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Local Sports Scene

Snee Has Contract Security Heading Into Training Camp
By Tom Robinson

Chris Snee and the New York Giants have won a Super Bowl together.

Now, as he prepares for the July 25 opening of training camp in Albany, N.Y., Snee faces the likelihood of a long run with the Giants.

Snee, a Montrose graduate, will be preparing for his fifth season in the National Football League and his first as a defending Super Bowl champion. The guard extended his contract with the team last month when he signed for a reported $43.5 million over six years.

The Associated Press, citing agent Tony Agnone, put the value of the deal at $24 million over its first three years. Snee was already set to be with the team this year and is now signed through 2014.

Left tackle David Diehl and left guard Rich Seubert also received contract extensions along with Snee, the right guard, going a long way to keep the vital unit intact.

"Chris thought re-signing everyone was important," Agnone told AP. "They can have a cohesive unit for a while now."

Snee has started all 48 games the past three seasons. In his career, he has 59 regular-season and six postseason starts. He missed the final five games of his rookie season with an illness.

The offensive line paved the way for the Giants to rank fourth in the NFL in rushing offense and fifth in points scored.


Binghamton Mets center fielder Fernando Martinez went 1-for-3 Sunday night at Yankee Stadium while helping the World Team to a 3-0 victory over Team USA in the Futures Game.

The game started up this week's All-Star Game festivities in New York.

Martinez is batting .294 in 52 games with the B-Mets. He has 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 21 RBI and 32 runs scored while stealing four bases.

All-star attention is nothing new to him. Ramirez played in the South Atlantic League all-star game in 2006 and made the Arizona Fall League's All-Prospect Team that same year.

Rafael Chaves, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees pitching coach, served as pitching coach for the World team.


Eduardo Romeo won the Dick's Sporting Goods Open July 4-6 at EnJoie Golf Club in Endicott, N.Y.

The Dick's Open is the closest stop to the area by the PGA Champions Tour. The senior event made its debut last year when it was won by R.W. Eaks.

Romero, from Argentina, finished at 17-under-par, 199 to win by a shot over Fulton Allem and Gary Koch.

Joey Sindelar finished fourth at 202. Sindelar, from Horseheads, N.Y., won at En-Joie in 1985 and 1987 in the PGA Tour's B.C. Open.


Two more professional baseball all-star games are scheduled for Wednesday night.

The Triple-A All-Star game will be held in Louisville while the Eastern League All-Star Game will be in Manchester, N.H.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees infielder Cody Ransom will play for the International League in the Triple-A game. Ransom replaced teammate Justin Christian, who was selected to the team, but then called to New York when an extra outfielder was needed with Johnny Damon on the disabled list.

Ransom leads in the Yankees in hits (81), doubles (17) and RBI (48). He shares the team lead with 14 home runs while appearing at all four infield positions.

The Binghamton Mets have five players selected for the Northern Division roster for the Eastern League game.

Infielder Daniel Murphy was added to the roster after the four original selections – first  baseman/outfielders Mike Carp and Nick Evans and pitchers Salvador Aguilar and Bobby Parnell.

Carp leads the team with a .307 average. Murphy leads with 55 RBI. They are tied for the team lead with 10 homers.

Aguilar leads the team in wins while going 10-2 with a 2.97 earned run average. Parnell is second in wins at 9-4 with a 3.97 ERA.

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

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By Gerald Hodges

The Racing Reporter

Busch Pulls Chicago Sweep, Joliet, IL – Kyle Busch won both of the NASCAR races at Chicagoland this past weekend. On Friday, he won the Nationwide Series race, and then on Saturday night he out-dueled Jimmie Johnson on the final lap of the Nextel Cup Lifelock for his seventh Cup win of the season.

Kyle Busch is congratulated by team owner, Joe Gibbs on right.

Busch led a race-high 165 laps Saturday night, before defending series champion Jimmie Johnson took the lead with 17 laps to go. Busch figured Johnson was heading to Victory Lane, especially after Johnson drove away from him.

But David Gilliland's blown engine brought out another caution with just five laps remaining. When green flag racing resumed, Johnson and Busch were the leaders.

Johnson tried to make it a slow restart, but Busch was ready. Busch bumped Johnson before the green flag, causing him to lose momentum, and then zipped past the two-time champion down the backstretch with just two laps left.

“I pushed Jimmie Johnson to go (on the restart). I had to go to the outside, because he was going to block the bottom in (Turns) 1 and 2 – and it stuck up there,” said Busch. “I gave up on myself. I didn’t think I could do it.”

Busch’s move on the restart caught Johnson by surprise.

“There's no way I thought I couldn't get away from him through (Turns) 1 and 2,” Johnson said. “But as soon as he broke the plane of my bumper, I knew I was in trouble, and sure enough, I was. I really wasn't thinking defense. But on a two-lap shootout, the outside always wins.”

Kevin Harvick was never able to challenge the leaders, but he did manage a third place finish.

“We thought we were in a pretty good position there at the end, but we couldn’t quite keep up with the 48-car,” said Harvick.

The fourth-place finisher Greg Biffle led several laps, but didn’t have the speed to keep up with the leaders as the laps wound down.

Tony Stewart fought a poor handling car for most of the race, but came on strong in the last 20 laps to finish fifth.

“We weren’t bad, we just got in a situation where we got free the last couple runs and that’s when we needed to be really good, and we just fought loose for some reason,” said Stewart, whose finish advanced him two spots to 10th in points. “So, we never did get the car tight enough on entry and exit. We got it too tight in the center at the end. We were just a little bit off. We were close, though.”

Brian Vickers, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Martin Truex, and Ryan Newman finished out the top-10.

J.J. Yeley tried to use an old trick by filling the water bottles in his car with lead. The idea was to throw them out once the race started to lighten the car. But before the race, NASCAR inspectors found the leaded bottles in his No. 96 Toyota. He was held on pit road until the second pace lap and then made to serve a stop-and-go penalty. He finished 24th.

Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt were out of the race completely. Gordon finished 11th, and Earnhardt was 16th.

Top-10 Chase contenders after 19 of 36: 1. Kyle Busch-2881, 2. Earnhardt-2619, 3. Burton-2590, 4. Edwards-2509, 5. Johnson-2494, 6. J. Gordon-2384, 7. Biffle-2318, 8. Kenseth-2317, 9. Harvick-2308, 10. Stewart-2305.

Top-10 Busch Series leaders after 20 of 35: 1. Bowyer-2965, 2. Keselowski-2782, 3. Reutimann-2748, 4. Edwards-2711, 5. Kyle Busch-2633, 6. Ragan-2613, 7. Bliss-2603, 8. M. Wallace-2376, 9. Stremme-2325, 10. Keller-2278.

Stewart Signs Fishy Deal – Two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has set his NASCAR future, and it’s as an owner and driver with Stewart-Haas Racing beginning in 2009.

Hopefully, his decision won’t come back to bite him.

“This is an incredible opportunity that allows me to race competitively in NASCAR’s top division while carving out a place in this sport long after my driving career is over,” Stewart said. “I’ve won races and I’ve won championships, and I know I could’ve continued to do that at Joe Gibbs Racing, but to attempt to do those things as a car owner is something that really appeals to me. There’s a whole new sense of appreciation and satisfaction that comes with success when you’re both a driver and an owner.”

According to Stewart, his financial payment into the team was minimal.

“But, having that opportunity and being given 50 percent of an operation to come in and not only drive, but be part of it was something that was a huge variable to us. It basically led to our decision and where we are today,” said Stewart.

Stewart-Haas Racing is slated to run two cars, full-time in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series.

There have been rumors that Ryan Newman, who now drives the No. 12 for Penske Racing will be the second driver, but Stewart would not confirm that.

Currently the two Haas CNC cars are driven by Scott Riggs (No. 66) and Jason Leffler (No. 70). Both are outside the top-35 in points.

“You know, having 50 percent of this race team is something that's huge,” continued Stewart. “But I look forward to it. Haas CNC is a company that's spent a lot of their own money to build this operation, and has spent a lot out of their pocket. I'm hoping to come in as a driver – not only as a driver – but as an equal partner in this and be able to attract sponsorship to where now Haas CNC doesn't have to spend that money out of their pocket to where we can make it pay for itself.

“So, you know, I don't think, something like this has ever been offered. I don't think any driver's ever been offered 50 percent equity in an organization, and, you know, that made this such an appealing offer.”

I can’t help but believe there is a rat somewhere. Companies don’t give away half ownership of a team worth tens of millions of dollars, even if they are doing poorly. During the press conference on Thursday, Haas CNC general manager Joe Custer said, Stewart was bringing “his heart” with him, and that was his contribution.

Something’s fishy here. I don’t know what it is, but it smells. It might be some time before we understand the “other side” of the deal, but trust me, there’s a dark side to it.

Gene Haas, whose company owns Haas CNC Racing and will lose 50 per percent of the new Stewart-Haas Racing, was not involved in the process of attracting Tony Stewart as a partner, Custer said.

Last November, Haas was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of tax fraud. He entered a California federal correctional facility in January and is expected, with good behavior, to be released in May, 2009.

According to published reports, Haas created a scheme to avoid payment of more than $34 million in taxes in 2000 and 2001. With fines and interest, he eventually paid more than $70 million to resolve his tax issues in addition to the prison term.

My daddy used to tell me, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Next Week: Glen “Fireball” Roberts.


The Cup teams have the weekend off in preparation for the July 27, Brickyard 400. The Nationwide Series is at Gateway International Raceway, just outside St. Louis, MO, while the Craftsman Trucks are at Kentucky Speedway.

July 19: Craftsman Trucks Built Ford Tough 225, 7:30 p.m. TV: Speed.

July 19: Nationwide Series Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250, 9 p.m. TV: ESPN2.

Racing Trivia Question: Who won the Inaugural Brickyard 400 in 1994?

Last Week’s Question: Which track hosts the first Chase race of the season? Answer: The first Chase race of the season will be held at New Hampshire.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at:

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