Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kanaan's popularity debunks notion about American IndyCar drivers

One frequently advanced theory about IndyCar racing is that its popularity in the United States would increase if more American-born drivers were part of the series.
Tony Kanaan seemed to run the wheels off that notion at the Indianapolis 500.
The Brazilian driver was hands down the favorite of the fans in the grandstand Sunday for the race won by Scotland's Dario Franchitti.
Kanaan, 37, has won 14 IndyCar Series races, but he has not won the Indy 500, the circuit's most prestigious event.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway crowd was behind Kanaan when he charged to the front of Sunday's race and pulled for him during the closing laps.
Kanaan, who led seven laps, wound up finishing in third place, behind teammates Franchitti and Scott Dixon.
Kanaan (pictured) is ninth in driver points as the series heads this week to Detroit for a road-course race on Belle Isle.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet the front row for the Indianapolis 500

One thing in common about the drivers who will start in the front row for the Indianapolis 500: None has ever won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
Pole-sitter Ryan Briscoe has six IZOD IndyCar Series victories on his resume. James Hinchcliffe, who'll start in the middle, is looking for his first IndyCar checkered flag.
Briscoe, an Australian who drives for Team Penske, finished fifth in the 2007 Indy 500.  Briscoe's No. 2 car gave team owner Roger Penske the 17th Indy 500 pole of Penske's career.
Hinchcliffe, who like the other front-row-drivers is powered by a Chevrolet motor, will be driving in his second Indy 500. The Toronto native is third in points in the IndyCar Series. He drives the No. 27 car.
Ryan Hunter-Reay, whose No. 28 car will start on the outside of the front row, hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He has three career victories and is fourth in the 2012 driver standings. Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay drive for Andretti Autosport, whose owner is Michael Andretti.
Briscoe is seventh in driver points.
In the photo above, Hunter-Reay is at left, Hinchcliffe in the middle and Briscoe at right.

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Dixon fast as Indianapolis 500 pole day nears

Scott Dixon turned a lap of 223.088 mph, the fastest during practice Thursday for the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The pole winner for the May 27 race will be determined Saturday.
Dixon won the 2008 Indy 500.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Others' achievements put Rocky Colavito back in news

The Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis and the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton had not been born when Rocky Colavito played his last big-league baseball game, but they helped fans remember the former outfielder, whose career began in 1955, ended in 1968 and included a stint with the Detroit Tigers.
When Davis, a first baseman by trade, pitched two scoreless innings of relief Sunday and was the winning pitcher in Baltimore's 17-inning victory over Boston, he became the first position player to be the winning pitcher in an American League game since Colavito in 1968.
When Hamilton clubbed four home runs against the Orioles on Tuesday, he became the first player to hit four home runs in one game against the O's since Colavito in 1959.
Don't knock the Rock.
Colavito, known for the way he would limber up by stretching with his bat behind his back, was a fan favorite, especially in Cleveland, where he spent his most productive seasons, and Detroit, where he played from 1960-63.
As a Tiger, the 6-foot-3 Colavito batted .271 with 139 home runs and 430 RBI.
He won the AL home run championship in 1959 -- and then was traded to the Tigers prior to the start of the 1960 campaign for defending batting champion Harvey Kuenn.
Colavito slammed four home runs for Cleveland at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in the Indians' 11-8 victory on June 10, 1959.
On Aug. 25, 1968, Colavito pitched 2.2 innings of relief against the Tigers, and he wound up the winning pitcher in the New York Yankees' 6-5 victory.
It was a bit of an embarrassment for the Tigers, but few cared that summer. In September, on a night when they defeated those same Yanks, the Tigers would clinch the American League pennant.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Double trouble for Tigers

Through 28 games, including 14 losses, the Detroit Tigers are last in doubles in the American League. The Tigers have 40 two-base hits, one fewer than the Toronto Blue Jays. The Boston Red Sox lead the AL in doubles with 78.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

UConn basketball primed for a fall?

We interrupt the baseball season, and the NHL and NBA playoffs, for words of warning about the 2012-13 University of Connecticut basketball season:
It could be ugly.
The Huskies have not had a losing season since 1986-87, Jim Calhoun's first season as coach.
But that streak might be in jeopardy.
Guard Jeremy Lamb and big men Andre Drummond and Alex Oriakhi have left the program. Lamb and Drummond declared for the NBA draft; Oriakhi is transferring to Missouri.
In April, the school announced it has released Michael Bradley and Roscoe Smith from their scholarships.
With the status of Bradley and Smith uncertain, UConn was left with six returning scholarship players.
The Huskies have signed Omar Calhoun, a 6-foot-4 guard from New York.
Also hanging over the UConn program is a ban from participating in the 2013 NCAA tournament because the Huskies failed to meet NCAA academic qualifications.
The school appealed the ban.

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