Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tigers improving, but long road test looms

The Detroit Tigers have won nine of their last 13 games, and are starting to look like the American League Central Division contender a lot of folks expected.
Quintin Berry delivered the winning hit against St. Louis Thursday
Can the Tigers keep their stride on the road?
Detroit, 17-17 in games away from Comerica Park this season, starts at 10-game road trip tonight when the Tigers open a three-game interleague series at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It'll be the second 10-game trip in six weeks for the Tigers. In late May, they went 4-6 on a three-city trip, to Cleveland (lost three), Minnesota (won three) and Boston (went 1-3).
After playing Pittsburgh, the Tigers return to American League rivals as they take on defending A.L. champion Texas and then Tampa Bay.
The Tigers have only seven home games between now and July 15, a stretch that includes the All-Star break.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tony Stewart unfazed by extra speed at MIS

Don't count Tony Stewart among the drivers impressed by 200-mph laps being turned at Michigan International Speedway.
"This is not that fast," the driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet said. "We ran a lot faster in Indy cars. It's fast for stock cars, but the good thing is I don't know if it is the asphalt mix or if it is the tire the Goodyear has brought. The cars are stable out there even though we are running quick lap times."
Stewart was a rising IndyCar star when he switched to stock car racing. He has won two NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.
"No, not when you ran 247 miles per hour in an Indy car at Indy in rookie orientation," Stewart said when asked if he was excited to go 200 mph at MIS. "We've been around that number at Daytona and Talladega. It's just kind of cool to do it with an open motor at 200 miles an hour."

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Brad Keselowski checks 'fear' in the garage

Brad Keselowski has this thing about fear: He doesn't give in to it.
"It's my job not to be scared," the 28-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup driver said. "It's my job to go out there and drive as hard as I can and not worry about those things, and find my way to victory lane."
Speed, and the risks that come with it, are prime topics of discussion at Michigan International Speedway this weekend.
On Thursday, nine drivers put down laps of 200 mph or faster on the repaved 2-mile oval.
The Sprint Cup qualifying record is 194.232 mph, but it could fall Saturday as the field is set for Sunday's 400-mile race.
Keselowski, a Rochester Hills native, likes the idea of going faster and faster.
"I don't think speed is a bad thing," he said. "I think it's what attracts all of us to the sport at some level.
"So, I think, (the increased speed at MIS) is a great opportunity to showcase our sport in a new way, and, you know, I hope that the race is a safe race, but I think this is a great opportunity to do something we have not seen in a Cup car, ever."
Expect Keselowski to try to get the most out of his No. 2 Dodge.
"If you're driving a race car, it shouldn't be stable at any speed," he said. "When your car is stable and comfortable, it's not fast."

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tigers continue battles with Ohio teams

Justin Verlander is scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Reds.
Having just lost two of three games to the Cleveland Indians, the Detroit Tigers head for Cincinnati this weekend for another battle with a team from Ohio and a three-game interleague set against the Reds.
It's a rematch of the 1940 World Series, not that many Tigers or Reds fans remember Cincinnati's seven-game victory over Hank Greenberg, Rudy York and Detroit.
Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander and Drew Smyly are manager Jim Leyland's probable pitchers for the series.
Porcello is 6-3 in interleague decisions; Verlander has a personal three-game losing streak he'd like to squelch and Smyly will face the Reds in a Sunday night match-up.
Cincinnati is expected to counter with a trio of right-handers: Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Mat Latos. Arroyo has a 3.91 ERA; Bailey and Latos check in with ERAs over 4.00.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Graham Rahal faces grid penalty at Detroit Grand Prix

Graham Rahal faces a 10-spot grid penalty for the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle on Sunday.
Rahal, who drives the No. 38 car, had to change a blown engine during preparation for the Indianapolis 500 that was run May 27.
Rather than penalize the driver for the famed race at the Brickyard, IndyCar said penalties would carry over to the Detroit street-course race.
Rahal will be placed back 10 spots from wherever he qualifies Saturday, so 11th would be the best starting position he could have for the 90-lap race.
Rahal, who is 14th in driver points, is also on IndyCar probation because of an incident with fellow driver Marco Andretti during the race at Long Beach, Calif.
Rahal drives for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, the team that includes Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti.

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