Volquez looks to continue revival against Giants (Yahoo Sports) - PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Edinson Volquez's renaissance began with a simple game of catch. Hughes overtakes Moore in title race - Richard Hughes passes Ryan Moore in the jockeys' title race after completing a double at Salisbury. Coleman 'doesn't care' about critics - Wales manager Chris Coleman says he will never win over some supporters and is "not bothered" by the criticism. Paceman Mills set to leave Essex - England Lions paceman Tymal Mills is to leave Essex, while spinner Tim Phillips retires after 16 seasons at Chelmsford. 'Pardew can handle Magpies pressure' - Alan Pardew can handle the pressure at Newcastle despite calls for him to leave the club, say two former team-mates. Dettori to ride Ruler in Arc - Frankie Dettori will ride 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World in Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Dettori to ride Ruler at Arc - Frankie Dettori will ride 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of The World at Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. McIlroy named PGA Player of Year - World number one Rory McIlroy is voted PGA Tour Player of the Year for a second time after winning two majors in 2014. Charging documents show Phelps DUI tied to alcohol (Yahoo Sports) - Michael Phelps can't seem to break a disturbing pattern. McIlroy wins PGA Tour player of the year (Yahoo Sports) - ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) -- One incredible month of golf was enough for Rory McIlroy to be voted PGA Tour player of the year.

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Power Rankings: Three drivers, one top spot. Who gets it? [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 30, 2014, 8:35 pm]
Our Power Rankings are far from a scientific formula. In fact, it's the perfect blend of analytics and bias against your favorite driver. And you think we dislike your favorite driver, so it makes sense, right? Direct all your complaints to us at happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com. 1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 1): We're not going to dump Keselowski from the top spot for finishing second. That's cruel and unusual punishment. While we realize we're suggesting tweaks to a Chase system that seems like it's constantly tweaked, but what if drivers got three bonus points for the next round of the Chase for winning a race in the previous round? It'd give Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon something to show for the their wins, even if it was a net of three positions in a single race. 2. Joey Logano (LW: 2): We mentioned this in Happy Hour on Thursday, but Logano has quietly become one of the best in the Cup Series. That was evident again on Sunday where he finished fourth. Sure, he didn't have the best car or even led a lap, but if Logano keeps this up, don't act surprised when he's going for the title at Homestead. 3. Jeff Gordon (LW: 6): This isn't a slight to Gordon putting him here. Would you really put him above Logano or Keselowski at this point? And if so, why? It's close, but the flat tire at New Hampshire puts Gordon at the third of three. He's the defending champion at Kansas and Charlotte is up after that. Gordon could tie Keselowski's win total soon, assuming Keselowski doesn't win a race. 4. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 5): Six-time's finishes in the first three races went 12th, fifth and third. Only in his world can that be considered a disappointment. I Johnson keeps that up, it should be good enough to get in the last race. An average finish of between sixth and seventh is going to be incredibly tough to beat. But we're going to go out on a limb and say Johnson wins a race in the next round. 5. Kevin Harvick (LW: 3): Harvick's season is a broken record. We all know why he

Tony Stewart says he never thought of retiring after incident with Kevin Ward Jr. [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 29, 2014, 4:07 pm]
Tony Stewart reiterated the impact that the August 9 incident with Kevin Ward Jr. has had on him and said Monday that he never considered retiring from driving after he struck and killed the 20-year-old. Stewart had his first press conference since the accident on Monday. Outside of an interview with the AP last week, it was Stewart's first public question and answer session since he struck and killed Ward in a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. While Stewart didn't consider giving up driving altogether, he said he's not sure if or when he'll ever drive a sprint car again. "I've had drivers that I race with every week and drivers that I haven't raced with for months that have said 'Don't let this keep you from doing what you love,' and this is what I've done all my life," Stewart said. "This is what I've done for 36 years. I wouldn't change anything about it. I love what I do. I love driving race cars. "But I think it might change right now as far as how much of it and what I do, but there was never a thought in my head about stopping. That would take the life out of me." An Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury didn't charge Stewart for his role in the incident. After Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo released the findings of the investigation into the incident, Stewart said that he knew it was "100 percent an accident" and that the night would stick with him the rest of his life. Stewart and Ward were racing together when Ward hit the wall. He exited his vehicle and ran down the track to confront Stewart. He was hit by the right rear tire of Stewart's car and killed. Tantillo said toxicology reports showed Ward was under the influence of marijuana and the amount was substantial enough to impair judgment. Stewart said the knowledge of those toxicology reports changed nothing about how the incident impacted him. "Honestly, for me it didn't change anything," Stewart said. "To me, a young driver lost his life and it didn't matter why or what w

Chase Watch: Kasey Kahne squeaks in to the next round as Kurt Busch misses out [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 10:32 pm]
Kasey Kahne is moving on to the next round of the Chase despite an unscheduled pit stop under green Sunday at Dover. Kahne was forced to pit on lap 163 because of an ill-handling race car. It was an unfortunately timed pit stop as the caution flag flew within 10 laps of his pit stop because of J.J. Yeley getting into the wall. He was trapped off the lead lap. "I felt like we went four (laps) down at one point when we pitted," Kahne said. "We had to pit because we had done the wavearound. We had a good Farmer's Insurance Chevy. I had a fast car. Luckily Kenny made great calls, the team prepared a great car. So I was fortunate to have that and drive our way barely back to advance." "But I had to push hard. I'm glad NASCAR let it go and let us race for it." Kahne went two laps down just past the halfway point of the race on lap 214. At that point his chances of advancing to the next round of the Chase as one of the top 12 drivers in the points standings looked slim. But thanks to the wavearound on lap 264, Kahne got one lap back and stayed there as the race went green for the last 140 laps. Kahne finished 20th but it was enough to advance because Kurt Busch slid back over the last portion of the race. With 30 laps to go, Busch's Stewart-Haas teammate Kevin Harvick passed him for 13th position. That pass, plus a few others put Kahne into the Chase. Busch ended up 18th. He didn't advance to the next Chase round along with AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffe and Aric Almirola. The 12 drivers that are still in championship contention at Kansas will have their points reset to 3,000. "It just was tight the last 100 miles," Busch said. "I felt like we were in good position to advance but you just can't expect to advance by running 15th. You have to be more competitive. We gave it a good run. We put this team together pretty late, Gene Haas believed in me to come do this." Allmendinger (13th, 2 points behind Kahne): Allmedinger simply didn't have the speed he needed to be competitive.

Jeff Gordon wins at Dover as Kevin Harvick has tire issue [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 9:52 pm]
Three of the best and most consistent drivers throughout the first 26 races won the first three races of the Chase After Kevin Harvick, the day's dominant driver, had a left-front tire problem at Dover, Jeff Gordon took advantage for his fifth Dover win and his first since 2001 at the concrete oval. Gordon is the third driver to win in the first three Chase races. The first was won by Brad Keselowski, who finished second to Gordon. The second, last week at New Hampshire, was won by Joey Logano. Keselowski has five wins this season. Gordon and Logano now have four each. They're the three winningest drivers in the Cup Series this season and, had the Chase not been in effect, all would be in the top four in the points. The race at Dover was the final race in the first round of the Chase. After the third race, the field was set to be whittled from 16 drivers to 12. The four drivers missing the next round of the Chase after Dover are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch. The win officially advances Gordon to the next round of the Chase, but it's a moot point. Barring disaster, Gordon was a lock to advance among the 12 drivers moving on in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and he would have been alive for the title at Kansas whether he was second, fifth, or tenth. "I don't know what happened to Kevin Harvick, that was unfortunate for him," Gordon said. "He was the class of the field. We tuned it to try to compete with him. When I saw him go out I knew we could compete with [Keselowski]. [Keselowski] was really good on short runs but we could run him down. Of course he made us work for it there at the end because he was so good on the short runs." The run to the finish wasn't a short one, however. The last pit stops came under green with approximately 70 laps to go and when they were done, Gordon had a 2+ second lead over Keselowski and maintained position the rest of the way. Outside of the drama surrounding the final Chase spots for drivers near the 12th

Aunt of Kevin Ward Jr. issues open letter [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 28, 2014, 4:48 pm]
Wendi Ward, the aunt of Kevin Ward Jr. and the sister of his father, issued an open letter Sunday morning on behalf of the family. The letter was read over the phone to USA Today. You can view the full letter here and below are some excerpts. Why was the toxicology report even an issue? Seems to me the wrong man was on trial. Tell me why Tony Stewart was not taken in for testing, why his car wasn't impounded. Tell me how a man the size of Kevin can make a sprint car turn to the right on impact. Tell me how a lap before (the incident) everything was fine, but the following lap was poor lighting. Tell me how a NASCAR star totally forgot what caution means. Maybe he should get a different headset so he is able to hear on the radio that the car in caution is up high, so go low. Or was he low until he rounded the corner and saw Kevin Jr. standing up for himself? An Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury did not charge NASCAR driver Tony Stewart in Ward's death on August 9. Ward was struck and killed by Stewart after he ran onto the track after exiting his vehicle to confront Stewart after a crash. When announcing the findings of the investigation into the case, Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said toxicology reports determined Ward was under the influence of marijuana and the amount was enough to impair his judgment. Tantillo said Stewart met with a drug recognition expert. Stewart was never arrested and according to New York law, a person cannot be forced to give a sample for a drug test if he or she is not under a race. This means nothing to me, but I want to say it is my understanding that pot stays in a person's system days, weeks, possibly months. Rumor has it that it may be legalized and prescribed for some patients, so then will these people have their drivers' licenses taken away because it makes you react – supposedly -- in a certain way? To me, that's not the case. It's known to mellow a person. We understand that the report showed marijuana,

Tony Stewart: incident with Kevin Ward Jr. was '100 percent an accident' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 26, 2014, 10:02 am]
Tony Stewart publicly spoke directly about the events of August 9 for the first time on Thursday and said he knew the incident that left Kevin Ward Jr. dead was "100 percent an accident." Stewart talked to the Associated Press on Thursday. While he couldn't describe what he remembered about the night on the advice of his lawyers – remember, the Ward family has strongly hinted at a civil lawsuit – he said the incident took its toll on him. "I know 100 percent in my heart and in my mind that I did not do anything wrong. This was 100 percent an accident," Stewart told the Associated Press. He told the AP that not being able to talk about the incident has prevented himself from moving forward and he's replayed the incident in his head over and over again. "You sit there and you wrack your brain, you try to analyze 'Why did this happen?'" he said. "I made myself miserable just trying to make sense of it ... I just couldn't function. I've never been in a position where I just couldn't function." An Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury announced Wednesday that Stewart would not be charged in Ward's death. Stewart and Ward were racing together in August at Canandaigua Motorsports Park when Ward hit the wall. He climbed from his car to angrily confront Stewart and was struck by the right-rear tire on Stewart's car. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said Wednesday that toxicology reports showed Ward was under the influence of a large enough amount of marijuana to impair his judgment. Stewart also hasn't left the house much. Racing in the Cup Series wasn't much of an interest to him from the time he made the decision to not drive at Watkins Glen to the Cup Series race at Bristol, the last race he missed. He returned to the track the next week at Atlanta where he made an emotional three-minute statement. "You are part of something so tragic and so unthinkable, it's hard to face anybody," he said. "It was hard to wrap my arms around this, and it still is. I have

Happy Hour: Stewart-Haas, Logano and the Chase [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 25, 2014, 8:08 pm]
Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. With the decision by an Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury to not indict Tony Stewart in Kevin Ward's death on Wednesday, things are much steadier than they could have been at Stewart-Haas Racing. Had there been a criminal trial, no matter the verdict, uncertainty would have reigned for weeks and likely months. The uncertainty isn't gone, mind you. There will still likely be sponsor meetings, especially now that the Ward family has strongly hinted at a civil lawsuit. But the uncertainty of the possibility of a civil trial is much less than in a possible criminal one. Based off the emails I've received over the past seven weeks, there will always be a segment of the fanbase that is convinced that Stewart was in the wrong on August 9, no matter what the investigators found and what the grand jury decided. But that's an unfortunate part of life. For a minority, common sense and reason aren't what they seem to many of us and a world with innumerable shades of gray is either black or white. It must be one and not the other. I think this post from August is still relevant. @NickBromberg Can we officially call Joey Logano "Sliced Bread" now? Dude is a legitimate championship contender. — Chris Nulty (@RealChrisNulty) September 25, 2014 This is on the heels of the news that Logano signed a contract extension to remain with Team Penske. And yes, this contract extension comes not even two years into a three-year deal. Think Roger Penske sees something in Logano? And if you look at Logano's race data from his time at Penske, you'll see it too. He's been one of the best drivers in the Sprint Cup Series and is now the driver that mean people thought he would be when he won as an 18-year-old at Kentucky Speedway in the Nationwide Series with Joe Gibbs Racing. Not onl

Kevin Ward Jr.'s family issues statement saying 'the matter is not at rest' [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 24, 2014, 9:59 pm]
The family of Kevin Ward Jr. issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that strongly hinted at a civil lawsuit after an Ontario County (N.Y.) grand jury said that it would not indict Tony Stewart in Ward's death on August 9. Ward, 20, was struck and killed by Stewart after the two were racing together in a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. After Ward's car hit the wall, he exited the car and came down the track to confront Stewart, where he was hit by the right-rear tire of Stewart's car. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo announced the grand jury's decision and said video evidence showed Stewart drove in a straight line and that toxicology reports showed that Ward was under the influence of marijuana at the time and it was an amount enough to impair his judgment. Here's the family's statement. "Our son got out of his car during caution when the race was suspended. All the other vehicles were reducing speed and not accelerating except for Stewart, who intentionally tried to intimidate Kevin by accelerating and sliding his car toward him, causing the tragedy. The focus should be on the actions of Mr. Stewart. This matter is not at rest and we will pursue all remedies in fairness to Kevin.” Stewart was not subject to toxicology reports but Tantillo said he met with a drug recognition expert after the incident and there was no basis to believe that Stewart was under the influence of anything. According to New York law, a person who isn't arrested cannot be compelled to submit a toxicology sample. Tantillo said that two videos were used as evidence in the case. While there are no criminal charges in the matter, the Ward family could file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. "Those videos were examined in detail. They were enhanced. They were run through programs that allow the frames to be isolated," Tantillo said. "They were run at 75, 50 and 25 percent speed. They were overlaid with grids and data and they were pretty important piece

Tony Stewart not charged by grand jury in death of Kevin Ward Jr. [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 24, 2014, 7:00 pm]
Tony Stewart will not be charged by an Ontario County (N.Y.) Grand Jury in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. The grand jury announced Wednesday that there was no evidence of a criminal act. The case was passed on to the grand jury by Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo last week. Tantillo said "two dozen" people were interviewed in the case and said that Ward had marijuana in his system and that the amount found was "enough to impair judgment." The Ontario County Sheriff's Department investigated the August 9 incident for approximately a month before the evidence had been presented to Tantillo. By New York state law, any case that possibly involves felony charges must go to a grand jury for a possible indictment. Tuesday, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the grand jury was hearing testimony in the case. The grand jury had three options: felony charges, misdemeanor charges or no charges. It chose the third option, which is referred to as a "no-bill." He also said that there was no evidence of "aberrational" driving from Stewart before he hit Ward and that it appeared Stewart was driving in a straight line until he hit Ward. Two videos of the accident were used as evidence in the investigation. "Those videos were examined in detail. They were enhanced. They were run through programs that allow the frames to be isolated," Tantillo said. "They were run at 75, 50 and 25 percent speed. They were overlaid with grids and data and they were pretty important piece of the evidence here." "The videos did not demonstrate any aberrational driving by Tony Stewart until the point of impact with Kevin Ward, at which his vehicle veered to the right, up the track as a result of the collision. Prior to that his course was pretty straight. Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion and Ward, 20, were racing together at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in a sprint car race when Ward hit the wall. After his car came to a stop, Ward got out and walked down the t

Grand jury testimony reportedly begins in Tony Stewart case [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 23, 2014, 10:41 pm]
A grand jury began hearing testimony on Tuesday in the case involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. Stewart struck and killed Ward on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, a dirt track in upstate New York. Stewart and Ward were racing together when Ward hit the wall. Ward exited his vehicle to confront Stewart's car and was struck by the right rear tire. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported that the testimony began and Chuck Hebing, who was in the race with Stewart and Ward, confirmed he was called to testify. However, Hebing declined to discuss the matter further. Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney Michael Tantillo sent the case to a grand jury last week. As part of New York state law with all cases that could possibly result in felony charges, the motion to go to a grand jury is simply due process. After the grand jury hears all testimony and reviews all evidence, it will have three options. It can go forth with felony or misdemeanor charges against Stewart or it could say that no charges are ncessary. There is no timetable for the grand jury's decision. The Ontario County Sheriff's Department announced it sent the case to the district attorney's office on September 11 after investigating the incident for approximately a month. Stewart returned to the Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta on August 31 after missing three races following the incident. In the wake of the incident between Stewart and Ward, NASCAR banned all drivers from getting out of their vehicles following a crash until safety personnel arrive. Stewart raced at New Hampshire on Sunday after Tantillo's announcement that the case had been sent to a grand jury. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

NASCAR makes horsepower and downforce cuts as part of 2015 rules package [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 23, 2014, 8:22 pm]
Sprint Cup Series cars are going to be a little slower next season. Mind you, you won't be able to tell with the naked eye. You'll only know through scoring monitors and posted speeds, but the spate of track records that have been set throughout 2014's qualifying sessions are going to be unattainable. In an effort to make better racing, NASCAR announced that Cup cars will have less horsepower and downforce in 2015. The engines in Cup cars now turn out an estimated (but not regulated) 900 HP. Next season, through the use of a tapered spacer, horsepower will be down to 725. A tapered spacer, which is used in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series engines, helps choke off the flow of air to the engine, throttling power. Spoilers on the cars will be reduced from the current eight inches to six and radiator pans will be five inches smaller (to 38 inches). Combine that with a 50 pound decrease in minimum weight, and the cars will produce less downforce. NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development Gene Stefanyshyn told NASCAR.com that speeds would be reduced 3-4 MPH. "You take the power out, but we're also taking drag off (by trimming the spoiler) to re-balance this whole thing," Stefanysyn said. "It's not going to be as dramatic as most people think. We're hoping … it will make the racing better, closer. Our goals are always that, right? To provide better entertainment for our fans." NASCAR held a test at Michigan to try combinations of possible 2015 rules packages. Matt Kenseth said after the test that the most popular package was one where the cars had limited downforce and a lot of power. "It was like going back 15 years in time or something like that and know you could actually pass in the corners instead of worrying about drafting in the straightaway," Kenseth said at Bristol after the test. You could get one guy on the bottom and one guy on the top, the air wasn't so turbulent that you couldn't get outside of people so the track got really

Power Rankings: It's Team Penske and then it's everyone else [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 23, 2014, 5:09 pm]
1. Brad Keselowski (LW: 1): Kes gets to keep the top spot because of his bounceback after hitting the wall on lap 195. Thanks to a fuel-only pit stop on the next caution, Keselowski was in position to take the lead for 41 more laps before ultimately falling back and finishing seventh after a couple other perilous moments on the inside of other cars. If, for some crazy reason, you had reservations about the No. 2 team's effort in Chase races two and three with advancement guaranteed, those reservations are gone. 2. Joey Logano (LW: 4): Logano now has the second-most wins in the Cup Series behind the man (and teammate) in front of him. You could tell how serious Logano was about wanting to win a race at New Hampshire the way he did on Sunday. While his first career race win isn't illegitimate, the fact that he immediately referenced winning Sunday straight up versus what happened in 2009 was telling. You can't call Sunday, or Logano's title chances, fluky. 3. Kevin Harvick (LW: 2): After qualifying on Friday, Harvick said some words that were certainly not appreciated by the NASCAR trumpets that can only play a sound that champions winning. "I think the whole winning thing is really overrated," Harvick said. "Obviously you want to win.  You want to win every week and you show up to try to win, but you can’t take any unnecessary chances and that is kind of the box that the point system puts you in." Amen to that, Kevin. And with finishes of fifth and third in two Chase races, Harvick is going to advance with no problem. 4. Kyle Busch (LW: 5): Is Sunday's race a sign of good things to come for Busch this Chase? Yes, he went spinning off the bumpers of Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne and ended up in the grass with a beat up car but thanks to a bunch of perserverance, hard work by his crew and good driving, Busch finished 8th. It doesn't take much of an imagination to envision how that race could have seen bad things mushroom after the spin. Instead, it was a top 10 an

Chase Watch: Amidst drama surrounding Chasers, Joe Gibbs Racing takes a big hit [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 21, 2014, 10:48 pm]
Apparently eliminations are needed when a bunch of Chase drivers attempt to eliminate themselves in a single race. Issues struck a bunch of Chase drivers including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers and Kurt Busch during Sunday's race at New Hampshire. Couple that with a mediocre performance from Carl Edwards and a strong run from Aric Almirola and the battle for 12th in the points standings at Dover is suddenly a close one. After Dover, the third race of the Chase, the 16-driver Chase field will be whittled down to 12. Thanks to the New England craziness, nine drivers are within 10 points of 12th place either way. Let's start with Gordon, who isn't among that group. The four-time champion, perhaps the most consistent driver in 2014, was having another solid day Sunday planted in the top 10. All hope of a top-10 finish went away with eight laps to go when Gordon had a flat right-front tire heading into turn one and slammed the wall. He ended up 26th and is now seventh in the points standings, 21 points ahead of 12th spot. It's enough of a margin that Gordon shouldn't be in danger of missing the next round barring an absolute disaster at Dover. However, given that Gordon could have been up 40 or more points, he can't breathe easy either. Here's what it looks like below Gordon. 8. Carl Edwards (+8 points over 13th): After a flat tire and trouble at Chicago, Edwards needed a strong run at New Hampshire. He didn't get it. Edwards lost positions in the closing laps on Sunday and ended up 17th. His average finish at Dover is 10.2, so if history holds, he should be fine. 9. Matt Kenseth (+8 points): Kenseth is tied mathematically with Edwards but loses the tiebreaker because he doesn't have any wins this year while Edwards has two. Early in the race Kenseth had to check up off turn two and was run into by Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch. Busch suffered heavy damage to his fender and spun into the grass. Later, Kenseth was taken out by

Joey Logano wins and puts both Team Penske cars into the next Chase round [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 21, 2014, 9:49 pm]
New Hampshire has been very kind to Joey Logano. Statistically, Logano hasn't been great at the one-mile track (his average finish entering the race was 19.3), but it's the site of Logano's first Sprint Cup Series win and now his latest one as he pulled away from Kevin Harvick on multiple late race restarts to win on Sunday. He's now guaranteed to advance to the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup along with last week's winner and Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski after next week's race at Dover. The race featured 15 cautions, the second-most in New Hampshire history, and after Logano took the lead from Harvick under green with more than 20 laps to go, he held on to it over the course of three restarts. Logano got to the front with a strategy call that looked iffy at the time. Track position is always a dominant theme at New Hampshire and the first half of the race had largely been a green-flag affair. On lap 247, some 30 laps after the leaders last pitted, Logano's crew chief Todd Gordon called him down to pit road for four tires. The call put Logano back in the pack, but it didn't matter. With fresher tires than the cars ahead of him, he sliced through the field. "I thought we gave it away at that point," Logano said of pitting. "Man, four tires were good and we had some good restarts and were able to get ourselves back up there and had to work hard. This is my home race track. This is the coolest place to win for me. I could never pick a better place to win. I watched my first Cup race here when I was five and I won that other Cup race here and I just felt that I had to win one here the right way." The "other" Cup race Logano refers to was on June 28, 2009. Logano, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in his first full season in the Cup Series replacing Tony Stewart, played the fuel strategy game with then-crew chief Greg Zipadelli. It was his only choice after a cut tire and a car that was nowhere near the fastest on track. But it worked. When rain arrived to

Cole Custer wins Truck race, becomes youngest NASCAR winner ever [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 20, 2014, 9:13 pm]
16-year-old Cole Custer is now the youngest NASCAR winner. Custer won Saturday's Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire, beating Bubba Wallace by 1.14 seconds. Custer dominated the race; he led 148 of the race's 175 laps. But he needed to pass Matt Crafton with four laps to go to take the victory. Just to reinforce how young Custer is and perhaps make you feel old, he was born January 23, 1998. Because of NASCAR's age limits in the Truck Series, Custer has been running a part-time schedule and Saturday's race was his seventh start. Drivers must be 16 to participate in trucks at tracks under one-mile in length. Drivers can compete in a full season schedule at 18. Erik Jones, who was competing in Saturday's race, was previously the youngest winner. He was 17 when he won at Phoenix last year. Custer is the son of Joe Custer, an EVP at Stewart-Haas Racing. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Brad Keselowski earns pole for race at New Hampshire [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 9:59 pm]
Is Brad Keselowski setting up to go two-for-two at New Hampshire in 2014? The 2012 Sprint Cup champion and winner of the first race of the 2014 Chase at Chicago on Sunday won the pole Friday at New Hampshire, site of the second race of the Chase. In July, Keselowski led 138 laps and won at New Hampshire. Because of that win earlier in the year, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson called Keselowski's team the team to beat before Friday's qualifying session. “Yeah, I would expect him to be in a similar position for two reasons," Johnson said. "One, he had so much more pace than the rest of the field here in the spring race that it’s hard to believe that everybody could cover that gap and get back to him. And then when we went to Richmond, which wasn’t too long ago as a short track and they had that form there, too. So, I’d definitely say those guys are tough to handle.” Keselowski won at Richmond, the last race before the Chase. Johnson turned out to be prophetic for Friday. Will be prophetic for Sunday? Jamie McMurray qualified second, three-hundredths of a second behind Keselowski. Kevin Harvick qualified third, while Denny Hamlin was fourth and Kyle Busch was fifth. Here's how all 16 of the Chasers stack up for New Hampshire 1. Brad Keselowski3. Kevin Harvick4. Denny Hamlin5. Kyle Busch6. Jimmie Johnson7. Joey Logano8. Carl Edwards9. Ryan Newman11. Dale Earnhardt Jr.13. Jeff Gordon15. Kurt Busch16. Matt Kenseth17. Kasey Kahne21. Aric Almirola26. Greg Biffle27. A.J. Allmendinger - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Brad Keselowski: 'It kind of feels a little bit like a cop-out' that Stewart case sent to grand jury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 5:32 pm]
Brad Keselowski was asked about the continued legal proceedings surrounding the death of Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park during his media availabilty on Friday. Ward was hit by Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart after he exited his car to confront Stewart's car on the track. The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department investigation into Ward's death wrapped before the Chase for the Sprint Cup began and on Tuesday, the Ontario County District Attorney sent the case to a grand jury. During its investigation, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said officials had obtained a second video of the incident. Shortly after it happened, a video of the incident was posted to YouTube. Details of the second video are unknown. Save for statements made during the early stages, the OCSD's investigation was largely done out of the public eye. "The only concern I have is that it sounds like there is a second tape that they haven't released and I don't understand why," Keselowski said. "Beyond that, it kind of feels a little bit like a cop-out that they sent it to the grand jury. But I think everybody is wishing Tony the best and supporting him, and that's probably the most important thing. Under New York state law, the process of sending a case to a grand jury is not a cop-out. It's due process, especially when there is a death of a human being involved. This is taken directly from the New York County District Attorney's website. Under New York State law, unless the defendant consents, all felony cases must be presented to the Grand Jury.  Grand Juries are empowered to hear evidence presented by prosecutors, and to take various actions regarding the evidence and legal charges they are to consider. As we've pointed out before, it's incredibly important to note that a grand jury's involvement does not automatically mean an indictment is forthcoming. While Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo had the option of dismissing the case himself

Brad Keselowski: 'It kind of feels a little bit like a cop out' that Stewart case sent to grand jury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 19, 2014, 5:32 pm]
Brad Keselowski was asked about the continued legal proceedings surrounding the death of Kevin Ward Jr. on August 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park during his media availabilty on Friday. Ward was hit by Sprint Cup Series driver Tony Stewart after he exited his car to confront Stewart's car on the track. The Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff's Department investigation into Ward's death wrapped before the Chase for the Sprint Cup began and on Tuesday, the Ontario County District Attorney sent the case to a grand jury. During its investigation, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said officials had obtained a second video of the incident. Shortly after it happened, a video of the incident was posted to YouTube. Details of the second video are unknown. Save for statements made during the early stages, the OCSD's investigation was largely done out of the public eye. "The only concern I have is that it sounds like there is a second tape that they haven't released and I don't understand why," Keselowski said. "Beyond that, it kind of feels a little bit like a cop out that they sent it to the grand jury. But I think everybody is wishing Tony the best and supporting him, and that's probably the most important thing. Under New York state law, the process of sending a case to a grand jury is not a cop out. It's due process, especially when there is a death of a human being involved. This is taken directly from the New York County District Attorney's website. Under New York State law, unless the defendant consents, all felony cases must be presented to the Grand Jury.  Grand Juries are empowered to hear evidence presented by prosecutors, and to take various actions regarding the evidence and legal charges they are to consider. As we've pointed out before, it's incredibly important to note that a grand jury's involvement does not automatically mean an indictment is forthcoming. While Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo had the option of dismissing the case himself

Happy Hour: Claims of getting an edge, Tony Stewart and tweaking the points format [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 18, 2014, 8:49 pm]
Throughout the week you can send us your best questions, jokes, rants and just plain miscellaneous thoughts to happyhourmailbag@yahoo.com or @NickBromberg.We'll post them here, have a good time and everyone's happy. Y'all were quiet this week. Did Brad Keselowski's pass bore you or something? Here it is again just because it was a rare moment. Spoiler alert, I'm afraid the chances of this happening throughout the next nine races are slim-to-none, but I'm not going to complain in the slightest if I am wrong. Wednesday, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Stanley and DeWalt would sponsor Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth respectively. It means that Richard Petty Motorsports is going to be down a sponsor for 2015, but given that there's a driver change a the No. 9, it's not terribly surprising. It'll be interesting to see how much sponsorship is tied to RPM's impending driver search. Let's get to our topics this week. And the onus is on y'all to break out some good questions next week. @NickBromberg Since we had a bit of “tampering” chat post-race, how ugly could things get this fall? — Brian Cullather (@Briancullather) September 18, 2014 What Brian is referring to is a deleted tweet by a now former road manager for Dale Earnhardt Jr.. The tweet referenced flaring of the right sideskirt on Keselowski's car. Tuesday, he resigned from his position. It's an odd situation and one we clearly don't know the dynamics to, so unfounded speculation would be irresponsible. The claims themselves, however, are interesting. Remember in 2012 when Keselowski referenced the Hendrick cars potentially pushing the rules? If anything was wrong with Keselowski's car it would have been found in post-race inspection. Nothing was announced. Teams are going to always push the rules, and sometimes people get caught. That happens. But I don't think this will be a storyline going forward. Unless Jimmie Johnson's garage partitions return. Then we can all start up the black helicopters again. ---

Tony Stewart case going to a grand jury [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 16, 2014, 7:01 pm]
A grand jury will decide if Tony Stewart will face charges in the August 9 death of Kevin Ward. The Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney's office announced Tuesday it is sending the evidence from Ward's death to a grand jury, which will decide whether or not to file charges against Stewart. Stewart and Ward were racing together at Canandaigua Motorsports Park (N.Y.) in a sprint car race on Aug. 9. After Ward hit the wall, he exited his car and went down the track to angrily confront Stewart. Stewart's car struck and killed Ward. The Ontario County Sheriff's Department had investigated the matter for approximately a month. Last week it announced it had sent the evidence from the investigation to the district attorney. According to the Associated Press, District Attorney Michael Tantillo "could have determined there was not enough evidence to support charges and dropped the case." Here is the full statement from Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo: Over the past several weeks I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter. Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future. As grand jury proceedings in New York State are strictly confidential by law, I am unable to state when the matter will be scheduled, other than to state that I intend to present the matter in the near future. Similarly, because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, I cannot state who will be called as witnesses, or what any witness’s expected testimony will be. When the p





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