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Archive for April 8th, 2017

NHRA Las Vegas winners include Brown, Johnson Jr. and T. Gray



LAS VEGAS – Antron Brown piloted his Matco Tools dragster to the Top Fuel victory Sunday at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car) and Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) were also winners at the fourth event of 24 on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.


Brown, who won the event in 2016, raced to a 3.747-second pass at 321.04 mph to defeat Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tony Schumacher who ran a 3.809 at 325.14 in his U.S. Army dragster. This is Brown’s 46th career Top Fuel victory and first of the season. It was also Don Schumacher Racing’s 300th team win.


“Today was tough battles,” Brown said. “When you race two of your teammates you know you got a battle on your hands because you all have the same quality parts. And when you go up there you have to throw everything up there. Especially with Tony he hasn’t been an eight-time champion for nothing buddy he knows how to race. We had to push hard.”


Brown, who has been racing Top Fuel for 10 years, has won a race every year of his Top Fuel career. He is the only racer in NHRA history to have a win in 10 consecutive seasons. He raced past Scott Palmer, No. 1 qualifier Steve Torrence and two-time 2017 event winner Leah Pritchett en route to the finals. Schumacher faced Terry McMillen and Doug Kalitta before seeing Brown in the final round.


In Funny Car, Johnson Jr. claimed his first victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since 2001 when he outran rookie Jonnie Lindberg with a 3.933 pass at 323.66 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. It is his 15th career win and first of the season. Lindberg pushed his Head Racing Toyota Camry to a 4.016 at 302.14 in his second consecutive runner-up effort in 2017.


“Today was a pretty trying today,” Johnson Jr. said. “It was pretty hot. Probably the hottest track we’ve seen this season yet. The guys did a great job. When we came out first round and were low ET by at least three hundredths I thought, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a good day.’ This is just a great facility. When I come in the gate I have a good feeling because I’ve had some success here, a win prior to this, and a couple runner-up finishes.”


Johnson Jr. pushed past Jim Campbell, Robert Hight and 16-time world champion John Force before facing Jonnie Lindberg in the finals. Lindberg defeated Cruz Pedregon, Jack Beckman and Gary Densham before falling to Johnson Jr., who moves to second in the points standings. Lindberg is now eighth.


Gray, who is only 17 years old, became the youngest Pro Stock winner in NHRA history when he raced his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.681 pass at 206.61 to defeat Bo Butner and his Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro on a holeshot in the finals. Butner raced to a 6.678 at 206.76 but his reaction time of .088 at the start was too slow for Gray’s .010.


“I can’t thank everybody enough,” Gray said. “My crew is definitely the reason I’m here. I do a small part. It feels really cool. I was pretty nervous. This was something I wanted to do since I was real young and I finally got the opportunity to do it. When I started this deal I told my dad I wanted to be the youngest Pro Stock winner. To be able to do that feels really cool.”


Gray is now fourth in the points standings after taking on Drew Skillman, Greg Anderson and defending world champ Jason Line before reaching the finals. Butner lined up against Alan Prusiensky, two-time champ Erica Enders and veteran Jeg Coughlin en route to his finals appearance.


The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at the 30th annual NHRA SpringNationals April 21-23 at Royal Purple Raceway.




LAS VEGAS — Final finish order (1-16) at the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The race is the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.



1.  Antron Brown; 2.  Tony Schumacher; 3.  Doug Kalitta; 4.  Leah Pritchett; 5.  Terry McMillen; 6.  Steve Torrence; 7.  Brittany Force; 8.  Clay Millican; 9.  Steven Chrisman; 10.  Troy Coughlin Jr.; 11.  Steve Faria; 12.  Troy Buff; 13.  Scott Palmer; 14.  Tripp Tatum; 15.  Terry Haddock.



1.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 2.  Jonnie Lindberg; 3.  John Force; 4.  Gary Densham; 5.  Matt Hagan; 6.  Alexis DeJoria; 7.  Jack Beckman; 8.  Robert Hight; 9.  Jim Campbell; 10.  Tim Wilkerson; 11.  Courtney Force; 12.  Ron Capps; 13.  Phil Burkart; 14.  Del Worsham; 15.  Cruz Pedregon; 16.  J.R. Todd.



1.  Tanner Gray; 2.  Bo Butner; 3.  Jason Line; 4.  Jeg Coughlin; 5.  Erica Enders; 6.  Greg Anderson; 7.  Shane Gray; 8.  Chris McGaha; 9.  Allen Johnson; 10.  Deric Kramer; 11.  Vincent Nobile; 12.  Alan Prusiensky; 13.  Tom Huggins; 14.  Matt Hartford; 15.  Drew Skillman.


LAS VEGAS — Sunday’s final results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race is the fourth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.747 seconds, 321.04 mph def. Tony Schumacher, 3.809 seconds, 325.14 mph.


Funny Car — Tommy Johnson Jr., Dodge Charger, 3.933, 323.66 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Toyota Camry, 4.016, 302.14.


Pro Stock — Tanner Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.681, 206.61 def. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.678, 206.76.


Top Fuel Harley — Jay Turner, Dixie, 6.460, 215.10 def. Mike Pelrine, Harley, 7.433, 138.31.


Top Alcohol Dragster — Garrett Bateman, 5.384, 271.24 def. Casey Grisel, 8.195, 112.59.


Top Alcohol Funny Car — Shane Westerfield, Chevy Camaro, 5.547, 265.17 def. Doug Gordon, Camaro, Foul – Red Light.


Competition Eliminator — Alan Ellis, ’23-T Ford, 6.535, 187.89 def. Tony Mandella, Chevy S-10, 8.490, 155.45.


Super Stock — Mike Loge, Plymouth Barracuda, 11.549, 113.04 def. Tim Hall, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light.


Stock Eliminator — Chris Hall, Chevy Camaro, 11.013, 94.94 def. Phil Mandella Jr., Chevy Chevelle, Foul – Red Light.


Super Comp — Ryan Herem, Dragster, 9.056, 153.21 def. Luke Bogacki, Dragster, 9.049, 167.24.


Super Gas — Rick Cates, Chevy Corvette, 10.155, 138.20 def. Tim Parker, Chevy Camaro, 11.894, 118.82.


Top Dragster presented by — Chuck Phelps, Dragster, 6.603, 200.32 def. Kyle Seipel, Dragster, 6.941, 197.36.


Top Sportsman presented by — Dean Hall, Chevy Corvette, 7.295, 188.89 def. Ed Olpin, Chevy Camaro, 7.160, 192.28.



LAS VEGAS — Final round-by-round results from the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:




ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 4.057, 230.84 def. Tripp Tatum, 10.253, 77.26; Leah Pritchett, 3.756, 328.30 def. Troy Buff, 5.415, 128.19; Brittany Force, 3.762, 329.26 def. Steve Faria, 4.505, 180.96; Tony Schumacher, 3.767, 327.98 def. Terry Haddock, Broke – No Show; Steve Torrence, 3.765, 324.51 was unopposed; Doug Kalitta, 3.743, 326.40 def. Steven Chrisman, 4.104, 248.48; Terry McMillen, 4.227, 269.03 def. Troy Coughlin Jr., 4.230, 194.32; Antron Brown, 3.752, 325.53 def. Scott Palmer, 5.501, 125.27;

QUARTERFINALS — Schumacher, 3.865, 316.45 def. McMillen, 3.916, 311.70; Pritchett, 3.770, 328.06 def. Force, 4.872, 153.39; Brown, 3.822, 318.24 def. Torrence, 4.035, 276.41; Kalitta, 3.778, no speed def. Millican, 4.913, 153.51;

SEMIFINALS — Schumacher, 3.775, 320.97 def. Kalitta, 3.782, 326.87; Brown, 3.797, 320.89 def. Pritchett, 3.919, 311.20;

FINAL — Brown, 3.747, 321.04 def. Schumacher, 3.809, 325.14.




ROUND ONE — Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 4.036, 312.86 def. Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 4.801, 173.01; Gary Densham, Mustang, 4.079, 287.29 def. Courtney Force, Camaro, 5.118, 153.39; Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 3.970, 328.54 def. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 6.251, 118.97; Jonnie Lindberg, Camry, 4.332, 250.37 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 5.607, 125.26; Jack Beckman, Charger, 7.322, 90.06 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, Foul – Red Light; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 3.943, 320.97 def. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.714, 181.28; John Force, Camaro, 4.454, 213.64 def. Phil Burkart, Charger, 5.853, 124.97; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.054, 320.97 def. J.R. Todd, Camry, 9.752, 77.54;

QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.068, 268.71 def. Hight, Broke; J. Force, 3.987, 321.81 def. Hagan, 4.043, 318.24; Lindberg, 4.017, 325.37 def. Beckman, 4.096, 312.42; Densham, 4.551, 190.73 def. DeJoria, Foul – Red Light;

SEMIFINALS — Lindberg, 3.991, 318.92 def. Densham, 5.916, 126.78; Johnson Jr., 3.997, 319.45 def. J. Force, 4.128, 282.13;

FINAL — Johnson Jr., 3.933, 323.66 def. Lindberg, 4.016, 302.14.




ROUND ONE — Shane Gray, Chevy Camaro, 6.703, 207.21 def. Drew Skillman, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.734, 206.07 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.683, 207.11 def. Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.785, 205.94; Tanner Gray, Camaro, 6.665, 206.51 def. Deric Kramer, Dodge Dart, Foul – Red Light; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.676, 203.31 def. Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.721, 205.41; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.659, 206.64 def. Alan Prusiensky, Dart, 6.827, 177.00; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.673, 205.79 was unopposed; Jeg Coughlin, Camaro, 6.747, 206.48 def. Tom Huggins, Dart, 6.842, 202.67;

QUARTERFINALS — Coughlin, 6.751, 206.10 def. McGaha, 20.745, 32.12; Line, 6.695, 206.10 def. S. Gray, 6.732, 205.91; T. Gray, 6.702, 206.57 def. Anderson, 6.717, 206.42; Butner, 6.695, 206.45 def. Enders, 6.713, 206.80;

SEMIFINALS — T. Gray, 6.691, 206.67 def. Line, 6.703, 206.26; Butner, 6.714, 206.42 def. Coughlin, 6.739, 205.10;

FINAL — T. Gray, 6.681, 206.61 def. Butner, 6.678, 206.76.



LAS VEGAS — Point standings (top 10) following the 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the fourth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -


Top Fuel


1.  Tony Schumacher, 382; 2.  Leah Pritchett, 376; 3.  Antron Brown, 357; 4.  Doug Kalitta, 301; 5.  Brittany Force, 258; 6.  Steve Torrence, 251; 7.  Clay Millican, 187; 8.  Troy Coughlin Jr., 176; 9.  Terry McMillen, 164; 10.  Scott Palmer, 148.


Funny Car


1.  Matt Hagan, 368; 2.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 324; 3.  John Force, 314; 4.  Ron Capps, 275; 5.  Courtney Force, 218; 6.  Jack Beckman, 205; 7.  Robert Hight, 201; 8.  Jonnie Lindberg, 183; 9.  Jim Campbell, 180; 10.  J.R. Todd, 170.


Pro Stock


1.  Greg Anderson, 380; 2.  Jason Line, 367; 3.  Bo Butner, 299; 4.  Tanner Gray, 296; 5.  Shane Gray, 278; 6.  Jeg Coughlin, 266; 7.  Erica Enders, 219; 8.  Chris McGaha, 193; 9.  Drew Skillman, 190; 10.  Vincent Nobile, 183.




Great month of soccer nets Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez MLS Player of the Month

NEW YORK(Wednesday, April 5, 2017) – Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez was voted Major League Soccer’s Player of the Month by members of the media for the month of March of the 2017 MLS season. 

The 23-year-old Designated Player helped the expansion club burst onto the scene, leading Atlanta with five goals in three matches played during March. Atlanta currently ranks second in the Eastern Conference standings (2-1-1, seven points) behind a potent offensive attack that has produced 11 goals, second best in MLS. Martinez’s five goals rank tied for second in MLS, while his 1.72 goals per 90 minutes tops the league.

Josef Martinez (courtesy Atlanta United FC)

Martinez helped Atlanta United to its first win in club history with a hat trick in a 6-1 victory at Minnesota United FC on March 12, marking just the third time a Venezuelan has tallied three goals in a game. The Venezuelan National Team player scored his first MLS goal three minutes into the match with a calmly finished right-footed strike to give Atlanta the early lead (Watch Goal). Martinez extended Atlanta’s lead to 3-0 with his second goal of the match in the 27th minute, outpacing opponents and beating the keeper with another low shot into the corner of the net ( Watch Goal). In the 75th minute, Martinez would round the goalkeeper and easily put the ball in the back of net to complete his hat trick and place Atlanta ahead 5-1.

A week later, Martinez continued his scoring ways with a brace in Atlanta’s 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at Bobby Dodd Stadium on March 18. Atlanta would take a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute when Martinez fooled diving goalkeeper Jorge Bava and finished in front of an empty net (Watch Goal). Martinez scored his second goal of the day with a left-footed shot from a difficult angle, earning him AT&T MLS Goal of the Week honors, and giving Atlanta the 4-0 lead in the 82nd minute (Watch Goal).

Atlanta United next travels to face Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN4/5/MLS Live).

MLS Player of the Month is voted upon by a panel of select national media members in a process conducted by MLS Communications.




Goaltender Oscar Dansk assigned to Monsters by Blue Jackets


The 2012 NHL Draft pick has spent the past two seasons with Rogle BK in Swedish Hockey League
COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Blue Jackets have assigned goaltender Oscar Dansk to the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.


Dansk, 23, has spent the past two seasons with Rogle BK in the Swedish Hockey League where he has compiled an 18-34-4 record, 2.81 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and four shutouts in 60 games.  He went 6-15-1 with a 2.99 GAA, .903 SV% and two shutouts in 24 appearances with the club this season.
Selected by Columbus in the second round, 31st overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft, Dansk has appeared in 21 career AHL games, going 7-7-0 with a 3.57 GAA and .880 SV% with the Springfield Falcons during the 2014-15 season.  He spent the previous two years with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League and was 40-32-7 with a 3.25 GAA, .897 SV% and six shutouts in 85 career OHL games.  In 2013-14, he went 29-9-1 with an OHL-best 2.39 GAA, .909 SV% and six shutouts in 42 outings.  The Stockholm, Sweden native also represented his country at two IIHF World Junior Championships, winning silver medals at the 2013 and 2014 tournaments.



Blue Jackets honor team captain Nick Foligno with Community MVP Award

Nick Foligno CBJ (2014 Lisa Gansky via wikipedia commons)

APRIL 6, 2017
Foligno recognized during pre-game ceremony for exemplary community stewardship, earning community award for second time in three years
COLUMBUS, OH – Before the home regular-season finale against the Winnipeg Jets, the Columbus Blue Jackets presented team captain Nick Foligno with the club’s 2016-17 Community MVP Award which recognizes the player who best exemplifies service, dedication and leadership. This is the second time he has received the award after also earning it in 2014-15. Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson and Blue Jackets Vice President of Community Relations Kathryn Dobbs presented Foligno with the award along with a $5,000 donation from the club’s foundation to the charity of Nick’s choice, The Janis Foligno Foundation, which was established in memory of his mother and her battle with breast cancer.Last fall, Nick and his wife, Janelle, committed $1 million to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in support of pediatric congenital heart care in honor of their daughter, Milana. The $500,000 gift to Nationwide Children’s Hospital was directed to the Center for Cardiovascular Research, which houses the newly named Foligno Family Cardiovascular Research Lab. The $500,000 gift to Boston Children’s Hospital establishes funds to support surgical and fetal cardiac research.

In addition to visiting young patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and joining his teammates on Meals-On-Wheels deliveries to Columbus’ older population, Foligno actively supported numerous initiatives tied to the Blue Jackets Foundation. Last spring, he also served as honorary race director for the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon.

The team has recognized a player for outstanding community service since the 2002-03 season. Past winners are: 2002-03 – Tyler Wright; 2003-04 – Luke Richardson; 2005-06 – Manny Malhotra; 2006-07 – Jody Shelley; 2007-08 – Dan Fritsche; 2008-09 – Rick Nash; 2009-10 – R.J. Umberger; 2010-11 – Jared Boll; 2011-12 – Marc Methot; 2012-13 – Derek MacKenzie; 2013-14 – Derek MacKenzie; 2014-15 – Nick Foligno; 2015-16 – David Clarkson.




CBJ Postgame Notes: Winnipeg 5 Columbus 4 4/6/2017

Columbus Blue Jackets (4) vs. Winnipeg Jets (5)
April 6, 2017 – Nationwide Arena (16,447)



Goal Scorers
Columbus: N. Foligno (26), B. Saad (23), B. Saad (24), B. Jenner (17)
Winnipeg: PP – J. Trouba (7), M. Scheifele (32), M. Perreault (13), PP – J. Trouba (8), B. Little (21)

Columbus: J. Korpisalo (27 Saves, L)
Winnipeg: E. Comrie (35 Saves, W)

The Blue Jackets fell to the Winnipeg Jets 5-4 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night.  Attached and linked please find the post-game notes along with post-game audio.

Blue Jackets:
Coach John Tortorella | Nick Foligno | Boone Jenner | Brandon Saad

Coach Paul Maurice | Eric Comrie | Bryan Little | Jack Roslovic | Jacob Trouba



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