The finish of Monday’s rain-delayed Geico 500, as thrilling as it was, was still a secondary storyline behind what happened before the race.
NASCAR came together to support Bubba Wallace, the lone Black driver in the Cup series, a day after a noose reportedly was found in Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway. Drivers and team members walked with Wallace and pushed his car to the front of the line in prerace ceremonies.
Wallace led briefly midway through the final stage but eventually ran out of gas in the closing laps. Meanwhile, his best friend, Ryan Blaney, was good on fuel and strong enough to get to the line first by inches. Blaney edged past Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a wild overtime for his second consecutive win at the track, both in photo finishes.
Below are the complete results from Monday’s race at Talladega, which was delayed by weather (rain Sunday and a storm Monday) twice.
Who won the NASCAR race at Talladega?
Ryan Blaney edged out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by a nose (officially, seven one-thousandths of a second). Just before that, Blaney shoved Erik Jones out of the way in the drag race to the start-finish line.
“I just kind of blocked, just trying to block the best we could,” Blaney told reporters. “Ride the top, ride the bottom. The 20 (Jones) got to my outside, and I tried to go up there to slow him down and . . . I’m not sure, I don’t know . . . three-wide, I hate that I hit him, but just kind of trying to beat and bang to the line and things like that.”
Aric Almirola, who also wrecked at the finish, crossed the line backward in third place. Denny Hamlin was fourth and Jones finished fifth.
NASCAR at Talladega results
Blaney ran most of the race up front in a tight pack with his Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. All three represented a strong threat to win even as the lead changed 56 times among 19 drivers. Blaney led the most laps in the race with 63.
Wallace moved into contention late in the race, taking the lead with 27 laps to go. He quickly fell back after being passed by Logano and then later ran out of fuel, which ended his quest for a victory. He finished 14th.
|2||(20)||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Chevrolet||191|
|8||(22)||John Hunter Nemechek #||Ford||191|
|20||(16)||Tyler Reddick #||Chevrolet||191|
|22||(28)||Cole Custer #||Ford||191|
|23||(1)||Martin Truex Jr||Toyota||191|
|27||(32)||Quin Houff #||Chevrolet||190|
|29||(35)||Christopher Bell #||Toyota||190|
|35||(27)||Brennan Poole #||Chevrolet||178|
# Rookie. (i) Ineligible for series points.
Average speed of race winner: 146.933 mph.
Time of race: 3 hours, 27 minutes, 28 seconds. Margin of Victory: 0.007 seconds.
Caution flags: 8 for 33 laps.
Lead changes: 56 among 19 drivers.
Lap leaders: M. Truex Jr 1-4; D. Hamlin 5-7; J. Logano 8-10; D. Hamlin 11-14; J. Logano 15-17; D. Hamlin 18-22; J. Logano 23-26; M. DiBenedetto 27; J. Logano 28-35; K. Busch 36; J. Logano 37-39; W. Byron 40; D. Hamlin 41-42; J. Logano 43; D. Hamlin 44-45; A. Bowman 46; J. Logano 47-49; A. Bowman 50; J. Logano 51; T. Reddick # 52; J. Logano 53-55; T. Reddick # 56-60; R. Newman 61; A. Bowman 62-64; R. Blaney 65; J. Johnson 66; K. Busch 67; R. Blaney 68-69; K. Busch 70-71; R. Blaney 72-73; K. Busch 74; R. Blaney 75-96; B. Poole # 97; R. Blaney 98-105; R. Stenhouse Jr 106; R. Blaney 107-111; R. Stenhouse Jr 112; R. Blaney 113-118; R. Stenhouse Jr 119-121; C. Buescher 122-125; K. Harvick 126; R. Preece 127; C. Elliott 128-130; D. Hamlin 131; R. Blaney 132-142; C. Bell # 143-146; D. Hamlin 147; J. Logano 148-150; W. Byron 151-160; B. Wallace 161; J. Logano 162; R. Preece 163-164; A. Bowman 165-171; T. Reddick # 172-184; R. Blaney 185-189; K. Harvick 190; R. Blaney 191.
Leaders summary (Driver, times leading, laps led): Ryan Blaney 10 times for 63 laps; Joey Logano 11 times for 33 laps; Tyler Reddick # 3 times for 19 laps; Denny Hamlin 7 times for 18 laps; Alex Bowman 4 times for 12 laps; William Byron 2 times for 11 laps; Kyle Busch 4 times for 5 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr 3 times for 5 laps; Martin Truex Jr 1 time for 4 laps; Christopher Bell # 1 time for 4 laps; Chris Buescher 1 time for 4 laps; Ryan Preece 2 times for 3 laps; Chase Elliott 1 time for 3 laps; Kevin Harvick 2 times for 2 laps; Bubba Wallace 1 time for 1 lap; Brennan Poole # 1 time for 1 lap; Matt DiBenedetto 1 time for 1 lap; Jimmie Johnson 1 time for 1 lap; Ryan Newman 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage 1 Top 10: 8,88,22,48,18,12,2,1,9,24
Stage 2 Top 10: 47,12,18,2,95,22,43,41,17,24
Material from the NASCAR Wire Service was used in this report.
Sinclair to lead Canadian women’s team in her fourth Olympics
Christine Sinclair, the all-time international goal-scoring record holder, was named to her fourth Olympic squad on Wednesday and will headline a Canadian roster at the Tokyo Games that features a mix of veterans and youth.
Led by Sinclair, whose 186 goals for her country are the most by a female or male soccer player worldwide, Canada won medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was the only nation to make the podium in both competitions.
“I am looking forward to doing whatever I can to help take this team back to the podium and make history again,” said Canadian captain Sinclair. “Our team is in a good spot, we are excited, we are hungry and we are ready to go.”
The 18-player roster features 12 members of the squad that competed at the 2016 Rio Games while a quintet including Vanessa Gilles, Jayde Riviere, Julia Grosso, Adriana Leon, and Evelyne Viens will be making their Olympic debuts.
Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan travelled to Rio in 2016 as an alternate.
Canada will kick off their Tokyo 2020 journey when they face Japan on July 21 and continue Group E play against Chile on July 24 and Britain on July 27.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)
Which of the Canadians Picked in the 2021 NFL Draft Will Thrive This Season?
It was a good NFL Draft for Canadian players in 2021.
Some four stars from north of the border were selected by NFL franchises in the free agency pick ‘em, and that is tied as the highest number of Canadians drafted in the 85-year history of the event.
Welcome to Miami, Jevon Holland— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2021
Of course, the hope is that these young talents are more than just filler and roster depth, but can any of the quartet make the breakthrough into the big time?
Here’s a look at which of the NFL’s newest Canadian additions can shine in 2021/22.
The defensive back was the number 36 pick in the Draft by the Miami Dolphins, who beat off a number of rivals in the hunt for the Coquitlam native.
A versatile defender, Holland is a former Jim Thorpe Award semi-finalist thanks to his exploits in the NCAA back in 2019 with the University of Oregon.
He sat out the 2020 campaign, but representatives from dozens of NFL teams were in town to watch Holland go through his paces at the Oregon Pro Day.
The 21-year-old is following in the footsteps of his father Robert, who turned out for the Detroit Lions, and he is expected to force his way into the starting line-up at the Dolphins. And, who knows, maybe Holland could go all the way in his first season, with Miami priced at +2500 in the Super Bowl 2022 American football odds.
When you’re six foot three, 205 pounds and still able to run 40 yards in 4.51 seconds, it goes without saying that you have the physical credentials to succeed in the NFL.
Benjamin St-Juste is the man that can, and he will bolster the roster at a Washington Football Team that will be looking to improve upon their playoff showing in 2020.
The 23-year-old may only have been a third-round pick, but he comes with a burgeoning reputation thanks to a successful time at the University of Minnesota. An All-Big Ten special mention in 2019, more than 50 NFL recruitment personnel attended the college’s pro day – largely to catch a glimpse of St-Juste going through his paces.
Both Brian Gutekunst and Jon Robinson made the trip but, in the end, it was Washington who snapped up the powerhouse from the Draft.
The third Canadian to be drafted in 2021 was Chuba Hubbard, who became the first Canadian running back to be selected from the Draft in 25 years.
It’s the Carolina Panthers who have taken a chance on the 22-year-old and with his credentials, you can see why. Hubbard finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 2019 after a stellar campaign – he served up 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, an NCAA best. He was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
While running backs are not the hottest of properties in the Draft, Hubbard provably has the talent to cross into the end zone with regularity – the Panthers might just have got their hands on an unheralded gem here.
With these three Canadians taking the step up to the NFL, the future of the sport north of the border looks in safe hands.
Berrettini ends Murray’s comeback at Queen’s
The 34-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion, playing in his first singles tournament on grass for three years, could not handle the ferocious pace of Berrettini as he slid to defeat.
Murray eased past Benoit Paire in his opening match on Tuesday but world number nine Berrettini was too big a step up.
Berrettini’s huge first serve and forehand did most of the damage but the Italian also showed plenty of silky touch on the slick lawns to register his first career win over Murray.
Berrettini, 25, finished the match off with a powerful hold of serve, banging down four massive first serves before sealing victory with a clubbing forehand winner.
He faces British number one Dan Evans in the quarter-final after Evans beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
Murray, a five-time winner of the traditional warm-up event but now ranked 124 after long battles with hip injuries including resurfacing surgery in 2019, has been handed a wildcard for the Wimbledon championships.
Apart from a slight groin niggle, Murray said he was reasonably happy with his condition, considering this was only his third Tour-level tournament of the year.
“I think obviously I need to improve,” Murray told reporters. “I actually felt my movement was actually quite good for both of the matches. My tennis today was not very good today. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most.
“I felt like today that that sort of showed my lack of matches.”
Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez, who won the singles title in 2019 and the doubles alongside Murray, was beaten 6-2 6-3 by Canada‘s Denis Shapovalov.
(Reporting by Martyn HermanEditing by Toby Davis and Pritha Sarkar)
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