Jones wins crash-fest at Daytona to open NASCAR season
By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer
Erik Jones was the winner of a demolition derby at Daytona International Speedway. He won the exhibition Busch Clash on Sunday and was one of just six drivers still on track at the end of the crash-fest. The race had a pair of accidents in the final nine of regulation. Then it had two more in three overtimes. It was the longest Busch Clash in race history as it went 13 laps past the 75-lap distance. Jones won in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and led just the final lap.
Stenhouse wins Daytona 500 pole in debut with new team
By MARK LONG AP Sports Writer
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the pole for NASCAR’s season-opening Daytona 500. Stenhouse turned a lap at 194.582 mph to put his new Chevrolet Camaro on the pole for next Sunday’s race. Stenhouse is making his debut with JTG-Daugherty Racing after Roush Fenway Racing abruptly fired him late last year. Alex Bowman earned the second starting spot in the Daytona 500 as only the top two positions are set in time trials. The rest of the starting order will be determined by qualifying races Thursday. Hendrick Motorsports powered the fastest four cars.
Crosby leads Penguins over Panthers 3-2
By PAUL GEREFFI Associated Press
Sidney Crosby scored his 10th goal in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins held off the Florida Panthers for a 3-2 win. Kris Letang had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who improved to 9-3-0 in their past 12 games. Teddy Blueger also scored, and Tristan Jarry stopped 33 shots. Florida dropped to 1-3-1 since returning from the All-Star break. Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, and Brett Connolly also scored. Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves.
Lofton scores 21, St. Bonaventure knocks off Duquesne 83-80
Kyle Lofton had 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and added seven assists as St. Bonaventure edged Duquesne 83-80. Jaren English had 15 points and seven rebounds for St. Bonaventure, which earned its fourth straight victory. Dominick Welch added 14 points and nine rebounds. Osun Osunniyi had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bonnies. Tavian Dunn-Martin tied a season high with 25 points and Sincere Carry added 17 points and eight assists for the Dukes. Baylee Steele had 15 points. Michael Hughes had seven points, six rebounds and six blocks.
Self wins ARCA opener at Daytona, edges rising star Deegan
By MARK LONG AP Sports Writer
Michael Self won the ARCA Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway by edging rising star Hailee Deegan. It was his eighth victory over the last four years in the feeder series. Self held off Deegan and Drew Dollar over the final four laps for his second win at the famed track in the last three years. He also won the ARCA opener in 2018. The 18-year-old Deegan stayed in line and settled for second. She matched the best finish for a woman in an ARCA race and also tied the best finish by a woman at Daytona.
Pirates eager to get to work after eventful offseason
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
The Pittsburgh Pirates are heading into a new era as spring training opens. The club underwent a massive overhaul of its leadership team in the offseason, bringing in a new president in Travis Williams, a general manager in Ben Cherington and a new manager in Derek Shelton. Owner Bob Nutting felt the moves were necessary following a last-place finish in the NL Central, though the Pirates opted to leave the roster largely untouched. The only truly open competition as camp opens is at catcher and in the outfield, where the team is looking to replace Starling Marte. Marte was traded to Arizona.
Champagnie pops for 30, Pitt slips by Georgia Tech 73-64
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
Freshman Justin Champagnie poured in a career-high 30 points and Pittsburgh pulled away from Georgia Tech 73-64. Champagnie made 12 of 17 shots, including all three of his 3-point attempts as the Panthers (bounced back from a tough road loss at Notre Dame by clamping down on the Yellow Jackets late. Trey McGowens added 14 points and nine assists for Pitt. Terrell Brown finished with nine points and six rebounds in his first start since late November. Michael Devoe led Georgia Tech with 22 points with seven assists sand Moses Wrightscoredn 12 for the Yellow Jackets.
2014 NASCAR champion Harvick signs 2-year extension with SHR
By DAN GELSTON AP Sports Writer
Kevin Harvick has agreed to a two-year contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing that will take the 44-year-old NASCAR champion through the 2023 season. Harvick won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship with SHR. He has 49 career wins and won the 2007 Daytona 500. Harvick drives the No. 4 Ford for SHR and has finished third in the final standings each of the last three seasons. Harvick says “going through a few more years in the car just made sense.”
Now that the Super Bowl of football is over, it’s time for the Super Bowl of auto racing. And much like the gridiron, there’s a lot of events that lead up to the big one.
Thus enters one Mike Lysakowski of Motorsports Aspects, who called in live from Daytona to talk to Matt Drzik & Frank Sparks (filling in for Greg Benedetti) about Speedweeks 2020, the series of racing in Northeast Florida from the ARCA Menards & Truck Series up to the NASCAR Xfinity & Cup Series races (including the Busch Clash on February 9). Lysakowski spoke about the local racers that are succeeding and racing down in the Late Model series, the rise of one Hailie Deegan through the NASCAR ranks, how the weather has affected some earlier races down in the south, and his predictions for the Busch Clash–the precursor to the Daytona 500 on February 16.
Mike’s reports from Daytona are presented by Novak Auto Parts, Marbull’s Restaurant & Tavern, GNU’s Bodyworks, CJ Rombold Engine Builders, City Rescue Mission, and Beaver County Radio. Mike will give a full recap of Speedweeks on February 14 at 11:30 with Frank Sparks on Teleforum, and then he’ll preview the 500 on Saturday with Matt & Greg on the Sports Slam at 9:15.
To listen to Mike’s Speedweeks report from February 8, click on the player below!
Probe: Bryant helicopter was 100 feet from clear skies
By STEFANIE DAZIO Associated Press
Federal investigators say wreckage from the helicopter that crashed last month, killing Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others did not show any evidence of engine failure. That’s according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board. The helicopter crashed into a hillside outside Los Angeles on Jan. 26. The NTSB is investigating the accident, including any role heavy fog played, and a final report isn’t expected for at least a year. A witness told the NTSB that the helicopter was flying forward and downward through the fog before it crashed into the hill.