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The New York Giants opened their preseason schedule Saturday and Montrose graduate Chris Snee was exactly where he is expected to be throughout the National Football League regular season - starting at right guard.
The Giants eventually used five guards during the 24-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The ground game was effective, producing 156 rushing yards on 30 carries.
Snee, who went from Montrose to a standout career at Boston College before being picked in the second round of the 2004 draft, is preparing for his fourth season in the NFL.
The former all-state selection at Montrose has started all 44 games of his NFL career. He has been an alternate selection for the NFC Pro Bowl team the last two seasons.
After a weekend in the New York area and a chance to visit with his family earlier in the day, Snee was on his way back to Albany Sunday night to resume training camp with the Giants.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Rich Thompson, another Montrose graduate in professional sports, went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs Wednesday for the Tucson Sidewinders of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.
After hitting .310 in July, Thompson has been slumping with a .192 average in the first 10 games of August. His season average is at .285 in 90 games and he is 11-for-13 stealing bases.
In arena football, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers advanced to the semifinals of the arenafootball2 League when Ryan Vena passed for 404 yards and nine touchdowns in a 70-53 victory over the Central Valley Coyotes.
Vena, the game's Most Valuable Player, also ran for a touchdown.
Larry Kendrick caught nine passes for 141 yards and four touchdowns for the Pioneers and was named Ironman of the Game.
In professional golf, Justin Bolli had Sunday's best round to rally for a win in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Classic on the Nationwide Tour.
Bolli shot 5-under-par, 66 for the final round at Glenmaura Country Club in Moosic to finish the four-day event at 14-under-par, 270. Bolli finished one shot ahead of Patrick Sheehan and Richard Johnson.
Johnson started with rounds of 68-64-67, but slipped to a 1-over-par, 72 Sunday to lose by a stroke.
Bolli, who let two final-round leads get away earlier this year, birdied two of the final three holes to produce the win.
Johnson put an approach shot in a creek on 17, resulting in a double bogey that cost him a chance to win.
Bolli used the win to jump to sixth on the Nationwide Tour money list, virtually assuring him of the top 25 finish needed to earn a PGA Tour card for next year.
Sheehan moved into seventh on the money list.
In high school sports, official preseason practice started for fall sports teams Monday.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers host the af2 American Conference Championship Saturday when they play the Green Bay Blizzard at 7 p.m. at the Wachovia Arena.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Jeff Gordon Slips, Stewart Wins, Watkins Glen, NY – Starting from the pole, Jeff Gordon led the most laps and appeared to be heading to victory lane in Sunday’s Nextel Cup Centurion Boats at the Glen, but two laps from the finish, Gordon lost control of his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in turn-1 and spun out.
Tony Stewart in victory lane after Sunday's win at Watkins Glen.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR.
Tony Stewart, who was running second, took over as the new leader and posted his third win in the last four races.
“I just over-drove it into turn-1, which was pretty much what happened to Tony earlier,” said Gordon. “We just got on the edge there, put on the brakes… and it was just stupid.”
Stewart had the same thing happen to him on lap 44 of the 90-lap race, and had to work his way back to the front.
It took Stewart until lap 78 to move into second, but once Gordon was out of the way, that was it. Carl Edwards was running third when Stewart moved into the lead, but Edwards went off the track about two hundred yards from the finish line and finished 8th.
“I saw Jeff lose it the same way I lost it,” said Stewart. “Jeff and I by far had the best two cars.
“I lost it earlier and just had to fight back. We just had to keep the pressure on Jeff and hope he made a mistake, and that’s what happened.”
Disaster struck two of the three Richard Childress Racing cars during a restart on lap 72.
Juan Montoya had crossed the track, trying to block Martin Truex’s No. 1. Montoya received a bump from the No. 1, causing Montoya’s No. 42 to slide up the track and into the No. 29 RCR Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick, winner of Saturday’s Watkins Glen Busch race.
The No. 31 RCR car, driven by Jeff Burton plowed into Montoya’s car.
After getting out of their cars, Harvick and Montoya exchanged words and a couple of small shoves before NASCAR officials intervened.
“In my interpretation, he (Montoya) just got run over by the 1-car,” said Harvick. “We were really good and I felt like we had saved our car to have a chance there at the end.
“It all went up in smoke, because some people get impatient. I hate it. I’m just frustrated with the 42. It seems he runs over somebody every week.”
During the television interview, Harvick said, “I felt like kicking his a--.”
For that statement Harvick will probably receive a NASCAR fine.
“I am really disappointed, because we had a really fast car,” said Montoya. “He (Truex Jr.) spun me and when he spun me, I hit the 29 car.
“I got out of the car and I went to Kevin and said, ‘That wasn’t my fault. I got hit from behind.’ But then he started shouting and crowding me, and I didn’t appreciate that. I used to have a lot of respect for the guy, because he helped me get started.
“If it had been my fault, I would have said, sorry, but it wasn’t my fault.
Both Harvick and Burton took big hits in the points standings. Harvick dropped one spot, from 9th to 10th, while Burton lost two positions, from fourth to sixth.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. had his fifth DNF of the season after the engine in his No. 8 let go on lap 63. His 42nd place finish dropped him to 14th in points, 100 points behind 12th-place driver, Kurt Busch.
“We had a poor handling car in practice and the downshifting was bad, so I guess we just over-revved the motor,” he said.
Stewart’s teammate, Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Ron Fellows, Robby Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, and Greg Biffle.
Top 10 Chase Contenders with four races remaining before the Chase begins: 1. J. Gordon-3384, 2. Hamlin-3040, 3. Kenseth-2952, 4. Stewart-2939, 5. Edwards-2824, 6. J. Burton-2806, 7. Johnson-2789, 8. Kyle Busch-2757, 9. Bowyer-2667, 10. Harvick-2655.
Mayfield Needs An Oil Change – As far as racing goes, Jeremy Mayfield is running a couple quarts low.
Bill Davis Racing officials announced that Mayfield, driver of the No. 36 Toyota will not return to the team next year. Mayfield joined BDR for the 2007 season as the team expanded to a two-car operation for Toyota's first season in Nextel Cup, but he has struggled this year, qualifying for only eight of the 21 races.
Hard work at an early age paved the way for Mayfield to make it to racing’s top ranks.
The Owensboro, Kentucky native had a 5 a.m. paper route, and he rode his bicycle as fast as he could to get his customers their morning paper. He soon went from pedaling to accelerating BMX bikes, a trait he first picked up six years prior while riding circles in the backyard of his grandmother's house when he was only four.
After bikes came go-karts, street stocks and late models, the latter being the series that set Mayfield's career in motion.
Mayfield was 19 when he moved to Nashville and got a job with Sadler Racing as a fabricator. His willingness to do any job at the race shop resulted in the team putting him in a late model car. In 1997 he returned to his native Kentucky and was the Kentucky Motor Speedway rookie of the year.
He also won rookie of the year honors in the ARCA series, when in 1993 he recorded eight top-fives and 10 top-10s.
It was Sadler Racing that gave Mayfield his first shot at NASCAR. In October, 1993 he made his Cup debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 29th. He started four races for Sadler the following year and made four more starts before teaming up with Cale Yarborough.
Mayfield finished the 1994 season with Yarborough and made 27 Cup starts for the NASCAR legend in '95, earning his first top-10 with an eighth-place finish at Pocono in July.
Mayfield's breakout year came in 1998 with owner Michael Kranefuss. He opened with a third-place run in the Daytona 500 and finished in the top five in four of the first five races.
In June of that year he won his first race, at Pocono, and finished the season with 12 top-fives and 16 top-10s in 33 races. He was seventh in the final point standings.
In 2002 he switched to Evernham Motorsports. He finished 10th in 2004 and ninth in 2005.
Mayfield struggled with Evernham in 2006, and midway during the season, he and team owner Ray Evernham had a bitter split. He sat out the last half of the season, but signed with BDR to drive a Toyota, beginning in 2007.
His No. 36 team has qualified for only eight of 21 races this season. The team also failed to build continuity or momentum, going through several crew chief changes in an attempt to find the right chemistry. Team owner Bill Davis said Mayfield had “done all we asked of him and more,” as the team took on the challenge of Toyota's first season in the Nextel Cup series and adjusting to the Car of Tomorrow template.
“I've been in this sport long enough to know that it takes time to bring a brand new car up to speed in what is probably the most competitive racing series in the world,” Mayfield said. “When I made the decision to move here to BDR with an untested car and a sponsor completely unfamiliar with NASCAR, I knew it would be somewhat of a gamble. I believed then, and I believe now, that Toyota has a bright future in the Cup Series and is making progress every weekend. But I think I have delivered what I can to the effort and looking at the total picture – what's best for me, what's best for the team – I believe this is the right time for me to consider other opportunities.”
Mayfield is only 38 years old. With an oil change and some fresh racing fuel in his veins, I believe he will have some productive years left.
Busch Series leaders: 1. Edwards-3534, 2. Reutimann-2768, 3. Harvick-2743, 4. Leffler-2614, 5. Ragan-2586, 6. Hamilton Jr.-2495, 7. Leicht-2427, 8. Ambrose-2395, 9. M. Wallace-2325, 10. Biffle-2309.
Craftsman Truck Series leaders: 1. Skinner-2521, 2. Hornaday-2439, 3. Kvapil-2285, 4. Bodine-2255, 5. Crawford-2041, 6. Benson-1969, 7. Sprague-1885, 8. Musgrave-1875, 9. Crafton-1822, 10. Starr-1751.
The Nextel Cup and Busch teams are at the 2.0-mile Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI. The Craftsman Trucks have the weekend off.
Saturday, August 18: Busch Series Carfax 250, race 25 of 35, 100 laps, 3 p.m. TV: ESPN2.
Sunday, August 19: Nextel Cup 3M Performance 400, race 23 of 36, 200 laps, 1 p.m. TV: ESPN.
Racing Trivia Question: Who was the winner of the first Martinsville NASCAR race? Send your answer to: The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL 36616, or e-mail us the correct answer and we will send you a photo of him.
Last Week’s Question: Which is the oldest track still on the NASCAR circuit? Answer: It is Martinsville Speedway, which first hosted a NASCAR race in 1949.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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