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

Suarez scores on Uruguay return in 2-2 draw against Brazil

first_imgLuis Suarez ended his nine-match biting ban in fine style on Friday, grabbing the second-half equaliser that gave Uruguay a 2-2 draw in an enthralling battle with Brazil in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.Playing his first competitive international since being banned for biting Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup Finals, Suarez, along with striking partner Edinson Cavani, dragged Uruguay back into the game after they went 2-0 down after 25 minutes.”As always, we showed character,” the Barcelona striker said after the game.Playing in front of a capacity crowd at the Pernambuco arena, Brazil took the lead after just 39 seconds thanks to Douglas Costa.Willian whipped a cross in from the left and the Bayern Munich striker nipped in between two defenders to poke the ball home with the sole of his boot.Brazil got a second 24 minutes later thanks to Renato Augusto. Defender Mauricio Victorino could not quite cut out a long pass from Neymar and the loose ball fell to the Beijing Guoan midfielder who wrong-footed the goalkeeper with a sublime dummy and knocked the ball into the empty net. The home side were dominating the game but Uruguay got back into the match after 31 minutes when Carlos Sanchez headed a ball down to Cavani and the Paris St Germain striker hammered home from 10 yards out.Uruguay came out for the second half looking the hungrier of the two sides and Suarez got the equaliser with the help of slack marking by David Luiz.Luiz stood off the striker and allowed him to fire home an angled drive that Alisson got a hand to but could not save.Suarez, who was booked for stamping, almost grabbed a winner with five minutes to go when a loose header from Luiz left him free on goal but Alisson got down well to save with his feet.”I think that when we were winning 2-0 we had the game in the hand but we let them get back in the game,” Renato Augusto told reporters.”And when they scored they closed us down and played on the counter attack. Our big mistake was conceding the first goal.” The result means Uruguay retain second place in the 10-team South American qualifying group three points behind Ecuador, who lead with 13 points.Brazil are in third place with eight points.The top four teams qualify for Russia 2018 and the fifth place side go into an intercontinental play off.Brazil now go to Asuncion to face Paraguay on Tuesday, and will be without captain Neymar, who was booked. Uruguay will be at home to Peru. – Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Nicholas Scott pilots Rivoli to narrow win over Boys’ Town in Red Stripe Premier League

first_img – 8:40 p.m.: Harbour View vs UWI FC at Harbour View Stadium Yesterday’s Results Today’s match Nicholas Scott’s brace led Rivoli United to a vital 3-2 victory against Boys’ Town in the Red Stripe Premier League yesterday at Barbican Complex. Scott, in his second game for the Spanish Town-based club, netted in the 15th and 73rd minutes, while Ross Burton added another goal in the 32nd minute. For the losers, the goalscorers were Rafiek Thomas (45th) and Shamar Nicholson (86th). The win pushed relegation-threatened Rivoli to 22 points, while Boys’ Town remained on 27 points. Scott, who transferred from Tivoli Gardens, was a major influence for his new club and the goals apart, he made some good passes and movements on and off the ball. Rivoli started the game with more purpose than Boys’ Town and were rewarded early in the first half when Scott finished past Kirk Porter. Burton doubled the lead to put his team 2-0 up, before Thomas pulled back a goal on the stroke of half-time. Scott scored again when he headed home a perfect right-sided cross from Kevin Graham. Boys’ Town’s Nicholson made the game interesting when he scored in the dying moments. Two-goal hero Scott, brought in by Rivoli’s management to replace striker Cory Burke (who is away on a deal in the United States), showed his class. Scott said he is at Rivoli to replace Burke by scoring goals. “Well, it’s a good performance for my new club. I chose to leave Tivoli to replace Burke and the plan is to continue scoring goals and lift Rivoli to safety,” the former Jamaica College Manning Cup winner told The Gleaner. “Coming in for Burke, who scored 10 goals before leaving, is a big task but I’m up to it,” he added. Rivoli’s coach, Mark Williams, praised Scott as a natural goalscorer. “He (Scott) is a good signing for us. And, for him to score two goals in only his second match should help to lift the spirit of the team,”Williams reasoned. Williams also said it was a wonderful win for Rivoli. “It’s been a long time since we have won a game, so this should serve as a big boost. We will next face Tivoli in a rescheduled game on Wednesday,” he added. Boys’ Town’s coach, Andrew Price, said his team was lethargic in the first half, but improved in the second half. – Reno 2 Cavalier SC 0 – Boys’ Town 2 Rivoli United 3 – Humble Lion 3 Portmore United 1 – Arnett Gardens 1 Tivoli Gardens 1 – Waterhouse 0 MoBay Utd 0last_img read more

‘I will die (defending my title) if I have to,’ says Matthysse

first_imgScientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) refuted Matthysse’s observation, saying that he has a lot more to give in the ring.“That is what I am trying to prove this coming July 15, that Manny Pacquiao is not yet done in boxing,” said Pacquiao, who hasn’t fought since losing his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last year.Though he hasn’t knocked out an opponent since 2009, when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round, Pacquiao said if he sees a chance to finish Matthysse, he’ll do so to prove that he’s still capable of taking on the current toasts of boxing like Ukrainian WBO super featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko.Pacquiao and Matthysse will leave for Kuala Lumpur Friday night, where they will hold another press conference for the fight card jointly undertaken by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions.Asked about the status of his longtime coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao said he’s leaving the door open for the Hall of Famer.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award For the Matthysse fight, however, it looks like Buboy Fernandez has the inside track to be the main corner man. —ROY LUARCASports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Philippine senator and boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, left, and Argentine WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse pose for photographers during a press conference in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. The two are scheduled to fight on July 15, in a World Boxing Association welterweight title fight in Malaysia. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)He still holds Manny Pacquiao in high esteem, but Lucas Matthysse thinks the Filipino ring icon is no longer the fearsome warrior that sowed terror in the ring the past decade.And as such, the Argentine feels confident that he will emerge victorious when they tangle for his World Boxing Association welterweight crown on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ Fact is, Matthysse intends to send Pacquiao into retirement by knocking out the 39-year-old eight-division world champion.“Honestly, he’s still very good, but since the knockout of (Juan Manuel) Marquez,” I think he’s not the same fighter anymore,” said Matthysse during Wednesday’s press conference launching “Champion vs Champion” at City of Dreams Manila.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownClad in a Barong Tagalog, the 35-year-old Matthysse, regarded as a knockout artist, refused to be cowed by Pacquiao’s sterling credentials as multiple champion, three-time Fighter of the Year, and Fighter of the Decade.“Sure, Manny has won so many titles… I (have) only won one title. I am not going to give it up. I will die for it if I have to,” said Matthysse, who has stopped 36 of his 39 victims against only four losses. “I will defend this title to the death.” LATEST STORIES Verdadero Palaro’s fastest; Calabarzon sweeps 100 meters Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Casualty update

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As of Saturday, at least 3,319 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 2,691 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers. The AP count is eight higher than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Friday. The British military has reported 144 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 20; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, six; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Romania, one death each. – Associated Presslast_img read more

Smoking runs in the family

first_imgYoungsters are at greater risk to light up a cigarette if they have a sibling who smokes. A New Australian study shows peer pressure and smoking siblings can be a greater influence on a child’s decision to smoke than having parents who smoke. The study, conducted on more than 7000 children aged from 11 to 13, found that non-smoking siblings can “exert a protective influence” on children’s smoking. Meanwhile, children who had no siblings were more likely to smoke than those with brothers and sisters who did not smoke. According to the study done by researchers from University of Queensland and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, children growing up in lower socio-economic areas are were also more likely to smoke. In 2008, 32,000 Victorian students were smokers, despite smoking levels among teenagers being at the lowest levels. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more