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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Bayne of Daytona’s existence?

The youngest driver to win the Great American Race gave the historic Wood Brothers team (the oldest team in NASCAR) its fifth Daytona 500 victory, but its first since 1976 with David Pearson, and Bayne did it in a No. 21 Ford that was retrofitted to resemble Pearson's famed ride. In just his second Sprint Cup start, the 20-year-old Bayne stunned NASCAR's biggest names with a thrilling overtime win Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, holding off Carl Edwards after fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. crashed in NASCAR's first attempt at a green-white-checkered flag finish. Earnhardt had an amazing time trial and was sitting in the pole position to start race making him one of the favorites both in Vegas as well as in some sentimental hearts. It wasn’t just DEJ who got off to the rough start three of the team's four cars, including five-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, were involved in a 14-car wreck early in the 500-mile race Sunday. Four-time series champ Jeff Gordon, who started on the front row, and veteran Mark Martin also sustained damage in the melee. However, Earnhardt Jr. did avoid the mess and was running with the leaders in the begging but his teammates weren't as fortunate. Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet was crumpled front and back, forcing the team to the garage area for major repairs. He returned to the race 30 laps down, essentially running for points while extending his winless streak to 66 races. Ok, enough of who didn’t get it done and more about who did. Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner in NASCAR history just one day after his 20th Birthday, even had to cancel his previous birthday plans because of all his television and print bookings. In fact it was his first appearance behind the wheel at the track so some will write this off as beginners luck but the truth is that the kid kept his cool the entire race, made the most of the opportunities when they came, and gave even some of the vets a lesson in drafting and teamwork when all was said and done. For fans of other teams or drivers that are trying to write this one off, please keep in mind how many of the holders of the racing headlines have not seen the winner’s circle at Daytona that may have to step up their game after Sunday, because if they do believe that had things gone a little different, they would have been the one popin’ champagne, then if they never get that close again Trevor will truly be the ba(y)ne of their existence.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Superman may be coming to Stamford Bridge but can he stop in from sinking in the earthquake?

A record 75million(give or take) transfer fee right at the deadline has sent one of the most prolific strikers in the EPL to Chelsea in hopes to provide the Blues with a much needed offensive boost to help them make a run at the title down the home stretch. The defending Premier League champions are not certain of finishing in the top four this season after hugely disappointing form, hence the drastic action in the transfer market. The signing of David Luiz alongside Torres also seemingly signals a lack faith in what was supposed to be a new British youth policy at Stamford Bridge amid the approaching Fifa Financial Fair Play rules. Tactically, there are issues to address. Will Carlo Ancelotti alter a three-pronged attack that is designed to compliment main man Didier Drogba? Torres is unlikely to accept the secondary role of former Liverpool striker Nicolas Anelka, who, it had been speculated, might have returned to Anfield in a player-plus cash deal. The question now remains if it was necessary to for the Blues to make such a big move just under the deadline as they might be too far back to make a run at the title but with Torres anything less than hanging on to the final Champions League spot would be a major disappointment. What I am surprised about is the overflow of bitterness as if the move of a major player is a new occurrence, and if that’s the case then perhaps they should get a little more used to life in 2011, and they obviously were not watching ESPN Europe when LeBron made his move to South Beach. This is what the franchise players (hence the name) roll now, looking out for themselves and making sure they get their rings as there is no admiration for dying without any stripes or hardware as the case may be. But let’s be real, as in the case of LeBron, the club or the club owner does not own the man and he should and does have the right to take his talents wherever he wants once he fulfills his contractual obligation. Hey at least Liverpool got 75 mil in return, the Cavs got nothing but a public sacking and a record 22-game losing streak. But rest assured this is not a disease that stared in the US and made its way across the pond. Ronaldo was no stranger to moving on to greener pasters either, and it’s not like captain fantastic or Wayne Rooney weren’t one step away. Hey you gotta love the way the Spaniards change zip codes though, and Torres is just following the footsteps of the most famous Spanish athlete of the last decade who also was involved in somewhat of a blockbuster trade that changed the landscape of the NBA, Pau Gasol. Do you think Torres showed a lack of loyalty by moving or is he entitled to go wherever he wants? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.
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