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Archive for July 4th, 2020

Daily Almanac for Saturday, July 4, 2020: Independence Day, United States Birthday

(courtesy digitalhdphotos.com)

INDEPENDENCE DAY

The Fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by delegates from the 13 colonies in 1776. The Declaration of Independence is America’s revolutionary Charter of Freedom and the document upon which the nation’s founding principles were established. The Second Continental Congress actually made its decree for freedom on July 2, 1776, signing the Lee Resolution. Two days later, on July 4, Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence and the alarm for freedom was sounded at Independence Hall with the Liberty Bell. It was on August 4, 1776, after delegates of the Continental Congress had signed the document, that The Declaration of Independence was made official. John Adams’ famous letters to his wife, Abigail, on the 3rd of July, 1776, capture the spirit of the time. Writing from Philadelphia, he said, “Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony “that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States may rightfully do.” “I am apt to believe (this day) will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great Anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever.” Read full letter from John Adams to his wife at founding.com/founders-library/founders-writings . Let us end this brief history of Independence Day (U.S.) with text from The Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” We invite you to read a transcription of the complete text of the Declaration at www.archives.gov .

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DAILY ALMANAC WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF www.almanac.com

 

 

Memorial Tournament announces Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and fan favorite Rickie Fowler join world-class field

 

Dublin, Ohio – Officials of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide announced today that World No. 1 and reigning FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy will compete in the 45th edition of the Memorial at Jack Nicklaus’ world-renowned Muirfield Village Golf Club.

 

The Tournament also has accepted entries from major championship winner Justin Thomas, four-time PGA TOUR winner Xander Schauffele, and fan favorite Rickie Fowler.

 

The 2020 Memorial Tournament will be contested the week of July 14-19 in conjunction with the PGA TOUR’s adjusted tournament schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

McIlroy, who, in 2019, won his second FedExCup title as well as his third Jack Nicklaus Award as PGA TOUR Player of the Year, will make his ninth start at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. He has finished inside the top-10 on four occasions, with his best outing coming in 2016 when he tied for fourth place. His scoring average at Muirfield Village Golf Club is 70.71 to go along with career earnings of $1,094,989.50. He posted his lowest 18-hole score at the Memorial in 2014, when he fired a 9-under-par 63 during the first round, en route to a T-15 finish. The four-time major champion swept the 2018-19 PGA TOUR’s post-season competition-based awards, receiving both the Jack Nicklaus Award and his third Byron Nelson Award for lowest adjusted scoring average (69.06). McIlroy also led the PGA TOUR in top-10 finishes last season with 14. He has recorded a win in nine of the past 11 seasons on TOUR, bringing home multiple wins in five of those years (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019). McIlroy has garnered $52,619,561 in TOUR earnings since turning professional in 2007. The 31-year-old from Northern Ireland is the      No. 1-ranked player in the world and sits at No. 4 in FedExCup points, after recording his 18th PGA TOUR victory at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions to go with six top-10 finishes this season.

Thomas, 27, has recorded 12 PGA TOUR victories since his 2015-16 season. He enjoyed a career 2016-2017 campaign, that included five titles, his first major at the 2017 PGA Championship, the FedExCup trophy, the Arnold Palmer Award as the PGA TOUR’s leading money winner and the Jack Nicklaus Award as the TOUR’s Player of the Year. He also joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Jordan Spieth as the only players since 1960 to capture five wins in a season. Thomas backed up that epic performance with a three-win 2017-18 season and reached No. 1 in the world rankings for the first time. The Kentucky native is one of only eight players in TOUR history – and the youngest at 23 years, 8 months, 14 days – to card an 18-hole score of 59 during competition, which he achieved in the opening round of the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Thomas has made the most of his 11 starts this season, claiming seven top-10 finishes, including two wins at The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and the Sentry Tournament of Champions. His impressive start places Thomas at No. 2 in FedExCup points and No. 3 in the world. He will be making his seventh start at the Memorial. His best result came in 2017, when Thomas finished tied for fourth place. He grabbed another top-10 in 2018, with a T-8 effort, but failed to make the cut last year, after opening rounds of 71-80. His Tournament earnings total $648,520 and his scoring average at Muirfield Village Golf Club is 71.72.

 

Schauffele burst onto the PGA TOUR scene during the 2016-17 season, recording four top-10 finishes, including two wins — A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and the TOUR Championship. His victory at East Lake helped Schauffele cap off his rookie campaign ranked No. 3 in FedExCup standings and lock up the Arnold Palmer Award as the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. The 26-year-old California native has racked up a total of 21 top-10 finishes in his three-plus seasons on TOUR, including four victories. At the end of last season, Schauffele joined Brooks Koepka, 2014 Memorial Tournament winner Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas as one of only four players to finish in the top-15 of the FedExCup standings each season since 2016-17. Schauffele is currently ranked No. 11 in the world and No. 13 in FedExCup points on the strength of four top-10s in 11 starts this season. This will be his third appearance at the Memorial Tournament, where he enjoyed his best finish last year with a T-12 effort, to increase his earnings to $163,800. His scoring average at Muirfield Village Golf Club is 71.17.

Fowler, 31, has been one of the most popular players on the PGA TOUR since turning professional in 2009. He has represented the U.S. on four Ryder Cup teams (2010, 2014, 2016, 2018) and three Presidents Cup teams (2015, 2017, 2019). Fowler has posted five PGA TOUR victories, his first in 2012 at the Wells Fargo Championship and his latest coming last year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In 2014, Fowler finished inside the top-5 in all four major championships, tying for second at the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. The 2010 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year has recorded top-12 finishes at The Masters Tournament in five of the past six years, including a T-9 effort in 2019. A resident of Jupiter, Fla., Fowler has posted two top-10 finishes in eight starts this season and is ranked No. 31 in the world. This year will mark his 11th Memorial Tournament start. He has finished second on two occasions — his first appearance in 2010 and again in 2017. He grabbed his third top-10 at Muirfield Village Golf Club with a T-8 outing in 2018, and finished T-14 last year. His career Tournament earnings total $1,915,164, and his scoring average is 70.91.

 

For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, please visit thememorialtournament.comFor the latest news and updates on social media, follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at Facebook.com/theMemorialTournament.

 

 

 

 

 

About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Tom Sprouse, COURTESY MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT COMMUNICATIONS

NASCAR announces format for 2020 All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway July 15

 

 

New ‘Choose Rule’ to Add Strategy to Restarts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2020) – NASCAR and Bristol Motor Speedway today announced the format for the NASCAR All-Star Race, including the introduction of a ‘choose rule’ that will allow drivers to choose which lane they line up in for restarts.

The rule, which is popular among short track fans, will fittingly make its NASCAR national series debut during the first NASCAR All-Star Race held on a short track. NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports officials had previously announced the race was moving to Bristol from Charlotte Motor Speedway, which had hosted 34 of the race’s 35 previous editions.

As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart. The rule adds more strategy than traditional restarts, where drivers line up in the order they come off pit road.

“There has already been an incredible amount of buzz around this year’s NASCAR All-Star Race with the move to Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “In addition to the thrilling racing we’re used to seeing at Bristol, the choose rule is going to add another dynamic to the race. Drivers and fans have been asking for this change and I can’t think of a better time to try it than the all-star race.”

“This NASCAR All-Star Race under the bright lights of Bristol is setting up to be a memorable event for ages to come,” said Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway. “With a million dollar payout and no championship points on the line in this all out high-banked short track clash, it’s surely going to be a race that fans will not want to miss.”
The race will still have four stages, lasting 55 laps, 35 laps, 35 laps and 15 laps. Both green flag and yellow flag laps will count in Stages 1-3 with only green flag laps counting in the Final Stage. In the Final Stage, if the race is restarted with two or less laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green flag conditions.

The NASCAR Open will take place prior to the NASCAR All-Star Race and will include three segments (35 laps / 35 Laps / 15 laps). The winner of each segment will earn a spot in the All-Star Race as well as the winner of the Fan Vote.

Technical rules for the cars will remain the same as other NASCAR Cup Series short track races, including the May 31 race at Bristol. The liveries will sport a new look, however, as the car number will move from the door towards the rear wheel in an effort to give more exposure to the teams’ sponsors.

Those eligible for the NASCAR All-Star Race include: drivers who won a points event in either 2019 or 2020; drivers who won a NASCAR All-Star Race and compete full-time; and drivers who won a NASCAR Cup Series championship and compete fulltime.

Drivers who have already clinched an All-Star Race spot: Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Justin Haley, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

Coverage of the NASCAR All-Star Race – which is sponsored by NASCAR’s Premier Partners Busch, Coca-Cola, GEICO and Xfinity – will begin on July 15 at 6 p.m. ET on FS1. The NASCAR Open will air at 7 p.m. and the NASCAR All-Star Race begins at 8:30 p.m. on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Tickets start at $35 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under are on sale at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com. Free parking is available at Speedway Parking located at the corner of White Top Road and Hwy 394 and paid parking options are available at neighboring properties. Shuttles and trams will not be running for this event.  A limited number of overnight RV camping spaces are available for purchase. Facial coverings are required in common areas such as entering through the gates, restrooms, concessions, souvenir stands, elevators and concourse areas. Facial coverings may be removed once physically distanced in assigned ticketed seat. Clear bags only (no coolers) will be allowed in for this event. Further details and other requirements can be found on the Bristol Motor Speedway website.

About NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, Americrown Service and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

About Bristol Motor Speedway
Forged amid the scenic mountains of Northeast Tennessee near the Virginia state line, Bristol Motor Speedway is The Last Great Colosseum, a versatile multi-use venue that hosts major auto races, football games, concerts and many other captivating events. The facility features a 0.533-mile concrete oval race track with 28-degree corner banking and 650-feet straightaways that offers racing in several NASCAR touring series, highlighted by two major Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekends. While at the track, fans are offered a unique viewing experience courtesy of Colossus TV, the world’s largest outdoor center-hung four-sided video screen with a 540,000-watt audio system. The adjacent quarter-mile dragstrip, Bristol Dragway, offers more than 50 events annually, including the marquee NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. The Thunder Valley Amphitheatre presented by Ballad Health transforms Bristol Dragway into a premier outdoor concert venue for the world’s greatest music performers. Three football games have kicked-off inside the oval, most notably the 2016 Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, where border rivals the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech met before an NCAA-record crowd of 156,990. In existence since 1961, Bristol Motor Speedway was purchased in 1996 by Bruton Smith and his Speedway Motorsports company, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The Speedway Children’s Charities Bristol Chapter was established the following year and has distributed nearly $16 million to local non-profit children’s organizations within the sixteen counties surrounding the Speedway. For more information, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF Josh Hamilton, NASCAR Communications

NASCAR issues Statement on Jimmie Johnson contracting Coronavirus

 

Jimmie Johnson #48 car 2019 photo (Credit 361396 Jonathan Ferrey of Getty Images courtesy NASCARmedia.com)

“Following the guidelines outlined in the Event Operations Protocol manual, Jimmie Johnson has alerted NASCAR that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

“NASCAR has outlined the steps for Johnson’s return, in accordance with the CDC’s current guidelines, which includes that Johnson is symptom free and has two negative COVID-19 test results, at least 24 hours apart. NASCAR requires Johnson to be cleared by his physician before returning to racing.

 

“Jimmie is a true battle-tested champion, and we wish him well in his recovery. NASCAR has granted Jimmie a playoff waiver, and we look forward to his return as he races for an eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship.”

 

– NASCAR

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

 

Will Power on Pole for IndyCar’s GMR Grand Prix Race

 

Power Digs Deep To Grab NTT P1 Award for Pole at GMR Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS (July 3, 2020) – Whether considering raw speed or history, it will take quite an effort to beat Will Power on Saturday in the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

CLICK HERE: GMR Grand Prix Qualifying Results

Power earned the NTT P1 Award for winning the pole for the second NTT INDYCAR SERIES race of the 2020 season, setting the pace at 1 minute, 10.1779 seconds, 125.116 mph in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet on his final lap in the Firestone Fast Six. Qualifying took place in steamy conditions, with air temperatures in the low 90s on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course.

2014 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Power drove to his 58th career pole, second best all time and just nine behind Mario Andretti’s record of 67. He also led the one practice session earlier in the day at 1:09.9487.

“We left nothing on the table in that lap in the Verizon Chevrolet,” Power said of qualifying. “I knew that (Jack) Harvey had a pretty good time up there, so we put our best set on for the last run, and I just gave it my all. Fortunately, it was enough.”

Not only does Power have pace on his side for the 80-lap race that starts at noon (ET, live on NBC) Saturday, he also has history for support. This was his fourth career pole in seven starts in this event, and he has won all three previous years he started from the pole, in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Power’s scintillating, last-gasp pole dash was enough to knock a superb lap from Jack Harvey from the top of the charts. Harvey, who finished third in this event last year, ended up qualifying second at 1:10.3653 in the No. 60 AutoNation/Sirius XM Honda.

Colton Herta was third at 1:10.5197 in the No. 88 Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana Honda, with Graham Rahal fourth at 1:10.5844 in the No. 15 Fifth Third Bank Honda.

Oliver Askew was the top-qualifying rookie, fifth at 1:10.8404 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Reigning series champion Josef Newgarden rounded out the Firestone Fast Six, not posting a lap time after going off course in Turn 12 during his flying lap in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.

Five-time series champion Scott Dixon will start seventh in the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda after just missing a berth in the Firestone Fast Six by 57-thousandths of a second.

Three-time and reigning GMR Grand Prix winner Simon Pagenaud had a tough day, not making it out of the first round of qualifying in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet. He will start 20th in the 26-car field.

 

RACE RECAP WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF INDYCAR COMMUNICATIONS

 

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