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‘Sports Spotlight’ Articles

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT with audio: Matt and Ross Kenseth, NASCAR’s Father-Son drivers; Ross competing tonight in debut at Chicagoland Speedway 9:30 pm on FOX

Matt Kenseth Sprint Cup Series (photo credit 304796 Getty images for Nascar, courtesy NASCAR

Ross Kenseth 2012 Slinger Nationals by Royalbroil - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


Next Race: Owens Corning AttiCat 300

The Place: Chicagoland Speedway

The Date: Saturday, June 20

The Time: 9:30 p.m. (ET)

TV: FOX Sports 1, 9:30 p.m. (ET)

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90

Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)




Father’s Day Weekend A Highlight For NASCAR XFINITY Series’ Family Values

NASCAR has always treasured the family aspect of the sport and this Father’s Day weekend the sport shines a bright light on the relationships between fathers and their children. Below is a look at some of the active drivers this weekend at Chicago and their fathers that have also participated in NASCAR (also, click here for an infographic detailing that very thing).


One of the most famous father-son duos in the NASCAR XFINITY Series today is JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott and his father NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott. Both have had careers that are quite impressive, though Chase is the only one with a NASCAR XFINITY Series title. Bill Elliott’s career was primarily focused on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series but he did moonlight in the NASCAR XFINITY Series 43 times, posting one win (Watkins Glen), eight top fives and 18 top 10s. In Chase Elliott’s short career he has started in 46 series races posting three wins (Texas, Darlington and Chicago), 22 top fives and 37 top 10s.


Or how about Richard Childress Racing and how they have made competing in NASCAR a family affair. Richard Childress is the grandfather of drivers Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon and the father-in-law to Mike Dillon, Austin and Ty’s father. All four men have competed in NASCAR’s national series competition and continue to work in the organization today. Richard Childress made 285 starts in the NSCS and Mike Dillon has made 154 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, posting three top fives and 15 top 10s. Austin Dillon has made 88 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, posting one championship (2013), four wins, 38 top fives, 62 top 10s and 14 poles. He also won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title. Ty Dillon is currently second in the NXS standings. His series-career has seen 58 starts with one win (Indianapolis), 11 top fives and 37 top 10s.


Another driver following in his father’s footsteps is Ryan Blaney. Ryan’s father, Dave Blaney is a renowned dirt racer that has competed in all three NASCAR national series (just like his son). Dave Blaney has made 121 NXS starts posting one win (Charlotte) and 31 top 10s. Ryan Blaney will be back in the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske this weekend. Blaney has made 34 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts, posting two wins and 26 top 10s.


The newest duo to the father-son NASCAR group are the Kenseths. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth will get the chance to watch his son Ross Kenseth make his series debut this weekend at Chicago. Matt Kenseth has made 289 starts in the NXS posting 29 wins, 137 top fives, 200 top 10s and 16 poles.

Ross Kenseth, Son Of Matt Kenseth, To Make His Series Debut

When you hear the name Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth usually comes to mind, but that could all start to change come Saturday, June 20 when Matt’s son Ross makes his NASCAR national series debut.


Ross Kenseth hails from Little Chute, Wisconsin, and is at the ripe age of 22 years-old. Just like his father, Ross Kenseth will be driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 20 Toyota with crew chief Michael Wheeler.


Prior to this opportunity the young Kenseth has been cutting his teeth on local short tracks around the country and has made three ARCA Series starts. He won last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in the ARCA Series after starting second and leading a race-high 51 laps.


It will be interesting to see if Ross Kenseth can do better than his father did in his series debut. Matt Kenseth’s series debut came back in 1996 at Charlotte Motor Speedway driving for car owner Carl Wegner. He started 37th and finished 31st.

Matt Kenseth, who is 43 years old has had a very successful career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 559 starts over 18 years, he has 32 wins, 280 Top Ten’s and captured 15 poles. If you add in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Matt’s totals rise to a whopping 30 wins, 480 Top Ten’s and 31 poles.

His son, Ross has done well coming up the ranks.

From 2007-2009, he drove in the Big 8 Late Model Series.

In the CRA Series or Champions Racing Series, in 2010 the younger Kenseth in 32 starts, garnered 7 wins and 2 poles. He also competed in the ARCA Midwest Tour in 2010 and 2011.

2012 saw him driving in the Pass South Series.

2013 he competed in the ARCA Racing Series.

2014, he took a year off from his studies at Clemson University to move to Michigan to devote time to racing and competed in the CRA Series.

This week, The Kenseths were featured on the Weekly NASCAR Teleconference talking about this week’s debut on the Xfinity Series for Ross as he will drive his dad’s car, the #20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

56.558 Ross Kenseth XFINITY Series Making debut on Father’s Day Weekend June 2015 (2)

56,559 Matt Kenseth SPRINT CUP Series NASCAR is off this weekend but he gets to watch his son race at Chicagoland June 2015

56,560 Matt Kenseth SPRINT CUP Series How much hands on will he be this weekend for Ross June 2015

56,561 Ross Kenseth XFINITY Series Dad’s advice on how to drive at Michigan Int’l Speedway June 2015

56,562 Matt Kenseth XFINITY Series Where would you want Ross in 2016 Xfinity of Truck Series June 2016

56,563 Matt Kenseth Sprint Cup Seires On Dale Earnhardt Jr. being elected to the drivers council well respected by his peers June 2015

56,564 Ross Kenseth Xfinity Series Any doubts growing up in following dad into racing June 2015

56,565 Matt Kenseth Sprint Cup Series His opinion of the new rules for Kentucky Speedway Was it necessary June 2015

56,567 Ross Kenseth Xfinity Series What has he learned from his dad about racing June 2015



SPORTS SPOTLIGHT: Tie for 3rd at The Memorial gives Jordan Spieth confidence that his game is ready for upcoming U.S. Open


Jordan Spieth played a strong 4 rounds at The Memorial (

Jordan Spieth just wrapped a strong tournament at The Memorial last week by shooting a 68-70-72-65 for a 275 and -13 under par.

He finished in the Top 3 with winner David Lingmerth, Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari.

In search of a sixth top-5 finish in 12 starts, World #2 player Spieth saved his best stuff for last, posting a 7-under 65 in Sunday’s final round and finishing tied for 3rd with Molinari. Spieth completed his round at 3:27 p.m. while other golfers were still out playing.

During the final round, Spieth hit 11 of 14 fairways in regulation and 14 of 18 greens. He needed 24 putts to compete his round.

2015 was Spieth’s third start at the Memorial Tournament. Following a tie for 63rd finish in 2013, he improved to tie for 19th in 2014.

After missing the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship in May, Spieth finished tied for 2nd at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and a tied for 30th at the AT&T Byron Nelson two weeks ago.

With nine top-10 finishes on the season, Spieth leads in that category over 2014 Memorial Tournament champion Hideki Matsuyama, who has eight after his tie for 5th finish this year.

With the exception of a 2-over 74 in the World Golf Championships-HSBC-Champions in his first start of the season, Spieth has posted scores of par or better in every final round this season, encompassing 13 cuts.

The 22-year-old Spieth, a native of Dallas, Texas and a product of the University of Texas, won his first major at the Masters in 2015 with a score of 270, -18 under par. That win earned him $1.8 million.

Spieth tied the 72-hole record set by Tiger Woods in 1997. He also became the second youngest ever to win the TOUR’S most prestigious tournament behind Woods.

He is the third-youngest player in PGA TOUR history to win multiple events, behind Woods and Sergio Garcia. Spieth is the fourth player to win multiple events before turning 22, following Woods, Garcia and Robert Gamez.

Just like most professional golfers, Spieth has a heart for charitable causes. After earning a spot on the 2013 Presidents Cup team, Spieth began to plan the Jordan Spieth Charitable Fund. The Fund provides awareness and financial assistance to special needs children, military families and youth golf.

Jordan will not compete in the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis this weekend. He will rest up for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, a British-links style public golf course located directly on Puget Sound, southwest of Tacoma, Washington.


56,514 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place Was the situation dictating he be aggressive on the closing holes 6 7 2015

56,516 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place He talks about his chip in for eagle 6 7 2015

56,517 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place The golf gods wer not on his side Saturday What about Sunday 6 7 2015

56,520 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place You played well but what do you gain with a week off between the US Open 6 7 2015

56,521 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place Was his game where he wanted it when he got here this week 6 7 2015

56,523 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place Any question about your game at this point 6 7 2015

56,524 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place What do you know about Chambers Bay and what do uou need to do there to win 6 7 2015

56,525 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place Chambers Bay is it like Pinehurst 6 7 2015

56,526 Jordan Spieth Memorial 3rd place Will you make any equipment adjustments going into next week at the US Open 6 7 2015

On The Bench: Columbus Blue Jackets Report 1/26/2013

In the latest edition of On the Bench, Columbus Wired’s Catrina Padget and Dave Seaman take a look at the Blue Jackets recent road trip and the latest game against the Chicago Blackhawks. They also talk about the early season goaltending and look ahead to the upcoming week.

On The Bench: Columbus Blue Jackets Report 1/22/2013

The Columbus Blue Jackets started the season earning points against Nashville and Detroit. Columbus Wired’s Catrina Padget and Dave Seaman break down the first two games of the season, what is going right so far, what might need a closer look and preview the next two road games against Phoenix and Colorado.

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Deante’ Gray, Marion-Franklin Red Devils Nose Guard

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Deante' Gray

Marion-Franklin High School, a member of the Columbus City League South Division, always has a good football team with outstanding athletes. One of those on the team this year is Nose Guard Deante’ Gray.

But there was a time when Gray almost didn’t make it as a football player.

As a freshman, he could not play football due to his grades. His failure in the classroom was due to the fact that he didn’t care about school. But then, he woke up due to that failure and his grades are between a 2.8 and a 3.0 GPA.

When I interviewed Gray last Thursday, he is a well-spoken, intelligent student. An obvious leader of the team. Matter-of-fact, he even spends his study hall time to help fellow students with their math and science. He says it’s rewarding to help someone in need.

It shows that the 17-year-old senior has come a very long way from his freshman season.

There is one facet about Deante’ that I found interesting and you won’t find this in most young people, is he enjoys politics and CNN. He watched all three debates. He likes President Barack Obama, but said he wanted to know more about Mitt Romney to see what is agenda for the country is about.

Deante’ will make some a fine football player. Recruiting websites have Kent State, Ohio University, Akron and Kentucky as being interested in him as a student-athlete.

Gray is a Champion Heavyweight Wrestler in the City League.

Red Devils Stadium is next to the practice field

The Red Devils of Marion-Franklin are well-respected around the Columbus, Ohio area. They’ve won the City League South Division for several years; been the playoffs 8 straight years with 2012 being number 9; won two Regional titles in 3 years; achieved Division II State Semifinalist 2 of the past 3 years and finished 2010 and 2011 at 10-0 in Division 2, Region 7 of the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

This year, Marion-Franklin is striving for Week 15 of the season; that is the date of the State Championship Game. The team is tired of ending the season in Week 14 which they’ve done twice.

Head coach Brian Haffele is the architect of the Marion-Franklin juggernaut. In his 9th year, his record is 80-14

Loaded with talented players, Joe Alverson, Corry Benson, Jaron Dukes, “Big” Damon Dillard, Darien Williams to go along with Gray, Week 15 looks like a reality as each game goes by.

Speaking of QB Benson, he has an outstanding record as a starter of 25-2.

The Red Devils have an unbelievable streak going of 25-games in a row without a defeat in the tough South Division. They play Walnut Ridge, Eastmoor Academy and Independence which are no slouches.

This season, Marion-Franklin’s only loss is to Pickerington Central in Week 2, 45-24.

Marion-Franklin High School from the football practice field

They have beaten in order, Brookhaven, 20-14; Canal Winchester, 28-3; Briggs, 72-6; Independence, 36-30; Walnut Ridge in the Thursday Night Lights Game on WWHO-TV 53, 7-6; Africentric, 73-20; West, 53-14; and Eastmoor Academy last Friday, 6-0. This week, they end the season playing their rivals in the South end of the city, Columbus South.

Deante' Gray ready for action


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