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Issue Home March 28, 2006 Site Home

Local Sports Scene

Mt. View Eagles Win Tom Koes Memorial
Help Is Needed

York Catholic Ends Montrose's Season

Scott Carpenter did not know how much exposure to expect from a bit part working with comic actor Will Ferrell on the NASCAR-themed movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

"I always told everybody it's such a small part they'll have to put it on slow to catch me," Carpenter said in an interview with the Independent Tribune of Concord and Kannapolis, N.C.

Carpenter may not be easily recognizable dressed in uniform, but he has already seen himself on screen five months before the movie's official release. He is one of the emergency workers in a scene that is on the trailer advertising the movie.

Carpenter, a Susquehanna native, was one of three North Carolina firefighters hired to work as an emergency crew while the movie was being filmed at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, a Charlotte suburb.

According to the newspaper, their work on the set led to the firefighters being asked to be part of a scene in which they respond to a wreck of Ferrell's race car.

The filming took place last year around race week in Charlotte when the firefighters also worked for the NASCAR race, qualifying and practice.

Carpenter was equipped with a camera on a harness to allow additional film of Ferrell in the crash setting. He is a full-time member of the Kannapolis Fire Department.


The Mountain View boys' basketball team posted 25 wins, including some over playoff-bound large schools, during one of the best seasons in school history.

After a 76-70 win over Bishop Hannan in Scranton, Eagles coach Pat Heaton made it clear that he thought the Golden Lancers had been the team's most impressive opponent to date.

Heaton's assessment proved to be on the mark when Bishop Hannan rolled into its fourth state championship game appearance in eight years by ripping Greenwood, 82-56, in the state Class A semifinals.

Bishop Hannan played for the title in Hershey Friday, falling to the state's only unbeaten team, Elk County Catholic, 71-61.

The Lancers ended Forest City's season and clinched their state playoff berth with a 63-46 win in the District 2 semifinals.

In girls' basketball, the York Catholic team that ended Montrose's season in the second round of the state Class AA tournament went on to win the state title.

The Fighting Irish defeated three-time defending champion Delone Catholic in the semifinals before surviving their only test of the state tournament to beat Westmont-Hilltop, 48-43.

Westmont-Hilltop scored the game's first 14 points and led by 19 in the third quarter before York Catholic put together its impressive comeback.

In professional hockey, the Binghamton Senators continued a late push toward a playoff berth.

Binghamton was 16 points out of the last spot February 26 before putting together an 8-2-1-2 stretch that brought the Senators within six points of fourth place in the American Hockey League East Division Wednesday.

Denis Hamel pushed his career-high goal total to 46 in the process. He leads the AHL with 22 power-play goals.


Nadine Taylor, a senior from Susquehanna, is again the Wilkes University center fielder and leadoff hitter.

Taylor was a second-team All-American last season when she was also named Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom Conference Player of the Year.

As a junior, Taylor hit .394 with six homers, 24 runs batted in, 38 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

Taylor is hitting .214 after nine games this season. She has five runs, a homer and three RBIs during a 4-6 start by Wilkes.


The Lackawanna League baseball and softball seasons are scheduled to begin Thursday.

Elk Lake, Montrose and Mountain View compete in Division III, which has games scheduled for that day. Western Wayne is at Montrose and Mountain View is at Carbondale. Schedules are identical for baseball and softball. Elk Lake has a bye the first day.

Blue Ridge, Forest City and Susquehanna play in Division IV along with Bishop O'Hara, Bishop Hannan and Old Forge.

Old Forge is at Forest City, Blue Ridge is at Bishop Hannan and Elk Lake is at Susquehanna in Monday openers.

In professional hockey, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play at the Binghamton Senators in a Friday American Hockey League game.

TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at


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BUSCH BROTHERS Sweep Bristol, Bristol, TN – Kyle and Kurt Busch of Las Vegas, NV swept both NASCAR races this past weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Busch Series race, then his older brother, Kurt used the bump and run on Matt Kenseth with five laps to go in Sunday’s 500-lap Food City 500, and held off Kevin Harvick for his fifth Bristol victory.

Kurt Busch, winner of Sunday's Food City 500, and crew chief, Roy McCauley.

Kurt Busch had ran second behind Kenseth from lap 411 to his boot, scoot, and boogie move on the rear bumper of Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford on lap 495. After Busch booted him over, Kenseth slid up the track, and Kevin Harvick, who was running third at the time was able to move into second, right behind Busch.

Harvick nearly caught Busch, but was not able to mount a pass before the checkered flag dropped signifying the end of the race.

“This is unreal,” said Busch in victory lane as thousands of fans booed him. “It is the determination of the crew. We had a flat tire earlier and just bounced back.

“We had to get past Kenseth, and he is a good friend of mine, and I am sorry. I think he’ll be O.K. with it by next week. He knows this is short track racing, he slipped a little bit, and he knew how hungry we were to win.”

However, Kenseth did not see it the same way.

“Kurt (Busch) and I are good friends, but he just knocked me out of the way,” said Kenseth. “If he had a run on me and had me beat that would have been O.K., but I had a better car.”

Meanwhile, before the end of the race, Matt Kenseth took out his frustration on Jeff Gordon who had moved ahead of him into the fourth spot. Gordon had gotten under Kenseth, but Kenseth came back as the two cars went into a turn, and spun Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet around.

As soon as the race ended Gordon shoved Kenseth, who said he had come over to apologize to Gordon.

“Well, it had to do with what happened on the race track,” said Gordon. “Kenseth got shuffled out and was holding guys up. I got to him a couple times, shoved my nose under him and he shut the door on me, and the next time I got the opportunity, I moved him, but I didn’t wreck him.

“We went down into turn one afterwards, and he just wrecked me.”

During a press conference, Kenseth did take responsibility for turning Gordon around.

“I apologize to Jeff,” said Kenseth. “I did bump him out of the way. It was my fault, but I did not mean to wreck him. I just drove in too hard, and I would be mad if someone did that to me.”

Jimmie Johnson, the points leader going into the race had a flat right front tire at the start of the race, was assessed a penalty, and wound up finishing 30th, 13 laps down, and dropped to third in the points.

Top-10 finishers: 1. Kurt Busch, 2. Kevin Harvick, 3. Matt Kenseth, 4. Carl Edwards, 5. Bobby Labonte, 6. Mark Martin, 7. Greg Biffle, 8. Kyle Busch, 9. Ryan Newman, 10. Kasey Kahne.

Top-10 points leaders after 5 of 36: 1. Kenseth-782, 2. Kahne-774, 3. Johnson-763, 4. Martin-750, 5. Kyle Busch-677, 6. Earnhardt-664, 7. J. Gordon-644, 8. Mears-642, 9. Stewart-601, 10. Jarrett-593.

Should BUSCHWHACKING Be Curtailed, Bristol, TN – Nextel Cup regulars, led by Kyle Busch swept the top-six spots in Saturday’s Busch Series Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

They call them “Buschwhackers.”

These are the full-time Nextel Cup drivers that run part-time in the Busch Series. It allows them to pick up extra “pocket money,” even though the payoffs are considerably less than in a Nextel Cup show.

Should the number of events that these Cup drivers compete in against the less-experienced drivers and small budget teams in the Busch Series be limited?

According to mail that I receive, the Busch Series isn’t what it used to be.

“The full-time Cup drivers are really lousing things up for younger, Busch drivers,” said Bruce Appleton of Ashland, VA. “The new drivers trying to enter Busch need the experience.”

All six of the 2006 Busch races have been won by Nextel Cup drivers.

While it might be good for television ratings to have name Cup drivers entered, it usually means a boring race, because the more savvy Cup drivers dominate.

Is the presence of Cup drivers in a Busch race good for the sport?

Some fans and longtime supporters of the Busch Series say no, arguing that Cup drivers are hindering small Busch teams from being able to compete. With costs steadily rising it’s harder for a small team to land a major sponsor.

Cup teams on the other hand have huge supporting organizations and name recognition, and therefore, it’s easier for them to line up a big dollar sponsor.

There are lots of small teams unable to enter the Busch ranks, because it remains top heavy with Cup drivers.

On the other hand, the series is flourishing, thanks to the influx of the big name Cup drivers and teams that have a large fan following.

But it is no longer a unique series where we can expect to see an unknown driver in victory lane, but just a mini-Cup series, like it was at Bristol.

It’s getting harder and harder for the full-time, Busch only drivers to compete with the full-time Cup drivers that race only part-time in NASCAR’s number two series.

As long as the Busch Series continues to generate the amount of fan interest it does now, NASCAR isn’t going to make a move. My advice to the small Busch teams is, don’t expect any type of limitations on Cup drivers, or a different scoring system in the near future.

Give us your opinion about the Cup drivers competing in the Busch Series. Send e-mails to, You may address correspondence to: The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616. If we use your comments we will send you a photo of your favorite driver.

Top-10 Busch Series drivers after 6 of 35: 1. Harvick-952, 2. Yeley-831, 3. Hamlin-814, 4. Bowyer-791, 5. Edwards-774, 6. Sauter-711, 7. Lamar-709, 8. Wood-708, 9. Leffler-706, 10. McMurray-698.


“What can you say about Dale Earnhardt Jr. that the NASCAR nation doesn't already know? He is one busy man. Besides running "The Nextel Cup", becoming a car owner, hosting his own XM Satellite radio show, raising money for Make A Wish Foundation, virtual racing online, flying with The Blue Angels, and now hosting his new show "Back In The Day". His winning personality and family legacy in racing makes him the perfect guy for the role. We are captivated by every move he makes on and off the track. He has earned the respect of this No. 8 fan. Now on to the championship.” C.C. Trinidad, CO.

Martinsville Speedway track information: Size: .526 mile oval; Banking in turns: 12 degrees, straights: none; Length of front/backstretch: 800 feet, Grandstand capacity: 91,000.

Racing Trivia Question: Where is Nextel Cup rookie, Reed Sorenson’s hometown?

Last Week’s Question: Which year did Matt Kenseth win the NASCAR Winston Cup championship? Answer. Kenseth won the title in 2003.

You may read additional stories at the Racing Reporter’s website,


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Kahne Gets Dodge A Win At AMS

The Racing Reporter

HAMPTON, GA – Kasey Kahne, driving the No. 9 Ray Evernham Dodge scored the second win of his career, in the rain-delayed Golden Corral 500, Monday, March 20, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kasey Kahne

The win was the first Atlanta victory for Dodge since 1977, and the first time a driver had won at AMS from the pole since Buddy Baker in 1979.

Mark Martin, the second-place finisher almost got by Kahne for the lead with 20 laps remaining in the 325-lap race, but came up short, and was never able to challenge him again.

Kahne had an 11th-place finish in the Daytona 500 and back-to-back fourths at California and Las Vegas, but he led the final 80 laps at AMS, and gave Dodge its first victory on a 1.5-mile Cup track since Ryan Newman's win at Kansas in October 2003.

Kahne gained the lead by passing Greg Biffle on Lap 246 and held it the rest of the way. His crew got him off pit road first on the final pit stop under caution on Lap 263 and he conserved his tires to win by nearly two seconds over Mark Martin.

“The pit stops were perfect and the entire team did a great job,” said Kahne. “To win at Atlanta, which is one of my favorite race tracks is so cool. All the guys are doing an unbelievable job.

“We’ve had momentum all weekend long, but it’s still hard to believe we could set on the pole and win too.”

Mark Martin had a good race car, but came up short.

“It was a great run for us,” he said. “I had the best case scenario there at the end; enough gas, good tires, and a long run. That’s all we could ask for.

“We gave it every thing we had, but we just couldn’t beat Kasey. He got up on the wheel there at the end when I got to him and found some more speed, and that’s all we could do.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in third, his best finish of the season, and jumped from 11th to seventh in points.

“It was a great run,” Earnhardt said. “We got behind a couple times with flat tires, but got the “Lucky Dog,” and had to come from behind again. They gave me a great car and we just managed to keep getting back to the front.”

Last year’s winner Carl Edwards had problems early in the race as he exited his pit stall. He bumped into the 22-car, driven by Dave Blaney, and the right front side of his No. 99 was pushed in. He had to come back into the pits to have the sheet metal pulled out and get a new right front tire.

As he exited pit road for the second time, NASCAR assessed him a drive-through penalty for speeding on pit road. This put him two laps down.

Robby Gordon had his best performance of the season. At one point near the end of the race, he was running third, but had to pit for four fresh tires, and wound up 28th.

Matt Kenseth, winner at California had tire problems two different times and had to pit each time for fresh ones. His 13th-place finish dropped him from second to third in points.

Top ten finishing order: 1. Kasey Kahne, 2. Mark Martin, 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 4. Jeff Gordon, 5. Tony Stewart, 6. Jimmie Johnson, 7. Paul Menard, 8. Kyle Petty, 9. Dale Jarrett, 10. Reed Sorenson.

Top-10 Nextel Cup leaders after 4 of 36: 1. Johnson-690, 2. Kahne-640, 3. Kenseth-612, 4. Martin-600, 5. Mears-554, 6. J. Gordon-539, 7. Earnhardt-534, 8. Kyle Busch-530, 9. Jarrett-490, 10. Bowyer-471.

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