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Quick Look at County Teams; NASCAR Drama Unfolding

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Kevin Carver

For those keeping up with Rutherford County sports, this past week was another successful one for R-S Central baseball. R-S Central (7-2, 3-0) is still undefeated in conference play, thanks to complete-game 13 strikeouts pitching effort by Connor Dailey over Patton. Lance Greene also punched up 3-RBI in last Friday night’s contest.

East Rutherford is (5-3, 1-2) in conference play after falling Burns this past week. Chase dropped to 0-3 on the season. Thomas Jefferson lost its first conference game of the season to Mountain Heritage. In softball, it’s all East Rutherford so far at 3-0 in conference play and still tied for first with Shelby.

Thomas Jefferson’s girls soccer team suffered it’s first loss of the season at the hands to conference foe Hendy. I wouldn’t be surprised after a conference rematch to see another one in the state western finals. 

Well, the ACC is down to two teams at this point in the NCAA basketball Tourney. 

N.C. State couldn’t overcome Khaliff Wyatt and Temple in the second round, losing 76-72. That’s definitely a downer since State was picked to win the ACC this season and expected to be a dangerous club throughout the tourney.

North Carolina on the other hand survived Villanova in the second round, but fell to Kansas in the third round. North Carolina seemed poised to upset Kansas as they led by 9 at halftime, 30-21. However, Kansas put up one it’s best efforts on the season to fire off 49 points in the second half and take the 70-58 Jayhawk victory.

Duke and Miami survived the third round and made the Sweet 16. Miami will play Marquette on Thursday night (3/28) at 7:15 pm, while Duke faces Michigan State on Friday night (3/29) at 9:30 pm. The Michigan State-Duke matchup should be an incredible game. At the same time, Florida and Florida Gulf Coast tip-off. After two games this past weekend, there is no doubt that the Eagles are for real. I like the Gulf Coast to at least reach the Elite Eight.

Things are starting to heat up in NASCAR that’s for sure. Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano aren’t so happy with each other in Bristol, then wreck on the final lap fighting for the lead in Fontana, California last week.

Last week’s incident was just two racers doing all they can to win a race, even though Kyle Busch caught up and went around them both as the crash was beginning. So, I didn’t see it as complete retaliation although I do believe Logano wasn’t going to allow Hamlin to win on Sunday at all.

However, my biggest issue comes after the fact that Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his back as he smacked the inside wall, which had no SAFER barrier in place. How many times do I have to say this? If you are not going to used SAFER Barriers everywhere at a NASCAR track, inside or outside wall, NASCAR shouldn’t allow any series to run around those places. Hopefully, Fontana is about to learn their lesson the hard way. Of course, they should have already had that issue resolved since Dale Earnhardt Jr. was hurt in a crash after hitting the outside wall in turn 4 in 2002. Then there was the CART crash that horrifically killed Greg Moore down the inside backstretch in 1999. Not to say that anything would have saved Greg Moore, but had softwall technology been around then, it’s just something to think about. When is California Speedway going to get the message?

As for Tony Stewart, I am still not sure why he is so angry with Joey Logano and blocking? Logano was in the lead with a few laps to go, sure he is going to block, and protect the lead. What do you expect? However, in interviews it seems like Stewart is more angry with Logano being upset about all the time and then Stewart sort of labeled him as spoiled. Whether there is more to be seen at Martinsville the week after Easter, we will soon find out.

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