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Tennessee defeat Appalachian State in OT

Photo by: Wade Payne

College football is back and in thrilling fashion as Tennessee and Appalachian State went into overtime in their first game of the season Thursday night.

Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd made the move that would win them the ballgame, recovering a fumble by the team’s quarterback for a touchdown that would give them their first, and only, lead of the night.

Taylor Lamb tried for an end zone pass, however Micah Abernathy broke up the pass and ended the night.

The win came after several mistakes made by Appalachian State, who went scoreless in the second half of the game, were capitalized on. The Tennessee Volunteers took advantage of poor clock management and missed opportunities, which included a missed field goal and a touchdown extra point.

Despite trailing for the entire game, Tennessee’s big break came when Josh Malone ran in a 67-yard touchdown pass in the 4th-quarter to tie up the game. That gave them everything they needed to force overtime at Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee made first downs that allowed them to move down field and score. Dobbs stretched for the goal line before a hit in the chest caused the ball to escape from Dobbs hands. Hurd recovered for the touchdown.

Appalachian State failed to tie the game that resulted in Tennessee’s 20-13 victory.

 

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Kyle Larson earns first career Sprint Cup victory

Photo by: Jeff Zelevansky

Kyle Larson scored his first Sprint Cup Series victory at Michigan International Speedway during Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, the first person since Dale Jarrett to score their first Cup victory at the racetrack.

Larson, who led 41 laps, snapped a 99-race winless streak for Chip Ganassi Racing. The driver was the third first-time winner this weekend in a national series. Michael McDowell won in the XFINITY Series and Brett Moffitt in the Camping World Truck Series – the first in NASCAR history.

“I was teared-up that whole last few laps, because I could just feel it,” Larson said. “It was finally going to be it. This one is for the Clauson family. We really miss Bryan. We’re going to miss him. We parked it for him, so that’s really cool.”

Much like other races the No.42 Target Chevrolet driver looked promised to win, Larson overcame losing the lead to rookie Chase Elliott after final pit stops when a late-race caution bunched up the field for a final restart.

“We’ve been close a few times throughout my Sprint Cup career to final put it all together and get a win, it’s awesome.” Larson said, “It makes me extremely proud because we didn’t start off this year good at all. I was pretty down the first month and a half or so.”

Larson became the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program to win on the Sprint Cup Series level. He also clinches a spot inside the Chase for the first time in his career.

“It’s special because all the hard work has paid off.” Larson said.

The win comes three weeks after close friend Brian Clauson was fatally injured in a racing accident. Larson ‘Parked It’ in victory lane and dedicated the win to his family after celebrating with a thrilling burnout.

“He didn’t like people doing burnouts and stuff like that because he wanted you to act like you’ve been to Victory Lane before.” Larson said of his late friend, “But I hadn’t been to Victory Lane before. So I was going to do some burnouts.”

Denny Hamlin wins at Watkins Glen 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355

Photo by: Chris Trotman

Denny Hamlin held onto his lead in the closing laps of the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International to grab the first road course victory of his career.

Martin Truex Jr was charging to battle with Hamlin for the lead until Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski tapped him and sent him spinning in the final lap. Keselowski finished third while Truex survived for a top-10.

The race was packed with cautions and included two red flags during the 90 lap event on Sunday.

A multi-car wreck involving Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillion, Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse promoted a red flag after Stenhouse lost control of his No. 17 Ford on Lap 53.

The second and final red flag came in the closing laps after last week’s winner Chris Buescher, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, and David Ragan made contact on a restart.

Hamlin, who scored his second victory of 2016, shared that he battled back spams throughout the day.

“I really doubted getting into the race car today,” Hamlin said “But I’m really proud of this FedEx Freight Toyota Team.”

Hamlin was all smiles in victory lane despite having to walk to celebrate his win. Hamlin blew the tires off his car in a celebratory post-race burnout.

“This means a lot.” Hamlin said.

Kyle Busch dominates Brickyard 

 

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400

Photo by: Robert Laberge

Kyle Busch outran the entire field Sunday evening with a 2 second lead in double overtime for his second straight win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Busch led 149 laps, a race record, for back-to-back wins at the 2.5-mile oval. Busch becomes the first driver since 2009 to win two years in a row.

“This Toyota was awesome today. Man, it was just so fast.” Busch said, “not even some of my teammates could challenge me. We just had it hooked up. It was like it was on rails.”

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver beat his teammate in double overtime for the victory. A incident involving Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer sent the race into overtime, however they did not make it to the official overtime line before a spin by Jamie McMurray brought out the last caution.

Although Joey Logano contended for the win on the first restart, Busch’s restart in double overtime propelled him ahead of the field for his fourth victory this season.

While Busch was celebrating his win, Stewart Haas Racing driver and co-owner, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, per request from Stewart, took a celebratory lap around the racetrack. Stewart plans to retire at the end of the year and finished 11th in his last running at his home track.

From Penalty to Victory

Photo by: Brian Lawdermilk

Kyle Larson overcame the obstacles he faced in Wednesday night’s Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby to score his second Camping World Truck Series victory and his first series victory at Eldora Speedway.

“It means a lot, especially losing the way I did the two years I ran,” Larson said during his celebration. “Thanks to everyone on this GMS Racing team, DC Solar for coming on-board for this, this is very special for them.”

Larson was leading on lap 52 when he blew a tire and spun out, bringing out the caution. He was forced to do a pass-through penalty after NASCAR determined that he intentionally spun to bring out the caution.

Larson was not to be denied, however. After regaining his lap, he charged to the front of the field and battled with Bobby Pierce until Pierce crashed into the turn 4 wall after suffering transmission issues. Pierce, who finished second in last year’s event, led 102 of 150 laps and finished 25th.

After Larson reclaimed the lead with 30 to go, he extended his lead as the remaining laps dwindled and won by a 0.767-second margin of victory.

Last year’s winner, Christopher Bell, went home second, followed by Rico Abreu, Jake Griffin, and Tyler Reddick.

Eldora is familiar territory for Tyler Reddick

Daytona International Speedway - Day 7

Photo by: Jonathan Ferrey

When the Camping World Truck Series roll onto the track at Eldora Speedway on Tuesday to prepare for the Aspen Dental Eldora Dirt Derby, the driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Cooper Standard F-150 will practically be at home.

Before making his way to the NASCAR scene, Reddick raced in the Dirt Late Model Series, breaking records as he went. The, then 15-year-old, became the youngest winner of a feature event in the series. He also holds the record for youngest driver to make the World 100 at Eldora Speedway.

So why are these two facts so important? It’s because Tyler Reddick’s average at Eldora is 7.0, given that is only from two races, but the young talent knows his way around the infamous dirt track owned by NASCAR veteran, Tony Stewart.

Every week Reddick applies his knowledge from his dirt days and puts them to the test. His truck is often described by announcers as “too loose”, but more often than not it is just the right fit for Reddick.

And when it’s not?

He makes wicked saves that are often only seen by drivers who have years and years of experience under their belts. Earlier this year at Charlotte Motor Speedway when Reddick’s truck became looser as the laps continued to advance, Reddick overcame his obstacles for a fourth-place finish.

A win at Eldora would not only qualify Reddick to run for the series championship, the chase-style format implemented for the 2016 season to bring more exciting racing and prepare the young stars for the Sprint Cup Series, but it would be a highlight victory for the California native’s resume. One that already includes a Daytona victory and a 2nd place finish in the 2015 title run.

Brad Keselowski’s win at Kentucky comes down to fuel mileage

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 Presented by Advance Auto Parts

Photo by: Matt Sullivan

Brad Keselowski held more than an eight second lead over Carl Edwards in the remaining laps of the Quaker State 400 Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway.

That lead deteriorated as he went into fuel saving mode to make it to grab the checkers for his second win in two weeks.

“We knew the fuel mileage,” Keselowski said, “We went out and we set a really fast pace there on that restart and just using fuel, and then it became obvious that you were going to have to save fuel at the end, but I already used so much.”

The Penske driver did not have fuel to do a victory donut, needing a push to victory lane, but he made the distance that mattered to clinch his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, where only 8 races remain before the start of the 2016 playoffs.

This was the first race at Kentucky Speedway since the repave and reconfiguration, causing top contention drivers like Hendrick Motorsports driver, Jimmie Johnson, and Joey Logano slamming into the walls and ending their day to compete for the win.

“As long as you weren’t around anybody, it was great.” Tony Stewart said after scoring a fifth place victory in his final start at the 1.5-mile track.

Keselowski, who now has three wins at Kentucky, reiterated the Stewart-Haas Racing’s statement.

“These cars were tough to drive today, but a good tough. This was a hard-fought battle, and I’m really proud of everybody on the 2 crew to get win number four and take that first place.”