Are NASCAR changes coming to Brickyard 400 in 2018?. INDIANAPOLIS -- NASCAR’s big, bold Xfinity Series experiment worked. Saturday evening’s Lilly Diabetes 250 was the most tightly-contested Xfinity Series race ever held at this 2.5-mile layout. By way of comparison, last year’s race had only two lead changes, two different leaders and Kyle Busch won by a whopping 2.126 seconds. NASCAR still needs to do a lot more research and talk with teams and drivers to learn if these changes can and should be made to the Cup Series cars. He said he needed more time to digest what had just happened but when asked simply if he liked the type of racing he had just participated in, he replied, "It was OK.” Kyle Busch, the two-time Brickyard 400 defending champion who also has won this race three times, said over his radio during the race that he “couldn’t pass.” "All they did was bring the fastest car of the fastest guy and bring him back into everybody'd else's clutches," Busch said. "It took the driver mostly out of it because you have a restrictor-plate package now where you can draft up on people. Races like the one Saturday just might. It played out somewhat how we thought, but there’s still a lot to learn. … I think a great race was the objective, and I think that’s what fans saw today.” Ayello writes for the Indianapolis Star, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Ari Schultz, 5-Year-Old Red Sox Fan, Dies Months After Heart Transplant. The world lost a special kid. Ari Schultz, the 5-year-old Massachusetts boy who took the internet by storm this year as his parents documented his path to receiving a heart transplant, died Friday. Ari’s family shared the tragic news via Facebook, saying that the young Boston Red Sox fan died peacefully while listening to his favorite team. Ari, who was born with a heart syndrome that was discovered when his mother was 18 weeks pregnant, went viral back in June when his parents, Mike and Erica Schultz, posted a video of their son learning that he was leaving Boston Children’s Hospital and going home after 189 days as an inpatient. Ari underwent more than 10 operations, including an open heart transplant in March, yet he continued to fight, inspiring countless others along the way. Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and catcher Christian Vazquez even paid Ari a visit at his home recently, which the boy’s parents documented on their blog “Echo of Hope.” Ari was scheduled to throw out the first pitch before a game at Fenway Park next month. The news of Ari’s death came one day after his parents revealed on their blog that the boy had a seizure and was placed on life support in the cardiac intensive care unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Red Sox mourned the loss of one of their biggest fans Friday night. Ari certainly won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
As Dale Earnhardt Jr. prepares for last Brickyard 400, he admits it’s been hard to enjoy retirement tour
INDIANAPOLIS -- Every track Dale Earnhardt Jr. visits, officials furnish him with gifts, tokens to remember them by. It’s hard to put it into words,” Earnhardt said of IMS on Saturday. Nineteen races into this season and Earnhardt still sports a zero in the win column. “... To not be able to deliver good runs, good finishes, wins, get yourself, your team in the playoffs, to put forth a good effort in the playoffs, all those things are what you feel your fanbase … that’s what they deserve. Jeff Gordon walked away a contender, finishing third in his farewell season. Earnhardt isn’t sure. “It would be awesome to win one of the big key races in the season, having come here and been more frustrated than now,” Earnhardt said. “It is a race that I think all the drivers feel is very important to our series and a big milestone in your career. It ranks right up there probably close to the Daytona 500 in importance and pride to be able to come away as a winner at this place. And, considering how our season has gone, a win here would right all the wrongs, you know?
Pirates place OF Gregory Polanco on 10-day DL. PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Pirates took a big hit to their lineup Saturday. Polanco appeared to injure the hamstring in Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, when he legged out a ground ball to avoid a double play. He was removed from the game immediately after that at-bat. @Pirates place @El_Coffee on the 10-day DL after straining his hamstring trying to beat out this grounder last night. #Pirates pic.twitter.com/VoKEosVz4H — WPXI Chase Williams (@chasepwilliams) July 22, 2017 The 25-year-old right fielder was hitting .387 with three home runs and nine RBI in 17 games in July, boasting an OPS of 1.054 this month. The Pirates recalled pitcher Steven Brault from Triple-A Indianapolis to take Polanco’s vacated roster spot. Brault made his debut with the Pirates last season, making seven starts for the club. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has climbed the N.L.
Mets' Terry Collins "moving forward" following Yoenis Cespedes' Oakland comments. Saturday afternoon, Mets manager Terry Collins addressed the report saying that he just wants to "move forward." "We've talked a lot and I'm sure you guys can imagine that we have a lot of conversations. That's great. That doesn't bother me a bit. I just want him to keep hitting and keep hitting home runs." Collins confirmed that the two have not met to discuss the report and don't need to meet. "I think he's one of the best players, if not one of the top five players in the game of baseball," Collins said. "My respect for him is never going to change." Richard Greco may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jordan Spieth, leading by three, is just 18 holes away from his first British Open title. Spieth shot a "stress-free" (his words) five-under 65 and is 11 under for the week. He's three shots clear of playing partner Matt Kuchar, who was two back to begin the day. This is the fifth time Spieth has held the 54-hole lead at a major but the first time he'll be in the final Sunday pairing at a major since the 2016 Masters, when he lost the lead, and tournament, with a triple-bogey 7 on the 12th hole at Augusta National. No rain coats, oversized umbrellas or ponchos — or at least not until the final hour of play, when a quick shower rolled in. Spieth, teeing off after Grace set the pace, made the turn in three-under 31, the same as Kuchar, who despite playing well was unable to gain any ground. And then from there I thought this is where I normally capitalize and I kind of make a scrappy birdie. He added birdies on 14, 16 and 17 then parred 18. "Today was one of those days where we had the conditions," Grace said. Johnson and Stenson are tied for seventh but sit eight off the lead, and Rory McIlroy, who started the day hot but cooled off late, is nine back.
Ari Schultz, 5-year-old heart transplant recipient, dies. Ari Schultz, a 5-year-old avid Sox fan, was born with a heart syndrome that was discovered when his mother was 18 weeks pregnant with him. He had about 20 surgeries before he received a heart transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital in March. He had waited 211 days for the new heart. Since the transplant, Ari’s health fluctuated, a journey his parents documented on their blog, Echo of Hope. Roller coaster more than anything. His parents created a new video to celebrate his one month anniversary spent at home. At about 4:20 a.m. Thursday morning, Ari had a seizure and returned to Boston Children’s Hospital, where he died the next day. Felicia Gans can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.
Bardet vs Uran: The match for second place at the Tour de France. Decrypting Uran Just how good a time triallist is Urán? He has done 12 time trials in the argyle and his results are as follows: 94, 125, 69, 64, 50, 94, 25, 56, 33, 89, 34, 95. Head-to-head 2015 Tour de Romandie, stage 6 (17.3km): Bardet 32 seconds faster than Uran. 2015 Tour de France, stage 1 (13.8km): Uran 54 seconds faster than Bardet. Bardet's natural weakness There is slightly less mystery surrounding Bardet's reputation as a time triallist; he's not a very good one, and everyone – himself included – knows it. Bardet's string of time trial results over the past couple of years doesn't bode well, with that poor Romandie time trial last year followed by a time loss of nearly three minutes to Chris Froome on a rolling 37km course at the Tour de France. "Romain's strength is his endurance, and it's an advantage to have a TT at the end of the Tour, with the accumulated fatigue of 20 days of racing," said Jurdie, pointing to Bardet's 26th place on the penultimate day of the 2014 Tour – when he was 23 – and his fifth-place on last year's stage 18 time trial, albeit one that included a proper climb. We know that he hasn't done a good time trial for two years. We know Uran will give it 100 per cent to take Romain's place and Romain will be well up for it to conserve that second place."