10-19-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Tangled up at Talladega

You can’t say Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was boring. The 31st race of the 2017 NASCAR season featured 30 lead changes and 11 caution periods for 47 laps including three red-flag stoppages.

All in all, the big one came on lap 172 when 16 cars tangled, crunched, and crashed courtesy of Martin Truex Jr. who just couldn’t brake check fast enough as he tried to go three-wide. When the clattering was complete and collateral damage assessed, the question of who would make the next playoff round – the Round of Eight – was as muddy as the Mississippi River.

The one driver who did punch his ticket to the next round was Victory Lane celebrant Brad Keselowski. He picked up his third win of the season and 24th of his career. Keselowski led seven laps.

Ryan Newman led three laps in his runner-up finish effort. Newman has one win this season.

Trevor Bayne earned his second top five finish of the season with his third-place outing. Bayne is in his eighth year on the NASCAR circuit and has one win under his belt.

Coming in fourth was Joey Logano. He led a race-high 59 of the total 188 circuits. Logano has one win this season but picked up his 10th top five finish.

Rounding out the top five was Aric Almirola. The Smithfield driver earned his 11th top five and 30th top ten finish of 2017.

Pole sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr. led seven laps but finished seventh.

Drivers who also led laps but did not finish in the top five were: Denny Hamlin (4), Kasey Kahne (5), Matt Kenseth (7), Daniel Suarez (11), Chase Elliott (26), Ryan Blaney (27), Brendan Gaughan (6), AJ Allmendinger (1), Kurt Busch (3), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (6), Kyle Busch (4), and Matt Dibenedetto (12).

Qualified drivers participating in the Round of 12 have only one more chance to make their mark before four of them fall out of contention for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Last week, Truex Jr. secured his spot. This week, Keselowski earned his. That leaves six more places for 10 drivers.

The teams will roll the dice at the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Truex Jr. won here in May of this year. Can he make it come up with two of a kind or will he roll snake eyes? Check back to find out.

AQB WRAP-UP

Battered Bears, dismal Detroit, hurting Hartford, and crestfallen Comets create havoc in the AQB contest

By Kristy Noack

If you are a fan of the Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterback contest, you know it’s a brutal week when the best record is 5-3 and four competitors post 4-4 outings. That was week eight in our contest.

Tim Hildebrand came out on top with the 5-3 record. He was the only AQB to guess one single NFL game correctly. Hildebrand correctly predicted New Orleans would trounce Detroit, and they did. That long pick gave Hildebrand the best record for the week.

In the TRC AQB contest, six local football fans try their hand at guessing the outcome of eight high school, college, and professional football games. A winner is determined each week based on the best record posted.

In the event two or more AQBs have identical weekly records, one game is chosen as the tie-breaker game. All contestants must determine how many points will be scored in that contest. The AQB with the closest guess wins the higher position in the rankings.

RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht, Rodney Lynch, Greg Krell, and Bryan Conrad went 4-4 for the week. Their place in the standings came down to the tie-breaker game featuring Watervliet and Schoolcraft. The Panthers continued their unbeaten streak with the 36-14 victory.

Lynch guessed 49 points would be scored, giving him second place. Krell’s 77 total point guess landed him in third place. Fourth place went to Conrad as he guessed 79 points would be scored in the game. Fifth place was secured by Rodney-Isbrecht’s 82-point guess.