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Updated: July 28, 2015
LIVE LOCAL SPORTS
SATURDAY AUGUST 1ST AT 12:30 PM...NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES POCONO MOUNTAINS 150 FROM POCONO RACEWAY!
SATURDAY AUGUST 1ST AT 7:30 PM...NASCAR XFINITY SERIES US CELLULAR 250 FROM IOWA SPEEDWAY!
SUNDAY AUGUST 2ND AT 12:30 PM...NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES WINDOWS 10 400 FROM POCONO RACEWAY!
FRIDAY AUGUST 21ST AT 7 PM...CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RETURNS TO WYSH AS THE DRAGONS OPEN THE 2015 SEASON AT ARCHRIVALS OAK RIDGE!
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Southern League baseball: Friday, the Smokies set a single-game attendance record at Smokies Stadium and beat Chattanooga 8-4. Saturday, the Lookouts dealt Tennessee a 4-3 loss and finished out the series Sunday with an 8-0 win. The Smokies have Monday off and will open a five-game set at Montgomery on Tuesday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Indy...Kyle Busch drove away from Joey Logano on Sundayís final restart and was not seriously challenged over the final two laps, extending his winning streak to three races and snapping Chevroletís twelve-year string of victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Busch started ninth and led three times for nineteen laps in the Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. His margin of victory over Logano was three-tenths of a second with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Junior and Denny Hamlin Ö one of Buschís J-G-R teammates Ö completing the top five. Sundayís win helped Busch sustain his rapid mid-season march toward a post-season berth. After missing eleven races while recovering from injuries suffered during Speedweeks in February and then struggling with inconsistency in the first month back, Busch has now won four of his last five starts but still needs to reach the top thirty in the standings to be eligible for a post-season Chase berth. Heís climbed to thirty-second place and is just twenty-three points below the cutoff with six races left in the regular season. The last driver to win three straight Sprint Cup races is Jimmie Johnson, who actually put four wins in a row together during the 2007 Chase Ö Pole sitter Carl Edwards, another one of Buschís Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, led only twenty laps of Sundayís race and finished thirteenth Ö Buschís victory was Toyotaís first Cup Series win at Indianapolis and gave the driver a weekend sweep at ďThe Brickyard.Ē He also won Saturdayís X-FINITY Series race Ö Matt DiBenedetto of B-K Racing was the highest-finishing rookie on Sunday. He placed thirty-second one day before celebrating his 24th birthday.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Indy...Kyle Busch stalked race leader Ryan Blaney on the final lap Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and when Blaney wiggled coming off Turn-2, Busch took advantage of the opening and drove away to his second win of the season. The margin of victory over Blaney was nearly a half-second as Busch notched his seventy-second career win, extending the series record he already owns. Rookie Daniel Suarez finished third with Paul Menard and Elliott Sadler completing the top five. With Buschís victory, Sprint Cup Series regulars have now won four straight and thirteen of the eighteen X-FINITY Series races contested in 2015. Busch started from the pole and led a race-high fifty-three laps. Itís his second win in three years on the famed two-point-five-mile Indy oval Ö Saturdayís race kicked off the second half of the X-FINITY Series schedule and was the second round of the ďDash for CashĒ promotion. Eighth-place Regan Smith was the highest-finishing eligible driver, collecting a one hundred thousand-dollar bonus and qualifying for the next round next month at Bristol Ė along with Blaney, Suarez and Sadler.
Southern League baseball: The Smokies beat Chattanooga 4-1 Thursday and will return home to finish the series against the Lookouts Friday through Sunday at Smokies Park.
Southern League baseball: The Smokies led 7-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday night in Chattanooga but gave up 7 runs as they fell 8-7 to the Lookouts. The series continues Thursday in Chattanooga before the final three games are played at Smokies Stadium Friday through Sunday.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Wednesday at Eldora...Christopher Bell mastered the final restart of the night Wednesday at Eldora Speedway, fending off a brief challenge from Austin Dillon and beating pole sitter Bobby Pierce to the checkered flag to notch his first career win. This marks the second year in a row the Number-54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota was parked in Victory Lane at the half-mile Ohio dirt oval. Last year, Darrell Wallace Junior was behind the wheel. This time, it was Bell engineering the victory in just his third career start. He qualified ninth then won his heat race to lock down the Number-4 starting spot in the nightís main event. Bell led a race-high 106 laps, including the final forty-nine. His margin of victory over runner-up Pierce was three-quarters of a second. Tyler Reddick grabbed third place with rookies Erik Jones and Daniel Hemric completing the top five. Dillon wound up sixth Ö In addition to Bell, other winners of the nightís heat races were Pierce, Reddick, John Hunter Nemechek and Ken Schrader Ė with Cody Erickson winning the ďlast-chanceĒ race to secure his spot in the thirty-two-truck field Ö Two-time defending series champion and current points leader Matt Crafton finished ninth and saw Reddick whittle six points from his advantage that now stands at fourteen heading into the next race next week in Long Pond, Pennsylvania Ö Wednesdayís race was slowed by thirteen cautions, most in the three-year history of the event, for sixty-one of the 154 laps.
Southern League Baseball: Smokies 3-3 Birmingham 2-1...The Smokies ended their six-game losing streak with a pair of wins Monday, the second won in walk-off fashion as Bryant Flete smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the 7th. The Smokies play two games in Chattanooga, Wednesday and Thursday, before returning home to face the Lookouts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Southern League Baseball: (Friday) Montgomery 4 Smokies 3...(Saturday) Montgomery 2 Smokies 1 (10 innings)...(Sunday) Montgomery 12 Smokies 3.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Saturday at New Hampshire...Kyle Buschís mid-season march toward a post-season berth continued Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with his third victory in the last four races. The win lifted him from thirty-fifth to thirty-third in the point standings with seven races left in the regular season. With three wins to his credit, all Busch needs to do now in order to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is finish among the top thirty in the regular-season standings. He trails thirtieth-place David Gilliland by fifty-eight points heading into the next race next weekend at Indianapolis. Busch led ninety-five laps Sunday, including the final forty-nine trips around the one-mile oval. The race ended under caution for Alex Bowmanís single-car accident that took place in Turn-2 after Busch had taken the white flag. Brad Keselowski led a race-high 101 laps and finished second with Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano (Keselowskiís Team Penske teammate) and Dale Earnhardt Junior completing the top five Ö Pole sitter Carl Edwards led just nineteen laps and finished seventh Ö Busch is the ninth different winner in the last nine summertime races contested in New Hampshire dating back to 2007 Ö Denny Hamlin was going for a weekend sweep after winning Saturdayís X-FINITY Series race but finished fourteenth on Sunday. He was one of twenty drivers running on the lead lap with Busch at the checkered flag Ö Sundayís race included just nine lead changes, half as many as there were last year Ö There were seven cautions for thirty-four laps.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at New Hampshire...On paper, it looked like Denny Hamlin had an easy time of it in winning Saturdayís race at New Hampshire Ė leading 145 of the two hundred laps to post his second X-FINITY Series win of the season. But on the track, it was quite a different story. Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch leaned hard on each other twice during the course of the afternoon while racing for position. In one instance, contact early in the race sent Hamlin spinning and forced him to restart at the rear of the field. But the Number-20 Toyota was strong, Hamlin charged back toward the front and took the lead at Lap-43. With less than thirty laps to go, Austin Dillon jumped past Hamlin on the dayís final restart and led briefly. But Hamlin pulled alongside Dillon a short time later and nudged him out of the way to reclaim the lead and drive off to his thirteenth career victory. Dillon was critical of Hamlinís bump-and-run tactic after the race as he had to settle for second place. Brad Keselowski finished third and Busch was fourth, giving Sprint Cup Series drivers the top four finishing positions. Rookie Daniel Suarez was fifth, the highest-placed X-FINITY Series regular.
Southern League baseball: The Tennessee Smokies fell at Montgomery 9-2 on Thursday night. The series continues through Sunday in Montgomery.
Southern League Baseball: The Smokies dropped the opener of their series at Montgomery on Wednesday night, falling to the Biscuits 4-1. That series continues through Sunday and the team returns home to Smokies Stadium on Monday night.
Top Flight finishes strong: Clinton-based, eighth-grade travel basketball team Top Flight, placed 17th in the nation in a tournament in Atlanta that wrapped up over the weekend. 55 teams in all participated in the tournament. Top Flight's record this travel season is 51-7. The team is coached by Von Harrison and includes three players who will suit up for Coach Chris Lockard's Clinton Dragons this winter: Addison Dupree, Luke Harrison and Andrew Shoopman.
Southern League: Smokies 9 Biloxi 2...Smokies off Tuesday and open five game set at Montgomery Wednesday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Saturday at Kentucky...Kyle Buschís climb toward the top thirty in the Sprint Cup Series standings continued Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway with his second win of the season in just seven starts. Busch led a race-high 163 laps, including the final twenty trips around the mile-and-a-half oval. The victory lifted him from thirty-seventh to thirty-fifth in the standings with eight races left in the regular season. After missing the first eleven races of the year while recovering from injuries suffered in February at Daytona, Busch needs an average finish of sixteenth over the final fifteen races of the regular season to be eligible for a spot in the post-season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In seven starts since returning, his average finish is now seventeenth. Busch led a parade of Joe Gibbs Racing cars into the top five at nightís end Saturday. Denny Hamlin finished third, Carl Edwards fourth and Matt Kenseth fifth. Team Penskeís Joey Logano ran second, one-point-five seconds behind Busch at the checkered flag Ö Entering the weekend, lead changes in the Sprint Cup Series were down twenty percent from 2014. Saturdayís race featured a new NASCAR rules package built around a reduction in downforce the sanctioning body hopes will lead to more competitive racing. The new package, featuring aerodynamic modifications, produced thirteen lead changes Ė one more than last yearís race Ö With an eighth-place finish, regular-season points leader Kevin Harvick became the first driver to officially clinch his spot on the 2015 Chase Grid.
NASCAR XFinity Series Friday at Kentucky...Brad Keselowski darted past race lead Erik Jones nine laps from the finish Friday night at Kentucky Speedway and kept the Number-22 Team Penske Ford in front the rest of the way, marking the eleventh time in sixteen races this year that a Sprint Cup Series regular has taken home the top prize in the X-FINITY Series. Keselowskiís margin of victory over Jones was a quarter-second with Kyle Busch, rookie Daniel Suarez and Elliott Sadler completing the top five. J-J Yeley, who had been awarded the pole position based on practice speeds after qualifying was rained out, failed to lead a single lap and finished eighteenth Ė two laps down to Keselowski. Brendan Gaughan rode home in ninth place on a day he celebrated his fortieth birthday Ö Busch led a race-high eighty-eight laps, including one stretch of twenty-six midway through the second half of the race before the final caution sent drivers to pit road. Keselowski and Jones opted for two tires while Busch took four, and the Joe Gibbs Racing driver never regained the lead Ö Points leader Chris Buescher finished eleventh but still managed to stretch his advantage to thirty-six points over Chase Elliott, who finished thirteenth in Fridayís race.
Southern League: Friday Biloxi 6 Smokies 4 (11 innings)...Saturday Smokies 6 Biloxi 1...Sunday Smokies 8 Biloxi 2
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Thursday at Kentucky...No practice was no problem for Matt Crafton on Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway. After rain washed out practice and qualifying, the two-time defending series champion was given the Number-1 starting spot based on truck owner points. He earned the win by leading forty-three laps en route to his ninth career victory. The race was red-flagged just five laps from the finish after contact with David Gilliland sent Ben Kennedyís truck sailing into the catch fence at the end of the frontstretch. The impact knocked a hole in the fence and bent one of the supporting poles. Kennedy walked away from the scene, and was treated and released from the trackside care center. NASCAR called the race based on the large amount of time it would take to make repairs, leaving Crafton to celebrate his fourth win of the season. Rookie Erik Jones finished second with Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez and Timothy Peters completing the top five. Crafton got a big push from Blaney on the final restart of the night to surge past race leader Jones just seconds before Kennedyís crash ended the race Ö Jones started third and led a race-high fifty-five laps on the way to his runner-up finish, which helped give Toyota four of the five top finishing positions Ö The race included eight cautions, one shy of the track record set in 2000 Ö There were thirteen lead changes among seven drivers: Crafton, Jones, Blaney, Suarez, Tyler Reddick, John Nemechek and Ray Black Junior.
Southern League Baseball:Biloxi 8 Smokies 5...series continues through Monday at Smokies Stadium
Southern League Baseball:Birmingham 4 Smokies 3...The Smokies return to Smokies Stadium for a five-game series against Biloxi that will be played Thursday through Monday.
Southern League:Smokies 3 Birmingham 1...Series concludes Wednesday night in Birmingham and the Smokies return home to begin a five-game set with Biloxi on Thursday.
Southern League Baseball:Birmingham 4 Smokies 3...Tennessee drops third straight despite three pitchers combining for 15 strikeouts.
ORHS TE commits to Sun Devils
Oak Ridge High School tight end Darel Middleton, a highly sought-after recruit, announced on Twitter Monday that he has committed to play college football at Arizona State, choosing the Sun Devils over Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and Oregon. Middleton will be a senior this season and will begin his senior campaign at home against Clinton on August 21st.
Ex-AC Mav RB to be honored
Recently-graduated Anderson County High School running back Matt Fox, a punishing runner who led the state in rushing each of the past two seasons, is one of six East Tennessee athletes who will be honored on August 4th during the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Fox is one of three Male Athlete of the Year honorees. Three female athletes will also be recognized. Fox will play his college football at ETSU.
Ex-CHS standouts moving on
Two recently-graduated Clinton High School athletes have announced their post-secondary education plans and both are following their dreams, albeit on completely different paths. Sean Fitzpatrick, who played both football and baseball for the Dragons, has signed to continue his academic and baseball careers at Hiwassee College. Aaron Watson, a football standout who was also an All-Academic performer, will follow in his father's footsteps and fulfill his own aspirations by enlisting in the US Air Force. Congratulations to both of these outstanding young men and good luck in your future endeavors.
CHS Season Ticket package sales dates: Clinton High School Football Season tickets are ready for purchase! For the convenience of the community, the CHS Cheer Booster Club will be available on Tuesday, July 7 from 5:30-8 at the Clinton Community Center, Thursday, July 9 from 11-5 at the Xtreme Automotive on Hiway Drive, Thursday July 9 from 10-2 at Hoskins and Friday July 10 from 10-2 at Hoskins for our fans to come by and pick out their seats/tickets. You will also have a chance to purchase ticket packages on Saturday July 11th from 9 am to 2 pm at Crossroads Coffee Shop next to Marathon Gas at the intersection of Highways 61 & 95. For more information they can contact Cheerleading Booster Club at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember this is what is included the CHS football season ticket packages: This season Clinton High School is selling football season tickets in a package deal. For $60.00 you will receive 5 tickets, a parking pass, a Dragon Card, a free oil change, and a hot dog for each game, plus $2.00 off hat or visor, $20.00 off any $100.00 merchandise purchase and a free lanyard with t-shirt purchase. 1200 of these packages are available.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday/Monday at Daytona...Dale Earnhardt Junior finished the Coke Zero 400 on Monday morning in the same spot he started in Sunday night Ė at the front of the field. His Number-88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet dominated the race, leading ninety-six laps including the final forty-five trips around the two-point-five-mile Daytona International Speedway oval. As Earnhardt took the checkered flag, contact between Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick triggered a multi-car crash that sent Austin Dillonís Chevrolet hurtling into the catch fence along the frontstretch. The impact separated the engine block from his racecar, which landed upside down back on the track. Dillon climbed out and walked away from the scene Ö Rain delayed the start of the race by some four hours and it ended after 2:30 a.m. (ET). Earnhardt started from the pole and after briefly yielding the lead to Dillon Ė who started second, he moved in front at Lap-9. Earnhardt passed teammate Jimmie Johnson to take his final lead of the night forty-five laps from the finish and kept his Hendrick Chevrolet in front the rest of the way in posting his second win of the season and his fourth career Cup Series victory at ďThe World Center of Racing.Ē The winning margin over runner-up Johnson was twelve one-hundredths of a second. Hamlin was credited with third place, Harvick fourth and Kurt Busch was fifth. Dillon finished seventh despite his spectacular crash at the end of the race, which was extended to an overtime restart by a two-car accident involving Sam Hornish Junior and Jamie McMurray.
NASCAR X-Finity Series Saturday at Daytona...For the tenth time in fifteen races this year, a Sprint Cup regular has driven to Victory Lane in the X-FINITY Series. Austin Dillon got the best of Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott on an overtime restart Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, driving off to his third win of the season. Dillon started seventh in the forty-car field and led just nine laps, but he kept the Number-33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet out front for the final eight trips around the two-point-five-mile oval in notching his fifth career victory. The race ended under caution after rookie Daniel Suarezís accident along the frontstretch on the final lap. Sadler took second place and Elliott was third with Kasey Kahne and Benny Gordon completing the top five. Suarez started from the pole and led only six laps, finishing fifteenth after his last-lap mishap Ö The race included seven cautions for twenty-four laps. There were two twelve-car accidents in the final fifteen laps. Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon Ė who entered the weekend running first and second, respectively, in the standings Ė were among the victims. Buescher came out of it with a twelfth-place finish, fourteen spots ahead of Dillon. Elliott climbed into second place and trails Buescher by thirty-four points heading into the next race next weekend in Sparta, Kentucky.
Southern League Baseball: Friday...Smokies 6 Montgomery 5...Saturday...Birmingham 4 Smokies 1...Sunday...Birmingham 9 Smokies 4
Southern League Baseball:Smokies 4 Montgomery 2...A doubleheader will be played Friday at Smokies Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 6 pm.
The next sales date for Clinton High School football season ticket packages will be at Crossroads Coffee Shop next to Marathon Gas. Sat, 7/11 from 9-2.
Southern League Baseball:The Tennessee Smokies' home game against Montgomery Wednesday was postponed by rain and is scheduled to be made up as part of a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 pm Thursday at Smokies Stadium.
CHS football tix on sale at Xtreme Automotive Thursday
Clinton High School football season tickets are available. For the convenience of the community, the CHS Cheer Booster Club will be available on Thursday, July 2 from 11-5 at the Xtreme Automotive on Hiway Drive for our fans to come by and pick out their seats/tickets. For more information they can contact Cheerleading Booster Club at email@example.com. This season Clinton High School is selling football season tickets in a package deal. For $60.00 you will receive 5 tickets, a parking pass, a Dragon Card, a free oil change,and a hot dog for each game, plus $2.00 off hat or visor, $20.00 off any $100.00 merchandise purchase and a free lanyard with t-shirt purchase. 1200 of these packages are available.
SOUTHERN LEAGUE BASEBALL: Smokies starter RHP Ryan Williams kept the BayBearsí hitters off balance over six innings, allowing just one run on six hits and striking out six for his third straight quality start. However, he would not factor into the decision, as Stewart Ijames cracked a pinch-hit, two-run home run to lead Mobile to a 3-2 win over Tennessee on Monday night at Hank Aaron Stadium. With the loss, the Tennessee Smokies dropped to 3-2 in the yearís second leg and currently sit in a tie with the Birmingham Barons for second place in the Southern League North Division after five games. The Montgomery Biscuits hold a one game lead in the division with a 4-1 record. Overall, the Smokies saw their record fall to 42-32. The victory gave the BayBears their second straight win, as they currently sit at 2-3 and 36-38 overall.
Southern League baseball: Friday...Smokies 9 Mobile 4...Sunday...Gm 1 Smokies 5 Mobile 4/Gm 2 Mobile 7 Smokies 3
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Sonoma...Kyle Busch took a giant step along his ďComeback TrailĒ on Sunday with a victory at Sonoma Raceway. After missing the first eleven races of the season while recovering from injuries suffered in February at Daytona International Speedway, Busch returned to competition last month. And in just his fifth start since then, he steered his Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota around race leader Jimmie Johnson with five laps remaining and kept it there the rest of the way to notch his thirtieth career Cup Series victory and first since March 2014 in Fontana, California. Busch benefitted from a late caution brought about by Casey Mearsí broken axle. A trip to pit road for four fresh tires put Busch in prime position to chase down Johnson and others who remained on the track with old rubber. From the drop of the green flag on the final restart, Busch quickly began his march toward the front and easily moved past Johnson for his final lead of the day. The margin of victory over older brother Kurt was a half-second, marking the first time that the Busch brothers finished one-two in Sprint Cup Series competition. Clint Bowyer ran third with regular-season points leader Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano completing the top five. Johnson held on for sixth place Ö Pole sitter A-J Allmendinger led just one lap and was slowed by an issue with his fuel system that forced him off the pace, leading to a thirty-seventh-place finish Ö Defending race winner Carl Edwards placed fortieth in his bid for back-to-back victories Ö Five-time Sonoma winner Jeff Gordon finished sixteenth on Sunday in what was most likely his final race on the two-mile Northern California road course.
OR basketball now a family affair
Oak Ridge High School announced Wednesday that they have hired Paige Green, the wife of boys' basketball coach Aaron Green, as the next coach of the Lady Wildcat basketball program. This will be her first head coaching job at the high school level but has an extensive basketball background, including her time as a standout player as Bradley Central High School and then later at Vanderbilt University. She will succeed David Scott, who stepped down earlier this year to spend more time with his family.
Southern League Baseball: Smokies 8 Mississippi 0
CHS football season ticket packages offered: This season Clinton High School is selling football season tickets in a package deal. For $60.00 you will receive 5 tickets, a parking pass, a Dragon Card, a free oil change,and a hot dog for each game, plus $2.00 off hat or visor, 2$0.00 off any $100.00 merchandise purchase and a free lanyard with t-shirt purchase. 1200 of these packages are available.
Southern League: Monday...Smokies 5 Jacksonville 1
Southern league Baseball: Friday...Jacksonville 2 Smokies 0...Saturday...Smokies 12 Jacksonville 3...Sunday...Smokies 4 Jacksonville 1
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Michigan...Kurt Busch
completed his familyís weekend sweep of the two races at Michigan
International Speedway with a victory in Sundayís rain-shortened Quicken
Loans 400 Ė one day after Kyle won the trackís X-FINITY Series race.
Kurt Busch had his Number-41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in front of
the field when the raceís fourth red flag was displayed for rain that
persisted throughout the afternoon over Michiganís Irish Hills. Itís
Buschís twenty-seventh career win, second this season and third at M-I-S
Ė for three different car owners: Jack Roush in 2003, Roger Penske in
2007 and now Gene Haas in 2015. Dale Earnhardt Junior finished second
and Martin Truex Junior third, giving Chevrolet a sweep of the top three
spots for the third race in a row and six of the last seven. Matt
Kenseth (Toyota) and Joey Logano (Ford) completed the top five. Pole
sitter Kasey Kahne led only the second lap of the race and finished
fifteenth. Busch took the lead on Lap-133 when Kyle Larson was forced to
pit after stretching his fuel as far as he could. Five laps later, the
skies opened up and NASCAR subsequently called the race sixty-two laps
short of its scheduled distance Ö With his third-place finish, Truex
became the first Cup Series driver to open the season with fourteen
top-ten finishes in the first fifteen races since Hall of Famer Richard
Petty in 1969 Ė eleven years before Truex was born Ö After winning in
NASCARís most recent visit to Michigan in August 2014, Jeff Gordon
finished twenty-first on Sunday in his bid for back-to-back victories
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Michigan...Kyle Busch made a
triumphant return to the X-FINITY Series on Saturday at Michigan
International Speedway, passing Chase Elliott for the lead four laps
from the finish and keeping his Number-54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in
front the rest of the way. It was Buschís first series start since he
was injured February 21st in the season opener at Daytona International
Speedway. His margin of victory over Elliott was a half-second. Kyle
Larson finished third as Sprint Cup Series drivers grabbed six of the
top ten finishing positions. Points leader Chris Buescher and Elliott
Sadler completed the top five. Pole sitter Joey Logano finished seventh
after leading a race-high fifty-four laps Ö With his fourth-place
finish, Buescher stretched his points lead to twenty-five over Ty
Dillon, who ran thirteenth in Saturdayís race Ö Itís Buschís
seventy-first career win and his second at M-I-S, the first coming in
2004 Ö Saturdayís race included thirteen lead changes among seven
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday at Gateway...Race leader Tyler Reddick missed a shift on the final restart of the night Saturday at Gateway Motorsports Park, opening the door for Cole Custer to record his first win of the season. After steering his Junior Motorsports Chevrolet into the lead, Custer kept it there over the final six laps Ė beating rookie Spencer Gallagher to the checkered flag by eight-tenths of a second. Johnny Sauter took third place with rookies John Hunter Nemechek and Cameron Hayley completing the top five. Daniel Hemric and Austin Theriault (TERRY-oh) finished ninth and tenth, respectively Ė giving rookies five of the ten top finishing positions Ö Reddick placed eighth and cut into the championship lead of Matt Crafton, whose advantage is now just twelve points after a twenty-first-place finish.
Southern League: Jacksonville 5 Smokies 2
Southern League baseball: The Tennessee Smokiesí scheduled contest against the Birmingham Barons on Wednesday afternoon was canceled due to unplayable field conditions resulting from a malfunction of Smokies Stadiumís sprinkler system. The game will not be made up since both teams are not scheduled to play against each other during the remaining first half of the Southern League campaign. Overnight Tuesday, the Smokiesí sprinkler system malfunctioned, causing parts of the field to take on water. Following several attempts by the Smokiesí grounds crew to repair the field throughout the day Wednesday, a decision was made by personnel from both clubs to not play the game. Fans with ticketís for this afternoonís scheduled contest may redeem their tickets at the Smokies Ticket Office for any remaining 2015 Smokies home game. The clubís full rainout policy can be found online at www.smokiesbaseball.com. Tennessee now hits the road for a five-game series against the Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, with the series opener set for Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. The Smokies will then return to Smokies Stadium for a five-game series against the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:05 p.m. As part of that five-game homestand, Tennessee will also play in their first ever nationally televised contest on Thursday, June 18 on CBS Sports Network. As part of a special offer, fans who purchase a 12 or 30-pack ticket voucher plan will receive two free tickets to that eveningís contest, while purchasers of a six-pack voucher plan will receive one free ticket to that eveningís contest. Tickets for all remaining Smokies home games are still available, and can be purchased online at www.smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.
Southern League: Birmingham starting pitcher Frankie Montas fired a seven-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 game one victory over the Smokies, while Tennessee DH Kyle Schwarber smashed his 13th homer of the season as part of a five-run third inning in a 7-5 game two toppling of the Barons as the two clubs split their doubleheader on Tuesday evening at Smokies Stadium. With the split, the Smokies moved their record in 2015 to a 32-27 mark, while the Barons remained one game below the .500 clip with a 29-30 record. As a result of the draw and Chattanoogaís victory in their first game of their twinbill, the Smokies will remain at least two games behind the Lookouts for first place in the North Division standings with 11 games left. Tennessee and Birmingham are set to finish their five-game series with a Wednesday matinee on Super Splash Day, with first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m. As part of the Super Splash Day festivities, fans can expect to get wet and possibly soaked with water-themed on-field contests throughout the afternoon. The Smokies are expected to give the ball to RHP Ivan Pineyro (4-3, 3.61) in the series finale, while the Barons are anticipated to send RHP Tyler Danish (4-2, 3.92) to toe the rubber.
Southern League: Monday's Birmingham at Tennessee game at Smokies Stadium was postponed by rain but will be made up as part of a doubleheader starting Tuesday at 5 pm.
Southern League Baseball: Friday...Chattanooga 6 Smokies 5...Saturday...Birmingham 4 Smokies 3...Sunday...Birmingham 1 Smokies 0 (11 innings)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Pocono...After weeks of knocking on the door to Victory Lane, Martin Truex Junior finally pushed it open Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. The driver of the Number-78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet had led the most laps in each of the last three events this season, but circumstances kept him from ending a winless streak that was approaching two years. That changed Sunday, when Truex once again led the most laps Ė ninety-seven Ė and closed the deal on his third career Cup Series victory. It ends a sixty-nine-race winless streak dating back to June 23, 2013, in Sonoma, California. Truexís margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick was nearly a second-and-a-half with Jimmie Johnson finishing third Ė giving Chevrolet a sweep of the top three spots for the second week in a row and the fifth time in the last six races. Joey Logano placed fourth in a Ford with pole sitter Kurt Busch completing the top five Ö Harvickís second-place finish was his eighth of the season through the first fourteen races in defense of his 2014 Sprint Cup championship. It came on crew chief Rodney Childersí 39th birthday. Harvick leads the standings by thirty-nine points over Truex. Harvick and Johnson are the only drivers with multiple wins this year as the regular season heads into its second half Ö After sweeping both Pocono races last year, Dale Earnhardt Junior was bidding to become the first driver to win three straight on ďThe Tricky TriangleĒ since Tim Richmond in 1986 and 1987. He fell short Sunday, coming home in eleventh place.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday at Texas...Matt Crafton darted away from Daniel Suarez on the nightís final restart and drove off to his third victory of the season on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. After starting from the outside of the front row, Crafton quickly moved to the front of the field Ö leading a race-high seventy-seven laps in posting his eighth career win and second on the Fort Worth oval. His margin of victory over Suarez was a half-second with John Wes Townley, Johnny Sauter and rookie Austin Theriault (TERRY-oh) completing the top five. In 2014, Crafton became the first driver in the twenty-year history of the Truck Series to win back-to-back championships. His ThorSport Racing team is well on its way to a potential third straight title. Crafton has won three of the seasonís first seven races and leads the standings by twenty-five points over Tyler Reddick. Heís ahead of last yearís championship pace. After seven races of the 2014 campaign, Crafton was second in points with two wins Ö Rookie Erik Jones started Fridayís race from the pole and led sixty-eight of the first eighty-four laps before pitting with a voltage problem. His Kyle Busch Motorsports pit crew had trouble locating a spare battery and Jones returned to competition one lap down, finishing the night in fifteenth place.
Southern League baseball: Although he did not get the start, Smokies‚Äô 1B Wes Darvill was the star of the game on Tuesday night, as he came off the bench to pick up three hits, including a home run, drive in four runs. The infielder finished a triple shy of the cycle in Tennessee‚Äôs 9-2 victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field. With the win, the Smokies improve their record to 29-23 on the first half of the season. Chattanooga‚Äôs loss drops them to 29-21 in the season‚Äôs opening half. Thanks to their victory, Tennessee is now one game back of first place in the Southern League North Division entering tomorrow afternoon‚Äôs contest. The Smokies will continue their divisional battle against Chattanooga this afternoon.
Southern League baseball: Leading by a run entering the seventh, the Smokies' bats exploded for nine runs, bringing 18 batters to the plate, on just six hits, as Tennessee captured the first game of a crucial five-game series against the Chattanooga Lookouts on Monday night (6/1) at AT&T Field. The big inning propelled the Smokies to a resounding 13-3 win. With the victory, the Smokies improve their record to 28-23 on the season. Chattanooga‚Äôs loss drops them to 29-20 on the 2015 campaign. Tennessee‚Äôs win pull them to within two games of the Lookouts for first place in the Southern League North Division. The Smokies will continue their battle against Chattanooga tonight. The Southern League‚Äôs leader in earned run average, RHP Frank Batista (5-1, 1.51 ERA) is expected to make the start for Tennessee. RHP Alex Wimmers (2-0, 5.54 ERA), who gave up a season-high nine runs and ten hits to the Smokies on April 25, is slated to get the ball for the Lookouts.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Dover‚Ä¶Jimmie Johnson easily managed three late restarts that helped send the race past its scheduled distance Sunday afternoon at Dover International Speedway, driving away to his series-leading fourth win of the season. It‚Äôs also the six-time champion‚Äôs tenth victory on ‚ÄúThe Monster Mile,‚ÄĚ easily topping the track‚Äôs all-time win list. Among active drivers, Jeff Gordon is second with five. Johnson beat runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by a half-second with Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne and Aric Almirola completing the top five. Johnson started fourteenth and led just once all day ‚Äď the final twenty-three laps in the Number-48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Johnson‚Äôs seventy-fourth career Cup Series victory lifted him from fifth to third in the 2015 regular-season standings. He trails leader Harvick by seventy-six points. Martin Truex Junior led a race-high 131 laps and finished sixth to maintain his hold on second place. He‚Äôs forty-four points off the pace heading into the next race next weekend in Pocono, Pennsylvania ‚Ä¶ With the win, Johnson becomes the first driver with back-to-back victories in Dover‚Äôs springtime Cup Series race since Hall of Famer Bobby Allison won two straight in 1982 and 1983 ‚Ä¶ Chevrolet claimed the top four finishing positions in Sunday‚Äôs race and eight of the top ten. The only non-Chevy cars in the top ten were Almirola‚Äôs Ford and Clint Bowyer‚Äôs Toyota, which placed ninth ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs race included fifteen lead changes among nine drivers ‚Ä¶ There were seven cautions for forty laps.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Dover‚Ä¶Roush Fenway Racing‚Äôs Chris Buescher is heating up right along with the late-spring temperatures, posting the second win in his last three starts on Saturday afternoon at Dover. Buescher drove underneath rookie teammate Darrell Wallace Junior for his only lead of the day ten laps from the finish and kept the Number-60 Ford in front the rest of the way ‚Äď following his May 17th victory in Iowa with his third career win. Buescher‚Äôs pass for the lead came with contact as he brushed the left-front of Wallace‚Äôs car, resulting in a cut tire and an unscheduled pit stop that left the driver of the Number 6 Roush Fenway Ford with a seventeenth-place finish. Buescher‚Äôs margin of victory was a whopping eleven-point-four seconds over runner-up Matt Kenseth with Regan Smith, Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne completing the top five. The win enabled Buescher to stretch his lead in the standings to fifteen points over Ty Dillon, who finished eighth in Saturday‚Äôs race.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday at Dover‚Ä¶Tyler Reddick charged past race leader Erik Jones eight laps from the finish and kept his Number-19 Ford in front the rest of the way Friday evening at Dover to notch his second victory of the year. Reddick, who also won the season opener in Daytona, beat runner-up Daniel Suarez by one-point-two seconds. Jones held on for third place with rookie Daniel Hemric and points leader Matt Crafton completing the top five. Pole sitter Ryan Blaney led thirty-three laps en route to a seventh-place finish ‚Ä¶ The victory lifted Reddick into second place in the standings. He now trails Crafton by eleven points with Jones sliding to third, fourteen off the pace ‚Ä¶ Friday‚Äôs race included fifteen lead changes among eight drivers ‚Ä¶ There were eight cautions for forty-one laps.
Southern League: (Friday) Smokies 10 Mobile 8...(Saturday) Smokies 7 Mobile 3...(Sunday) Mobile 5 Smokies 1
Southern League baseball: Mobile starting pitcher Aaron twirled seven shutout innings, yielding only three hits and keeping Tennessee hitters off balance all night, while catcher Matt Pagnozzi‚Äôs second-inning two-run base knock proved to be plenty of run support as the BayBears blanked the Smokies 3-0 on Thursday evening at Smokies Stadium. Mobile rose their record back above the .500 mark to 23-23 with the win, while Tennessee dropped to 25-22 on the season as a result of the loss. The Smokies entered this evening three and a half games back of the North Division leading Chattanooga Lookouts, and are at risk of falling back to four and a half behind the Lookouts depending on the outcome of Chattanooga‚Äôs matchup with the Biloxi Shuckers.
Blair (7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO) dazzled in his exceptional outing, earning his fourth victory to improve to 4-2 after allowing three hits in seven shutout frames, adding a lone walk while fanning four batters. The right-hander faced the minimum through the first 4.2 innings before allowing a two-out single to 1B Anthony Giansanti, with the only blemish before that point a free pass in the first inning to RF Bijan Rademacher. Rademacher later in the frame would be caught stealing second to end the initial frame and keep Blair‚Äôs pace.
Tennessee and Mobile are set to face off again in the third game of their five-game set on Friday evening, with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. in Kodak. RHP Corey Black (1-2, 3.24) is anticipated to toe the rubber for the Smokies in the middle game of the series, while the BayBears are slated to counter with RHP Braden Shipley (2-3, 5.11).
ORT: Scott resigns as Lady ‚ÄėCat hoops coach: According to our partners at Oak Ridge Today, David Scott has resigned as the Lady Wildcats basketball coach to spend more time with his family, including his 10-year-old autistic son and his younger daughter. Scott is also a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Robertsville Middle School. The Lady Wildcats were 19-12 this past season, and the young team made it to the Region 2-AAA quarterfinals.
Southern League baseball: After Smokies left fielder Jacob Hannemann‚Äôs amazing game-saving diving catch down the left field line with the bases loaded in the twelfth, catcher Kyle Schwarber slapped a walk-off single into right field in the very next inning to propel Tennessee to a 3-2 extra-inning walk-off victory over the Mobile BayBears on Wednesday night at Smokies Stadium. With the series-opening victory, the Smokies improved to 25-20 on the season, and remain 4.5 games behind the Chattanooga Lookouts for first place in the Southern League North Division. The defeat dropped the BayBears below the .500 mark at 22-23 on the 2015 campaign.
New cross-country coach at CHS: Senior Master Sergeant (retired) Timothy J. Kumes has been a faculty member at Clinton High School as one of two United States Air Force Junior Reserves Officer Training Course (AFJROTC) instructors since the fall of 2011. Prior to taking the Clinton High Dragon Cross Country Coaching job, he was co-coach of the Clinton High boys and girls golf teams. Kumes is thrilled to have the chance to coach a sport that has been a big part of daily routine over the course of his 24 years of service in the United States Air Force ‚Äď- and one that stretches all the way back to his days as a youth. ‚ÄúAs part of family that included two other brothers as well as serving in the USAF, running and sports is a piece of me that I couldn‚Äôt imagine my life with out‚ÄĒmy day is not complete unless I have some type of physical activity‚Ä¶and most days, it includes at least a 5 mile run.‚ÄĚ
Kumes background in running and sports started in his days of youth in the back yard of his parent‚Äôs Rhode Island home but peaked as a High School athlete‚ÄĒplaying basketball and football. Upon graduation from West Warwick High School, Kumes attended Plymouth State for one semester before enlisting in the military. It wasn‚Äôt until his enlistment, that Kumes found his fondness for distance running. ‚Äú It was so simple‚ÄĒlace up your sneakers and go run.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúI find the simplicity of the run to be amazing‚ÄĒbut also the inner challenge that each run can bring as an internal motivator to be better each time.‚ÄĚ Kumes believes that each day is the chance to improve EVERY aspect of your LIFE. Coach Kumes believes that running is the key to balance in his life‚Äôs MIND, BODY and SPIRIT mantra.
Coach Kumes has been active in the local running scene over his 16 years living in East Tennessee. He has run the Knoxville Marathon multiple times as well as the Whitestone 30k race. Kumes believes that the self-discipline honed over his years of military service as well as the time and preparation his has put into his own running life will serve the Dragon Cross Country team in ways that will be evident during his first season at the helm. According to AD Jenkins, ‚ÄúKumes is a dedicated faculty member who spends his days motivating and inspiring all he comes in contact with ‚Äď and he will do GREAT things with the cross country team.‚ÄĚ
Outside of teaching at Clinton High, Kumes enjoys spending time with his wife Taiya and two daughters ‚Äď Avery Grace age 10 and Camryn Reese age 7.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Charlotte: Carl Edwards managed his fuel mileage to perfection and stretched it all the way to Victory Lane on Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, giving Joe Gibbs Racing a sweep of the track‚Äôs May races. Edwards‚Äô win comes eight days after teammate Denny Hamlin drove to victory in the Sprint All-Star Race. Edwards led the first two laps of Sunday‚Äôs ‚ÄúSix Hundred‚ÄĚ and the last twenty-one in notching his twenty-fourth career win and first at C-M-S. It snaps a thirty-one-race winless streak for Edwards, whose last victory came in June of last year at Sonoma, California. On Sunday, he beat runner-up Greg Biffle to the checkered flag by four-point-seven seconds. Dale Earnhardt Junior finished third with pole sitter Matt Kenseth fourth. Martin Truex Junior led a race-high 131 laps but needed a late pit stop for fuel and finished fifth. Thirty-seven laps from the finish, it looked like Hamlin was on his way to sweeping both Charlotte races on his own. But a loose wheel forced him to pit and give up the lead to Truex, who then surrendered the lead himself with his late fuel stop ‚Ä¶ Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick finished ninth, which was enough for him to maintain a commanding lead in the standings with the regular season nearing its halfway point. Harvick‚Äôs advantage over second-place Truex is forty-one points heading into the next race next weekend at Dover, Delaware ‚Ä¶ Team Penske‚Äôs Joey Logano, celebrating his 25th birthday on Sunday, came home in thirteenth place ‚Ä¶ The race included twenty-two lead changes among nine drivers.
NASCAR X-Finity Series Saturday at Charlotte: For the eighth time in eleven races this year, a Sprint Cup Series driver is taking home the winner‚Äôs trophy in the X-FINITY Series. It was Austin Dillon‚Äôs turn on Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He zipped past race leader Denny Hamlin fifteen laps from the finish and kept the Number-33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in front the rest of the way to notch his fourth career win and second this season. Dillon had the dominant car, leading all but thirty-seven of the two hundred laps. His margin of victory over Hamlin was more than two-and-a-half-seconds. Kasey Kahne finished third with Regan Smith and rookie Darrell Wallace Junior completing the top five ‚Ä¶ The top four drivers in the X-FINITY Series standings entering the weekend all held their positions. Chris Buescher‚Äôs lead is now four points over Ty Dillon, who finished seventh in Saturday‚Äôs race ‚Äď four spots in front of Buescher ‚Ä¶ Austin Dillon‚Äôs four career X-FINITY Series wins have all come from the pole ‚Äď twice at Kentucky Speedway, earlier this season in Las Vegas and now in Charlotte. This is Dillon‚Äôs first C-M-S win in five starts ‚Ä¶ After a four-year dry spell, Chevrolet has now won Charlotte‚Äôs spring race the last two seasons ‚Äď with Kyle Larson last year and Austin Dillon in 2015.
Southern League: (Friday) Smokies 4 Montgomery 1...(Saturday) Montgomery 2 Smokies 1...(Sunday) Montgomery 4 Smokies 0...(Monday) Smokies 6 Montgomery 4.
Southern League Baseball: Tennessee loaded the bases twice and put the go-ahead run on base in the ninth inning, but the last second rally fell short, as the Montgomery Biscuits took the first game of this five-game series, winning 4-3 on Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium. The loss was the second straight for Tennessee and their fourth in five contests. Overall, the Smokies drop 22-19 on the season and are now 3.5 games back of the first place Chattanooga Lookouts, who had their game suspended. With the win, Montgomery improves their record to 18-23 on the year. Tennessee will look to get back in the win column tonight, as the Southern League-leader in ERA, RHP Frank Batista (4-0, 1.28 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for the Smokies. The right-hander is projected to be opposed by Montgomery‚Äôs strikeout artist RHP Jaime Schultz (4-1, 2.01 ERA). After this five-game road trip, the Smokies will return home to square off against the Mobile BayBears, the Arizona Diamondbacks‚Äô Double-A affiliate, on Wednesday, May 27. Gates open at 6 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2016: The Class of 2016 was announced Wednesday in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The latest group of honorees is made up of O. Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports, Incorporated ‚Äď who was this year‚Äôs leading vote getter, appearing on sixty-eight percent of the ballots ‚Ä¶ Terry Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion and one of only six drivers with titles in two different decades ‚Ä¶ Curtis Turner, called by some the ‚ÄúBabe Ruth of stock car racing‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Jerry Cook, who won six NASCAR Modified championships ‚Äď including four straight from 1974 through 1977 ‚Ä¶ and Bobby Isaac, the 1970 Cup Series champion whose forty-nine career poles rank him tenth all-time ‚Ä¶ Smith promoted his first stock car race in Midland, North Carolina, at the age of 18. He built Charlotte Motor Speedway, which became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports ‚Äď the company that today owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting twelve Sprint Cup Series races and the annual All-Star event ‚Ä¶ Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR superstar. Early in his career, he was known as the ‚ÄúIce Man‚ÄĚ for his coolness under pressure. Later, he became known as the ‚ÄúIron Man‚ÄĚ with a streak of 655 consecutive Cup Series starts. Labonte‚Äôs total of 361 top-ten finishes ranks tenth all-time ‚Ä¶ Turner was among the fastest, most colorful competitors in NASCAR‚Äôs early years. He competed in the sanctioning body‚Äôs very first Cup Series race ‚Ä¶ known then as Strictly Stock ‚Ä¶in 1949 at Charlotte. Many of Turner‚Äôs victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals before NASCAR‚Äôs superspeedway era ‚Ä¶ At the height of his career, Cook battled another driver from his hometown of Rome, New York, for Modified supremacy: nine-time champion and Hall of Fame driver Richie Evans, which makes Cook‚Äôs accomplishments even more impressive ‚Ä¶ In 1969, Isaac captured an amazing nineteen poles in NASCAR top series, which still stands as a single-season record. After two straight top-ten finishes in the final point standings, Isaac was crowned Cup Series champion in 1970 ‚Ä¶ The Class of 2016 will be formally inducted on January 22nd of next year ‚Ä¶ joining Bobby Allison, Buck Baker, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Bill France Junior, Bill France Senior, Jack Ingram, Dale Inman, Dale and Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, Fred Lorenzen, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, David Pearson, Lee Petty, Maurice Petty, Richard Petty, Fireball Roberts, Wendell Scott, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Rex White, Glenn and Leonard Wood and Cale Yarborough ‚Äď who are already enshrined as members of the Hall‚Äôs first six classes.
Southern League baseball: Jackson Generals‚Äô right fielder Jabari Blash recorded three hits and smashed two of the team‚Äôs three solo homers, while Smokies designated hitter Willson Contreras drove in two runs with two doubles as Jackson toppled Tennessee 6-4 in front of 6,158 fans on Wednesday afternoon at Smokies Stadium. Jackson‚Äôs series finale victory ended the six-game set with a split, as each team won three games, while the Generals also improved their record to 17-21 on the year. With the loss the Smokies fell to 22-18 on the year, with the series split marking the first time this season the club has failed to outright win a home series. Tennessee will now head to Montgomery, Alabama for a five-game road series with the Montgomery Biscuits, the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Game one of the five-game set is scheduled for Thursday evening at 8:05 p.m. ET at Riverwalk Stadium, with the Smokies expected to give the ball to LHP Jeffry Antigua (2-1, 2.60). Montgomery, meanwhile, is anticipated to send RHP Bradin Hagens (1-4, 4.85) to toe the rubber. After an off-day, the Smokies will then return home to Smokies Stadium on Wednesday, May 27 to begin a five-game series with the Mobile BayBears. First pitch of the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks‚Äô Double-A affiliate is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Southern League Baseball Tuesday May 19th: Tennessee starting pitcher Ivan Pineyro continued his hot stretch, tossing his third quality start in a span of four outings by blanking Jackson over seven frames, while shortstop Elliot Soto tallied three hits and added a walk to lead the Smokies to a 3-0 shutout win over the Generals on Tuesday evening at Smokies Stadium. The victory improved Tennessee‚Äôs overall mark in 2015 to 22-17 and keeps the club within two games of the Chattanooga Lookouts for first place in the Southern League‚Äôs North Division. The defeat for Jackson, meanwhile, dropped the Generals‚Äô season clip to 16-21.
Southern League Baseball Monday May 18th
Jackson 11 Smokies 0...Series continues Tuesday at 7:05 pm at Smokies Stadium.
Southern League baseball: Friday...Smokies 9 Montgomery 4...Saturday...Smokies 6 Jackson 3...Sunday...(Game 1) Smokies 5 Jackson 0...(Game 2) Jackson 1 Smokies 0 (8 innings).
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday at Charlotte‚Ä¶Kasey Kahne beat rookie Erik Jones in a photo finish Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, Kahne's Number-Double Zero Junior Motorsports Chevrolet failed post-race inspection. It was found to be too low on the front sides and too high on the right rear. Any NASCAR penalties will be announced early this week. Kahne edged Jones by five one-thousandths of a second, tied for the second-closest finish in the twenty-one-year history of the series. Kahne now has five wins in six career Truck Series starts. He was forced to start from the rear of the field when the team changed a shock after qualifying. Jones led eighty-eight of the 139 laps in the race, which was extended to a green-white-checkered finish after a late caution caused by Daniel Hemric.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star race Saturday at Charlotte‚Ä¶Denny Hamlin ended Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race exactly where he started it - at the front of the field. Hamlin, who qualified on the pole earlier in the evening, pulled away from Kevin Harvick in the final ten-lap segment to claim victory in the annual non-points special event at Charlotte Motor Speedway ‚Ä¶ and take home the one million-dollar prize for first place. Harvick finished second with Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth completing the top five. A lightning-fast ten-point-four-second pit stop for four tires put Hamlin at the front of the field for the final restart and he remained there over the last ten laps ‚Ä¶ Kasey Kahne won the first of the night's four twenty-five-lap segments. Brad Keselowski won the next two legs with Busch winning Segment-4. Jamie McMurray, bidding to become just the third driver with back-to-back victories in the thirty-one-year history of the event, placed sixteenth ‚Ä¶ Keselowski won two of the first three segments and led a race-high forty-nine laps. But he was caught speeding on pit road during his final stop that forced him to the back of the field and out of contention ‚Ä¶ Hamlin‚Äôs final margin of victory was slightly less than one second over Harvick. The race included just seven lead changes among four drivers: Hamlin, Kahne, Keselowski and Busch ‚Ä¶ Clint Bowyer, who earned his way into the race by winning Friday‚Äôs Sprint Showdown, finished twelfth in the main event. Greg Biffle, who won the first segment of Friday‚Äôs ‚ÄúShowdown,‚ÄĚ had three pit-road speeding penalties and finished thirteenth.
NASCAR XFinity Series Sunday at Iowa‚Ä¶Chris Buescher drove past Chase Elliott following an overtime restart Sunday and took the victory at Iowa Speedway in the first ‚Äústand-alone‚ÄĚ race of the season. A late pit stop for fresh tires gave Buescher enough bite to move past the defending series champion, who was running on worn tires. Erik Jones finished third after starting from the rear of the field. Drew Herring had qualified his Number-20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on the pole Saturday while Jones remained in Charlotte. The driver change forced the team to start at the rear, but Jones had his car in the top five by mid-race and stayed there the rest of the day. Brian Scott and Ryan Blaney completed the top five ‚Ä¶ Buescher‚Äôs victory lifted him into the X-FINITY Series points lead by eight over Ty Dillon ‚Äď who entered the weekend in the top spot but slipped to second following a fourteenth-place finish ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs race included nine lead changes among just five drivers: Buescher, Elliott, Blaney, Ryan Reed and Daniel Suarez.
Local signings: Clinton High School basketball standout Jordan Whitt has signed to continue her basketball and academic careers at Cleveland State.
Oliver Springs' twin standout basketball players Rachel and Emily Griffith have signed to play and study at LMU.
Southern League: Tennessee designated hitter Willson Contreras collected three hits and join center fielder Jacob Hannemann in driving in three runs apiece, while right fielder Billy McKinney tallied two doubles and an RBI in his Double-A debut as the Smokies beat the Montgomery Biscuits with an 8-1 series-clinching victory on Thursday night at Smokies Stadium. With the win Tennessee upped their 2015 record to 18-15 while clinching the five-game set with the series finale set for tonight. The loss moved Montgomery to 15-20 on the year and was the sixth defeat in seven games for the Biscuits. Tennessee and Montgomery will conclude their five-game set Friday evening at Smokies Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for7:05 p.m. in Kodak. The Smokies are expected to give the ball to RHP Felix Pena (2-1, 2.29), while the Biscuits are slated to counter with RHP Austin Pruitt (2-3, 2.78).
Southern league Baseball: Smokies Stadium welcomed a single-day stadium record-setting crowd of 10,518 as part of their day/night doubleheader, including a single-game with Tennessee topping Montgomery 7-6 in game one, while the Biscuits beat the Smokies 14-0 in the nightcap as the two teams split their twinbill on Tuesday in Kodak. Following the day‚Äôs events, Tennessee now owns a 17-15 record this season, with the loss snapping a three-game winning streak. Montgomery, meanwhile, has recorded a 15-18 mark thus far in 2015, though the Biscuits trail the Smokies 2-1 in the series with two games remaining. An announced crowd of 7,787 witnessed the first contest as part of a Smokies Safety Day, with that number the largest recorded attendance at Smokies Stadium since the club began play there on April 20, 2000. The previous single-game high was 7,728, which was set on July 4, 2010 against the Huntsville Stars. 2,731 fans then arrived for the nightcap, during which the Smokies officially crossed the 10,000 fan mark as part of the club‚Äôs successful ‚ÄúMarch For 10K‚ÄĚ effort. As part of the doubleheader, the team honored the late Cubs legend Ernie Banks in many ways, showing highlights and photos from his Hall of Fame career, while also giving out t-shirts with ‚ÄúMr. Cub‚ÄĚ‚Äôs name on the back to the first 1,000 fans in attendance for the nightcap. The date was also significant in Banks‚Äô playing career, with the infielder blasting his 500th Major League home run 45 years ago to the day. Following an offday on Wednesday, the Smokies and Biscuits will return to action on Thursday, May 14 for the fourth game of their five-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Tennessee is expected to give the nod to RHP Ivan Pineyro (2-1, 3.38), while Montgomery is slated to send RHP Jared Mortensen (2-1, 1.89) to the hill. It‚Äôs another Coors Light Thirsty Thursday, with drink specials available throughout most of the game, including select draft beers and small sodas available for only one dollar. It‚Äôs also Zombie Prom Night presented by Wahoo Zipline, with fans encouraged to dress up appropriately for the occasion. Tickets for tomorrow‚Äôs contest and all other remaining Smokies home games are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.
Southern League baseball: Smokies southpaw starter Jeffry Antigua joined forces with relievers Michael Jensen and P.J. Francescon for the club‚Äôs third shutout of 2015, while first baseman Daniel Vogelbach and designated hitter Willson Contreras hit back-to-back solo homers, as Tennessee blanked the Biscuits 4-0 on Monday evening at Smokies Stadium. The series-opening victory snaps the Smokies‚Äô three-game losing skid and improves their record to 16-14 in 2015. Montgomery, meanwhile, dropped their overall mark to 14-17 with their fourth consecutive loss. The Smokies and Biscuits will now face off in a day-night doubleheader tomorrow, as part of a tribute to the late Cubs legend, ‚ÄúMr. Cub‚ÄĚ Ernie Banks. The day‚Äôs first game is scheduled for a 11:30 a.m. as part of a Smokies Safety Day, with children from all over East Tennessee converging on Smokies Stadium and taking in a fun program designed to promote a safe and healthy lifestyle. The twinbill‚Äôs nightcap is set for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch, with the first 1,000 fans receiving an Ernie Banks T-Shirt, while the club will also attempt to set a single-day Smokies Stadium attendance record. Former Vols quarterbacks Sterling Hinton and Tony Robinson will also be on hand to sign autographs and throw first pitches, while there will also be several concessions specials. In addition, Tuesday night is also a Nexgard-Heartgard Tail Waggin‚Äô Tuesday, with fans able to bring their dogs out to the ballgame and sit out on the berm and enjoy a lovely night of baseball. Both games are scheduled to last nine innings, with a separate ticket required for each contest. Fans looking to attend the first game at 11:30 a.m. will not be able to purchase tickets online, and must buy them at the Smokies Ticket Office prior to the game. Tennessee is expected to give the nod to RHP Frank Batista (3-0, 1.19) in game one tomorrow, while Montgomery has not yet officially announced their starter. RHP Corey Black (1-1, 3.82) is then slated to take the mound in the nightcap of the doubleheader, with the Biscuits set to send LHP Blake Snell (1-0, 0.00) to the bump. Tickets for tomorrow‚Äôs contests, and all other remaining Smokies home games are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at (865) 286-2300.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Saturday at Kansas‚Ä¶Jimmie Johnson‚Äôs mastery of mile-and-a-half ovals in 2015 continued Saturday night ‚Ä¶ and into Sunday morning ‚Ä¶ at Kansas Speedway. After opting to remain on the track while others pitted during the race‚Äôs final caution, Johnson turned track position into a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane. The race was interrupted by a rain delay of more than two hours, with the six-time champion finally taking the checkered flag just past 12 midnight local time. The race was the fourth this season contested on intermediate-sized ovals and Johnson has won three of them: in Atlanta, Texas and now Kansas City. He led just once all night but it came when it counted most, over the final ten laps. His margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick was a half-second. Dale Earnhardt Junior and Jeff Gordon, teammates of Johnson‚Äôs at Hendrick Motorsports, also chose to remain on the track during that final caution and it paid off with finishes of third and fourth, respectively. Pole sitter Joey Logano completed the top five ‚Ä¶ Martin Truex Junior started fourth, led a race-high ninety-five laps and seemed poised to end a sixty-six-race winless streak. However, he needed to pit for fuel during the final caution and wound up with a ninth-place finish ‚Äď one of seventeen drivers on the lead lap with Johnson at the end of the night ‚Äď or beginning of the morning ‚Ä¶ The race was the third in a row in which Chevrolet has swept the top three positions ‚Ä¶ There were sixteen lead changes among ten drivers, with nine cautions for forty-nine laps.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday at Kansas‚Ä¶Matt Crafton managed his fuel mileage to perfection Friday night at Kansas Speedway, edging toward the front of the field while other contenders peeled off onto pit road for a splash of gas. When the checkered flag flew, Crafton was rewarded with his second victory of the season and the seventh of his career as he seeks a third straight series championship. The margin of victory over runner-up Ryan Newman was a whopping eight-point-three seconds. Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters and rookie Cameron Hayley completed the top five. Erik Jones started from the pole and led a race-high 151 laps. But the 18-year-old rookie needed a late pit stop for fuel and he finished eleventh. Daniel Suarez and Tyler Reddick also made late-race fuel stops and wound up sixth and thirteenth, respectively ‚Ä¶ With top-ten finishes in all four of his starts this season, Crafton has opened up a seventeen-point lead over Reddick in the driver standings with Jones holding third place ‚Äď eighteen points off the pace. Sauter and Hayley complete the top five ‚Ä¶ In 2014, Crafton became the first driver in the twenty-year-history of the series to win back-to-back championships and he‚Äôs slightly ahead of that pace this season in his bid for a third-straight crown. After four races last year, Crafton held an eleven-point lead. This year, his advantage is seventeen.
Southern League: Friday...Pensacola 3 Smokies 0...Saturday, Pensacola 5 Smokies 1
Southern League Baseball: The Smokies jumped out to a 4-0 first inning lead thanks to a three-run double by RF Bijan Rademacher and a RBI single by SS Elliot Soto, but the Blue Wahoos came back to score the games final five run. RF Jesse Winker delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth in Pensacola‚Äôs 5-4 win over Tennessee on Thursday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. Tennessee drops to 15-12 with the loss and their lead over the Chattanooga Lookouts for first place in the Southern League North Division falls to just a half-game. The third-place Montgomery Biscuits sit just a game back after their victory earlier today. With the victory, Pensacola improves their record to 9-19. Tennessee will look to stay atop the North Division tomorrow night, as RHP Ivan Pineyro (2-0, 3.25 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start for the Smokies since he tossed seven shutout innings against Birmingham on May 3. He is projected to be opposed by Pensacola‚Äôs RHP Josh Smith (2-1, 2.70 ERA). The Smokies will return home to Kodak on Monday, May 11, as they start a five-game series against the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate. Single-game tickets, as well as multi-voucher and season ticket packages are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.
Southern League baseball: Down to their final strike in game two, RF Bijan Rademacher walked with the bases loaded to tie and 1B Dan Vogelbach followed with a bases-clearing, three-run double down the right field line. Those two at-bats sparked the Tennessee Smokies to a doubleheader sweep over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, taking game one, 2-1, and rallying to win game two, 4-1. With the sweep, Tennessee stands all alone in first place in the Southern League North Division with a 15-11 record. The Chattanooga Lookouts‚Äô loss gives the Smokies a 1.5 game lead entering tomorrow. Pensacola‚Äôs two defeats dropped them to a league-worst 8-19. Tennessee will look to continue their winning ways Thursday night, as Opening Day starter RHP Corey Black (1-1, 3.51 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for the Smokies. He is projected to be opposed by Pensacola‚Äôs RHP Daniel Wright (0-4, 7.59 ERA).
Smokies fall on road: Smokies LHP Jeffry Antigua got off to a roaring start, driving in two runs and no-hitting the Blue Wahoos through five innings, but a four-run sixth inning kept Tennessee out of the win column, as Pensacola defeated the Smokies 4-3 on Tuesday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. With the defeat, Tennessee drops to 13-11 on the season and are now tied with the Chattanooga Lookouts for first place in the Southern League North Division. Pensacola‚Äôs victory improves their record 8-17 on the year, but they still maintain the worst record in the circuit. Tennessee will try to regain complete control of first place in the North Division tomorrow night, as they square off against Pensacola in a doubleheader. RHPFrank Batista (2-0, 1.48 ERA) is scheduled to get the ball in game one against Pensacola‚Äôs RHP Robert Stephenson (0-3, 8.31 ERA). RHP Timothy Adelman(0-3, 2.42 ERA) is projected to get the start for the Blue Wahoos in game two. Tennessee‚Äôs starter for the nightcap has not yet been announced.
Southern League Baseball: Smokies OF Pin-Chieh Chen reached base all seven times he came to the plate, which included five walks to tie a Southern League record, but for the second time in the series Tennessee fell in walk-off fashion, as the Birmingham Barons clinched the five-game series with a 4-3 win in 13 innings. Tennessee‚Äôs loss drops them to 13-10 on the season, while Birmingham‚Äôs record reaches .500 again at 12-12. After today‚Äôs contest, the Smokies remain one game ahead of the Chattanooga Lookouts for first place in the Southern League North Divison and 1.5 games ahead of the third-place Barons. Tennessee will try to return to their winning ways tomorrow night, as they travel to Pensacola to take on the Blue Wahoos, the Cincinnati Reds Double-A affiliate, in a six-game, five-day series. LHP Jeffry Antigua (0-0, 2.53 ERA) is scheduled to make his second Double-A start of the season. He is projected to be opposed by Pensacola‚Äôs RHP Keyvius Sampson (0-0, 2.25 ERA). The Smokies will return home to Kodak on Monday, May 11, as they start a five-game series against the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate. Single-game tickets, as well as multi-voucher and season ticket packages are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday Talladega‚Ä¶Dale Earnhardt Junior got some timely blocks from teammate Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps and drove on to his first victory of the season Sunday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson ‚Äď who finished second ‚Äď first turned back a late charge from Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, and then kept Paul Menard in his rear-view mirror as Hendrick Motorsports teammate Earnhardt took the checkered flag. It‚Äôs ‚ÄúJunior‚Äôs‚ÄĚ sixth win at Talladega but first since 2004. He finished fifteen one-hundredths of a second in front of Johnson with Menard, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Junior completing the top five. Earnhardt led six times for a race-high sixty-seven laps including the final twenty-seven trips around the mammoth Alabama oval. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon led forty-seven laps, but a pit-road speeding penalty during the second half of the race forced him off the pace and he finished thirty-first ‚Ä¶ Trevor Bayne‚Äôs spin on Lap-47 triggered Talladega‚Äôs ‚Äúbig one,‚ÄĚ a fifteen-car wreck along the backstretch. Kyle Larson, David Ragan, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick were among the drivers who got swept up in the accident. The red flag was displayed for more than eleven minutes while the safety crew cleaned up the track. Harvick rallied to finish eighth, more than enough for him to maintain a comfortable lead in the regular-season standings. He enjoys a forty-point advantage over Truex heading into the next race next weekend at Kansas Speedway ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs race included twenty-seven lead changes among fifteen drivers ‚Ä¶ There were six cautions for just twenty-three laps.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Talladega‚Ä¶For the seventh time in nine races this season, a Sprint Cup Series driver has gone to Victory Lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Joey Logano took another turn in the Winner‚Äôs Circle on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, notching his third win of the season and second in the last three races. Logano passed Elliott Sadler for his final lead of the day four laps from the finish and kept the Number-22 Team Penske Ford in front the rest of the way, posting the twenty-fourth X-FINITY Series win of his career. Logano‚Äôs margin of victory over runner-up Brian Scott was thirteen one-hundredths of a second. Pole sitter Austin Dillon finished third with J-J Yeley and Joey Gase completing the top five. Logano led five times for a race-high forty laps, giving Ford its first series win at Talladega since David Ragan in 2009 ‚Ä¶ Ty Dillon finished eighth, which was good enough for him to maintain his hold on first place in the standings. He entered the weekend with an eight-point lead over defending series champion Chase Elliott and exits with a nine-point advantage over Chris Buescher, who finished sixth on Saturday. A flat tire sent Elliott into the wall about one-third of the way through the race and though he was running at the finish, Elliott placed thirty-seventh and slipped from second in the standings into a tie for third with rookie Darrell Wallace Junior.
Southern league baseball
Friday: Birmingham 3 Smokies 2...Saturday: Smokies 6 Birmingham 5 (10 innings)...Sunday: Smokies 3 Birmingham 0
Smokies announce schedule changes: The Tennessee Smokies have announced a makeup date for their postponed contest against the Jackson Generals, in addition to a new start time for Monday, May 18‚Äôs matchup with Jackson. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Sunday, May 17, with the first game of the day beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET, while the next day‚Äôs matchup on Monday, May 18 will now begin at 11:30 a.m. Both games on Sunday, May 17 are scheduled to last seven innings as a result of the twinbill, which will begin at 1:05 p.m. ET, with a 30 minute break in between contests. Tickets for Sunday‚Äôs regularly scheduled game will be good for both of that day‚Äôs matchups. The extra game will make up the Smokies and Generals‚Äô series finale matchup in Jackson, Tennessee that was postponed by rain on April 24. The game will be made up at Smokies Stadium, as opposed to Jackson, since the only time the two teams will meet again in the first half of the season comes in Kodak between May 16th and 20th. In addition, the Smokies-Generals tilt on Monday, May 18 will now start at 11:30 a.m. to make up for a Smokies Safety Day that was rescheduled due to rain. Schools from around East Tennessee will attend that day‚Äôs contest, learning about living a safe and healthy lifestyle through a fun program. That day‚Äôs game was originally slated for a 7:05 p.m. start time. The above dates will be part of a rare 11-game homestand for the Smokies that will begin on Monday, May 11, and also include a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, May 12 against the Montgomery Biscuits, the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. More details on that day‚Äôs events and festivities will be announced soon. Tickets for all remaining home contests at Smokies Stadium, are on sale and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300. Multi-game voucher packs and season tickets are also still available for purchase.
Smokies fall at Birmingham: The Tennessee Smokies brought the tying runs to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings, but could not complete the comback, as the Birmingham Barons rode the arm of starter Junior Guerra to a 5-3 victory on Thursday night at Legions Field. With the loss, Tennessee drops to 11-8 on the season, while Birmingham moves back to .500 with a 10-10 first half record.After Montgomery victory, the Smokies are now just 1.5 games ahead of the Barons and Biscuits for first place in the Southern League North Division. Tennessee will look to end their losing skid tomorrow evening, as RHP Frank Batista (2-0, 1.02 ERA) is scheduled to make his fourth start of the season. He is projected to be opposed by Barons‚Äô RHP Mark Blackmar (0-2, 4.80 ERA).
Southern League Baseball: After a solid start from Tennessee starter Felix Pena, Chattanooga left fielder Adam Walker‚Äôs ninth-inning run-scoring double broke a 1-1 tie as part of a two-run frame to lead the Lookouts to a 3-1 victory over the Smokies on Wednesday afternoon at Smokies Stadium. Despite the defeat, Tennessee finishes the five-game set with a 3-2 series victory, though the club fell to 11-7 on the year. Chattanooga with the victory improved to a 9-10 tally, moving them to within just one game from the .500 mark.
Southern League Baseball: Tennessee center fielder Jacob Hannemann homered in his very first Double-A and Smokies at bat, while designated hitter Kyle Schwarber drove in three more runs and homered, and shortstop Elliot Soto brought home the decisive run with a go-ahead run-scoring single in the Smokies‚Äô 7-6 series-clinching win over the Chattanooga Lookouts on Tuesday evening at Smokies Stadium. The win improves Tennessee‚Äôs overall record to 11-6 in 2015 and maintains their first place lead in the Southern League North Division. With the defeat, Chattanooga dropped to 8-10 overall this season and has fallen in seven of their last nine contests. The series concluded this afternoon at Smokies Stadium.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Richmond‚Ä¶Kurt Busch ended Toyota‚Äôs early-season dominance of Sprint Cup Series short tracks with a dominating day of his own Sunday, steering the Number-41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet to victory in the rain-delayed event at Richmond International Raceway. The race sponsor had won the year‚Äôs first two short-track races ‚Ä¶ Denny Hamlin at Martinsville Speedway and Matt Kenseth at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Busch gave Chevrolet its turn in Gatorade Victory Lane by leading a race-high 291 of the four hundred laps, including the final forty-seven trips around the three-quarter-mile oval. His margin of victory over runner-up Kevin Harvick was three-quarters of a second with Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano completing the top five. Chevrolet swept the top four spots in the Toyota-sponsored race, which was originally scheduled for Saturday night ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs victory snapped a thirty-five-race winless streak for Busch, who sat out the first three races this season under NASCAR suspension. His last victory had come in March 2014 at Martinsville. Busch started third in Sunday‚Äôs race and took his first lead at Lap-95, showing the way for all but fifteen of the final 306 laps ‚Ä¶ Logano started from the pole and led the first ninety-four circuits en route to his eighth top-10 finish in nine starts this year ‚Ä¶ Harvick remains atop the regular-season point standings, enjoying a thirty-three-point advantage over Logano. The top five drivers entering the weekend all held their positions with Martin Truex Junior, Johnson and Brad Keselowski making up the rest of the top five.
NASCAR XFinity Series Friday at Richmond‚Ä¶Sprint Cup drivers continue to dominate the 2015 NASCAR X-FINITY Series ‚Äď with Denny Hamlin the latest to pound the competition into submission Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. Cup drivers have won six of the eight races so far this season. Hamlin led all but two of the 250 laps run Friday night and coupled with Joey Logano‚Äôs victory last weekend in Bristol, Cup Series regulars have now led 548 of the 550 laps run in the last two events. In fact, it was Logano who finished second to Hamlin at R-I-R on Friday ‚Ä¶ three-point-seven seconds behind the Number-20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota as the checkered flag flew. Regan Smith took third as the highest-finishing X-FINITY Series driver. Erik Jones and defending series champion Chase Elliott completed the top five. Ty Dillon finished ninth, which was good enough for him to take over sole possession of the points lead. He entered the weekend tied with Chris Buescher, who labored to a twentieth-place finish three laps down to Hamlin at the end of the night ‚Ä¶ During a round of pit stops midway through the race, a spark from a lug nut ignited a fire during fueling of Brendan Gaughan‚Äôs Number-62 Chevrolet. Richard Childress Racing crew members Anthony O‚ÄôBrien, the rear tire changer, and gas man Josh Wittman were transported to a local hospital. Wittman was released, but O‚ÄôBrien remained hospitalized for further evaluation. In a statement released Saturday night, the team said he was in good condition.
Southern League Baseball: Tennessee designated hitter Kyle Schwarber racked up three more hits, including a mammoth solo home run, while starter Felix Pena tied a career-high with eight strikeouts, as the Smokies forced a rubber match on Friday with a 9-2 win over the Jackson Generals on Thursday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. With the victory, the Smokies improved to 8-5 on the young season. That puts Tennessee in a tie with the Biloxi Shuckers, the Milwaukee Brewers‚Äô Double-A affiliate, for the second-best record in the Southern League. With the win, Tennessee is now 1.5 games ahead of the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays‚Äô Double-A affiliate, for first place in the North Division. Tonight‚Äôs loss dropped Jackson to 4-8 on the year. Schwarber (3-6, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), who tied a career-high with four hits on Wednesday night, followed up that performance with another impressive outing on Thursday. The Smokies‚Äô DH collected his second straight multi-hit game including a RBI double off the wall in left-center field, as well as a moonshot solo blast to lead off the eighth inning. The Smokies will return home to Kodak on Saturday, April 25, as they start a five-game series against the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Minnesota Twins Double-A affiliate. Single-game tickets, as well as multi-voucher and season ticket packages are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.
Southern League Baseball Wednesday April 22nd: Smokies catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Dan Vogelbach were among seven batters to record two or more hits, with Schwarber tying a single-game career-high with four hits and Vogelbach driving in five RBI as part of an 18-hit barrage in Tennessee‚Äôs 13-4 victory over the Jackson Generals on Wednesday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. The victory snapped the Smokies‚Äô two-game losing skid, and improved their record to a 7-5 mark in 2015. The Generals, meanwhile, fell to 4-7, though they continue to maintain a 2-1 lead in the series with game four set for Thursday evening. Tennessee will look to even the series in the fourth game of their series on Thursday and force a rubber match, with RHP Felix Pena expected to get the start for the Smokies. The Generals meanwhile, are anticipated to send LHP Tyler Pike to the hill, with first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET from Jackson. Tennessee returns home on Saturday, April 25, to begin a five-game series with the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. There will be a special Saturday night fireworks show at the stadium presented by Pepsi, Coors Light, Dollywood‚Äôs Splash Country, WVLT, and the Knoxville News Sentinel. It‚Äôs also Super Hero Night at the ballpark, with the first 1,000 kids age 12 and under receiving a Smokies Super Hero Cape. First pitch for that evening‚Äôs game is set for 7:05 p.m.
CHS AD honored: During a meeting Tuesday of the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, Clinton High School Athletic Director Dan Jenkins was named Tennessee Athletic Director of the Year. Congratulations to Dan Jenkins and keep up the good work!
PrepXtra Basketball teams announced: The News-Sentinel All-PrepXtra Basketball Team for the 2014-2015 was announced Wednesday. The boys' First Team includes Oak Ridge's tee Higgins, who was also voted Sophomore of the Year. The boys' Second Team includes Trey Torres of Campbell County and Higgins' Oak Ridge teammate Geevantay Gee was named Third Team. On the girls' side, only two local players made the KNS cut, Oliver Springs twins Emily and Rachel Griffith, who were named Third Team.
Southern league Baseball Tuesday April 21st: Jackson 5 Smokies 3
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Bristol‚Ä¶Matt Kenseth darted away from Jeff Gordon on an overtime restart Sunday night to claim victory at Bristol Motor Speedway, ending a fifty-one-race winless streak dating back to September 2013. Kenseth becomes the first driver to win a Cup Series race from the pole position in ‚ÄúThunder Valley‚ÄĚ since Carl Edwards in 2008. For the second year in a row, Bristol‚Äôs spring race ‚Äď scheduled to be run during the day ‚Äď was pushed to primetime by persistent rain. It did get started at mid-afternoon, but only twenty-two laps were run before showers returned. The green flag flew again shortly before 7 p.m. (ET) ‚Äď some five-and-a-half hours after the scheduled starting time. Edwards showed his strength Sunday night by leading four times for eighty-six laps in his bid for a second straight spring win at B-M-S. But his night ended on a sour note when he got loose while racing side-by-side with Gordon and slid into the outside wall, which brought out the final caution and led to a twenty-fourth-place finish for the Roush Fenway driver. That set Kenseth up to race for the win on the final restart, which he did after waiting out yet one more brief rain delay. He got the jump on Gordon, who then lost a position to teammate Jimmie Johnson before settling for third place. Ricky Stenhouse Junior and Ryan Newman completed the top five ‚Ä¶ Kenseth led four times for forty-seven laps in his Number-20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, including the final thirty-four trips around the Tennessee half-mile ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs race included twenty-one lead changes among just six drivers.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Bristol‚Ä¶Joey Logano rolled to a dominating victory Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, leading all three hundred laps en route to his twenty-third career win and second of the season. The Team Penske driver started from the outside of the front row, got the jump on pole sitter Erik Jones at the drop of the green flag and kept his Number-22 Ford in front the rest of the afternoon. The margin of victory was a little more than one second over rookie Daniel Suarez with Chris Buescher, Jones and Ty Dillon completing the top five. Defending series champion Chase Elliott finished sixth. Logano‚Äôs victory marked the fifth time in seven races this season that a Sprint Cup Series regular has won in the X-FINITY Series. The three hundred laps led by Logano are a series record and this is Team Penske‚Äôs second straight win on the Tennessee half-mile. Ryan Blaney had driven the ‚Äú22‚ÄĚ to victory last summer in NASCAR‚Äôs most recent visit to ‚ÄúThunder Valley‚ÄĚ ‚Ä¶ Logano‚Äôs win was an early birthday present for crew chief Greg Erwin, who turned 45 on Sunday ‚Ä¶ Buescher‚Äôs third-place race finish enabled him to pull into a first-place tie in the X-FINITY Series standings, sharing the spot with Dillon. They lead third-place Elliott by twelve points.
Southern League: The Smokies held off a late-inning Blue Wahoos charge, while first baseman Dan Vogelbach reached base three times and left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen threw out the potential tying run at home plate in Tennessee‚Äôs 5-4 triumph over Pensacola 5-4 in front of 3,323 fans on Opening Night at Smokies Stadium. The series-opening victory improved the Smokies‚Äô record to a 4-2 overall mark in 2015, while the Blue Wahoos fell to 1-4. The win in the club‚Äôs home opener also gives Tennessee a three-game winning streak that dates back to April 12. Next up for the Smokies and Blue Wahoos is a Friday night doubleheader, with first pitch of the twinbill opener set for 5:30 p.m. ET. Tennessee is expected to give the ball to RHP Ivan Pineyro (0-0, 6.75) in game one, while Pensacola is scheduled to send out RHP Daniel Wright (0-1, 20.25). LHP Jeffry Antigua (NR) is expected to get the nod in the nightcap for the Smokies, while RHP Tim Adleman (0-1, 1.50) is slated to take the hill for the Blue Wahoos. It‚Äôs the first Remote Area Medical Friday Fireworks night, with post-game fireworks courtesy of Pepsi, Coors Light, Dollywood‚Äôs Splash Country, WVLT and the Knoxville News-Sentinel. It‚Äôs also the first College Colors Night of the season, with spring football in full swing in Tennessee. Fans are encouraged to dress in their favorite college colors at the game, with fight songs from various schools playing throughout the evening. Tickets for that game and the rest of the five-game homestand are on sale, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300. Multi-game voucher packs and season tickets are also still available.
OSHS names new football coach: Larry Green, who has spent the past nine seasons at the middle school level, has been promoted to coach of Oliver Springs High School football team. The announcement was made Monday, just about a week after the departure of Wiley Brackett, who resigned after nine seasons on April 6. It‚Äôs the first high school football coaching job for Green, who compiled a 47-33 record during his nine middle school seasons. He takes over a program that finished 3-7 last year, but made a run to the Class 2A semifinals in 2011. Green told the News-Sentinel that he has retained the staff from the previous regime, including defensive coordinator Matt Green and offensive coordinator Jason Hammock.
ORHS super-soph offered again: Oak Ridge High School sophomore wide receiver Tee Higgins has picked up another major scholarship offer. Higgins, who has also already been offered by Tennessee, LSU, Florida State and others, received a scholarship offer from reigning national champions Ohio State on Tuesday. Higgins‚ÄĒwho is also an outstanding basketball player‚ÄĒis rated a four-star football prospect and the 38th overall player nationally in the 2017 class by 247 Sports. He‚Äôs listed as the No. 3 prospect in Tennessee, and top-ranked wide receiver.
Southern League baseball: Smokies starting pitcher Frank Batista, in his first professional start since 2010, dominated the Mississippi Braves, holding the home team to just three hits over six innings, while 3B Christian Villanueva cranked two home runs as Tennessee took the rubber match of the season opening series, 8-1 at Trustmark Park on Monday afternoon. The victory for the Smokies (3-2, 3-2) gave Tennessee its first series victory on the road at Trustmark Park since April 8-12, 2010. Coincidentally, that was also the last time the Smokies began their season in Pearl, Miss. With the loss, the Mississippi Braves (2-3, 2-3) dropped back below .500. Batista (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO), who entered the 2015 season as the Smokies all-time leader in saves with 53, picked up the victory in his first professional start since he took the loss as a member of the Full-A Peoria Chiefs on September 5, 2010. After allowing a run in the bottom of the first inning, the right-hander sat down 15 of the next 16 Braves he faced, including 12 in a row to end his outing. Villanueva (2-3, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB), who collected two hits and three RBI on Sunday, once again made his presence felt at the plate. In addition to stellar defense, Villanueva unleashed two massive home runs, a solo shot in the sixth and a two-run blast in the eighth, in the victory. It was the fourth multi-home run game in Villanueva‚Äôs seven-year career and his first since he slammed two as a member of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on May 21 of last year. Right-hander Corey Black (1-0, 1.80 ERA), who picked up the win for the Smokies on Opening Day, is projected to make the start for Tennessee in their home opener on Wednesday afternoon. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, are expected to counter with the top prospect in their organization, right-hander Robert Stephenson (0-1, 4.76 ERA). The Pilot Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 11:15 a.m. ET on the TuneIn Radio app and SmokiesBaseball.com, leading up to a11:30 a.m. ET first pitch at Smokies Stadum. Opening night will be the very next evening on Thursday, April 16, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Smokies Stadium. Single-game tickets, as well as multi-voucher and season ticket packages are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Saturday at Texas‚Ä¶Jimmie Johnson led a quartet of Hendrick Motorsports cars with top-ten finishes Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, winning his second consecutive race on the mile-and-a-half Fort Worth oval. Johnson led a race-high 128 laps, including the final fourteen ‚Äď beating runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by one-point-one seconds. The three other Hendrick drivers finished third ‚Ä¶ that was Dale Earnhardt Junior, seventh ‚Ä¶ for Jeff Gordon, and eighth ‚Ä¶ Kasey Kahne. The victory enabled Johnson to extend his recent mastery of T-M-S that now shows four victories in the last six races dating back to November 2012. Coupled with his win there during last fall‚Äôs post-season Chase, Johnson is the first driver with back-to-back Cup Series victories in ‚ÄúThe Lone Star State‚ÄĚ since Denny Hamlin swept both races in 2010. Joey Logano finished fourth on Saturday with Brad Keselowski completing the top five. Pole sitter Kurt Busch led twice for forty-five laps and finished fourteenth, one of twenty-five drivers running on the lead lap with Johnson at the finish ‚Ä¶ With Johnson‚Äôs victory Saturday night, Chevrolet is now three-for-three on mile-and-a-half intermediate ovals this season with the six-time champion also winning in Atlanta and Harvick victorious in Las Vegas. Overall, the streak is six going back to the end of the 2014 season ‚Ä¶ Johnson‚Äôs Number-48 Chevrolet was steady and strong throughout the race, but it was a four-tire pit stop on the final caution that helped him eventually chase down Jamie McMurray to grab his ninth ‚Äď and final ‚Äď lead of the night.
NASCAR X-Finity Series Friday at Texas‚Ä¶For the second year in a row, it‚Äôs an 18-year-old rising star who claimed victory at Texas Motor Speedway. In 2014, Chase Elliott held off a pack of Sprint Cup Series veterans to record his first career win. Friday night, Erik Jones took his turn in the spotlight ‚Äď beating Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Junior to the checkered flag, and notching his first X-FINITY Series victory in just his ninth start. Jones qualified on the pole and led a race-high seventy-nine laps, including the final fifty trips around the Fort Worth oval. His margin of victory over runner-up Keselowski was one-point-six seconds with Earnhardt, Regan Smith and Austin Dillon completing the top five. Darrell Wallace Junior was the highest-finishing rookie, in sixth place ‚Ä¶ Texas native Brennan Poole, whose hometown is The Woodlands, turned in a respectable thirteenth-place finish one day before his 24th birthday ‚Äď making just his third career X-FINITY Series start and the first on his ‚Äúhome track.‚ÄĚ
Southern League Baseball: Thanks to dominant performances by catcher Kyle Schwarber and first baseman Dan Vogelbach, the Tennessee Smokies captured their first win of the season and their first win on Opening Day since 2012, as they defeated the Mississippi Braves, 7-2 at Trustmark Park on Thursday evening. In their Smokies (1-0, 1-0) debuts, Schwarber and Vogelbach each went 1-for-3 with a run batted in. After third baseman Christian Villanueva drove in Tennessee‚Äôs first run of the season with a bases loaded walk in the third, Vogelbach ripped a single to left. Centerfielder Albert Almora scored and Schwarber came across on a throwing error by Braves‚Äô left fielder Matt Lipka to make it 3-0, Smokies. Right-hander Ivan Pineyro will get the start for the Smokies Friday against fellow right-hander Tyrell Jenkins. First pitch at Trustmark Park is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET. Fans can listen to the broadcast online on smokiesbaseball.com, with the Pilot Pregame Show beginning at 7:45 p.m. ET. The Smokies‚Äô first home game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 15 against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Opening night will be the very next evening on Thursday, April 16, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Smokies Stadium. Single-game tickets, as well as multi-voucher and season ticket packages are still available, and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 865-286-2300.
Violations lead to changes in Harriman hoops: Harriman High School is searching for a new boys‚Äô basketball coaching staff after Head Coach Wesley Jones resigned and two assistants were removed from their positions following an investigation into the program by the school and the TSSAA because of violations involving AAU basketball. Harriman self-reported the violations of the basketball sports calendar and recommended the penalties, which also included suspending spring practice for the boys‚Äô program this school year. Assistant coaches Quentin Young and Darren Payne both coach AAU teams during the offseason, which isn‚Äôt illegal as long as their rosters don‚Äôt include players from a coach‚Äôs regular-season team. The TSSAA says Young had impermissible contact in an AAU coaching capacity with Harriman players during four practices and six games. Payne coached Harriman players in three practices and three games, including one tournament, according to TSSAA. The self-imposed ban on spring practice includes weight training, conditioning and the use of open facilities. The TSSAA didn‚Äôt take any further action and Harriman was not fined, placed on probation banned from the postseason because of the penalties. Jones resigned last week and school officials say he had prior knowledge of the violations. The assistants were officially notified after the school received a letter from TSSAA on Tuesday.
Oliver Springs‚Äô football coach resigns: Oliver Springs High School head football coach Wiley Brackett has resigned in order to spend more time with his family. The 38-year-old Brackett compiled a 42-57 record in nine seasons on the Bobcats‚Äô sideline and led the team to its deepest playoff appearance, a 2011 run to the state 2A semifinals. A search is already underway for his successor.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Martinsville‚Ä¶Denny Hamlin steered Toyota into Victory Lane for the first time in six races this season, leading the final twenty-eight laps Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin grabbed his final lead of the day from Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth and kept the Number-11 Camry in front the rest of the way, holding off a late charge from Brad Keselowski to notch his twenty-fifth career Cup Series win and fifth on the Virginia half-mile. Keselowski pulled right up on Hamlin‚Äôs rear bumper on the final lap and lightly tapped him. Hamlin wiggled slightly but kept the wheels straight and beat his Team Penske rival to the checkered flag by eighteen one-hundredths of a second. Pole sitter Joey Logano finished third. Kenseth took fourth place and David Ragan was fifth ‚Äď giving Joe Gibbs Racing three of the top five finishing positions ‚Ä¶ Kevin Harvick led a race-high 154 laps and placed eighth, ending his streak of finishing either first or second in eight straight races dating back to last season. Harvick did hold onto the top spot in the standings, now with a twenty-four-point lead over Logano heading into the Easter break ‚Ä¶ 2014 X-FINITY Series champion Chase Elliott made his Sprint Cup Series debut in the Number-25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He started twenty-seventh and placed thirty-eighth, running at the finish but more than seventy laps down to Hamlin after a pair of early-race incidents forced him to the garage area for repairs. Elliott is running a handful of Cup races this season in advance of 2016, when he‚Äôll replace Jeff Gordon behind the wheel of the Number-24 Chevrolet.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday at Martinsville...Joey Logano charged past race leader Matt Crafton following an overtime restart Saturday and kept his Number- 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford in front the rest of the way, notching his first career Camping World Truck Series victory in his seventh start. Logano led a race-high 150 laps after starting from the pole, beating runner-up Crafton to the finish by forty-three one-hundredths of a second. Rookie Erik Jones, Johnny Sauter and Tyler Reddick completed the top five. The runner-up finish by Crafton enabled him to climb into first place in the earlyseason standings, now two points in front of Reddick ‚Ä¶ Logano‚Äôs victory snapped Toyota‚Äôs five-race Martinsville winning streak that stretched back to October 2012. It‚Äôs also Ford‚Äôs first Truck Series win on the Virginia half-mile since Ricky Craven was victorious in October 2005 ‚Ä¶ Saturday‚Äôs race included fourteen lead changes among five drivers ‚Ä¶ There were nine cautions for sixty-one laps, nearly a quarter of the race distance.
High School swimming news: Clinton swimmer Nicholas Bowling signed a scholarship to swim for Union College on Thursday.
High School basketball news: Clinton PG Miranda Love on Thursday signed a scholarship to continue her basketball career and her education at Hiwassee College. Congratulations and good luck to Miranda Love!
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SUNDAY AT CALIFORNIA‚Ä¶Brad Keselowski charged past race leader Kurt Busch following the second overtime restart Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, snapping Kevin Harvick‚Äôs two-race winning streak and notching his first victory of the 2015 season. Keselowski‚Äôs last-lap pass brought him his only lead of the day en route to his seventeenth career victory but first on the two-mile Southern California oval. It was a runner-up finish for Harvick, who has now opened the season with five straight finishes of first or second ‚Äď a NASCAR record. Busch started from the pole and grabbed third place, leading a race-high sixty-five-laps in his second start after serving a NASCAR suspension. Paul Menard and Ryan Newman completed the top five with Dale Earnhardt Junior sixth, giving Chevrolet five of the top six finishing positions. They were all lined up behind the Number-2 Team Penske Ford, which carried Keselowski to his first Sprint Cup Series victory since October of last year at Talladega Superspeedway. Two late cautions for debris sent Sunday‚Äôs race nine laps past its scheduled distance ‚Ä¶ Harvick‚Äôs second-place finish enabled him to extend his lead over Joey Logano to twenty-eight points in the standings with Martin Truex Junior, Earnhardt and Keselowski rounding out the top five. Logano finished seventh and Truex eighth in Sunday‚Äôs race, which included nineteen lead changes among nine drivers ‚Ä¶ Sunday‚Äôs victory was just the second at A-C-S as a car owner for Roger Penske, whose only other victory out there came with Rusty Wallace behind the wheel in 2001.NASCAR X-FINITY SERIES SATURDAY AT CALIFORNIA‚Ä¶The early-season dominance of Sprint Cup Series drivers in X-FINITY Series races continued Saturday with Kevin Harvick‚Äôs victory at Auto Club Speedway. It‚Äôs the fourth time in five races this year that a Cup Series competitor has taken the trip to Victory Lane ‚Ä¶ and twice, now, for Harvick. He led a race-high one hundred laps in the Number-88 Junior Motorsports Chevrolet, including the final sixty-four, beating runner-up Brendan Gaughan by more than three seconds. Pole sitter Erik Jones, defending series champion Chase Elliott and Chris Buescher completed the top five. For Harvick, Saturday‚Äôs win was the forty-sixth of his career but first in nineteen tries on the two-mile Fontana, California, oval ‚Ä¶ With his fifth-place finish, Buescher has pulled within five points of leader Ty Dillon in the standings. Dillon started sixteenth, failed to lead a lap and finished fourteenth in Saturday‚Äôs race ‚Äď one
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunday at Phoenix‚Ä¶Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick shredded the field Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, notching his fourth straight victory on the Arizona oval. He started from the pole and led a race-high 224 laps, including the final seventeen. Harvick, who‚Äôs now won four of his last six starts overall dating back to last season, pulled away from Jamie McMurray on the final restart of the day and cruised to his thirtieth career victory. McMurray finished second, a little more than a second behind at the checkered flag. Ryan Newman placed third with Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch completing the top five. The race included just eight lead changes among four drivers: Harvick, McMurray, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Harvick‚Äôs four-race winning streak at P-I-R began in November 2013. He swept both races there last season and was back in Gatorade Victory Lane again Sunday afternoon. Harvick has now finished either first or second in his last seven starts going back to last fall‚Äôs race in Texas ‚Ä¶ Sunday marked the first start of the season for Busch, one of Harvick‚Äôs teammates at Stewart-Haas Racing. He was forced to sit out the first three races while serving a NASCAR suspension. He comes away from the weekend with a top-five finish after qualifying eighth on Friday ‚Ä¶ Keselowski led fifty-two laps en route to a sixth-place finish. Logano started on the front row alongside Harvick and placed eighth. He led thirty-five laps, including the first twenty-five of the race ‚Äď which was slowed by caution ten times for fifty-three laps.
NASCAR X-Finity Series Saturday at Phoenix‚Ä¶Joey Logano delivered Team Penske‚Äôs second straight X-FINITY Series win at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday afternoon with a dominating performance on the one-mile desert oval. He started from the pole and led all but twenty-four of the two hundred laps in posting his twenty-second series win and second at P-I-R. Logano, following teammate Brad Keselowski‚Äôs victory there last fall, led the final sixty-five laps and beat runnerup Matt Kenseth to the checkered flag by two-point-nine seconds. Kevin Harvick finished third and Austin Dillon was fourth as Sprint Cup Series drivers swept the top four spots. Erik Jones placed fifth, subbing for the injured Kyle Busch. The top three drivers in the early-season standings held their positions. Ty Dillon finished sixth on Saturday and stretched his lead to fourteen points over Chris Buescher, who placed fourteenth. Daytona race winner Ryan Reed finished thirteenth to hold third place in the standings.
TSSAA approves reclassification, realignments: Thursday, the TSSAA Board of Control finalized its realignment of the state‚Äôs high school football teams and there are plenty of changes affecting our local teams. The state‚Äôs new Class 6A will be made up of the 31 largest schools in the state by enrollment, except for Maryville, which successfully petitioned the state to move from 5A to 6A. All 32 6A teams will qualify for the postseason while the remaining Division I classifications will send the top four finishers in each Region to the postseason. The realignment will remain in effect for at least the next two academic years, beginning in 2015. Locally, the Clinton Dragons are in the new Region 3-5A with Campbell County, Oak Ridge, Farragut, Karns and Lenoir City. Anderson County has moved to Class 4A and will play in Region 2 with Fulton, Carter, Catholic, Central and Union County. The list of regions served by this radio station is below, with local teams in italics.
Class IA, Region I
Cloudland High School, Roan Mountain
Concord Christian, Knoxville
Hancock Co. High School, Sneedeville
Oakdale High School, Oakdale
Unaka High School, Elizabethton
Class IA, Region 2
Coalfield High School, Coalfield
Greenback High School, Greenback
Harriman High School, Harriman
Jellico High School, Jellico
Midway High School, Kingston
Oneida High School, Oneida
Sunbright High School, Sunbright
Class 2A, Region 2
Austin-East High School, Knoxville
Grace Christian Academy, Knoxville
Oliver Springs High School, Oliver Springs
Rockwood High School, Rockwood
Sweetwater High School, Sweetwater
Tellico Plains High School, Tellico Plains
Wartburg Central High School, Wartburg
Class 3A, Region 2
Alcoa High School, Alcoa
Christian Academy of Knoxville, Knoxville
Kingston High School, Kingston
Loudon High School, Loudon
McMinn Central High School, Englewood
Scott High School, Huntsville
Class 4A, Region 2
Anderson Co. High School, Clinton
Carter High School, Strawberry Plains
Fulton High School, Knoxville
Knoxville Catholic High School, Knoxville
Knoxville Central High School, Knoxville
Union Co. High School, Maynardville
Class 5A, Region 2
Gibbs High School, Corryton
Heritage High School, Maryville
Knoxville Halls High School, Knoxville
Powell High School, Powell
South Doyle High School, Knoxville
West High School, Knoxville
Class 5A, Region 3
Campbell Co. High School, Jacksboro
Clinton High School, Clinton
Farragut High School, Knoxville
Karns High School, Knoxville
Lenoir City High School, Lenoir City
Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge
Class 6A, Region 1
Bearden High School, Knoxville
Bradley Central High School, Cleveland
Dobyns Bennett High School, Kingsport
Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville
Jefferson Co. High School, Dandridge
Maryville High School, Maryville
Science Hill High School, Johnson City
William Blount High School, Maryville
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