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Archive for June 6th, 2017

Dallara chosen to manufacture universal bodywork kit for 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series


INDIANAPOLIS (Tuesday, June 6, 2017) – INDYCAR announced today that longtime partner Dallara Automobili will manufacture the universal bodywork kit that will fit the current Dallara IR-12 chassis for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The universal kit to be used by all teams next season was a collaboration between INDYCAR and Dallara with the style design support of Chris Beatty, a concept design and 3D animation consultant based in the United Kingdom. The goal was to make the car resemble past Indy car favorites with a sleek, bold look while incorporating the latest technological and safety advancements.

The process of creating the next-generation Indy car began in April 2016 when INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the premier North American open-wheel racing series, set the criteria for potential manufacturers. The design process commenced in November with hand drawings outlining the general design of the car.

“This has been a collaborative effort from multiple parties, including input from our paddock and fans,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations.

“Dallara has been a great partner, and we couldn’t be more enthused with the look, the safety enhancements and the performance objectives of the 2018 car.”

Dallara has supplied safety cells for the Verizon IndyCar Series since 1997 and been the sole chassis supplier since 2008. It has also supplied since 2015 the chassis used in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the top level of the INDYCAR developmental ladder. Dallara will continue to support Verizon IndyCar Series teams through its U.S. headquarters and engineering center a few blocks south of Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.

“2017 marks the 20th anniversary of our presence in INDYCAR, and it is a great honor for us to continue our partnership with the Verizon IndyCar Series,” said Andrea Pontremoli, Dallara CEO and general manager. “Our main goal for the new aero kit was to work on the style, trying to maintain the American essence of the car and the series keeping a good level of performance and safety.”

INDYCAR has scheduled the first test of the universal kit’s superspeedway oval configuration for July 25-26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The road-course configuration will be tested Aug. 1 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the day following the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio, the 13th race on this year’s Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. Other tests are scheduled for Aug. 28 (at Iowa Speedway) and Sept. 26 (at Sebring International Raceway).

INDYCAR unveiled first renderings of the 2018 car design Jan. 12 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Additional, more detailed images followed in March and May.

Verizon IndyCar Series teams will still be able to choose between Chevrolet and Honda engines for competition in 2018. As with the current aero kits provided by Chevrolet and Honda through the end of this season, the universal car will come in two configurations: one for superspeedway ovals and the other for street courses, road courses and short ovals.

A key component of the new car is its ability to generate most of its downforce from underneath as opposed to the top side, which differs from the current bodywork kits. The change reduces the turbulence a leading car produces in its wake, improving the chances of a trailing car to make a pass. More passing typically generates more exciting racing.

INDYCAR’s aerodynamic target safety enhancements include side impact structures in the car’s sidepods and repositioned radiators to assist in reducing the severity of side impacts by crushing on impact. Other noticeable features in the new car images include a lower engine cover to provide a more traditional Indy car look. Turbocharger inlets are moving to the inside of the radiator inlet ducts.

The rear wing and front wing main plane are smaller in the new car look, and the centerline wicker from the nose of the car to the cockpit is tapered. The rear wing in the street course/road course/short oval configuration is lower and wider. The fins on the leading edge of the sidepods of the current car will be minimized on the 2018 car.

INDYCAR is the governing body of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the premier open-wheel racing series in North America, and the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires development ladder, which includes: Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda. INDYCAR events are available to a worldwide audience through a variety of multimedia platforms, highlighted by long-term and broad-reaching partnerships with ABC and NBCSN. INDYCAR is continually at the forefront of motorsports innovation with drivers, teams and tracks benefiting from safety and technological improvements such as the SAFER Barrier, SWEMS wheel and chassis component tethers, chassis enhancements, advanced aerodynamic bodywork kits, high-definition in-car cameras and E85 ethanol fuel.

About the Verizon IndyCar Series
The Verizon IndyCar Series is the premier open-wheel series in North America, competing on a challenging and diverse combination of superspeedways, short ovals, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits. The Verizon IndyCar Series conducts races in the United States and Canada – all available in high-definition television worldwide through comprehensive, long-term agreements with ABC, NBCSN, ESPN International, Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and Canal+ in France. The Verizon IndyCar Series continues to be the fastest, most diverse and most competitive racing series that features an international cast of star drivers and venues. For more information about the Verizon IndyCar Series, visit

About Dallara Automobili
Dallara was founded by its current president, Giampaolo Dallara, in 1972. After working at Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and De Tomaso, Dallara wanted to continue pursuing his dream of working in the world of race cars. He established Dallara Automobili da Competizone in his hometown of Varano de Melegari, Parma, Italy. Since its establishment, Dallara has become world-renowned for its specialty in designing, manufacturing and developing race cars and consulting activities to some of the most important brands in the world. Dallara prides itself in searching for the highest standards of quality, performance, safety and customer support.




NHL Morning Skate Report for Tuesday, June 6, 2017: Stanley Cup Finals edition; Predators 4 Penguins 1, Series tied 2-2



Home Team in Caps
NASHVILLE 4, Pittsburgh 1 – series tied 2-2

The Predators scored three unanswered goals, including the go-ahead tally by Frederick Gaudreau at 3:45 of the second period, to even the Stanley Cup Final at two games apiece.

* Gaudreau, who signed with the Predators as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and made his NHL debut Oct. 22 vs. PIT, has registered each of his first three career goals (regular season and playoffs, 15 GP) in the Stanley Cup Final. Elias says that only one other player in NHL history scored each of his first three career goals (regular season and playoffs) in the Stanley Cup Final: Chicago’s John Harms in 1944 vs. MTL (3-0—3).

* Gaudreau potted the decisive goal for the second straight contest, following his winner at 6:33 of the second period in Game 3. Rookies have accounted for all four game-winning goals thus far in the Stanley Cup Final (Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel has the other two). No other Final has featured four winning goals from rookies since the NHL took control of the Stanley Cup in 1926-27.

* Gaudreau became just the third rookie to collect consecutive game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Final since the NHL took sole possession of the trophy in 1926-27 – and the second to do so in this series (following Guentzel). The other: Roy Conacher, who notched the winner for the Bruins in Games 3, 4 and 5 in 1939 vs. TOR.

* Rookies have totaled nine of the 24 total goals thus far in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final (37.5%) – Guentzel (4), Gaudreau (3), Pontus Aberg (1) and Scott Wilson (1). Elias notes that it is the highest combined rookie total in the Final since the NHL took control of the Stanley Cup in 1926-27, breaking the old record of eight in 1973, 1980 and 1981.

* The Predators became the 13th team to even the Stanley Cup Final at 2-2 after falling behind 2-0 in the series (out of 51 total instances since the format went to best-of-seven in 1939). Four of the prior 12 clubs went on to win the Stanley Cup: 1966 MTL, 1971 MTL, 2009 PIT and 2011 BOS.

Pekka Rinne stopped 23 shots, including all 18 he faced after the opening period, to help the Predators improve to a League-best 9-1 at home in the playoffs (+19 goal differential; 34-15).

* Rinne, who has started all 10 of Nashville’s home postseason games, owns a 1.44 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in those contests. He has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of those 10 games.

* The Kempele, Finland, native earned his 36th career playoff win (68 GP), tying Antti Niemi (67 GP) for the most in NHL history by a Finnish-born goaltender.

* Home teams have won 37 of the past 53 games in the Stanley Cup Final dating to 2009 (69.8%), including all four this year.

The Stanley Cup Final will require at least six games for the ninth time in the last 10 years and 15th time in the past 18 seasons.

The team that has won Game 5 after a split of the opening four contests of the Final has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 17 of 24 times (70.8%) since the series adopted the best-of-seven format in 1939.

However, the club that has lost Game 5 has rebounded to win the series in four of the past eight such occasions (all since 2001 – 2001 COL, 2004 TBL, 2009 PIT and 2011 BOS).

The NHL announced that the 1984-85 Oilers have been selected by fans as the Greatest NHL Team following more than 3.6 million votes cast over a six-week period from April 13 – May 25.

The top 10, as voted by fans:

1. 1984-85 Oilers
2. 1991-92 Penguins
3. 1976-77 Canadiens
4. 1987-88 Oilers
5. 1986-87 Oilers
6. 1997-98 Red Wings
7. 1982-83 Islanders
8. 1977-78 Canadiens
9. 1983-84 Oilers
10. 2001-02 Red Wings

Click here for more information.

ICYMI: 1984-85 Oilers teammates Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey attended Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, with Basketball Hall of Famer and current NBA analyst Charles Barkley crashing their press conference.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby snapped a 12-game goal drought in the Stanley Cup Final (dating to 2009) to move into sole possession of 20th place on the NHL’s all-time playoff points list (57-104—161 in 146 GP) . . . Predators captain Mike Fisher collected one assist while celebrating his 37th birthday . . . Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (22 SV) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his postseason career (30 GP; 7-1 following a loss) . . . Twelve different Predators found the scoresheet . . . ICYMI: The NHL/NHLPA Competition Committee issued a pair of rule recommendations . . . Renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris unveiled portraits of Max Bentley and Brad Park as part of the NHL Centennial Celebration . . . L to R: Top prospects Casey Mittelstadt, Nico HischierGabriel Vilardi and Nolan Patrick attended Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Nashville @ Pittsburgh, series tied 2-2, 8 p.m., NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS
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Crew SC loses four players to International Call-ups

Abu, Afful and Mensah earn call-ups from Ghana ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and two friendly matches;
Raitala earns a call-up from Finland ahead of friendly against Liechtenstein and a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine

For Immediate Release: June 6, 2017

COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that four of its players have received international call-ups: Mohammed Abu, Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Jukka Raitala. Abu, Afful and Mensah are set to join Ghana ahead of a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Ethiopia on June 11. The Black Stars then play a friendly against Mexico on June 28 followed by a friendly against the United States on July 1. Raitala is set to join Finland ahead of its friendly against Liechtenstein tomorrow, June 7, and a FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Ukraine on June 11.

Ghana is in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualification Group F along with Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Kenya. The winner of Group F automatically qualifies to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Ghana has reached the semifinals in each of the last three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. The Black Stars are set to host Ethiopia in Kumasi on June 11, with the match marking Ghana’s first match of the qualification round. The Black Stars then travel to the U.S. for a friendly against Mexico at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas on June 28, followed by a friendly against the U.S. at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut on July 1.

Abu has earned three caps for Ghana, the most recent of which came against Mali in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations’ Third Place Match. This season, he has made 10 regular-season appearances (six starts) for Crew SC. Afful has earned 71 caps for Ghana, with his last cap coming against Burkina Faso in the Third Place Match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (February 4). He was a member of the Ghana National Team during the last four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, playing every minute of the 2013, 2015 and 2017 editions. Afful is a World Cup veteran, having been a member of Ghana’s roster during the 2014 edition of the tournament. He has made 11 appearances (10 starts) for the Black & Gold in the 2017 regular season.

Mensah has represented the Black Stars on 53 occasions, with his last match also coming against Burkina Faso in the Third Place Match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He has participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Mensah featured for Ghana in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making two group stage appearances and playing in a Round of 16 contest against the U.S., helping the Black Stars reach the quarterfinals. In 2014, he started in every group stage match of Ghana’s World Cup campaign. Mensah has made 11 regular-season appearances (10 starts) for Crew SC this year.

Finland hosts Liechtenstein for a friendly at Veritas Stadion tomorrow, June 7, before hosting Ukraine in a 2018 World Cup Qualifier at Tampere Stadium on June 11, 2017. Finland is in Group I of UEFA’s First Round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification, along with Ukraine, Iceland, Turkey and Kosovo. The teams that finish in first place of each group automatically qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while the eight best runners-up across all groups advance to a two-leg playoff series, with the winners of each series qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Finland is currently in fifth place of the group with a record of 0-1-4.

Raitala’s most recent appearance for Finland came earlier this year as a starter during an away match against Austria in which he played the entire 90 minutes (March 28), earning his 36th cap. The defender joined Crew SC as a Discovery Signing on December 23, 2016. To date, Raitala has made 12 appearances (10 starts) for the Black & Gold, registering two assists.

Crew SC’s 2017 roster features 12 players that have received a senior National Team call-up throughout their careers (Mohammed Abu, Harrison Afful, Ethan Finlay, Waylon Francis, Ola Kamara, Cristian Martinez, Jonathan Mensah, Justin Meram, Jukka Raitala, Rodrigo Saravia, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp).



Scott Goggins leaves Xavier as all-time winningest baseball coach to take over program at crosstown rival Cincinnati



CINCINNATI - Veteran coach Scott Googins has been named the University of Cincinnati’s 28th baseball head coach, Director of Athletics Mike Bohn announced Tuesday.

Googins will be introduced to the media at a 1 p.m. ET press conference on Wednesday in the Richard E. Lindner Center in Varsity Village.

Googins makes the move across town after 12 seasons as the head coach at Xavier. The all-time winningest coach in XU history, he has 341 career victories with four NCAA Tournament appearances including back-to-back regional finals berths in 2016 and 2017 and six regular-season or conference tournament championships.

Scott Googins (courtesy Xavier athletics)

“Coach Googins is a proven winner and developer of talent and a perfect fit for the University of Cincinnati,” Bohn said. “He is a coach with great passion for student-athletes, is highly regarded in the state of Ohio and possesses strong connections to pro scouts and leaders across baseball on the national scene. He is a man of character, integrity and has a deep desire to seek a new challenge and win championships in a competitive baseball conference. We are excited to welcome Scott, his wife Jody and their children Ellie, Tommy and Charlie to our Bearcats family.”

Googins led Xavier to a 34-27 finish in 2017. The Musketeers won their second-straight BIG EAST Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals for the second-straight year. Rylan Bannon was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year and the Musketeers featured six all-league selections.

During his 12 seasons at the helm at XU, Googins earned coaching accolades as the 2009 ABCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year, the 2008 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year and the 2016 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year. Additionally, 11 of his players have been chosen in the MLB First Year Player Draft since 2005, including Seth Willoughby whose fourth-round selection by the Colorado Rockies in 2012 was the highest pick in program history.

The Xavier program soared to new heights under Googins’ tutelage, earning its first Atlantic 10 Championship and first NCAA victory in 2009. Its first BIG EAST Championship win and second NCAA Tournament victory came in 2014 before back-to-back BIG EAST Championship titles and NCAA Regional Championship appearances in 2016 and 2017.

“My family and I are thrilled to be a part of the University of Cincinnati,” Googins said. “It was not an easy decision to leave Xavier, a great institution where I have many connections. I am excited to be the head coach at UC, to get to know our team and grow with them, give our student-athletes a great experience and have fun playing baseball. There are talented players here who know how to play the game the right way and we are going to work hard. If being a student-athlete at UC is three or four years of our player’s lives, I want it to be the best three or four years possible.”

Before taking the head-coaching role at Xavier, Googins was an assistant with the program in 2005. He joined the Musketeers after four seasons at Miami (Ohio) from 2000-04. During his tenure working primarily with the outfielders, the RedHawks made four straight Mid-American Conference Tournament appearances. Two of his players left for the professional ranks with one garnering All-American honors before his departure.

He was an assistant at Indiana from 1992-99, working with the Hoosiers’ catchers, outfielders and hitters. He was a part of the 1996 Big Ten Championship team and traveled to the Wichita State Regional in the NCAA Tournament.

A native of Granville, Ohio, Googins was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio. He was the Battling Bishops catcher during his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons and posted a .350 career batting average before suffering a career-ending arm injury prior to his senior season. He moved into a coaching role as a senior and stayed on staff after graduation, coaching first base and working with the team’s catchers.

Googins and his wife, Jody – a former volleyball standout at Xavier – live in West Chester, Ohio, with their daughter, Ellie, and two sons, Tommy and Charlie.



MLB releases first AL All-Star Game balloting update: shows races even at most positions

American League leading vote-getter Trout followed by Judge, Lindor

Press Release

The first American League balloting update for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was announced recently on MLB Network, highlighted by tight races at second base, third base and outfield. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, which is available exclusively online via, Club sites and mobile devices, will be accessible until the voting period ends on Thursday, June 29th at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

In the AL’s closest contest, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (516,268) leads Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros (515,732) by a mere 536 votes. Castro, a three-time NL All-Star at shortstop (2011-12, 2014), is bidding for his first career fan-elected start, while Altuve, a four-time All-Star (2012, 2014-16), is attempting to claim his third consecutive starting assignment.

A trio of outfielders are chasing Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox (337,473) for third place and a starting nod among AL outfielders. Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians (333,703), an All-Star in 2014, is less than 4,000 votes away, while Betts’ Red Sox teammate Andrew Benintendi (327,047) and Avisaíl García of the Chicago White Sox (303,603) follow closely behind, each seeking their first career All-Star selection. Betts, aiming for his second consecutive fan-elected start, trails overall AL leader and five-time All-Star Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels (776,937), as well as rookie phenom Aaron Judge of the Yankees (730,438), who leads the Majors with 17 home runs as he challenges Trout for the top spot in the AL.

At third base, three-time All-Star Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (369,069) is trying to hold off a pair of players striving for their first All-Star selection – Miguel Sanó of the Minnesota Twins (363,607) and Cleveland’s José Ramírez (351,814). Machado, the fan-elected starter in 2016, would join Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only Orioles third basemen to earn multiple fan-elected starts.

The remaining AL leaders include: first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers (326,952); shortstop Francisco Lindor of the Indians (602,238); catcher Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (420,268); and designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners (457,050). Cabrera is followed closely by Yonder Alonso of the Oakland Athletics (287,975) and Carlos Santana of the Indians (270,816). Lindor, who has the third-highest total in the AL, is followed at shortstop by Carlos Correa of the Astros (253,518). Baltimore’s Welington Castillo (339,902) follows Perez behind the plate, while Cleveland’s Edwin Encarnacion (282,837) and Matt Holliday of the Yankees (276,855) trail Cruz at designated hitter.

The Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, the largest program of its kind in professional sports, is being conducted exclusively online for the third consecutive season. Fans around the world can cast their votes for starters a total of 35 times with the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, including a maximum of five valid ballots cast in any 24-hour period. The 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually impaired fans. Banco BHD León once again sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Esurance is introducing actor Josh Duhamel as the first-ever Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot Ambassador. The Transformers: The Last Knight and Spaceman movie star will get ready for the 88th Midsummer Classic along with fans throughout the voting period – submitting ballots, sharing posts on social, and helping fans everywhere get an inside look at MLB All-Star Week while on the ground at FanFest in Miami, Florida. This afternoon at 2:35 p.m. (ET), Duhamel will unveil his votes for the All-Star Game Ballot on Facebook Live.

Details regarding the unveiling of the 2017 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be available in the coming weeks. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 23 for the NL and 22 for the AL – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office.

Following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 32-man roster via the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 16th season with over 680 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on, Club sites and their mobile devices.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans can vote exclusively at and the 30 Club sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2017 All-Star Game MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB All-Star Week includes the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Marlins Park (July 11th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day featuring the T-Mobile Home Run Derby (July 10th), All-Star Sunday featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (July 9th), All-Star FanFest at the Miami Beach Convention Center (July 7th-11th), plus a lineup of additional events taking place around the city. The 88th Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit and follow @AllStarGame on social media.