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The landlord
Post time 2020-1-15 00:35:39 | Show the author posts only Reply Awards |Descending |Read mode
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Carlos Martinez . -- David Gilliland might have summed up Daytona qualifying best."Its uncontrolled chaos out there," Gilliland said Friday after landing the pole in a rain-shortened and somewhat hairy session that set the field for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.Gillilands top speed during a hectic, cat-and-mouse qualifying session was 199.322 mph, earning him his third Sprint Cup pole and first since landing the top spot for the 2007 Daytona 500. All three of his poles have been at restrictor-plate races, with the first one coming at Talladega in 2006."Front Row Motorsports, our strong point is definitely speedway racing," said Gilliland, who finished third in the 2011 Daytona 500. "It is something thats circled on our calendar from the start of the year. We put a lot of emphasis on it. The restrictor-plate tracks are good equalizers. David Ragan and I both have good enough cars to win, and that is an exciting feeling. Its something we dont have every week."The top 24 drivers Friday in the first knockout stage were supposed to advance to the next round, but rain prompted NASCAR to cancel the final two sessions.Reed Sorenson qualified second, followed by Landon Cassill, Bobby Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will attempt to become the sixth drive to sweep both annual races at NASCARs most famous track Saturday, was seventh.All the talk during and after was about how the qualifying session shook out. It was the first time NASCARs new qualifying rules were used at Daytona, and it produced some hairy moments as groups of cars slowed to a crawl around the 2 1/2-mile superspeedway. The small packs -- most of them formed by teammates -- were hoping to pull behind bigger groups to produce fast laps. But no one was eager to lead the way."Its a mess," Earnhardt said. "You have to be in the very back and try to get a big tow. I aint ever seen anything like it. Its the funniest thing Ive ever seen."Risky, too. Several cars turned down pit road to get away from the disorder. But the most common concern was the speed differences, with some packs creeping along while others ran full speed."It was really wild and it was pretty dangerous," Matt Kenseth said. "Theres car doing 80 and there were cars doing 200 and nobody wanted to go. Everybody wanted to be in the back of the pack and try to catch the front to get a (fast) lap, so it was pretty chaotic."Similar qualifying took place at Talladega in May, when teammates stuck together in hopes of besting the field. But drivers clearly tweaked some things from those sessions."There was just so much going on out there and its a wonder we havent wadded a bunch of cars up," Brian Vickers said. "A lot of guys running even slower than at Talladega and then some guys even taking chances on blocking the field, which was what really almost caused a few wrecks."Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were among those who did not advance past the first stage. Danica Patrick, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch also did not get to the second knockout round.Joe Nemechek was the only driver who did not qualify for Saturdays 400-mile race."Its just about being lucky as to who can make it through and who gets the right run," McMurray said. "Its just so crazy that everyone pulls out and doesnt go and then stops. It is what it is. Everyone has the same conditions. It just doesnt feel like racing ... because half the time people are running 40 mph. I dont even really know what to say because its so messed up that I cant explain it."         Joe Hudson .com) - The  Carolina Panthers won for the first time  in seven games  last week, were without Cam Newton due to a car accident this week, but somehow sit atop the much-maligned NFC South. Harrison Bader .The Detroit Tigers star had microfracture surgery Friday to repair the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee."I dont want to say it was a surprise," team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said.Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  - The Chicago Cubs continued to overhaul the catchers  spot  by agreeing  to terms  with veteran David  Ross on a two-year contract. Ross has caught nearly 700 games over 13 major league seasons, the last two of which  were spent with the Boston Red Sox. The 37-year-old hit just .184 in 50 games last season, but had seven home runs in 171 at-bats. Over 744 career games, Ross owns a .233 average with 95 hommers and 273 RBI. Genesis Cabrera.  Ross  is expected  to serve  as a  right-handed hitting  complement to  Miguel Montero,  whom  the Cubs acquired from  Arizona at the recent Winter Meetings. Chicago also still has last seasons starter, Welington Castillo, currently on the roster. Tuesdays  signing reunites Ross with new Cubs ace Jon Lester, as the two were teammates on the Red Sox prior to Lesters trade to Oakland last July.        '''
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