10-12-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Martin Truex Jr. drives away with win at Charlotte and into Round of 8

Martin Truex Jr. drove away with the win Sunday in the Bank of American 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the victory, the six-time, trophy-hoisting driver also made his way into the next round of playoff competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Having started the race in 17th place, Truex Jr. wound his way around the track and through traffic to take the lead. He led 91 laps.

Truex Jr. has led the driver standings much of the year. In addition to claiming his sixth victory of the season and 13th career win, he also notched his 14th top five of the year.

Chase Elliott finished second in the 30th race of the 2017 season. He has zero wins in this, his second full-time year on the circuit, and nine top five finishes.

Kevin Harvick sped into third place. He started the race from the same position. Harvick led 149 laps and has one win and 10 top five finishes this year.

Denny Hamlin cruised into fourth place. The pole sitter led 45 laps. Hamlin has two wins and 13 top five finishes this season.

Rounding out the top five was Jamie McMurray, who is winless this season. McMurray led four laps and celebrated his third top five finish.

Drivers who also led in the three-lap overtime race were: Kasey Kahne (2), Kyle Larson (12), and Kyle Busch (22).

The event featured 10 caution periods for 44 laps. There were 14 lead changes.

With the win, Truex Jr. is guaranteed a spot in the next Round of 8 competition. Three races, beginning with Charlotte, and including Talladega and Kansas, make up the Round of 12. If a driver wins in one of these three races, they automatically qualify for the next round of competition.

With the victory in hand, Truex Jr. has sailed into the next round.  But first, seven other drivers must qualify as well.

Next up is Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Speedway.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won here in May of this year.  Currently, Stenhouse Jr. is 12th in the playoff standings. A win would certainly boost his chances of winning the whole she-bang at Miami. Does he have what it takes, or is it Truex Jr.’s championship to lose?

AQB WRAP-UP

Leach earns top spot for second week in row; four AQBs knotted up with 43-13 records

By Kristy Noack

Chris Leach continues to be on a roll in the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest. Although she and Rodney Lynch tied for first place for the week with 6-2 records, Leach won the top spot based on the tie-breaker game.

Six super fun football fans have signed on to participate in the TCR AQB contest. Each week they are tasked with correctly predicting the winners of eight high school, college, and professional football games. The AQB with the best record following the NFL’s Super Bowl in February is deemed the winner and will receive a championship cap.

In the event there is a tie during the weekly games, one game is specially selected as the tie-breaker game. The AQBs must gaze into their crystal balls and predict how many points will be scored in that contest. The AQB with the closest guess to the actual point total is given the nod and claims the higher place in the ranking.

Leach and Lynch were the only two AQBs to correctly determine Coloma would be victorious over visiting Schoolcraft, which tipped the records in their favor. Their place in the standings came down to the tie-breaker game of Michigan State at Michigan. What a barn burner of a game that turned out to be. Sort of. MSU quieted the Michigan faithful with a 14-10 win.

With her 56-point guess, Leach won first place, guessing closer than Lynch’s 63 to the 24 point total.

RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht, Greg Krell, and Bryan Conrad all posted 5-3 records, leaving their place in the standings up to their tie-breaker guess.