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Archive for March, 2017

NHRA announces drivers from popular Texas racing series, Redemption, to compete at 30th annual Springnationals

TO PARTICIPATE IN EIGHT-CAR EXHIBITION AT 30TH ANNUAL NHRA SPRINGNATIONALS

 

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 30, 2017) – NHRA officials announced today that drivers from Redemption, the popular Texas racing series, will participate in a special eight-car exhibition race on Friday, April 21 as part of the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway.

 

Eight of the fastest small tire cars will run in the special event that will take place during Friday’s SpringNationals qualifying. Drivers will get one time trial when qualifying begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, with the first round of eliminations slated for 1:30 p.m. The semifinals will take place before the first round of professional qualifying for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series drivers, and the final round for the small tire standouts will take place before the second round of professional qualifying on Friday night.

 

The winner of the eight-car exhibition will also receive a special acrylic Wally produced by NHRA. Redemption is Texas’ original small tire series and features some of the fastest small tire cars and racing in the world.

 

The 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals is the fifth of 24 events during the 2017 NHRA season. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series unleashes its 10,000-horsepower nitro-burning machines during two qualifying rounds on Friday at 4:30 and 7 p.m. and the final two qualifying rounds on Saturday, April 22 at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 23.

 

To purchase event tickets for the NHRA SpringNationals, call (281)-383-7223 or visit www.RaceRPR.com. Kids 13 and under are free with a paid adult spectator side ticket. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on spectator admission tickets at the gate. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com. For more information on Redemption visit redemptionnoprep.com.

 

NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series, NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates four racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NHRA COMMUNICATIONS

 

Rangers, Rougned Odor agree on long-term deal

Rougned Odor in 2016 By EricEnfermero, Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

six-year contract with club option for 2023

Odor led Rangers in homers and doubles in 2016

Press Release | March 30th, 2017

The Texas Rangers have announced that the club has signed second baseman Rougned Odor to a six-year contract extension that extends from the 2017 through the 2022 seasons. The deal also includes a club option for 2023. No further terms were disclosed.

Odor, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on February 3, is the youngest Ranger to ever receive a contract of at least six seasons. He had previously agreed to terms on a one-year contract for 2017 on February 23.

In his first full Major League season in 2016, Odor batted .271 with 33 doubles, 33 home runs, and 88 RBI in 150 games. He led the club in doubles, homers, and extra base hits (70), tied for first in total bases (304), was second in RBI, and tied for second in runs (89). His home run total in 2016 ranked third among ML second basemen, the most ever by a 2B at age 22 or younger.

Odor has a major league career average of .265 with 58 homers and 197 RBI in 384 games. His homer total is the third highest ever for a Ranger before an age-23 season behind Juan Gonzalez (75) and Ruben Sierra (69). He was selected as the Rangers’ Rookie of the Year in 2014 as the youngest player in the Majors and was the recipient of the 2015 Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award.

Originally signed by Texas as a non-drafted free agent in January 2011, Odor spent just three full years in the minor leagues before making his Major League debut in May 2014. He was selected as the recipient of the organization’s Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2013.

With the agreement, Odor joins shortstop Elvis Andrus as Rangers signed through 2022. Andrus also has a vesting option for the 2023 season.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY RANGERS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

NHL Morning Skate Report for Friday, March 31, 2017: Canadiens clinch Playoff berth; Maple Leafs, Bruins getting closer

THURSDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 6, NY Islanders 3
CAROLINA 2, Columbus 1 (OT)
BOSTON 2, Dallas 0
MONTREAL 6, Florida 2
TAMPA BAY 5, Detroit 3
Toronto 3, NASHVILLE 1
MINNESOTA 5, Ottawa 1
WINNIPEG 4, Anaheim 3 (OT)
EDMONTON 3, San Jose 2

CANADIENS PUNCH TICKET TO THE POSTSEASON
Brendan Gallagher (1-3—4) established single-game career highs for assists and points to help the Canadiens clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, their fourth postseason appearance in the past five seasons.

* At 44-24-9 (97 points), the Canadiens opened a six-point lead atop the Atlantic Division and moved within three points of reaching the 100-point mark for the third time in their last four seasons.

Paul Byron scored twice to bring his total to 22 goals this season (76 GP). Prior to 2016-17, Byron tallied 28 goals in his first 200 NHL games.

OILERS EARN SEVENTH STRAIGHT HOME WIN, CLIMB PACIFIC DIVISION
Patrick Maroon (2-0—2) and Connor McDavid (1-1—2) combined for all three goals to help the Oilers defeat the Sharks and earn their seventh consecutive win at Rogers Place.

* At 43-25-9 (95 points), the Oilers moved past the Sharks (43-27-7, 93 points) for sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division, one point back of the Ducks (42-23-12, 96 points).

* McDavid extended his point streak to nine games (5-11—16) and leads the League with 28-63—91 this season; he became the first Oilers player to record 91 or more points in a season since Doug Weight in 1995-96 (25-79—104).

MAPLE LEAFS, BRUINS IMPROVE CHANCES OF CLINCHING PLAYOFF BERTHS
The Maple Leafs (37-24-15, 89 points) and Bruins (41-30-6, 88 points) each secured victories to improve their chances of clinching a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Auston Matthews scored his seventh game-winning goal of the season to extend his point streak to seven games (5-3—8) and guide the Maple Leafs to a 6-1-1 record in their last eight outings. Elias notes that Matthews moved within one game-winning goal of matching the single-season franchise rookie record, set by Howie Meeker in 1946-47 (8). Toronto maintained its hold on third place in the Atlantic Division and climbed within two points of Ottawa (41-26-9, 91 points), who lost in regulation.

Tuukka Rask (27 saves) picked up his seventh shutout of 2016-17 to match his single-season career high set in 2013-14 and backstop the Bruins to their third consecutive win. Brad Marchand (1-1—2) scored his 38th goal of 2016-17 to eclipse his single-season career high of 37 set in 2015-16. Boston kept pace with Toronto and reinforced its hold on the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

CLUBS EARN VALUABLE POINTS IN EASTERN CONFERENCE WILD CARD RACE
The Lightning (38-29-9, 85 points), Hurricanes (35-27-14, 84 points) and Flyers (37-32-8, 82 points) each earned wins to keep pace in the race for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference:

* Five different skaters scored to power the Lightning to their fourth consecutive win. Victor Hedman (15-51—66) collected an assist to establish a single-season franchise record for points by a defenseman, besting the mark set by Roman Hamrlik in 1995-96 (16-49—65). The Lightning remained three points back of the Bruins for the last Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

* Jeff Skinner (1-1—2) tied the game with 4:20 remaining in regulation and assisted on Noah Hanifin’s overtime winner as the Hurricanes extended their point streak to a franchise-record 13 games (9-0-4). Skinner has scored nine goals in his last eight outings (9-2—11).

* The Flyers raced to a 5-0 lead in the first period and held off an Islanders rally to improve to 4-1-0 in their last five games. Wayne Simmonds (1-2—3) reached the 30-goal mark for the second straight season (32 G in 2015-16).

LOOSE PUCKS
Alex Stalock made 18 saves to earn a win in his team debut and help the Wild (45-24-8, 98 points) snap a four-game slide (0-2-2) . . . Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner (0-1—1) leads all rookies with 41 assists this season; Elias notes that Marner established a single-season franchise rookie record for assists, besting the mark set by Gus Bodnar in 1943-44 (40) . . . Mark Scheifele reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career, while Filip Forsberg hit the mark for the second straight season (33 G in 2015-16) . . . Nashville’s Peter Laviolette served his 1,000th career game as an NHL head coach . . . Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg (0-1—1) reached the 900-point milestone (325-575—900) . . . Leon Draisaitl (4-12—16 in 9 GP), Ondrej Palat (2-8—10 in 6 GP) and Eric Staal (3-3—6 in 6 GP) extended their point streaks . . . Jason Pominville (900), David Krejci (700) and Jason Demers (500) skated in milestone games . . . The Canadiens honored former Montreal Expos player Tim Raines, who was recently elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Pittsburgh @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m., SN, MSG 2, ROOT
New Jersey @ NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m., MSG+, MSG+ 2
Columbus @ Chicago, 8:30 p.m., CSN-CH, FS-O
St. Louis @ Colorado, 9 p.m., ALT, FS-MW
San Jose @ Calgary, 9 p.m., SNW, CSN-CA
Los Angeles @ Vancouver, 10 p.m., SN360, SNP, FS-W
Washington @ Arizona, 10 p.m., FS-A, CSN-DC+
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BLUES, FLAMES LOOK TO CLINCH POSTSEASON BERTHS
The Blues (42-28-6, 90 points) and Flames (43-30-4, 90 points) look to clinch berths in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday:

* The Blues aim to clinch their sixth consecutive postseason berth when they visit the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. St. Louis owns a record of 11-2-1 in March, including points in its last seven games (6-0-1).

* The Flames aim to clinch their first postseason berth since 2015 when they host the Sharks at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary owns a record of 9-2-0 in its last 11 home games.

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PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

Mike Napoli signs with Texas Rangers; third stint with team

one-year contract with club option for 2018

set career highs in HR and RBI in 2016 with Cleveland

Press Release

The Texas Rangers announced recently that the club has signed free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli (#5) to a one-year contract for the 2017 season, with a club option for 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Napoli, 35, is coming off a 2016 season in which he batted .239 with 34 home runs and 101 RBI over 150 games for the American League champion Cleveland Indians. He established career highs last year in hits (133), home runs, and RBI. He made 149 total starts at first base (98) and designated hitter (51), serving as Cleveland’s primary cleanup batter with 140 games in that lineup slot.

Mike Napoli in 2016 with Indians By Arturo Pardavila III from Hoboken, NJ, USA, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Napoli has played in 256 games over two-plus seasons with Texas in 2011-12 and 2015, landing his lone career All-Star selection with the Rangers in 2012. He has a career slash line of .277/.381/.548/.929 for Texas, and the Rangers have reached the playoffs in each of Napoli’s three seasons with the club. He would join Bill Haselman, Kenny Rogers, Ruben Sierra, and Darren Oliver as the only players to spend three separate tours of major league duty with the organization.

He enters 2017 with a career rate of 4.37 pitches seen per plate appearance, a figure which rates second all-time since the stat was first tracked in 1988 (credit STATS LLC), trailing only Jayson Werth (4.40) among players with at least 3000 plate appearances. Napoli owns a career .903 OPS figure against left-handed pitching. He joins Toronto’s Russell Martin as the only big league players to have appeared in the postseason in 8 of the last 10 seasons (2007-09, 2011-13, 2015-16). Napoli also leads all active players with 15 RBI in 19 career World Series games.

With the signing of Napoli, the Rangers are now at the 40-player limit on the major league roster, along with two players (Jake Diekman and Prince Fielder) on the 60-day disabled list.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY RANGERS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

CBJ Road Game Day: Jackets vying again for 50th win as they travel to Chicago

Mar. 31, 2017  ||  Blue Jackets at Blackhawks  ||  United Center  ||  8:30 pm ET

MEDIA INFORMATION

Blue Jackets Broadcast Information
Television: FOX Sports Ohio (Jeff Rimer/Jody Shelley)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan (Bob McElligott)
GAME INFORMATION
The Matchup
Columbus: 49-19-8  (106 pts.)  || 21-9-7  (49 pts.) on Road  || 2nd Metropolitan  || 3.07 GF / 2.26 GA
Chicago: 49-21-7 (105 pts)  || 25-9-5 (55 pts.) at Home  || 1st Central  || 2.99 GF / 2.56 GA
All-Time Series
Columbus: 32-38-10 (14-21-4 on Road)
2016-17: Oct. 21 – at CBJ 3, CHI 2… Mar. 31 at CHI
2015-16: Oct. 17 – at CHI 4, CBJ 1… Apr. 9 – at CBJ 5, CHI 4 (OT)

*  Columbus is 4-1-0 vs. Chicago in the past five games of the series
*  The Jackets have killed off 33-of-38 of the Blackhawks power play chances over the past 11 games (86.8 pct.)

NOTEWORTHY
*  The Blue Jackets conclude their 18th of 19 back-to-back sets and are 9-4-4 in the second game (21-8-6 overall)
*  Columbus kicks off a three-game stretch vs. the other 100-point teams in the NHL with at Chicago (105 points, 3rd overall), vs. Washington on Sunday (110 points, 1st) and at Pittsburgh on Apr. 4 (103 points, 4th)
*  With a point on Thursday, the Jackets tied a franchise record for most points on the road in a season (49 points in 2014-15; 23-15-3)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Blue Jackets:
* 20  Brandon Saad - Reached the 50-point plateau for the third straight season (22-28-50) with his goal on Tuesday and has 1-1-2 in three career games vs. his former club
* 72  Sergei Bobrovksy - Leads the NHL in wins (51), GAA (1.97) and SV% (.935) and is 2nd-T in SO (7) and riding a 12-game point streak (10-0-2, 1.07 GAA, .968 SV% and 4 SOs)
Blackhawks:
* 72  Artemi Panarin - Second on the Blackhawks in goals and points with 26-43-69 including 2-1-3 in the past two contests
* 88  Patrick Kane - Leads Chicago and is second in the NHL in scoring with 34-50-84 in 77 games and has 15-27-42 in 39 career games vs. the Jackets
GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS COMMUNICATIONS

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