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  • Analyzing the Kenseth curveball and what the move says about Bayne

    Roush Fenway Racing and Matt Kenseth grabbed the news cycle by the horns this week, announcing that the champion driver will return to the organization that brought him into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Kenseth will drive an unspecified number of races in the team’s No. 6 Ford Fusion, splitting time with Trevor Bayne. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts will sponsor Kenseth in at least some races. Bayne will continue to run the races sponsored by Advocare.

    Team president Steve Newmark and team owner Jack Roush both said that Kenseth is coming back to evaluate the state of their mediocre [More]

  • Memories of Captain Herb highlight final Labor Day race weekend at AMS

    This is a re-post of my blog post just after the Atlanta Motor Speedway Labor Day weekend race in 2014, the first after the passing of Captain Herb Emory. Four years to the day after his passing, please enjoy the memories and thank you for Remembering Captain Herb. 

    A banner at the United Against Mouth and Throat Cancer tent, an organization that provides free screenings in the Atlanta Motor Speedway Fan Zone outside the Hampton, Georgia track, had a banner that read “Remembering Capt. Herb Emory.” That was a theme for the entire NASCAR race weekend at AMS.

    Conyers driver Chris Cockrum [More]

  • AMS throws a cold glass of water on the youth movement

    Atlanta Motor Speedway is almost every driver’s favorite track. You hear that everytime NASCAR’s circus pitches tents in Hampton, Georgia. Drivers love the 21-year old surface at the legendary 58-year old track, because it causes tire wear and forces drivers to search all over for grip. Old pavement puts the race back in the drivers’ hands and every driver I spoke to – from young William Byron to Sunday’s race-winner and longest-tenured Cup driver Kevin Harvick – say it’s fun.

    But since drivers matter so much, NASCAR’s youth movement had to sit on the carpet and hear from the teachers [More]

  • AMS Friday notes: Busch up front, Truex in the back, and an interesting proposition from Dylan Lupton

    Busch takes MENCS pole, Truex Jr.’s team in hot water

    Kyle Busch claimed his first-ever Atlanta Motor Speedway pole in Friday qualifying. Busch actually was fastest at AMS in 2016, but NASCAR disqualified his time. His 184.652 mph lap in Round 3 this year put the No 18 Snickers Toyota on the front row for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, alongside seven-time AMS pole winner Ryan Newman.

    Kevin Harvick, who dominated last year’s race, was fastest in Round 2 and starts 3rd. Brad Keselowski, who won this race a year ago, was another fast Ford, but could only muster 5th [More]

  • Elliott says Earnhardt Jr. played big role in reviving the 9 car

    22-year-old Chase Elliott is driving the No. 9 car in 2018 and the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a lot to do with it.

    Elliott’s arrival full-time in NASCAR came on the wings of Earnhardt Jr., in the form of the 2014 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule in the No. 9 NAPA Chevy for JR Motorsports. One championship and two seasons later, Elliott found himself replacing the retiring Jeff Gordon in the legendary Hendrick Motorsports No. 24, as a teammate to Earnhardt Jr. Now entering his third season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Elliott remains with his same race [More]

  • 2017 Georgia NASCAR drivers review and 2018 preview

    The 2018 season was one of almost utter exuberance and certain, sighing heartbreak for the Georgia drivers gang – and several drivers struggling with middle or back marker teams. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each driver in NASCAR’s top series fared and what they look forward to this quickly approaching season.

    Chase Elliott:

    Wins: 0, Top 5s: 12, Top10s: 21, Poles: 1, Rank: 5, Avg. fin.: 12.0, DNFs: 4, LLFs: 27

    That goose egg in the win column should not be of worry; Elliott notched five runner-up finishes (four in the Playoffs), out performed all of his teammates (including seven-time [More]

  • NASCAR rookies testing more than just the track at Atlanta

    On a sunny, windy Monday, Atlanta Motor Speedway went green with even greener drivers making their first 2018 laps. Xfinity Series rookies Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick and Camping World Truck Series yellow-striper Dalton Sargeant had more on the line than just learning a new track with new vehicles. They began the synergy with their new teams and in different ways.

    They began the two-day test the way most of many testing days unfold – waiting. The rains from Sunday kept the track damp all Monday morning, thanks to weepers in the 21-year-old surface. But rubber hit the road in [More]

  • So many storylines cap the 2017 NASCAR season

    November 19, 2017 is the culmination of a year of domination, penalties, sentimentality, pessimism, optimism, the past, and the future. The nine month NASCAR grind exhaled fireworks, champagne, and confetti this Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Martin Truex Jr.’s championship coronation is compelling enough, after a dominating season with Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. And Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s exit from NASCAR as a driver is a perfect story to dominate the human interest thirst outside of the championship. But several other stories make processing NASCAR’s final weekend more complicated.

    Matt Kenseth announced two weeks ago his intent to step away [More]

  • Kenseth quitting racing just as he raced – low key

    The inevitable is in the light. The light is at the end of the tunnel and it’s getting bigger. As long as Matt Kenseth didn’t actually say he was stepping away from racing, there was a chance that a ride and a sponsor would appear. But barring something unforeseen, which technically could happen, 45-year-old Matt Kenseth’s last race as a full-time driver will be the November 19th season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While one of his peers gets crowned a champion, Kenseth will fade into the sunset. The 2003 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ will walk away in the [More]

  • Melancholy and the infinite gratefulness

    This weekend marked the final September NASCAR races for both New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Speedway Motorsports Inc. (the parent company of those tracks and several others…and Performance Racing Network, of course) got a big break in gaining the financial support of the city of Las Vegas to move the events to a second NASCAR date in 2018. The news is even bigger for Las Vegas Motor Speedway, because that weekend opens the 2018 NASCAR playoffs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

    But there’s a twinge of sadness and a sea of gratitude for me. When NASCAR [More]

News

  • An 17-year-old faces a vehicular homicide charges nearly a month after police said she crashed a car, killing her classmate on senior skip day.  Prosecutors said Cristina Pavon-Baker was driving at 106 mph when she crashed a Mini Cooper into a tree and killed 18-year-old passenger Makayla Penn, Channel 2 Action News reported.  The March 26 crash occurred on I-75 North at the Jonesboro Road exit in Clayton County. The vehicle, “traveling at a high rate of speed,” failed to navigate the turn on the exit ramp, went airborne, overturned several times and ended up hitting a tree, uprooting it in a wooded area, the GSP said at the time of the crash. Pavon-Baker was cut out of the car and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for her injuries.  Prosecutors said Pavon-Baker was on Snapchat before the crash.  The two girls attended Community Christian School and were participating in senior skip day at the time of the crash.  The judge gave Pavon-Baker a $31,000 bond and ordered her to surrender her passport, Channel 2 reported. She was also ordered to not drive and to stay off of Snapchat. 
  • Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, has withdrawn his name from consideration, multiple news outlets are reporting. >> MORE COVERAGE: Embattled VA nominee Ronny Jackson accused of drunken driving, drug use | Jamie Dupree: Trump pick to head VA in trouble as Senators postpone hearing | Senate postpones hearing for Trump VA pick Ronny Jackson amid 'serious allegations' | More trending news 
  • Florida fisherman Joel Singletary reeled in the granddaddy of all catfish. >> Read more trending news  Singletary caught the 121-pounder April 11 on the Choctawhatchee River, which flows into the sunshine state from Alabama.  The white-bellied fish, which weighs more than 1.7 times the current record of 69.5 pounds for a catfish caught in Florida, put up quite a fight as Singletary was reeling it in, according to officials with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. When the fisherman felt the giant fish nibbling on his trotline, he suspected he was in for a battle. “I was shocked. I didn’t think I could get him in the boat,” he told the NWF Daily News. “The adrenaline took over.” Since it was caught on a trotline, the catch does not qualify as a state record, but remains an impressive feat nonetheless, FWC officials wrote on the agency’s Facebook page.  Originally found in the Escambia and Yellow rivers in northwest Florida, blue catfish are now found in the Apalachicola and Suwannee rivers, too. The fish prefers larger rivers with clearer, swifter currents. Singletarry told the NWF Daily News that after he caught the cat, he had to concoct a system of pulleys to yank it out of the boat.  Once out, he strung it up and filleted it.  Some went to his neighbors, some to a weekly fish fry and the rest was planned for a weekend party. >> Related: Bear kills dog, seriously injures another in Florida subdivision As for missing his chance in the record book, Singletary isn’t too concerned and told NWF Daily he’ll be back out on the waters and not soon enough. “Oh yeah, I was very impressed,” he told the NWF Daily. “It won’t be a record ... but that’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience holding that in your hands.”
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the two youngest players in the major leagues, both homered and combined for five RBIs to lead Atlanta over the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Thursday and give the Braves a split of the four-game series. Acuna became the youngest player in the major leagues Wednesday at 20 years, 128 days, and went 1 for 5 in his debut. He led off the second inning Thursday with a home run five rows deep into the left-field upper deck against Homer Bailey, singled in the sixth and hit a tiebreaking double off Wandy Peralta (1-1) in the eighth following Freddie Freeman's third double of the game. Albies, a 21-year-old who made his debut last August, hit a two-run homer in the fifth for a 4-0 lead and added an RBI double in the ninth. Sam Freeman (1-1) retired all four batters he faced, and Arodys Vizcaino pitched a one-hit ninth for his second save. Cincinnati dropped to 5-20 for the first time in franchise history. Every Atlanta starter except catcher Kurt Suzuki had at least one hit, including pitcher Sean Newcomb. Newcomb gave up four runs, five hits and three walks in six innings. He allowed just two hits through four innings, but Cincinnati tied the score in a four-run fifth that included Joey Votto's three-run homer. Votto has homered in three straight games for the sixth time. Bailey allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings. TRAINER'S ROOM Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez was activated from the 10-day DL after recovering from a broken right thumb sustained April 8 when he was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh's Jameson Taillon. ... The Reds selected the contract of INF-OF Rosell Herrera from Louisville (IL) and pptioned OF Phillip Ervin and INF Cliff Pennington to Louisville. UP NEXT Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (1-1) is to start Friday at Philadelphia. Reds: Cincinnati opens a three-game road on Friday at Minnesota. RHP Luis Castillo (1-3) is slated to open Friday when the Reds play at Minnesota's Target Field for the first time. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Two recent encounters at a Philadelphia Starbucks and a Pennsylvania golf club that led to allegations of racism against black patrons escalated into full-blown confrontations when people decided to call 911 to report incidents that clearly weren't emergencies. The incidents show how common it has become for people to call 911 these days to settle fairly routine disputes, serving as the catalyst in some cases for racially charged encounters involving African-Americans and minorities. In Philadelphia, a Starbucks manager punched 9-1-1 into her phone to report two black men who were waiting for a real estate meeting, prompting police to show up and arrest them. In York, Pennsylvania, white golfers called 911 amid a dispute over slow play by five black women. Previous non-emergency calls have had lethal consequences for African-Americans. Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was playing with a pellet gun in a Cleveland park, was shot to death in 2014 by a white police officer after a man waiting for a bus called 911 to reporting a 'guy' was pointing a gun. The man also told the dispatcher that the gun might be 'fake,' but that information was not relayed to the responding officers. John Crawford III of Ohio was shopping in a Walmart in 2014 when he picked up an air rifle from a Walmart shelf. A man called 911 on him, and Crawford was killed by a police officer. In all these cases, it was the 911 call that escalated the encounters and led to criticism that Americans have become too quick to call 911 for non-emergencies. They also served as a reminder of how vastly different the decision to call 911 is for black and white Americans. 'Calling the police, for any black person, is fraught,' said Georgetown University professor Paul Butler, author of the recent book, 'Chokehold: Policing Black Men.' 'It's always a deliberate decision with a risk of a downside that could be tragic.' The National Emergency Number Association says about 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. each year, mostly from cell phones. The widespread nature of mobile phones has made it much easier for people call 911, compared to the past era when they had to be near a landline. Tyler Wall, a sociology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and co-author of 'The Police: A Field Guide,' says the increased reliance on 911 has put police in a difficult situation where they are being used to enforce racial discrimination over vague fears of a threat. 'Police then become the all-go-to resource to handle anything (businesses) don't like,' he said. 'Police are constantly on speed dial.' For many people, the decision to call the police is often motivated by a feeling of being threatened, Butler explained. But when the actions of a black person are perceived as more criminal, they can be seen as a threat even if their behavior is the same as a white person's. The combination of fear and bias can have dangerous effects for blacks — both as the subject and caller. When black people consider calling the police, there is the additional consideration of whether calling for help could also bring harm. A study published in the American Sociological Review in 2016 showed that high-profile cases of police violence could lead to black residents being less likely to report crimes. 'They know that the police are going to come in, see a black person and immediately assume the worst,' Butler said. 'The concern is that these reactions by police officers make black people reluctant to call the police, even in situations where it might be useful for the police to be involved.' Studies have shown that African-Americans are indeed less likely to call police to report a crime than whites. Still, a large majority of white and black Americans who call the police felt officers acted properly and were helpful. A 2013 Justice Department report found that for non-crime emergencies, 83 percent of blacks compared to 94 percent of whites felt police were helpful. Additionally, 88 percent of blacks compared to 96 percent of whites felt police acted properly on such occasions. LiRon Anderson-Bell said the golfing incident was a reminder that a simple call to the police is anything but for black people. 'We as a society have started to use the police as a weapon beyond a weapon,' said the 48-year-old Philadelphia mother, who is black. 'Everybody knows what that means, everybody knows what that can lead to.' Anderson-Bell said she has called the police twice in her life: Once, in her 20s, when she and a roommate believed they overheard a nearby assault on a woman. The second time was two years ago when she thought she saw a group of black teens robbing a white photographer. 'I saw the crime committed, and I hesitated,' she said. 'I was afraid for what would happen to them. They were teenage boys, they were all black ... I was conflicted.' Even before she was aware of the racial implications of calling 911, Amanda Pinney learned not to abuse the phone number at a young age, after dialing it as a child when someone set fire to something in her yard. 'Even then, they asked me if it was an emergency,' Pinney, 34, recalled. 'That, to me, instilled that calling the police was a really big deal.' She said her car was burglarized as a teenager, and officers caught the thief and recovered her belongings. When they asked if she wanted to press charges, Pinney declined. 'He was black and looked not very much older than me,' said Pinney, a white woman. 'I wasn't taught to be really careful because this could have consequences for people of color, but you're still aware that you're setting something in motion.' ___ Whack is The Associated Press' national writer for race and ethnicity. Follow her work on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous
  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has now put a face on a suitcase full of bones found last year in Butts County. A forensic artist has created a sketch of what an unidentified woman might have looked like. Last December, a suitcase full of bones was discovered in the woods along I-75 in Butts County. A forensic anthropologist determined bones were those of an African American female but age range is wide. Investigators say she could have been anywhere from 19 to 45-years-old.  She had a broken ankle at some time in her life. So far, investigators call it an undetermined death.   They aim to find out who she was and they hope artist Kelly Lawson's sketch will jog some memories.  Channel 2's Berndt Petersen spoke to Lawson about her responsibility and the unique feature that could make the woman easy to recognize, on Channel 2 Action News at 4:45.  TRENDING STORIES: Woman kills husband's mistress then turns gun on herself in 'calculated, planned attack': Police Damaging winds and small hail possible as storms head our way Teen was driving 106 mph when she crashed, killed best friend, prosecutors say A skeleton was found in a suitcase along I-75 in Butts County. A forensic artist says the victim may have looked like this. 445 pic.twitter.com/6VUkLyJ7yQ — Berndt Petersen (@BPetersenWSB) April 26, 2018