9 at Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium
May 17 at the O2 Academy in Bristol, UK
May 18 at the Eventim Apollo in London, UK
May 21 at the 3Olym;ia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland
May 22 at Albert Hall in Manchester, UK
May 23 at the O2 Academy in Glasgow, UK
May 25 at the University in Newcastle, UK
May 26 at the O2 Institute in Birmingham, UK
May 27 at Stylus in Leeds, UK
Sept 8 at The Factory in Dallas, TX
Sept 9 at Emo’s in Austin, TX
Sept 11 at The Basement East in Nashville, TN
Sept 12 at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA
Sept 14 at the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA
Sept 15 at Webster Hall in New York City NY
Sept 16 at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC
Sept 17 at the Royale in Boston, MA
Sept 20 at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, ON
Sept 21 at the Thalia Hall in Chicago, IL
Sept 23 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN
Sept 24 at The Englert Theatre in Iowa City, IA
Sept 25 at the Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, MO
Sept 27 at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO
Sept 28 at the Commonwealth Room in Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 30 at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, WA
Oct 1 at the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver, BC
Oct 3 at Revolution Hall in Portland, OR
Oct 5 at the Felton Music Hall in Felton, CA
Oct 6 at the August Hall in San Francisco, CA
Oct 8 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA

Amy Speace Travels to ‘Tucson’

Following in the footsteps of “There Used to Be Horses Here”, Americana Music Awards winner Amy Speace is set to release her tenth album “Tucson” on April 8.

She recorded the seven song album in just a day and a half!

In her most intimate album yet, nothing is off limits when it comes to Speace’s private life including the first single “Cottonwood” which gets its name from a treatment center in Tucson, Arizona – a place where Speace herself spent some time – and a date rape.  The song was written while at the facility using an old out of tune piano.

The tracklisting for “Tucson”:
“Cottonwood”
“If You Fall”
“Little Red”
“Blues for Joy”
“Why I Wake Early”
“The Offering”
“My Father’s House”

Winter Olympics – Feb 6 Medal Count

The Winter Olympic games from China continue on February 6; and while the men’s downhill skiing events are put on hold due to weather issues, there are plenty of events to go on and medals to award.

In the men’s 30k cross-country skiing Russian Alexander Bolshunov won the gold with a time of one hour and 16 seconds.

In the woman’s freestyle moguls, Australian Jakara Anthony beat out America’s Jaelin Kauf for the gold.  It was the first time an Australian female has taken home the gold medal in the event.

In the men’s single luge, Germany’s Johannes Ludwig took home the gold.

In the men’s normal hill ski jumping Ryoyu Kobayashi from Japan took home the gold with a distance of 99.5 meters (326ft)

In women’s slope style snowboarding, New Zealand’s Zoe Sadowski Synnott took home the first gold medal of the games for New Zealand.

In the men’s 5,000 meter speedskating Sweden’s Nils van der Poel won the gold with a time of 6:8.84, setting a new Olympic record.

Five more countries added their names to the medal list on February 6 including the United States.  Norway holds on to the lead in the gold medal count but it is the Russian Olympic Committee who leads the way with a total of five – one gold, two silver, and two bronze.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 6 medal count:
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 5
Norway – 3
Austria – 3
Italy – 3
United States – 2
Sweden – 2
Germany – 2
Netherlands – 2
Australia – 2
Japan – 2
Slovenia – 2
Canada – 2
People’s Republic of China – 1
France – 1
Hungary – 1
Finland – 1
Poland – 1

the Clash in Los Angeles

It’s a new season for NASCAR which kicks off this year, not in Daytona Beach but clear across the country in Los Angeles, California…in a football stadium!

The annual Busch Light Clash gets the season unofficially started in a historic event that will see 23 drivers take to a quarter mile track to battle it out for the first ever win at the legendary Memorial Coliseum.

Oh, and the drivers have a brand new car – the Next Gen (Generation) car!

Things get started on February 5 with some qualifying runs.  Thirty-six drivers will attempt to qualify for The Clash, but only 23 of them will make it to the big race on Sunday night.  The drivers will have two laps to run their fastest times.

At 71 degrees, the track is considered cold and the drivers are having trouble getting some heat in the tires.

Kurt Busch is the first driver on the track and sets the tone with a time of 14.437 seconds.

Cole Custer was the first driver to break the 14 second barrier with 13.953 seconds.

With a time of 13.745 seconds, Kyle Busch was the fastest driver in qualifying.

Before the main event, there will be four heat races.  The top four drivers after qualifying will sit on the pole for their heat races.  Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Justin Haley, and Joey Logano will each lead their group to the green.


The big day has finally arrived!!!

On a warm sunny afternoon, 36 NASCAR Cup Series drivers will attempt to race their way into the first race of the season – the Busch Light Clash.  After four heat races, 23 drivers will run the 150 mile main event.

On Saturday night, the drivers made a two lap qualifying run with Kyle Busch putting his number 18 M&M’s car on the pole.  Busch, will each sit on the pole of their heat race. 

Nine drivers will run a 25 lap race in each of the heats; but only the top four drivers will move on to the main event.  Once all four of the heat races have run, the drivers who did not place high enough to move on will split up to run two LCQ – Last Chance Qualifier – races for one last attempt to make it into the main event.  A total of 23 cars will move on to the main event.  Only the 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson has a guaranteed spot in the main event.

The starting lineup for heat race number one:
Kyle Busch
Daniel Suarez
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Blaney
Denny Hamlin
Aric Almirola
BJ McLeod
Todd Gilliland
Ross Chastain

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag and edges out in front of Daniel Suarez for the lead.  Drivers quickly get lined up in single file at the front of the field.

Lap four, Kyle Busch has the lead with Daniel Suarez in second; Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr round out the drivers who will move on to the main event.

Lap six, Kyle Busch holds the lead with Daniel Suarez in second.

Lap nine, Ricky Stenhouse Jr passes Denny Hamlin for third; Hamlin is now the driver in the transfer spot.

Lap 13, Kyle Busch continues to lead the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Denny Hamlin complete the transfer drivers.

BJ McLeod in ninth place has already been lapped.

Lap 20, Ryan Blaney has passed Denny Hamlin for the final transfer spot.

Leading every lap, Kyle Busch wins the race with Daniel Suarez in second; Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Ryan Blaney round out the transfer drivers from heat number one.

The starting lineup for heat race number two:
Tyler Reddick
Cole Custer
Harrison Burton
Alex Bowman
Bubba Wallace
Austin Dillon
Chase Briscoe
Brad Keselowski
Martin Truex, Jr

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of heat number two and gets out in front for the lead.  Drivers het three wide across the track in a battle for one of the top four spots.  Chase Briscoe started in seventh, but in just one lap he is in the last transfer spot in fourth.

Lap six, Tyler Reddick is way out in front; Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, and Austin Dillon are the four transfer drivers.

Lap nine, Chase Briscoe passes Bubba Wallace for second.  Briscoe is the only driver in the field who is shifting during the race.

Lap 12, Tyler Reddick has pulled out to a two second lead on Chase Briscoe; Bubba Wallace and Austin Dillon are the remaining transfer drivers.

Lap 16, Austin Dillon passes Bubba Wallace for third; Wallace is the final driver in a transfer spot.

Lap 19, Cole Custer battles bubba Wallace for fourth and takes the spot.

With a lead of nearly three seconds, Tyler Reddick wins the heat; Chase Briscoe, Austin Dillon, and Cole Custer round out the transfer drivers for heat number two.

The starting lineup for heat race number three:
Justin Haley
Chase Elliott
William Byron
Christopher Bell
AJ Allmendinger
Kevin Harvick
Chris Buescher
Corey LaJoie
Cody Ware

Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag start of heat number three and battles it out with Chase Elliott for the lead.  Haley gets out in front with William Byron in second; Christopher Bell and Chase Elliott round out the transfer drivers.

Lap eight, seventh place driver Kevin Harvick passes Chris Buescher for sixth; but Buescher battles back to retake the spot.

Lap 14, Kevin Harvick and Chris Buescher continue to battle for sixth with Harvick finally taking the spot.

Lap 17, leader Justin Haley just set the fastest lap of the race.

Four to go, Justin Haley continues to lead the race with William Byron in second.

Justin Haley wins the heat with William Byron, Christopher Bell, and Chase Elliott all moving on to the main event.

The starting lineup for heat race number four:
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Michael McDowell
Landon Cassill
Austin Cindric
Eric Jones
Ryan Preece
Kurt Busch
Ty Dillon

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of heat number four with Kyle Larson alongside.  Drivers in the back of the field are beating and banging on the starting lap.

Lap three, Joey Logano leads the race with Kyle Larson in second; Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric round out the transfer drivers.

Ty Dillon brings out the first caution on lap eight when his car loses power.  Dillon is reporting a gear issue. 

Only the green flag laps count in the heat races.

The “choose cone” in in play for the race.  Before a restart, the drivers can choose whether or not they want to restart the race on the inside or outside.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap seven.  And the battles begin.

Kurt Busch gets into the back of Landon Cassill and brings out the second caution of the race on lap 10.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 10.  Logano holds on to the lead with Kyle Larson and Michael McDowell battling it out for second.  McDowell gets around Larson for second; Erik Jones rounds out the transfer drivers.

Lap 14 Michael McDowell and Kyle Larson battle it out for second; Larson takes the spot.

With eight laps remaining in the heat, Joey Logano continues to lead the race; Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, and Erik Jones round out the transfer drivers.

With three laps to go, Joey Logano has a lead of over a second on Kyle Larson.

Joey Logano wins heat number four; Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, and Erik Jones are the final transfer drivers.

The 20 drivers who did not get a transfer spot will divide up into two groups for a last chance qualifier race and a last chance to make the main event.

The 23rd starting spot in the main event goes to the highest ranking past champion who has not qualified already for the main event.  Martin Truex Jr is that driver and has elected to sit out his LCQ race and start the main event in last place.  He was scheduled to start fifth in LCQ number two.

The starting lineup for the first LCQ race are:
Denny Hamlin
AJ Allmendinger
Ross Chastain
Kevin Harvick
Todd Gilliland
Chris Buescher
Aric Almirola
Cody Ware
BJ McLeod
Corey LaJoie

The LCQ races are 50 laps each and only the top three drivers will move on to the 150 lap main event.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front for the lead; Ross Chastain, AJ Allmendinger, Todd Gilliland, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.

Lap three, drivers are already beating and banging for position.

Lap five, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger are in the transfer spot.

Aric Almirola and Todd Gilliland make contact sending Almirola into the wall and bringing out the caution flag.  Again, only the green flag laps count.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap six and holds on to the lead with Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger as the three transfer drivers.

Lap eight, there are eight cars on the lead lap.

Lap nine, Kevin Harvick passes AJ Allmendinger for third and the final transfer spot.

Lap 12, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Ross Chastain with Kevin Harvick in third.

BJ McLeod is off the track and Aric Almirola is out of the race.

Lap 16, Kevin Harvick passes Ross Chastain for second.

Lap 19, Denny Hamlin holds on to a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick with Ross Chastain in the final transfer spot in third.

Lap 25, Devin Harvick is slowly closing in on leader Denny Hamlin with Ross Chastain over four seconds back in third.

Lap 29, AJ Allmendinger has caught up to third place driver Ross Chastain and is battling for third.

Lap 30, in a three way battle for third between Ross Chastain, Cody Ware, and AJ Allmendinger, Allmendinger takes third for the final transfer spot.

Lap 32, Denny Hamlin has pulled out to a lead of over two seconds on Kevin Harvick.

Out of the care center, Aric Almirola is fine.

Lap 35, Denny Hamlin has led every lap so far; Kevin Harvick is in second with AJ Allmendinger in third.

Just eight laps remain, Denny Hamlin has a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick with AJ Allmendinger in third.

Denny Hamlin wins the race with Kevin Harvick in second and AJ Allmendinger in third.  They will move on to the main event later in the day.

The starting lineup for LCQ number two:
Bubba Wallace
Austin Cindric
Alex Bowman
Ryan Preece
Kurt Busch
Harrison Burton
Landon Cassill
Brad Keselowski
Ty Dillon

Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag start of the LCQ number two and edges out Austin Cindric for the lead.  Lap three, the top three drivers are Bubba Wallace, Austin Cindric, and Alex Bowman.

Lap eight, Austin Cindric and Alex Bowman battle for second with Alex Bowman taking the spot and Kurt Busch in third for the last transfer spot.  Austin Cindric falls to seventh place.

Lap 12, Alex Bowman and Kurt Busch battle for second with Bubba Wallace leading the race by a narrow margin.

Lap 15, Alex Bowman has caught up to leader Bubba Wallace with Kurt Busch right behind them.

Lap 17, contact on the track between Harrison Burton and Ryan Preece but the track stays green.

Lap 20, Bubba Wallace leads the race but Alex Bowman is on his bumper and working to make the pass.  Kurt Busch is in third in the final transfer spot.

Lap 25, the caution flag comes out for contact between Harrison Burton and Ryan Preece.  Alex Bowman was under Bubba’s rear quarter panel at the time of the caution flag.

Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 25 with Harrison Burton alongside.  Wallace, Alex Bowman, and Kurt Busch all chose to restart the race on the inside lane.

Bubba Wallace brings the field down for the green flag restart and is immediately in a battle for the lead with Alex Bowman; Ty Dillon has the third place spot.

Lap 28, Alex Bowman takes the lead from Bubba Wallace but Bubba continues to battle for position. 

Lap 30, Bubba Wallace retakes the lead with Kurt Busch in second.  Alex Bowman drops to fifth place.

Lap 31, Kurt Busch gets around Bubba Wallace for the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 31 for contact between Ryan Preece and Landon Cassill; spinning Preece around.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with team mate Bubba Wallace in second on lap 25.  Drivers get three wide on the restart. 

Kurt Busch takes the lead with Ty Dillon in second and Bubba Wallace in third. 

NASCAR has determined that Ty Dillon jumped the restart and has to move to the back of the field.

With 14 laps to go, Kurt Busch leads the race with Bubba Wallace in second and Harrison Burton in third.

On a restart the lead driver controls the race start.

Ten to go, Kurt Busch has a lead of over two seconds on Bubba Wallace with Harrison Burotn in third.

The caution flag comes out after contact between Landon Cassill and Brad Keselowski.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with just nine laps remaining in the race.  Busch battles with Harrison Burton for the lead with Burton taking the lead.

The caution flag comes out for contact Ty Dillon and Brad Keselowski.

Taking the lead as the caution flag came out, Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart with just eight laps to go.  In a three wide battle, Bubba Wallace takes the lead with Harrison Burton in second and Kurt Busch in third.

Five to go, Harrison Burton takes the lead.

The caution flag comes out for Kurt Busch getting into the wall after multiple car contact in a three wide battle.  Kurt Busch is out of the race.

With just five laps to go, Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart.  The caution flag comes out once again when Austin Cindric gets into the wall after contact with Bubba Wallace.

Alex Bowman is out of the race after an on track incident.

Once again Harrison Burton brings the field down for the green flag restart with Ty Dillon alongside.

Four to go, Harrison Burton leads the race with Ty Dillon in second and Ryan Preece in third.

Ty Dillon turns Harrison Burton around bringing out another caution flag.

Three to go, Ty Dillon brings the field down for the green flag; Ryan Preece takes second with Bubba Wallace in third.

After multiple caution flags, Ty Dillon wins the race with Ryan Preece in second and Bubba Wallace in third; moving on to the 150 lap main event.

After further review, NASCAR has removed Ty Dillon from the race after his second restart violation.  As a result, Harrison Burton will be in the main event.


While the 23 drivers get themselves and their cars ready for the main event, Latin music star and co-owner of Trackhouse racing Pitbull puts on a show for the crowd.


The starting lineup for the 150 main event at The Clash:
Kyle Busch
Tyler Reddick
Justin Haley
Joey Logano
Daniel Suarez
Chase Briscoe
William Byron
Kyle Larson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Austin Dillon
Christopher Bell
Michael McDowell
Ryan Blaney
Cole Custer
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Preece
Kevin Harvick
Bubba Wallace
AJ Allmendinger
Harrison Burton
Martin Truex Jr

Four time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, MLB pitcher Jim Abbott, Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Raider Greg Townsend, beach volleyball champion Misty May-Trainor, and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, and running back Reggie Bush are the grand marshals for the race.

Holding one of the torches used during the Olympics at the Coliseum, Jeff Gordon symbolically lights the Olympic torch.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar was also scheduled to be one of the grand marshals for the race but was not feeling well and stayed home.

It has been 50 years since NASCAR has raced on a quarter mile track, but tonight 23 drivers will run 150 green flag laps with no pit stops and a break at 75 laps.

Thanking NASCAR and Busch Light, driver Kevin Harvick called the event pretty spectacular.

With no room for a pit lane, the crew chiefs are sitting in the stands.

After winning the pole and leading every lap in his heat race, Kyle Busch brings the field to the green flag for the start of the race from the inside lane and battles with Tyler Reddick for the lead.  Busch edges out to take the top spot.

Lap three, the top five are Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick, Justin Haley, Joey Logano, and Daniel Suarez.

Lap five, Tyler Reddick passes Kyle Busch to take the lead.

Lap eight, Tyler Reddick leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Justin Haley, Joey Logano, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

Lap 10, Justin Haley challenges Kyle Busch for second, but Busch holds on to the spot.

Drivers are running laps of around 13.64 seconds.  Leaders have already encountered slower traffic.

Lap 14, Tyler Reddick has a lead of over a second on Kyle Busch; Justin Haley, Joey Logano, and Daniel Suarez round out the top five.

Lap 18, leader Tyler Reddick passes Bubba Wallace to put him a lap down.

Lap 22, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with Kyle Busch in second; Justin Haley, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 27, 20th place driver Martin Truex Jr is the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 28, Kyle Busch has closed the gap on leader Tyler Reddick to under half a second.

Lap 40, Tyler Reddick continues to lead the race with Kyle Busch in second; Justin Haley, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Lap 45, Tyler Reddick has increased his lead on Kyle Busch to over a second with 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 48, the top five are Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Justin Haley, and Kyle Larson.  Harrison Burton is the last car on the lead lap in 17th.

The caution flag comes out on lap 53 for a spin involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Denny Hamlin brings his car to the infield for service.  Denny Hamlin is out of the race with some mechanical issues – a power steering issue.

Chase Briscoe is off the track with a mechanical issue – he reports something in the drive line.

Race leader Tyler Reddick comes to a stop on the apron.  He is also reporting some form of drive issue.

The smaller track is making it difficult for the cars to get enough air to cool off.

With only green flag laps counting, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 54 and takes the lead.

Lap 55, the top five are Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Justin Haley, and William Byron.

Lap 58, Justin Haley passes Kyle Larson for third.

Michael McDowell is the last car on the lead lap in 16th.

Lap 60, Kyle Busch has a lead of over a second on Joey Logano; Justin Haley, Kyle Larson, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 64, Joey Logano challenges Kyle Busch for the lead.

Chase Elliott brings out the second caution flag on lap 65 when he gets turned around and hits the wall.

Tyler Reddick reports that he thinks he broke the transaxle.  Reddick says that he learned from the issue and won’t do it again.

Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 66 and edges out Joey Logano to hold on to the lead; Justin Haley, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five

Lap 71, Kyle Busch hold the lead; Joey Logano, Justin Haley, William Byron, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Joey Logano passes Kyle Busch for the lead.

The caution flag comes out at the end of lap 75 for the mid-race break.  Crews can make adjustments to the cars during the break.

Rapper Ice Cube entertains the crowd during the race break.

The cars are back on the track and ready to get going again.  Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 76 and quickly get single file.

Lap 77, the top five are Kyle

Busch, Joey Logano, William Byron, Kyle Larson ,and Justin Haley.

Drivers are already getting three wide across the track.

There are 17 cars on the lead lap.  Ryan Preece is off the track.

Lap 83 , Kyle Busch has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Larson; Joey Logano, Justin Haley, and William Byron round out the top five.

Ryan Preece is out of the race reporting no brakes.

There are 19 cars on the track with 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 90, the top five are Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Justin Haley.

Fifty to go, Kyle Busch leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Justin Haley round out the top five.

With 45 laps to go, Kyle Busch has a lead of just over half a second on Joey Logano with 17 cars on the lead lap.

Last year was the first time in its history that The Clash was not run on the high banks of Daytona; instead they used the road course.  This marks the first time in the race’s history that it has run outside of Daytona.

With 36 laps to go, Kyle Busch has encountered slower traffic.

NASCAR puts out the caution flag when Ryan Blaney gets slowed down on the track on lap 115.  Blaney and Erik Jones made contact, causing some damage to the car.  Ryan Blaney is out of the race.  A frustrated Ryan Blaney threw his HANS device (head and neck restraint) at Erik Jones.

With 35 laps remaining in the race, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane and goes nose to nose with Joey Logano.

Justin Haley gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag after some contact with Kyle Larson and William Byron.  Haley is out of the race with significant damage to the car.

With just 34 laps remaining in the race, Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart.  Logano takes the lead with Kyle Larson in second; Kyle Busch, William Byron, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

Just 28 laps remain, Joey Logano has the lead with Kyle Larson in second; Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, and William Byron round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney returns to the race two laps down.

With 24 laps to go, Kyle Busch gets around Kyle Larson for second.

Twenty to go, Joey Logano has a lead of under a second on Kyle Busch; Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, and William Byron round out the top five.

Austin Dillon and Kyle Larson battle for third.

Sixteen to go, Kyle Busch has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to half a second.

With 13 laps to go, Daniel Suarez is the last car on the lead lap in 16th place.

Ten to go, Joey Logano has a lead of under half a second on Kyle Busch; Austin Dillon, William Byron, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Six to go, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Kyle Busch less than half a second back.

Joey Logano takes the white flag.

Joey Logano wins the race with Kyle Busch coming in second.  Logano gave an impressive burnout in celebration of his win.  He revealed that his wife is having their third child on Monday.

The results of the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum:
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Austin Dillon
Erik Jones
Kyle Larson
William Byron
Cole Custer
Christopher Bell
AJ Allmendinger
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Harrison Burton
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Daniel Suarez
Martin Truex Jr
Michael McDowell
Ryan Blaney
Bubba Wallace
Justin Haley
Ryan Preece
Tyler Reddick
Chase Briscoe
Denny Hamlin

Beijing Olympics Medal Count – Feb 5

The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China have just gotten started with many of the team sports in the preliminary rounds with other yet to begin.  But a total of 18 medals in 13 countries have been awarded. 

The United States has yet to earn a medal but are making a good show in the women’s hockey competition, winning both of their games so far.

Norway leads the way with two gold medals to take the number one spot.  Host country China took home a gold for the very first medal of the Games.

2022 Beijing Olympics February 5 medal count:

Norway – 2 – both gold
Slovenia – 2
Italy – 2
Canada – 2
ROC – Russian Olympic Committee – 2
People’s Republic of China – 1
Netherlands – 1
Sweden – 1
France – 1
Germany – 1
Austria – 1
Hungary – 1
Japan – 1

First Medals at 2022 Winter Games

With a 14 hour time difference, it’s tomorrow already in Beijing, China and the areas surrounding the ancient city where the 2022 Winter Olympic Games are being held.

While the official opening ceremonies were held on February 4, some of the athletes got an early start on the competition on February 3.

When the men’s skiing competition begins on Sunday, they will do so with only a very limited amount of practice.  Training sessions have been cancelled due to high winds.  Temperatures on the slopes have been near zero Fahrenheit. 

There have already been a number of firsts for this Olympics including the presentation of the first awards with the host country earning the first gold of the games.

Participating in his fifth Olympic Games – winning gold in three of them – American snowboarder Shaun White has made it official that this will be his last trip to the Olympics.

While much is being made in the U.S. about Shaun White competing in his fifth Olympic games at age 35, Claudia Pechstein of Germany becomes the oldes athlete to compete in the 2022 Winter Games at age 49.  Pechstein is a speedskater and is competing in her eighth Winter Olympic games.  She is the first woman and just the second person to do so.

While the ban on Russia as a country being allowed to participate continues due to doping issues, there are some Russian athletes competing in the Games under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee – ROC.

In the early award presentations:

Norway took the gold medal in the mixed relay biathlon – a sport that combines skiing and shooting – with Johannes Thingnes Boe taking the gold.

In the Women’s 15k cross country skiing, Norwegian Therese Johaug won the gold.

In the men’s freestyle moguls skiing, Sweden’s Walter Wallberg earned a score of 83.23 points to take the gold and beat “Mogul King” Mikael Kingsbury and Canada’s dominance of the sport.

In the mixed team short track speedskating relay China won for the first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympic games.

In the Women’s Normal Hill Ski Jumping, Slovenia’s Ursa Bogataj won the gold with a jump of 100 meters.

In the Women’s 3,000 meters speedskating, Dutch skater Irene Schouten earned The Netherlands the first gold medal in a record setting pace with a time of 3:56.93 – beating a record set 20 years ago by nearly a second (3:57.70).

feature photo credit: NBC Olympics Facebook page.

CMA’s Name Award Host

The Academy of Country Music has named Country music legend Dolly Parton as the host for the 2022 CMA Awards.  The 13 time CMA winner noted, “we’re going to have some fun.”  The CMA will be naming some co-hosts to join Parton.

The 2022 CMA’s will be streaming live from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas commercial free on Prime Video.

Six decades on, Parton is an author, songstress, numerous award winner and shows no signs of slowing down.  Not even a pandemic and a global lockdown can keep Dolly Parton down.  She has a new book – “Run, Rose, Run” – and album coming out just days before the CMA’s.  And she has earned herself a nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

CEO of the Academy of Country Music Damon Whiteside spoke on Parton’s hosting the CMA’s saying, “there is no one better than Dolly to represent the ACM Awards brand and country music on a global scale as we move to streaming and show the world that ‘this is how we country’ by delivering one of the most exhilarating and innovative shows in our history to audiences worldwide.

The nominees for the awards will be revealed in the coming days.

Rock Hall Names 2022 Nominees

On February 2, 2022 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation released the list of nominees for eligibility into the Hall of Fame. 

This year’s list of nominees is an eclectic mix of artists from Country music to Rap and Pop to R&B. An artist become eligible for nomination 25 years after their first recording.

Of the list of 17 nominees, seven are on the list for the first time.  Rapper and a part of this year’s Super Bowl halftime entertainment Eminem made the list in his first year of eligibility.  Also on the list for the first time are Beck, Duran Duran, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, and A Tribe Called Quest.

The remaining nominees are Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, DEVO, the Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, the New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine, and Dionne Warwick.

Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation John Sykes spoke on the nominees saying, “this year’s ballot recognizes a diverse group of incredible artists, each who has had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture. Their music not only moved generations but also influenced the sound of countless artists that followed.”

Over 1,000 international artists, historians, and music industry personnel cast their votes for which nominees they feel deserve induction into the Hall of Fame.  Influence and longevity are considered when the members cast their votes. 

But music fans will also get a say in who will become a member of The Hall.  From now to April 29, 2022 fans may cast their votes once each day at rockhall.com while visiting the Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.  The top five vote getters in the public vote will earn the “fan vote” and will be counted as one vote along with the professional voters.

The 2022 class of the Hall of Fame will be revealed in May with the induction ceremony later this year.

Meet the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees:

A Tribe Called Quest
Beck
Carly Simon
DEVO
Dionne Warwick
Dolly Parton
Duran Duran
Eminem
Eurythmics
Fela Kuti
Judas Priest
Kate Bush
Lionel Richie
MC5
New York Dolls
Pat Benatar
Rage Against the Machine

photos courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Don McLean Adds Dates

For many music fans, February 3 is known as “the Day the Music Died”.

It is called that because on February 3, 1959 in the early morning hours there was a small plane crash that killed upcoming stars Buddy Holly, JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens just outside of Mason City, Iowa.  A snowy night, pilot Roger Peterson was not fully qualified to fly the plane in such conditions.

In 1972, award winning artist Don McLean released the song “American Pie” – a story song about the event.  The song topped the Billboard chart for four weeks.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the song’s release, McLean is on tour. 

Playing to a sold out crowd, McLean performs at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa – the destination of Holly, Big Bopper, and Valens when the plane went down.

All three musicians were part of a big tour group making the rounds of venues in the Midwest.  Tommy Allsup and Waylon Jennings were also a part of the tour and had given up their seats on the plane.

McLean spoke on Holly saying, “Buddy Holly was only 22 years old when he died on February 3, 1959. By that time he had recorded something like 60 sides and every one of them was a hit song and most were hit records. Even the Beatles can not compare to the magnitude of this contribution. The music he made, he invented himself with very little help from others.”

McLean began the tour on January 28 and has added some dates to the North American portion of the tour.  Tickets are on sale now.

Don McLean tour dates:
Feb 3 at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA
Feb 5 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks, ND
Feb 11 at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in Lady Lake, FL
Feb 12 at the Ponte Verdra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra, FL
Feb 14-18 on the Rock Legends Cruise out of Cape Canaveral, FL
Feb 19 at the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, FL
Feb 24 at the Fox Theatre in Tucson, AZ
April 23 at the Latchis Theatre in Brattleboro, VT
April 24 at the Colonial Theatre in Laconia, NH
April 29 at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, MO
May 1 at the Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis, IN
May 7 at the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto, ON
May 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN
May 13 at Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta, GA
May 19 at the Balance M. Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, MO
May 20 at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO
May 21 at the Oaklawn Event Center in Hot Springs, AR
June 2 at The Egg in Albany, NY
June 3 at the Boch Center in Boston, MA
June 4 at The Town Hall in New York City, NY
June 10 at the Ruby Amphitheater in Morgantown, WV
June 11 at The Lyric Theater in Baltimore, MD
June 12 at the Capital One Hall in Tysons, VA
June 17 at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI
June 18 at The Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, WI
June 19 at the Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, WI
June 24 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, TX
June 25 at the Cullen Performance Hall in Houston, TX
June 26 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX
July 1 at the Saban Theatre in Bevery Hills, CA
July 2 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA
July 7 at the Paramount Theater in Denver, CO
July 8 at the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction, CO
July 9 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, AZ
Sept 11 at St. Davids in Cardiff, UK
Sept 13 at the Ipswich Regent Theatre in Ipswich, UK
Sept 14 at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, UK
Sept 16 at The Forum in Bath, UK
Sept 17 at the Princess Theatre in Torquay, UK
Sept 18 at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth, UK
Sept 20 at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall in Brighton, UK
Sept 21 at the Cliffs Pavilion in – Southend-on-sea, UK
Sept 23 at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK
Sept 24 at the Sage Gateshead in Gateshead, UK
Sept 25 at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, UK
Sept 27 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, UK
Sept 28 at the York Barbican in York, UK
Sept 30 at the DeMontfort Hall in Leicester, UK
Oct 1 at City Hall in Sheffield, UK
Oct 2 at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, UK
Oct 4 at the London Palladium in London, UK
Oct 7 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland
Oct 9 at the Concertgebouw de Vereeniging in Nijmegen, Netherlands
Oct 10 at the Koninklijk Theater Carré in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 14 at the Peer Gynt Salen in Bergen, Norway
Oct 15 at the Stavanger Kuppelhallen in Stavanger, Norway
Oct 16 at the Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway
Oct 18 at the Lorensbergsteatern in Gotteborg, Sweden
Oct 20 at the Logomo in Turku, Finland
Oct 21 at the Kultuuritalo in Helsinki, Finland
Oct 23 at the Gota Lejon in Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 24 at the Palladium in Malmo, Sweden
Oct 25 at the Portalen in Greve, Denmark
Oct 27 at the Fabrik in Hamburg, Germany
Oct 28 at the Kulturkirche in Neuruppin, Germany
Oct 29 at the Admiralspalast in Berlin, Germany
Nov 1 at the De Singel in Antwerp, Belgium
Nov 3 at the Musikteatret in Holstebro, Denmark
Nov 11 at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, Germany
Nov 13 at the Posthof Zeikultur Am Hafen in Linz, Austria

NASCAR Names More Clash Grand Marshals

Last weekend the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona celebrated their 60th anniversary with six grand marshals – all former race winners.  This weekend, NASCAR will celebrate the first Busch Light Clash in Los Angeles with a six pack of grand marshals of their own.

Earlier in the week, NFL star Eric Dickerson and MLB pitcher Jim Abbot were named as grand marshals.  More grand marshals have been named – all athletes.

As a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Dickerson has spent a good bit of time on the playing field of the Memorial Coliseum.

Abbott, who is excited to see his first NASCAR short track race, spent his career on the baseball diamond.

The only female in the group, retired professional beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor dominated the sand with team mate Kerri Walsh Jennings.  Along the way they earned three Olympic gold medals and over 100 championships.  Speaking on being named as one of the grand marshals May-Trainor said, “I am so humbled and honored to be one of the grand marshals for this unique and historic event.  I am so excited. I can’t wait for the speed, I can’t wait for the adrenaline rush, I can’t wait for the sounds of the crowd.”

NFL player Greg Townsend spent most of his career as a member of the Los Angeles Raiders and was a member of the 1984 Super Bowl winning team.  Townsend also spent one year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the latest athletes to be named as one of the grand marshals for The Clash.  Earning five NBA championships as a Los Angeles Laker, Jabbar is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame,a six time MVP, and 19 time All Star.  “The NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum is going to be very special and unique.  So I have to be there and I can’t wait,” said Jabbar.

And finally, NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and current vice chairman at Hendrick Motorsports Jeff Gordon is the lone motorsports grand marshal.  Gordon notched 93 race wins during his 23 season career.  A California native, Gordon took home the Daytona 500 trophy three times and earned the Cup Series championship four times.  An enthusiastic Gordon noted, “I think the fans are going to blown away. I know I can’t wait to see what happens on track and all the action.”

DJ Skee, Ice Cube, and Pitbull will be providing the entertainment during the packed weekend of fun and racing.

With three days remaining before the big event, NASCAR is sure to add to the star studded list appearing for The Clash.

Creating the Clash Track

The NHL has turned football fields into hockey rinks, the NCAA has turned a race track into a college football field, and NASCAR has taken a high banked asphalt track into a dirt track.  This weekend race fans will see a historic football field become a quarter mile short track as the NASCAR Cup Series kicks off with the annual Busch Light Clash at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

But exactly what did it take to transform the football field into a race track?

The process began with asking the question “how do you protect what they have here and build up a track within the middle of a football field?”

While a small patch of the grass field remains, much of the grass is now covered in asphalt; but the asphalt has been laid in such a way that it will not harm the grass even though two dozen 3,400 pound cars will be racing on the track.  The east endzone is now turns three and four.

On December 21, 2021, construction began and in just one month the track was laid and ready for painting.

It began with placing a big plastic barrier of Visqueen laid upon the floor of the Coliseum; covering the field, turf, and dirt.  Next came a layer of plywood.  Then came a layer of geotextile woven fabric that will also help with slipping.

Next came 9,200 cubic yards of crushed miscellaneous base making 12 inches of fill in the infield and four feet on the track to create a banking of 2.5 degrees.

Finally it was time for the asphalt – four inches deep and over 13,000 square yards of it.

Laying the track was a tricky experience, construction crews had to be very careful not to damage the Visqueen or create pockets in the base that could damage the course.

In its long history, the LA Memorial Coliseum has been host to UCLA Trojan football games, Los Angeles Gitinis rugby, two summer Olympic games, a World Series in 1959, two Super Bowl games, and numerous rock concerts including Kanye West.  In fact, some of the base used to build the track was left over from West’s show.

The catch fence, walls, and safer barriers were all loaned to the effort by Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana and the Long Beach Grand Prix.

One minor modification had to be made to the Coliseum in relation to the entrance tunnel.  Building up of the track meant a portion of the tunnel had to be repaved in order for the new Next Gen cars to get on the track without bottoming out.

Press and coaches boxes are reserved for NASCAR officials.  The home team locker room will become the Media Center; with the away locker room reserved for the “green room”.  The training room will become the “infield care center”.  FOX Sports will take over the television booth for the broadcast; while the jumbotrons will be dedicated to the entertainment.

With no garage or pit lanes, the haulers will take up part of the parking lot.  There will be no in race live pit stops but there is a “halftime” break that will include a musical performance.

Once the Clash is complete, NASCAR has until February 26 to get everything cleared out.  The Giltinis have a home game on February 27.

Since its inception in 1979, this is the first time that the Clash will take place outside of its home at Daytona International Speedway.

Clash Names Grand Marshals

With just four days until the NASCAR Cup Series begins with the Busch Light Clash in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles: NASCAR continues to add to the event.

Eric Dickson and Jim Abbott were named grand marshals for the race.  NASCAR is expected to name more grand marshals for the historic race at the Coliseum.

Eric Dickerson is an NFL Hall of Fame football player who spent eleven season in the NFL playing for four teams including the Los Angeles Rams.  He holds the record for single season rushing yards with 2,105 while a member of the Rams.

Jim Abbott was a pitcher in Major League Baseball; spending 10 years as a pitcher in the league, part of the time with the Los Angeles Angles.  The left handed pitcher was born without a right hand.  He pitched a no-hitter in 1993.

Abbott spoke on being named a grand marshal saying, “one One thing I’ve never done is see a short-track NASCAR race, and this weekend I’m so excited to go up to the LA Coliseum and be part of history.  I’m so honored to be a grand marshal.”


In other Clash news, UFC President Dana White is pairing up with Trackhouse Racing for a sponsorship deal for Ross Chastan’s car in the Clash.

During the 2021 season, Justin Marks of Trackhouse Racing purchased Chip Ganassi’s NASCAR shop and equipment.  This season he is adding a second car with “watermelon man” Chastain driving the number one car.  Howler Head Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – which White also owns – will be the primary sponsor for Chastain in 2022 beginning with the Clash.

White spoke on the partnership saying, “I love the vision that Justin Marks has for Trackhouse.”  Adding,  “I’m excited to be a part of it and my two favorite things are fast cars and Howler Head. I’m so excited that we’ll be making our first NASCAR appearance this weekend. This is an absolute badass car, and I can’t wait to see it compete on the track at the Coliseum on Sunday.”

Justin Marks also spoke on the new partnership saying, “partnering with someone like Dana is what this Trackhouse mission is all about.  We want to transcend our sport, work with innovative minds and powerful brands, and Dana White, along with Howler Head and UFC exemplify that. Dana’s influence, vision, and passion is inspiring and I’m looking forward to working with him on amplifying both our brands and hopefully along the way, learning from him as well.”  Latin music star Pitbull is also a part owner in Trackhouse.

photo taken from Howler Head FAcebook page

SRX Releases 2022 Schedule

Last summer, NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Tony Stewart and former NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham created a new short track racing series – the Superstar Racing Experience.

Twelve drivers from various racing formats drove identically created cars on a variety of racing surfaces.  A man that is ready to drive anything with four wheels, creator Tony Stewart was crowned as the series’ first winner.

The SRX returns this summer with some location changes.

The series will open on June 19 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.  As luck would have it, that is the one weekend that the NASCAR drivers have off.

The dirt tracks at Eldora and Knoxville are being replaced by the I-55 Raceway in Missouri and Sharon Speedway in Ohio.

2022 SRX schedule:
June 19 at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL
June 25 at the South Boston Speedway in South Boston, VA
July 2 at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT
July 9 at the Nashville Fairgrounds in Nashville, TN
July 15 at the I-tt Raceway in Peverly, MO
July 23 at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH

‘Sesame Street Live’ on Tour

For over 50 years The Children’s Television Workshop and “Sesame Street” have thrilled audiences and television viewers.  Beginning February 2, “Sesame Street” Live returns for a new show – “Let’s Party”.

Casey and Caleb will serve as the live emcees for the party on the stage.  Everyone knows that putting together a party is no easy task, but the emcees and characters enlist the help of the audience to put on a joyous party.

With the upmost safety in mind, all federal, state, and local Covid protocols will be in place.  Ever the grouch…even at a party…Oscar performs his favourite song “I Love Trash” and what party is complete without everyone’s favourite blue monster Cookie Monster singing “C is for Cookie”.  Elmor, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and Rosita teaching a little Spanish will all be on hand to add to the fun.

Tickets are available at SesameStreeLive.com.

With safety the upmost concern, all federal, state, and local Covid protocols will be in place.

Sesame Street Live tour dates:
Feb 2 & 3 at the Kay Yeager Coliseum in Wichita Falls, TX
Feb 5 & 6 at the Ford Center in Frisco, TX
Feb 11-13 at the NRG Arena in Houston, TX
Feb 19-27 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY
Mar 3 & 4 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ
March 5 & 6 at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY
March 11 & 12 at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, PA
March 13 at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA
March 18-20 at the UB Center for the Arts in Buffalo, NY
March 25-27 at the Stifel Theatre in St. Louis, MO
April 8-10 at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA

feature photo credit: Courtesy of Field Entertainment

Riverdance 25

It was some 25 years ago that the Irish dance phenomenon known as “Riverdance” stormed the country.  Beginning in March, the show returns with new dancers and a new tour.  The music for the show has been re-recorded and the show itself has been re-imagined to bring fans a whole new experience.

One of those dancers is Morgan Bullock who caught the Irish dancing bug when she was 10 years old.  Morgan will become the first female of colour to join “Riverdance”.  Other dancers in the troupe include Amy-Mae Dolan, Will Bryant, Maggie Darlington, Anna Mai Fitzpatrick, Fergus Fitzpatrick, James Greenan, Meadhbh Kennedy, Brandon Asazawa, Belle Brenton, Kieran Bryant, Gerard Byrne, Keeva Correy, Matthew Gardiner, Michael Gardiner, Emma Mannion, Jordan McCormick, Faith Moore, Olivia Nactigal, Cian Porter, Dylan Scholls Zoe Talbot, Mairead Trainor, Elle-Mae Wheeler,  Ana Turcan, Eugeniu Turcan, Christine Lesnikova Alexander Safonov, Tyler Knowlin, Dharmesh Patel, and Rocio Dumset.

“Riverdance” began their anniversary tour in 2020 but were shut down when the pandemic caused the world to shut down.  The show returns in March for the North American portion of the tour.

“Riverdance 25” tour dates:
March 4-6 at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, UT
March 8-10 at The Lied Center in Lincoln, NE
March 11-13 at The Fox Thetre in St. Louis, MO
March 15-27 at The Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.
March 29 & 30 at the Clemens Center in Elmira, NY
March 31-April 2 at the Auditorium Theatre in Rochester, NY
April 3 at the State Theatre in Easton, PA
April 5-7 at the Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theatre in Syracuse, NY
April 8-10 at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY
April 13 & 14 at the FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton, ON
April 15-17 at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, ON
April 19-21 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ
April 22-24 at The Playhouse on Rodney Square in Wilmington, DE
April 26-28 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, PA
April 29 – May 1 at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, PA
May 3 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, ME
May 4 at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, ME
May 5 at The Palace Theatre in Stanford, CT
May 6-8 at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT
May 10-15 at the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA
May 17-19 at the Midland Center in Midland, MI
May 20 & 21 at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, WI
May 24 at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center in Duluth, MN
May 25 & 26 at The Grand Theater in Wausau, WI
May 27-29 at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN
May 31 & June 1 at the Stranahan Theater in Toledo, OH
June 2 at the Morris PAC in South Bend, IN
June 3 & 4 at the Rosemont Theater in Rosemont, IL
June 5 at the Weidner Center in Green Bay, WI
June 7 at the Civic Center in Peoria, IL
June 8 at the UIS Performing Arts Center in Springfield, IL
June 9 at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids, IA
June 10-12 at the Des Moines Civic Center in Des Moines, IA
June 14 at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, IA
June 17-19 at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, MO
June 22 & 23 at The BJCC in Birmingham. AL

feature photo credit: Anúna performing in “Riverdance – the Show” February 1995.jpg

Triple Truck and Dash Challenges Return

Sponsors in the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series offer some additional incentives to drivers during the season.  The Camping World Truck Series has the Triple Truck Challenge and the Xfinity Series has the Dash-4-Cash.  Both challenges offer drivers an opportunity to earn bonus cash for winning races.

NASCAR has released the races that will be a part of those challenges for the 2022 racing season.

In the Truck Series, the June 4 race at World Wide Technology Raceway, the June 24 race at Nashville Superspeedway, and the July 9 race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are the Triple Truck Challenge races.

Open to full time Truck Series drivers, the Triple Truck Challenge offers a cash bonus that multiples with each race win.

Camping World Truck Series director Seth Kramlich spoke on the program saying, “a very cool program and a lot of money on the line for our guys.  It’s a big incentive for our trucks and a lot of money on the line for those guys to be able to move their programs and step them into a greater place for the future.”

In the Xfinity Series, the Dash-4-Cash runs in four consecutive races and gives the top four finishers from each race a chance to win a cash prize.  Open only to regular Xfinity Series drivers, the Dash-4-Cash begins on March 26 and runs on April 2, 8, and 23.

NASCAR has increased the number of cars that will be allowed in each race from 36 to 38 for the 2022 season.

Floyd Mayweather Joins NASCAR

The 2021 NASCAR season saw a number of changes when it comes to team ownership with Chip Ganassi selling the NASCAR section of his racing empire and the addition of 23XI Racing; as well as, the addition or submission of cars to existing teams.

Currently among the NASCAR teams, three are owned…or partially owned…by sporting legends – Joe Gibbs Racing owned by NFL Hall of Fame legend Joe Gibbs, JTG Daugherty partially owned by NBA star Brad Daugherty, and most recently NBA legend Michael Jordan as primary owner of 23XI Racing.

On February 1, a new NASCAR team is joining the growing list of former sports stars who own a racing team with the addition of TMT – The Money Team, owned by boxing champion Floyd Mayweather.

Mayweather and co-owner William Auchmoody have spent nearly a year working on forming the team.

Mayweather announced that TMT plans on running a limited schedule for the 2022 season that includes the biggest race of the season – the Daytona 500.  Mayweather has named Kaz Grala as the driver of the number 50 car with veteran Tony Eury Jr as the crew chief.  The primary sponsor for the car is the Salt Lake City based sunglasses company Pit Viper. Co-owner William Auchmoody will also serve as the team’s general manager.

The number 50 represents Mayweather’s boxing record of 50 wins and no losses.

Grala will also be running a partial schedule in the Xfinity Series with Alpha Prime Racing.

Mayweather spoke on the new team via a release saying, “I love fast cars and I love to compete. I know NASCAR will not be easy, but anything easy isn’t worth doing to me.  With that being said, this move into auto racing seems to be a perfect fit for the Mayweather brand.”

Kaz Grala spoke on driving for TMT saying, “it’s an honor to be behind the wheel for Floyd Mayweather’s entrance into NASCAR.  It’s a really exciting time in our sport as it globalizes and reaches new audiences. I know Floyd is here to win, and I absolutely feel that everyone involved in this program is capable of making that happen. We know we will need some time to grow together as a new organization, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of building this team from the ground up.”

feature photo credit: Floyd Mayweather Jr. 2015 (cropped).jpg