Nichols ends hectic season with seventh national IMCA Stock Car title

first_imgMike Nichols raced to a record-extending seventh IMCA Sunoco Stock Car national championship in 2017. He is pictured with Clay Smith of Speedway Motors at left and IMCA President Brett Root at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)HARLAN, Iowa – What had been an atypical season ended with a career highlight for Mike Nich­ols.Nichols won 32 IMCA Sunoco Stock Car features and three track championships on the way to a record-matching seventh career national crown, clinched before a much-anticipated first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s championship.“I’ve always been a numbers guy but this is the only time since I’ve been racing that I didn’t pay attention to point standings, bonus points, anything,” said Nichols, from Harlan, Iowa. “The pass­ing of my brother in April put a lot of things in perspective for us.”Nichols started a new job the same month and has since started accelerated classes to earn a Master’s Degree in business administration. He and wife Anita are also making plans to build a new house so their summer was even busier than normal.“It was a little hectic. I’ve become a professional juggler,” he said. “One of my greatest regrets was not completing my education. I work full-time and travel a lot for work while I take accelerated clas­ses. I took my laptop to Super Nationals and did homework during farming sessions. That was my racing vacation.”The top driver in the EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region, Nichols’ track championships came at Lexington Raceway, where he won all 11 starts during the weekly point season, and Crawford County Speedway and Shelby County Speedway.He had nine wins at both Crawford County and Shelby County, a pair at Junction Motor Speed­way and a single checkered at RPM Speedway before topping the Saturday main event at Super Nationals.“That meant a lot to us. I don’t know if I can explain how much. We’ve tried to win Super Nationals for a lot of years,” said Nichols, who celebrated that victory four days after his 40th birthday. “It was a stellar year. It’s hard to compare to 2016.”He’d tied IMCA’s single-season record with 54 wins, earned at a dozen tracks, last year.“We had more wins last year but our focus this year was to support our local tracks more. We wanted to support local people and tracks as much as we could. We stayed fairly close to home and have taken Lexington on as a home track,” Nichols said. “It feels good to be the guy who is loyal to his regular tracks and is still successful.”He leads all IMCA drivers with 34 career track championships. Also the national champion in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2016, his 461 Stock Car wins are best all-time in that division.“One thing about weekly racing, if people want to come race with me, they know where I’ll be,” Nichols said. “There’s no secret to our success. You assemble a team that is the best at what it does, from manufacturers to crew. You do that, and with a little luck, you can expect to always be contending for the win at the end of the night.”Nichols’ off-track goals outnumber his on-track aspirations in 2018.“I want to get educated and get the house built,” he said. “One thing we would like to do is get to 500 wins. It would take a heck of a year but it would be cool.”Starts-45                                  Wins-32                                    Top Five Finishes-42HIS SPONSORS: EQ Cylinder Heads of North Las Vegas, Nev.; Performance Bodies of Cedar Falls; Dynamic Drivelines of Des Moines; Bassett Racing Wheel of Burlington, Wis.; Schoenfeld Headers of Van Buren, Ark.; Moser Engineering of Portland, Ind.; Jim Hiland and Bilstein Shocks, Mooresville, N.C.; QuickCar of Lebanon, Tenn., and FAST Ignition and Comp Cams, both of Mem­phis, Tenn.; Eibach Springs of Corona, Calif.; CP Carrillo/Bullet of Irvine, Calif.; Dirt Defender of Red Oak, Texas; Kevko Oil Pans of Fairmont, Minn.; Mi Casa Family Restaurant, The Lounge, Dotz’s DJ Service, Petersen Motors and the Rust family, all of Harlan; Pizza Ranch of Harlan and Denison; McClellan Electric of Denison; Gaul Farms of Earling; B & B Chassis of Belle Plaine, Minn.; KS Engineering of Albert Lea, Minn.; Luke Cochran and SSS Motorsports of Springfield, Neb.; FX Suspension of Phillips, Neb.; Koch Farms of Cambridge, Neb.; One4 Cutz of Omaha, Neb.; VP Heartland Fuels of Manhattan, Kan.; Western Carriers of WaKeeney, Kan.; Champion Racing Oil of Clinton, Mo.; SixNine Design of Jamesport, Mo.; and The Joie of Seating, Concord, N.C.HIS CREW: Wife Anita, Justin Gessert and Paul Zimmerman co-crew chiefs, Tuffy Zimmer­man, Mike Diercks, Stan Nichols, Julie Schneider, Brian Dotzler, Chris Gaul, Josh Nielsen, Lon Lefeber, Mike Onnen and Sterling Sorensen. Honorary pit crew are Steve Nichols and James Bu­walda.last_img read more

Guyana men, women qualify for 2018 CAC Hockey Championship!

first_img– to play Jamaica in today’s qualifier finalBY reaching today’s qualifier finals, both Guyana’s men and women hockey teams would’ve qualified for the 2018 (July 19 – August 3) Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.The Guyanese ‘stick wielders’ will face Jamaica in the men’s and women’s finals at the Jamaican hockey pitch, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus.Today, from 16:00 hrs, the men from the ‘Mighty Kaiteur’ will look to overturn their 3 – 2 defeat which they suffered at the hands of the Jamaicans in their final round-robin game yesterday.Guyana’s Ashley De Groot (left) against Jamaica during their scoreless draw in the CAC Games qualifier tournament.It was also Guyana’s first loss in the championship, having won three games and picking up one draw for a total of nine points, to finish behind Jamaica (12 points) in the final tally upon the completion of the round-robin stage of the competition.Over in the women’s side of the tournament, the ladies from the ‘Land of Wood and Water’, and Guyana have a little score to settle, especially after their round-robin encounter ended in an entertaining scoreless draw. The two teams will play at 15:45 hours.Given the good showing by the women from both countries throughout the tournament, it will be hard to predict an eventual winner, but, for Guyana, their primary mission has already been accomplished–reaching the CAC Games.last_img read more

Anthony Davis trade rumors: As talks intensify, here’s where Lakers, Celtics and Knicks stand

first_imgPelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin tried to sell Anthony Davis on staying in New Orleans. The franchise had a supermax contract to offer, plus the chance to play alongside veteran guard Jrue Holiday and an exciting young prospect in Zion Williamson, the assumed No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft.But Davis was never going to budge. Even Dr. Stephen Strange couldn’t have offered an alternate future in which the 26-year-old rescinded his trade demand. So here we are, just one week before the draft with one of the NBA’s top players still waiting to land on a new team. After canvassing the league, it appears Griffin has narrowed the field of suitors with a clear favorite emerging for Davis’ services.After a flurry of rumors and speculation, here’s a closer look at the three teams most involved in the Davis sweepstakes. (The Nets and Clippers are out at the moment. They have failed to “gather traction in conversations with New Orleans,” according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.)TRADE RUMORS: Could Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma hold up Davis deal?Anthony Davis trade rumors: Lakers in the leadLos Angeles is not expected to be the frontrunner for any elite free agents when the ball drops on June 30. That makes Davis priority No. 1 for a Lakers team hoping to maximize the end of LeBron James’ prime.Fortunately for the Lakers, they have made progress in trade talks with the Pelicans and are currently in the best position among the interested teams. However, there is one important factor that could determine whether a trade is completed: How many assets are the Lakers willing to give up?Los Angeles and New Orleans have a “framework” in place for a deal, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, but the specifics haven’t been ironed out just yet. The Pelicans would prefer to flip the Lakers’ No. 4 pick to acquire an All-Star caliber player. It’s clear Griffin isn’t excited by the idea of a full teardown and 76ers-like rebuild.Love when we play the breaking news music on #TheJump! The war for Anthony Davis is on between the Lakers & Celtics; both teams negotiating with the Pelicans right now. @WindhorstESPN discusses the Lakers No. 4 pick being shopped around to other teams as part of a potential deal: pic.twitter.com/rI642JXRoZ— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) June 12, 2019Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram would likely head to New Orleans in this scenario, but Kyle Kuzma could be a sticking point. Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the Pelicans want Kuzma included in a Davis trade while the Lakers hope to avoid putting him in any package.​ Kuzma, who averaged 18.7 points per game in 2018-19, will turn 24 in July, so he has room to grow. He is also signed to a team-friendly contract.Kuzma shouldn’t ultimately prevent the Lakers from closing a deal, but playing a little hardball makes sense given they have leverage. Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, recently told Sports Illustrated’s S.L. Price he isn’t simply trying to help out James, another Klutch client and close friend of Paul. But LA certainly sounds like the preferred option, and that looms large with Davis committed to testing free agency in 2020.”My thing is: Take LeBron off the Lakers,” Paul said. “Are the Lakers not a great destination for an arguably top-two player that went to Kentucky and won a national championship, signed with Nike? For a team that’s had centers from George Mikan to Wilt Chamberlain to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Shaq?”So now, when you add LeBron, that’s what? The cherry on top. LeBron’s 34 years old. Anthony Davis is 26. So when LeBron’s done playing, the Anthony Davis trade is still rolling.”Paul and Davis have seemingly been locked on the Lakers throughout this process, and that probably scared off a few other teams. LA’s top rival doesn’t fall into that group, though.Celtics remain undeterredThe Celtics ran into an unusual problem at the 2019 trade deadline. They couldn’t pair Davis with Kyrie Irving because of the “Rose Rule,” which prevented Boston from considering a Davis trade until the start of free agency. Now that we’re past the deadline, the Celtics are all set to send their offer to Griffin, right?Uh, it’s complicated. First of all, Paul is essentially standing outside of TD Garden with a neon sign that says, “DON’T DO IT.””[The Celtics] can trade for him, but it’ll be for one year,” Paul told SI. “I mean: If the Celtics traded for Anthony Davis, we would go there and we would abide by our contractual [obligations] and we would go into free agency in 2020. I’ve stated that to them. But in the event that he decides to walk away and you give away assets? Don’t blame Rich Paul.”Despite that bold proclamation, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, who has a strong relationship with Griffin dating back to their days with the Suns, apparently doesn’t mind jumping without a safety net.Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe:”Everything I have heard — and this is really interesting — is that Boston is not afraid. Boston is not afraid of Rich Paul coming out again in Sports Illustrated, saying ‘they can trade for him. It’s just gonna be for a year.’ Not afraid.”Then there’s Irving’s free agency. After a turbulent season in Boston, the six-time All-Star guard could head to the Nets or Knicks. He had previously discussed the possibility of joining Kevin Durant in either Brooklyn or New York, per Wojnarowski.But with Durant out for the entire 2019-20 season after rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, does Irving’s thinking change? Does Irving want to throw away a year of his prime on a non-contending team? Does anyone know what is going on in Irving’s brain at any given time?The Celtics would love to be on solid ground with Irving and know that, if Davis is in place, Irving will agree to a new contract. That alleviates some stress about losing rising youngsters as well as future draft picks.There is going to be risk involved here for the Celtics. Boston could lose Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and/or a pick that turns into a future star, then watch Davis leave later. Or Davis and Irving could dominate the Eastern Conference for the next half-decade.Ainge must determine whether the risk is worth the reward.Knicks fading fastAs the Pelicans’ conversations with the Lakers and Celtics accelerate, the Knicks are hitting the brakes.New York is “not really involved” in the Davis chase, per Windhorst. The Knicks are targeting RJ Barrett at No. 3 in the draft, and removing that pick from the equation all but eliminates them from contention.  Paul mentioned New York’s cap space and flexibility as reasons why it’s a desirable destination for Davis, but some within the organization are “adamant” about not unloading assets in order to acquire Davis, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. For now — yes, things can always change quickly in the NBA — this is a two-horse race.🔸 Some within the Knicks organization want Kevin Durant despite the ruptured Achilles injury🔸 The Knicks remain unwilling to part with all of their assets for Anthony Davis, scared off by the Carmelo Anthony [email protected] on the Knicks’ pursuit of the two superstars: pic.twitter.com/9MfUmy7Rwi— SNY (@SNYtv) June 12, 2019Expect the Knicks to pursue Durant and potentially offer a four-year max deal. The Achilles injury will keep him off the floor next season, but New York can wait for its young group to develop, search for another star and allow Durant to become familiar with the culture.It’s still possible the Knicks land Durant and Irving this offseason, which would be a major coup for the franchise. Davis, though, isn’t part of their summer plans.last_img read more

Bayern Munich NOT chasing Schweinsteiger. ‘He’s not in our plans’ – Ancelotti

first_imgCarlo Ancelotti has dismissed claims that he wants to bring Manchester United flop Bastian Schweinsteiger back to Bayern Munich.The German has been deemed surplus to requirements by Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford and he is on the hunt for a new club.Having previously come through the ranks at Bayern before moving to Manchester United last summer, it was rumoured that the German champions may re-sign Schweinsteiger.These reports gained momentum on Thursday after club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge blasted United over their treatment of the World Cup winner, and admitted, ‘that would never happen at Bayern’.But Ancelotti has now poured cold water on that speculation and rubbished talk of a move for the 32-year-old.“In football there is no if. [Signing] Schweinsteiger is not in our ideas,” said Ancelotti.“He was a fantastic player for Bayern, he was a fantastic player for football, but I think that it is not time for him to come back to Munich.” 1 Bastian Schweinsteiger made just 13 starts for the Red Devils last season last_img read more