Darvish 8 Ks as Rangers beat Jeter, Yankees 4-2 (Yahoo Sports) - Yu Darvish struck out eight in seven innings for his 10th victory and J.P. Arencibia had a tiebreaking two-run single for the Texas Rangers in a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night. Brett Gardner homered twice and Derek Jeter had three hits - to pass Carl Yastrzemski on the hits list - off the All-Star right-hander, who threw 80 of his 108 pitches for strikes five days after losing a rain-shortened game in New York. Neal Cotts worked a scoreless eighth for Texas. Neftali Feliz then was perfect in the ninth for his second save in two chances since taking back the closer role last week after Joakim Soria was traded. Cabrera, Dickey lead Blue Jays over Red Sox 14-1 (Yahoo Sports) - Melky Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate and drove in five runs, R.A. Dickey pithed three-hit ball for seven innings and the Toronto Blue Jays romped past the Boston Red Sox 14-1 on Monday night. The Blue Jays won for the sixth time in seven games while the Red Sox lost one day after stopping a five-game slide that began in Toronto with three losses. Cabrera homered into Boston's bullpen in right field after Jose Reyes led off the game with a walk. Ryan Goins had four hits and four RBIs for Toronto. Rose returns as US basketball team opens camp (Yahoo Sports) - Derrick Rose says he feels old. ''I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him 'I'm getting old, man. I've got to stretch, I've got to use rollers and stuff.' He looked at me kind of weird,'' Rose said laughingly. I think I've sacrificed a lot for this moment.'' Rose, the Chicago Bulls star who is coming off two knee injuries that kept him out for much of the last two seasons, said he played roughly nine minutes of the team's scrimmage during a two-hour practice. Van Gaal to bide time over new faces - Dodgers acquire 2B Barney in trade with Cubs (Yahoo Sports) - LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired second baseman Darwin Barney in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Rays' Archer: 'Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat' (Yahoo Sports) - Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer insists he isn't mad at David Ortiz. A day after Ortiz slung his bat and leisurely trotted around the bases following a home run off him, Archer had more thoughts about Big Papi's style. ''I never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat,'' Archer said Monday. Rivera: Benjamin has bone bruise in left knee (Yahoo Sports) - The Panthers are breathing a sigh of relief over rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said an MRI revealed the team's first-round draft pick has a bone bruise in his left knee and will miss at least a few days of training camp. ''We got a bit of good news,'' Rivera said Monday. There is a swelling and what we refer to as a hot spot.'' Rivera wouldn't give a specific timetable on Benjamin's return. England's Gemili takes 100m silver - Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers (Yahoo Sports) - A judge ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In the tentative ruling, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas sided with Sterling's estranged wife Shelly Sterling, who burst into tears when the ruling was announced. Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale of the team after the 80-year-old billionaire was banned by the NBA for making offensive remarks about blacks. Donald Sterling claimed his wife deceived him about the medical exams. Stunning Okagbare storms to 100m gold - Blessing Okagbare takes the gold in the women's 100m while England's Asha Philips produces a personal best to finish fourth.

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Joe Gibbs Racing plane hits Stewart-Haas plane on ground after Sunday's race [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 28, 2014, 6:54 pm]
There were as many incidents at Concord (N.C.) Regional Airport after Sunday's race than there were during the race itself. The team plane of Joe Gibbs Racing collided with the Stewart-Haas plane on the ground on Sunday. The left wing of the JGR plane made contact with the back end of the SHR plane. An SHR spokesperson told the Charlotte Observer that the JGR plane was parking and clipped the SHR plane, which was empty. Both planes had returned from Indianapolis following the Brickyard 400. The Stewart-Haas plane is valued at $11 million according to Sports Business Journal. The only crash in Sunday's Cup race involved Trevor Bayne, who hit the inside wall after a tire went down on his car. - - - - - - - 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

Indianapolis was a tale of differing pit strategies on Sunday [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 27, 2014, 10:53 pm]
INDIANAPOLIS – Let's get this out of the way immediately. Races dictated by pit strategy aren't inherently bad. Hell, racing would be much more boring and predictable if there was no variability when it came to pit stops. The element of surprise – something that's severely lacking in today's NASCAR – would be all but gone if everyone was tethered to the same outlook on race management. But the differing pit strategies employed by teams from the beginning of Sunday's Brickyard 400 were a glaring indictment on the lack of quality racing the track currently provides. Because of rain overnight, NASCAR mandated a competition caution on lap 20. As a lot of teams headed to the pits, Joey Logano kicked off the strategy games by staying out, opting for the uber-important clean air of Indianapolis Motor Speedway instead of fresh tires. Mind you, Indianapolis is conducive for games like this. With laps of approximately 50 seconds, a team within reasonable distance of the lead can elect to pit under green flag conditions and change four tires without leading a lap. That means the team under green is in an advantageous position if a caution is to come out after the pit stop and the rest of the field pits under caution, as the green-flag pitted team can move up ahead of all the cars that pitted during the yellow. That was on the mind of Logano's crew chief Todd Gordon, who brought him in to the pits on lap 32. "Being the first one to pit and then when it cycles out hope that your tires are good enough and your car is fast enough you can hold (the cars who pitted under yellow) off," Logano, who finished fifth, said. "We didn't have anything compared to (race-winner Jeff Gordon), so our strategy was to stay out there and just cycle forward every time you can." But Gordon wasn't the impetus for the strategy games. The impossibility of passing was. Because of the way the cars are currently designed and configured, racing in traffic at such high-speeds around Indianapolis is a

In his quest for a fifth title, Jeff Gordon wins a fifth Brickyard 400 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 27, 2014, 8:34 pm]
INDIANAPOLIS – Jeff Gordon was a confident man on Friday. The confidence was rewarded on Sunday. A man who admits he isn't the best on restarts had one hell of a restart with 17 laps to go in the Brickyard 400 and powered past teammate Kasey Kahne for the lead and the eventual win in the first turn. Kahne was the leader on the restart and chose the inside lane, typically the preferred lane throughout Indianapolis Motor Speedway's four treacherous 90-degree turns. But after the green flag waved, Gordon stayed even with Kahne entering turn one and pinched the No. 5 down as far as he could to the inside. Gordon's car wobbled a bit as he picked up the throttle, but the momentum he gained was more than enough to clear Kahne. And given the monumental impact that clean air had throughout Sunday's race, there was no chance Gordon was going to get caught unless there was another caution to bunch up the field. There was not. Friday, Gordon called Sunday's race "by far the best chance we’ve had at winning in a long time." A four-time winner at Indianapolis, Gordon's last win was 10 years ago. And earlier on Friday, thanks to Gordon's win in the first Brickyard 400 and other efforts, Sunday was declared by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard to be Jeff Gordon day and Gordon received the No. 24 placard from the old scoring tower at the track. His performance showed his optimism wasn't simply buoyed by the goodwill of the festivities. After qualifying second, Gordon swept past polesitter Kevin Harvick on lap two. And then, despite a vast array of pit strategies that were the sole impetus for lead changes throughout the race, Gordon clearly had the best car throughout the day. However, until the final caution, Gordon might have been a victim of the clean air that so benefitted him while he was leading. As he was following Kahne before the final caution, Gordon was unable to get near Kahne for a sustained amount of time to set up a pass thanks to the turbulence from Kahne's car. (

Carl Edwards leaving Roush at the end of 2014 while Greg Biffle is staying [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 27, 2014, 2:53 pm]
INDIANAPOLIS – Roush Fenway Racing will be a three-car team in 2015 and one of those cars will not be driven by Carl Edwards. The long-rumored possibility of Edwards leaving the team following the 2014 season became a reality on Sunday morning when Roush announced that Greg Biffle had signed a contract extension with the team while Edwards would not return. “I will always be thankful for Carl’s contribution and the role he played in many Roush Fenway wins and championships,” team owner Jack Roush said in a statement. “We wish him well for the future.  In the meantime, we are excited about continuing our quest for a championship with Carl and the No. 99 team in 2014.” When asked if Edwards gave him a reason for leaving the only Sprint Cup team he's driven for, Roush said Edwards didn't provide specifics. He also said that Edwards' decision to not return has been made for over a month. "(Edwards) didn't give me his reason, you'll have to ask him about that," Roush said while adding that he didn't ask Edwards for it. In the garage, Edwards once again declined to provide specifics about his future destination saying there were "a lot of moving parts" and added it was unfortunate that the announcement of his departure happened on the morning before a race. Joe Gibbs Racing is seen as the likely landing spot for Edwards. With three cars currently – Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth – the team can expand to a fourth car without changing its current driver lineup. Wherever Edwards goes, he'll need a new primary sponsor. As part of its announcement Sunday, the team said that Fastenal would move over to the No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. next season. Biffle, Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne will be the team's three full-time drivers in 2015. Bayne will be driving the No. 6 next year and Roush President Steve Newmark said that barring any unexpected developments, the No. 99 won't be in use full-time by Roush next season. Edwards, who is sixth in the points

24 Hours of Spa race featured a lot of accidents at the beginning [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 26, 2014, 8:07 pm]
The start of the 24 Hours of Spa sports car race in Belgium had a lot of accidents. There were four cautions in the first three hours of the race, including for this ridiculous accident. Watch the first part of the crash on the left side of your screen and then watch the tire going to the right. This crash below, again at the Eau Rouge portion of the historic track, was a one-car incident, but it might have been scarier. Vyacheslav Maleev lost control after hitting the curb on a right-hand corner and slammed into the tire barrier across the track. Then, as cars were storming up the hill as the race looked to still be under green, Maleev got out of his car. While we understand his hurry to get out of the mangled car, we can't endorse the manuever. And as soon as he got out, he tripped over debris ... as cars were still flying by. He finally hobbled over to the inside of the track as marshals instructed cars driving through the debris field to slow down. - - - - - - - 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

Kevin Harvick gets his fourth pole of the season at Indianapolis [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 26, 2014, 7:23 pm]
Kevin Harvick has another fast car. Harvick grabbed his Sprint Cup Series-leading fourth pole of the season Saturday at Indianapolis, beating Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski for the right to start first in the Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com. (Yes, we typed that race name out simply to show the utter absurdity of the current name of the formerly and simply named Brickyard 400.) Throughout the three rounds of qualifying, Harvick had the fastest car. All he did was simply go out once in each session, lay down one incredibly quick lap, and go back to pit road and wait to see if anyone would beat his time. No one did. Stewart-Haas' other three cars are fast too. Both Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart made the final round. Stewart starts sixth while Busch is seventh. Danica Patrick missed the final round but starts 14th. Harvick has one other pole at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2003, he started first and finished first. And in his three other poles this season, Harvick has a win (Darlington) and two second-place finishes (Kansas, Michigan.) We're going to go out on the weakest of limbs and say that at Indy, a place where track position is absolutely critical, Harvick will be a factor. Defending champion Ryan Newman qualified fourth while Brian Vickers starts fifth. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBromberg

Fellow drivers have sent messages of support to Michael Schumacher [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 8:57 pm]
Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher remains in a Swiss clinic, still in critical condition from a ski injury that left him in a coma for six months. But his family has released updated information on his condition, as well as the letters sent to him by his fellow drivers. Schumacher has sustained blood clots on the brain, and was placed in an induced coma. But he has reportedly been able to respond to voices and communicate via blinking, according to his family. The improvements raise hope that Schumacher might continue to improve. Currently he remains bedridden. In the wake of his accident, several drivers reached out via handwritten note, and Schumacher's wife Corinna has released those notes, along with a letter of her own thanking fans for being so supportive of their family. "Dear Michael," Lewis Hamilton wrote. "You are always in my prayers. Prayers of hope that you pull through this difficult time. You have already achieved so much, given so much. May God watch over you and show you the way back to your family, fans and friends." Jenson Button took a longer view. "When I think of Michael Schumacher I think of two things," he wrote. "The first is of one my earliest memories of being in Formula One driving out of the pitlane in Melbourne and seeing Michael’s red Ferrari ahead of me scattering the leaves as he drove beneath the trees at the approach to turn three. Even in 2000 he was already a legend. The second thing I think about it is that familiar red car snaking about in my mirrors. Michael was such a formidable racer relentlessly competitive - Always There. He’s fighting his greatest battle right now and I know everyone at Formula One will hope that he will win again. I certainly hope he will." The family is hoping to be able to move Schumacher from the clinic in Switzerland to his home, which has been retrofitted to serve his medical needs. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Faceb

Here it is, the worst NASCAR sponsorship ad campaign ever [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 3:38 pm]
Look, we get it: sponsorship money is tough to come by these days in NASCAR. Sponsors hold all the cards, and teams and drivers have to hop to, behave, and generally boil themselves down into dull vanilla automatons in order to keep that sweet, sweet cash rolling in. But this ... this is too much. Kyle Larson, who's good enough to drive at the Sprint Cup level but not old enough to have any kind of weight to throw around, has consented to this Cottonelle "Don't neglect your bum" campaign. What's it mean? Cottonelle makes both wet and dry toilet paper. "Bum" is a chippy British slang for, uh, tailpipe. And now we know more about Kyle Larson's bathroom habits than we ever needed to know about anyone's, including our own. Only way this can be redeemed? If a subsequent ad reveals that there's an actual bum sleeping out back of Kyle's house that he's been neglecting. Short of that, we can declare this The Worst NASCAR Ad Ever. But, hey, anything for publicity, right? Poor Kyle. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Facebook or on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

One year after devastating wreck, Tony Stewart returns to sprint car, wins [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 12:23 pm]
Whatever Tony Stewart's made of, it's way different from you and me. A year almost to the day after a sprint car wreck that crunched his right leg like a stomped pencil, Stewart climbed back into one of those open-wheeled crashes-waiting-to-happen and raced. Naturally, he won. And the legend of Tony Stewart grows ever larger. The wreck last year, which ended Stewart's season and hopes for a fourth NASCAR championship, was a defining moment in Stewart's career. On one hand, you had the sensible you're-a-businessman-and-this-is-a-business-man types lecturing Stewart on the fact that he now had responsibilities to others beyond himself: sponsors, investors, employees, et cetera. On the other, you had the hell-yeah-git-em-Smoke crew, backing any and every ridiculous chance Smoke took, and to hell with the pencilneck geeks who doubted him. You can guess where Stewart himself fell. Last July, after his second of three sprint car wrecks in just a few weeks, one in which he flipped in vicious fashion, Stewart lectured the media on how this was just how things were done. "You mortals have got to learn, you guys need to watch more sprint car videos and stuff," he said. "It was not a big deal. It's starting to get annoying this week about that. That was just an average sprint car wreck. When they wreck, they get upside down like that." One week later, Stewart was in Oskaloosa, Iowa, getting pulled from the wreckage of his sprint car, his right leg shattered. He would miss the next 15 races of the season and wouldn't get back behind the wheel of his day-job car until this year. Think for a second what would happen if LeBron James put himself out for the season playing pickup basketball, or if Tom Brady ripped a bicep whipping footballs at a dunk tank at a county fair. ESPN would explode with self-righteous indignation, and fans would turn on them en masse. But Stewart has reached that most hallowed of athlete levels, the point where anything he does, smart or stupid, falls unde

NASCAR introduces new paint scheme for Chase drivers [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 15, 2014, 2:36 pm]
NASCAR is very proud of its new 16-driver Chase format, and has rolled out a new paint scheme so that you can be proud too. With the new paint scheme, detailed above, drivers in the Chase will get a series of yellow enhancements to the splitter, the windshield nametag, and the roof number. That means you'll be able to spot the Chase competitors in a pack of cars at a glance, which, we will agree, is a pretty cool idea. Of note: there will be three "knockout" races throughout the Chase (Dover, Talladega, and Phoenix), and after each one, four drivers will get booted from the Chase. Accordingly, these four drivers will lose their special paint scheme. We can only hope that there's a solemn ceremony as the name is ripped from the windshield while the driver and his disappointed owner watch. The 10-race Chase begins on Sept. 14 in Chicago and ends on Nov. 16 in Homestead, Florida. ____ Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter. Follow @jaybusbee

Keselowski rolls to Loudon win as Logano falls victim to Morgan Shepherd [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 13, 2014, 8:31 pm]
Brad Keselowski won his third race of the season at Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301 in Loudon, but the big story will likely be what befell his teammate earlier in the race. Five decades and 10 laps separated Joey Logano and Morgan Shepherd on Sunday, but that wasn't enough to keep Shepherd from wrecking Logano and ending the 22's promising run. Logano, in the midst of the best season of his career, was running second when Shepherd, never a factor in the race, took him out. Simply by starting the race, Shepherd, age 72, extended his own record for oldest driver to run at the Sprint Cup level. But that's a distinction that held little weight with Logano after the wreck. “The slowest car on the racetrack took us out,” Logano said. "I feel like there should be, like, a driver’s test before you get out in a Cup car and make sure you know how to drive before you drive one." Logano elaborated in a later interview. "You would think there would be some courtesy to the leaders," he said. "He gets out of the way on the straightaway and then goes into the corner and slides right up into the lane I was in ... It is just dumb that it happened. I feel like that should be stuff that shouldn’t happen at this level of racing.” Logano was referencing Shepherd's skill level, not his age, but it's likely that NASCAR will take a closer look at Shepherd's ability to compete at a reasonable level in the wake of the Logano incident. Meanwhile, Keselowski enjoyed a near-flawless afternoon. When he wasn't leading a lap, he was preparing to lead, cutting through the field time and again with little trouble. Keselowski has now won three races this season and appears as dangerous a championship contender as anyone on the track. He led 134 of the race's 301 laps, and his winning margin could have been measured in multiple seconds were it not for a last-second green-white-checker. The Kyles Busch and Larson finished second and third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman, but no

Brad Keselowski cuts hand on champagne bottle in victory lane [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:43 am]
The next time Brad Keselowski visits victory lane, he's probably going to be wary of the champagne bottles. While celebrating his win in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky, Keselowski cut his right hand on a champagne bottle. He immediately went to the infield care center where he had four stitches to his wounded hand. Brad K just sliced his hand open on the champagne bottle in VL - gushing blood, ran to care center— Jim Noble (@Noble_Jim) June 29, 2014 The bandaged hand of @keselowski after cutting himself in victory lane. He said he took 4 stitches. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/86Pl0uqcYK— Ford Racing (@FordRacing) June 29, 2014 The cut obviously delayed victory lane celebrations – and stained his white firesuit – but after he got the stitches in his hand and a new firesuit on his body, Keselowski was back in victory lane, doing the required pictures and media appearances. - - - - - - - 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

Tire troubles meant early exits for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:31 am]
When Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson exited their cars Saturday night, they were not on pit road or in the garage after the race. The cars were against the Kentucky Speedway wall. Both drivers suffered tire failures early in the race and retired. Hamlin was first. He lost a right front tire on lap 29, one lap before a scheduled competition caution on lap 30. A summer thunderstorm swept through Kentucky on Saturday afternoon before the Quaker State 400, washing the track of a lot of rubber and why NASCAR scheduled the caution. However, Hamlin didn't quite make it. He finished 42nd. Larson was the next caution flag as his car hit the wall in turns one and two on lap 77. Like Hamlin, his car was pretty much destroyed and he was forced to the garage. Larson ended up 40th. Because of their poor finishing positions, both drivers fell in the points. Larson fell from 10th to 13th in the points standings while Hamlin fell from 13th to 17th. However, Hamlin is still in a better position to make the Chase. Since he won at Talladega in May, he's virtually guaranteed to make the Chase. Larson, meanwhile, is winless and would currently need to get in by virtue of his points position. - - - - - - - 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 starts first and finishes first at Kentucky for second win of 2014 [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 29, 2014, 3:00 am]
There was no disputing who had the best car on Saturday night at Kentucky. It was Brad Keselowski and his No. 2 car. After starting first, Keselowski was at the front of the field the entire evening, retaking the lead from Kyle Busch with 19 laps to go and driving away for the win. When we say Keselowski was at the front of the field the entire evening, it's not an exaggeration. There were 267 laps in Saturday night's race. Keselowski led 199 of them. Yeah, it was domination. After the race, Keselowski told his crew that he felt like the team was in championship form. Watching the race, it's hard to disagree with him. His laps led tally could have been higher too. Busch took the lead because the race's final caution flag happened during a cycle of green flag pit stops. Busch was on and off pit road before the caution was officially out, so he got to restart first while Keselowski, who hadn't pitted yet, pitted under yellow and restarted sixth. But driving through the field was ultimately no problem. "Oh yeah, It was kind of one of those races where you just know you have a really fast car and my Miller Lite Ford Fusion was hauling the mail," Keselowski said. "And you're just waiting for something to go wrong. And it did there on that last yellow, it just caught us out of sequence. And we restarted sixth and had a decent restart but I didnt think I was going to catch Kyle and the car was that great." Yes, yes it was. Keselowski led the race's first 78 laps and when he was passed for the lead, it wasn't under green. Teammate Joey Logano took the lead from him on pit road. And he was only passed for the lead once under green. That happened on lap 182, when Logano got by him shortly after a restart. The first time a Team Penske car led a lap? That was when Busch took the lead after the final caution flag on lap 214. Did we tell you how good Keselowski was? There's a good reason for Keselowski's championship form optimism. Not only is Kentucky his second win of the seaso

It's a Penske front row sweep at Kentucky: Keselowski starts first, Logano second [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 10:50 pm]
Two weeks ago at Michigan, Brad Keselowski said the Hendrick-powered cars were "probably a full season ahead of everyone." Well, on Friday at Kentucky during qualifying for Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race, Keselowski and Team Penske teammate Joey Logano had the fastest cars. The Penske duo, the best qualifiers in NASCAR this year, qualified on the front row, edging out Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Both Penske drivers were incredibly fast throughout Friday's three rounds of qualifying. Logano was fastest in the first two rounds while Keselowski was third in the first session and second in the second. The pole is Keselowski's third of the season in the Cup Series and was his second of the day. Earlier he qualified on the pole for Friday night's Nationwide Series race. While Gordon, Kyle Larson and three Stewart-Haas Racing cars (Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick) made the final 12 with their Hendrick horsepower, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson failed to advance from the first round. Johnson qualified 25th while Junior was 29th. Because of the short field entered in Saturday night's race, no drivers obviously did not qualify. There was one change to the entry list before practice began on Friday. BK Racing entered a fourth car for Mike Bliss with the No. 44 of Xxxtreme Motorsports withdrew for being too risque.* *OK, that's not true. The team tweeted that it had "in house politics that needed to be resolved." - - - - - - - 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

Clint Bowyer is chasing a win, but knows that points matter too [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 5:28 pm]
Finding the right balance of weighting wins and points in the Sprint Cup Series has been hard at times. While ultimately, wins do matter when it comes to Chase qualification, points are pretty important too. Through 15 races, 10 drivers have a race win. That means six drivers are currently going to qualify for the Chase based off their points position. Could more drivers win? Sure. At the current rate, it's possible that more than 16 drivers could have wins. But given the pattern of repeat winners in the Cup Series – the last four races have been won by drivers already with a win – it's unlikely to happen. Clint Bowyer knows the importance of points. He also knows the importance of wins. He wants a win to get into the Chase, but wins certainly aren't everything. “I wasn’t one of the ones that was saying, ‘It’s all about winning, it’s all about winning,’" Bowyer said Friday at Kentucky. "Common sense tells you to look at the past history and the math shows you that points are always going to prevail. He who has the most points is always going to win the championship. You’ve always been able to race your way into the Chase and I think it still will today, but right now we need a win.  We’re at the point in our program with our 5-Hour Energy Toyota that we’re desperately in need of a win and we need to throw it all out there and go for it and try to get ourselves a win somewhere. We were definitely in the hunt and after one in Sonoma.  We had a lot of confidence going in out there and we had a fast race car and by all means we were chasing a win big time.” Right now, Bowyer is in the Chase. He's one of the six winless drivers who would make the Chase at this point, but he's not in comfortably. He's fifth of those six and 23 points ahead of Kasey Kahne and 25 points ahead of Tony Stewart. If he was in the top 10 in points, a win may not be as big of a priority. But Bowyer is 14th. Both Stewart and Kahne are powered by Hendrick equipment, engin

One of Brad Keselowski's truck crew members hitched a ride at Kentucky [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 27, 2014, 3:09 am]
Brad Keselowski's truck needed an adjustment during a pit stop in Thursday night's Camping World Truck Series race at Kentucky. And the adjustment ended up giving one of his crew members an unexpected ride. The track bar wrench got stuck in the back windshield of Keselowski's truck and the crew member futily tried to remove it as Keselowski pulled away. #effort @NickBromberg: Brad Keselowski literally took his crewman for a ride https://t.co/kORx2axcmo”— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) June 27, 2014 Thankfully he let go – could you imagine the penalty for "taking a crew member down pit road and out on the race track?" – and there was no report of injury on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast. However, Keselowski had to go to the tail-end of field on the restart for taking the wrench with him out of the pit box. Kyle Busch won the race. Keselowski was fifth. - - - - - - - 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

Happy Hour: Kyle Busch, road courses, rain, dancing and more [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 26, 2014, 9:05 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. A little non-NASCAR for a second. Looks like F1 wants to do standing restarts in 2015. Yeah, I realize that restarts don't happen all that often in Formula 1, but what the heck? Standing starts are great for the beginning of the race, and they're going to be incredibly enjoyable for restarts. I'm not complaining about the potential entertainment, it just looks like a blantant attempt for more excitement. Onto the fun. Assuming Kyle Busch never wins a championship, who do you think would go down as the best driver to never win a title? Kyle Busch or Mark Martin? - Paul You have to say Kyle Busch, simply because of all of the wins, right? He already has Mark Martin's record for Nationwide Series victories and on his current pace if his NASCAR career spans 25 years, he'll have over 260 wins in each of NASCAR's three series. Sure, his 200+ wins may not be the same as Richard Petty's 200 wins, but if Busch gets to 300, that's in a class by itself. But that being said, if Busch gets to 300, he has a Sprint Cup title, right? The highest he's ever finished in the Cup Series standings is fourth while Martin has finished second five times. Do those five second place finish override Busch's hundreds of wins if he doesn't have five second-place finishes and never wins a title? Because of the Chase format (especially the new one), I don't think so. But it'd be an interesting debate. Ultimately, Busch is going to win one. I'll be utterly stunned if he doesn't. -------- @NickBromberg Do you think NASCAR will ever have a road course in the Chase or will "politics" always get in the way? — Chris Nulty (@RealChrisNulty) June 26, 2014 Yes, I think NASCAR does, because I think the schedule eventually gets overhauled. I don't think that overhaul will be next year or maybe

Jimmie Johnson went to the White House on Wednesday [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 8:01 pm]
Jimmie Johnson got to celebrate his sixth Sprint Cup Series championship at the White House on Wednesday. He was honored by President Barack Obama in a quick six-minute ceremony. In his remarks, Obama, a noted Chicago sports fan, called Johnson the "Michael Jordan of NASCAR" and joked that he should give the driver of the No. 48 a lifetime pass to the White House because of the numerous titles. The Michael Jordan comparison works on multiple levels too. Not only is Johnson the best driver in NASCAR as Jordan was the best player in the NBA, but both won six championships in eight seasons. (What happens in the comments when Jimmie Johnson and President Obama are mentioned in the same sentence? Let's find out!) After also mentioning Johnson's charity work, Obama, crew chief Chad Knaus, car owner Rick Hendrick and Johnson's pit crew all took pictures on stage. Here are some more photos of the event. .@JimmieJohnson speaks to the media outside the White House. pic.twitter.com/SfM2M8Grf8— Hendrick Motorsports (@TeamHendrick) June 25, 2014 - - - - - - - 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

The No. 77 is 'retooling,' which means there are only 42 Cup cars entered at Kentucky [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: June 25, 2014, 6:00 pm]
The No. 77 car owned by Randy Humphrey and driven by Dave Blaney has made four Sprint Cup Series starts this season. Its highest finish is 33rd in those four starts. No, the No. 77 has not been a barnburner in the Cup Series. This week, Humphrey told NASCAR.com that the team was "retooling" and hoped to be back at Indianapolis. After entering the first 15 races of the season, the team skipped Sonoma and, as of now, will miss three more races. Normally, the absence of a team struggling to make the field in the Cup Series isn't noticeable to most NASCAR fans. But it's notable this weekend. It means that as of Wednesday, the entry list for the Cup race at Kentucky on Saturday night has 42 cars on it. A full field is 43 cars. (Part-time teams like the Wood Brothers and Leavine Family Racing don't have Kentucky on the schedule.) If the race starts with 42 cars, it'll break a streak that's gone on for more than 12 years. The last time a race was run without 43 cars was at New Hampshire in 2001, when the race was run in November instead of September because of the Sept. 11 attacks. (The race, run on the Friday after Thanksgiving, was set by owner's points at the time of the originally scheduled and the No. 27 team had folded since. Thus, no replacement was found.) The last time a qualifying session was held with less than a full field in the Cup Series entered? You have to go all the way back to Dover in 1996, according to Jayski. Is the lack of a 43rd car a big deal? That's up for you to decide, though if you think it is, don't go reaching for the megaphone to exclaim that the sky is falling. It does mean that each of NASCAR's top three series will have had a short field in 2014 and it's become obvious that there are significant barriers to entry for new and/or underfunded teams trying to make it in NASCAR. But that's the case with or without one more car entered at Kentucky. NASCAR's national series, especially the Cup Series, are extremely close through speeds and scori





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