Lund was a winner last summer in North Dakota, during the Kupper Chevrolet Dakota Classic Tour. He raced his way out of ‘B’ features both nights at Abilene, finishing seventh on Friday and then fifth in Saturday’s tour opener. Curt Lund’s long tow to Texas was rewarded with the Sunday night Sniper Speed Lone Star Tour feature win at 281 Speedway. (Photo by Stacy Kolar, Southern Sass Photography Southern SportMods – 1. James Hanusch; 2. Justin Nabors; 3. Gregory Muirhead; 4. James McCreery; 5. Jay Coone; 6. Kaden Honeycutt; 7. Wes Cummings; 8. Taylor Florio; 9. Colton Monroe; 10. Chris Florio; 11. Larry Underwood; 12. Evan Moore; 13. Mike Land. Stock Cars – 1. Curt Lund; 2. Jeffrey Abbey; 3. Shawn Ritter; 4. Tyler Muirhead; 5. Dennis Bissonnette; 6. Austin Bonner; 7. Joe Bellm; 8. Kirk Martin; 9. Hesston Shaw; 10. Kyle Pfeifer; 11. Dan Mackenthun; 12. Craig Moss; 13. Shelby Williams; 14. Dean Abbey; 15. Michael Sheen; 16. Dean Cornelius; 17. Troy Burkhart; 18. Jason Rogers; 19. Jeff Mueller; 20. Kyle Falck; 21. Tony Hardesty. Lund started fourth and led the last 17 of 20 circuits. He was catching up with the back of the field when the checkers flew and was chased across the line by opening night winner Jeffrey Abbey and Shawn Ritter. Modifieds – 1. William Gould; 2. Mike Petersilie; 3. Mike Van Genderen; 4. Chris Elliott; 5. David Goode Jr.; 6. Chris Bragg; 7. Matt Guillaume; 8. Brandon Clough; 9. Dustin Robinson; 10. Mark Adams; 11. Mark Carrell; 12. Justin Radcliff; 13. Brent Gilliam; 14. Cameron Wilson; 15. Josh McGaha; 16. John Aaron. Sport Compacts – 1. William Creese; 2. Scott Newbury; 3. Howard Watson; 4. Clifton Whisenant; 5. Harold Clifton; 6. Brian Schoenbaum Jr.; 7. Ryan Whisenant; 8. Pamela Whisenant; 9. Randy McNorton; 10. Colton Mooney; 11. Kaleb Watson; 12. Anthony Vandenberg; 13. Aubra Parker; 14. Steven Bevills; 15. Ethan Adams; 16. Kody Crofutt. William Creese collected the Mach-1 Sport Compact victory. Minnesota veteran Curt Lund, making his first racing visit to Texas, won round two of the Sniper Speed Lone Star Tour for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. The checkers were good for $750. STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Feb. 17) – A driver who knows a thing or two about winning tour races far from home did just that Sunday night at 281 Speedway. “The tracks down here are smaller than I’m used to,” said Lund, who has racked up 100-plus wins in both the IMCA Modified and IMCA Sprint Car divisions. “I was real happy to win and to have competed with all the guys (59) down here.” Feature Results William Gould, another multi-division star, was the IMCA Modified feature winner while James Hanusch paced the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods.
Just over three-quarters said they would have the same interest watching a broadcast of live sports played without fans.TENNIS-VIRUS OUTBREAK-DJOKOVICDjokovic says he won’t take vaccineUNDATED (AP) — Novak Djokovic (JOH’-koh-vihch) says he won’t take any anti-coronavirus vaccination if it becomes compulsory for tennis players to return to the world tours.The world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player said in a live Facebook chat he wouldn’t “be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.” Djokovic and his wife have two children and have spoken previously against vaccinations. Djokovic won the Australian Open in January for his 17th grand slam singles title.In other virus-related sports developments:— Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Monday that NASCAR was working with Texas Motor Speedway on a plan to race there in the near future. Speedway President Eddie Gossage said after Abbott’s tweet that his track was working on the rescheduling of its Cup Series event, one of eight races NASCAR has postponed because of the pandemic. Abbott said the race would be held without fans.— A person familiar with the discussions says Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has told team employees in a conference call he is forgoing his salary during the coronavirus pandemic. The person said other members of the Marlins’ executive team agreed to take pay cuts, while baseball operations personnel will continue to receive their full salaries through at least May 31.— Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim and football coach Dino Babers are taking voluntary pay cuts to help the university cope with the drain of financial resources due to the new coronavirus pandemic. Also taking the voluntary 10% pay cuts are women’s basketball coach Quentin Hillsman, men’s lacrosse coach John Desko, and women’s lacrosse coach Gary Gait. TENNIS-DOPING-JARRYJarry gets 11-month doping banUNDATED (AP) — Top 100 tennis player Nicolas Jarry has been given an 11-month doping ban by the International Tennis Federation. The punishment stems from a failed drug test at the Davis Cup Finals in November.Jarry is a 24-year-old from Chile who is currently ranked 89th in singles. He has been as high as No. 38.He was provisionally suspended in January, but the ITF is back-dating his ban to December. Jarry can return to action in November. — Six Super Bowl rings may get you special treatment in a lot of places but former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady learned Monday that it won’t get you anything when you’re caught working out in a park that is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a news briefing that the new Buccaneers quarterback was spotted working out by himself at a park downtown by staff patrol. The staffer went over to tell him he had to leave and she recognized the man to be the 42-year-old Brady.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-NBA DRAFTButler ready to bolt BaylorUNDATED (AP) — Baylor’s top two scorers are entering their names in the NBA draft while keeping open their options to return to the Bears.All-Big 12 sophomore guard Jared Butler announced his intentions Monday on Twitter. Junior guard MaCio Teague said last month that he was exploring the NBA draft. Butler was third in the Big 12 with 16 points a game, while Teague scored 13.9 points a game. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst remains confident the unusual nature of this year’s event will still allow for plenty of trade talk.NFL-JAGUARSJags cut Lee, eye deal for FournetteJACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have waived oft-injured receiver Marqise Lee to create nearly $5 million in salary cap space, parting with a player who had just three receptions the last two years combined. The Jaguars were waiting for Lee to get fully healthy before letting him go, giving him the best chance to pass a physical with another team. He missed the entire 2018 season following a major knee injury and injured his shoulder last October, causing him to miss the final eight games.And the Jaguars are ready to cut ties with running back Leonard Fournette just three years after making him the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft. A person familiar with the situation said Fournette could get moved before or during the draft, which begins Thursday. April 20, 2020 Associated Press Poll shows fans leery of returning to stadiums, arenas without vaccineUNDATED (AP) — The possibility of professional sports resuming without fans is growing. And a recent poll suggests a majority of fans wouldn’t feel safe attending games anyway without a vaccine for the new coronavirus.One sports business expert says losses of fan-related revenue will be substantial even if clubs begin cashing in on lucrative media rights deals again. Losses could reach $3 billion among the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.The Seton Hall Sports Poll found that 72% of Americans wouldn’t feel safe attending games without a vaccine. The number drops to 61% among respondents who identify as sports fans.Seventy percent said the NFL shouldn’t start in the fall to ensure the safety of players, even if some form of social distancing is still in place. — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says there is a chance for large public gatherings later in the summer, which could lead to games at Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ Citi Field. De Blasio announced Monday that parades and city-permitted events had been canceled through June because of the novel coronavirus but said progress in fighting the pandemic will determine what is allowed after that.— A Japanese professor of infectious disease says he is “very pessimistic” the Tokyo Olympics can be held next year. Kobe University professor Kentaro Iwata says the Olympics could only be held if Japan can control the COVID-19 infection and if all other countries control it.— The soccer team based in the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, China has returned home. Wuhan Zall is back nearly four months after it left for a preseason tour and got stuck in Spain. It returned home over the weekend after the government lifted the last restrictions on movement in Wuhan.— The president of the German soccer federation says resuming league play will not mean taking resources away from healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The German league has been more bullish than other major European competitions about the chances of resuming in May or June with widespread coronavirus tests for players.— The company that makes Louisville Slugger wood baseball bats has closed its factory, furloughed 90 percent of its employees and shut its popular museum. Hillerich & Bradsby Co. says it has continued to cover all health care benefits for its 171 furloughed workers. The remaining 10% of employees have taken 25 percent pay cuts. Update on the latest in sports: Players are upset over the prospect teams may seek additional pay cuts if games are played in empty ballparks. Their anger was stoked last week when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was told by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon that the union would have to agree to lower salaries if games are played without fans.A March 26 deal between the sides states “the Office of the Commissioner and Players Association will discuss in good faith the economic feasibility of playing games in the absence of spectators or at appropriate substitute neutral sites.” The union points to another passage covering salaries in which players agree to give up 1/162nd of base pay for each regular season game lost.Meanwhile, Commissioner Rob Manfred has made a move that allows teams to lay off or cut the pay of major and minor league managers, coaches, trainers and full-time scouts starting May 1.Manfred has suspended uniform employee contracts that cover about 9,000 people, including general managers on some teams. Manfred cited the inability to play games due to the national emergency caused by the pandemic.VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTS POLL GOLF-HALL OF FAMEFinchem elected to World Golf Hall of FameUNDATED (AP) — Former PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame through the contributor category.Finchem expanded the PGA Tour’s footprint around the world and negotiated TV contracts that more than tripled prize money during his two decades as commissioner. He joins the induction class of 2021 with Tiger Woods.KOBE BRYANT CRASH-LAWSUIT And Washington State star CJ Elleby plans to go through the NBA draft process. Elleby led the Cougars in scoring and rebounding this past season as a sophomore, delivering 18.4 points and 7.8 boards a game. He can still return to Washington State for his junior season as long as he withdraws his name by 5 p.m. on June 15.In other college basketball news:— Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe has declared himself eligible for the NBA draft, but he has not hired an agent in a decision that would allow him to return to school next season. The 6-foot-5 sophomore averaged 16.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this past season and led the SEC in 3-point goals. He missed five games after having surgery on his right knee.— Memphis says it has added guard-forward Landers Nolley II as a transfer from Virginia Tech. Nolley was on the Atlantic Coast Conference all-freshman team this past season after averaging a team-high 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds with the Hokies. He started 29 of 32 games with Virginia Tech and ranked 12th nationally among freshmen in scoring.— Kentucky has signed former Rhode Island forward Jacob Toppin (TAH’-pihn), the brother of consensus national player of the year Obi (OH’-bee) Toppin of Dayton. Toppin averaged 5.1 and 3.9 rebounds per game while starting three of 30 contests as a Rams freshman. He must sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules but will have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB TEAM STAFF CUTSMLB wants to cut player salaries if games are played without fansNEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball players are bracing for a battle with owners over the possibility of reduced salaries caused by the coronavirus pandemic. NFL-MOCK DRAFTNo major problems as GMs run mock draftUNDATED (AP)— There were no major snafus as the NFL held a practice draft Monday to test technology and communications for the real thing beginning Thursday night.Several people involved in the test said there were some technical glitches, including when the Bengals were making the first selection and at various other spots. A few of them spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to comment publicly.Commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this month warned team executives not to be critical of the process, nor of the league’s decision to go ahead with the draft as scheduled April 23-25. Broncos general manager John Elway and 49ers GM John Lynch said they were satisfied with the proceedings. Family members of four victims sue over Kobe Bryant crashLOS ANGELES (AP) — Family members of four of the people killed in a helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant and his daughter are suing the companies that owned and operated the aircraft.The wrongful death lawsuits were filed electronically Sunday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of three members of one family and a woman who helped coach Bryant’s daughter in basketball.The group was heading to a basketball tournament Jan. 26 when the chopper crashed in thick fog northwest of Los Angeles.The suits allege that Island Express Helicopters Inc. was careless and negligent in the crash that killed nine.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
No. 17-ranked USC was back on Howard Jones Field on Wednesday for one last practice before taking a couple of well-deserved days off during its bye week.First off, sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was not at practice again on Wednesday for personal reasons.“As a coach I have to be there for my players,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “Right now that’s the status that it is.”An advantage of the bye week is that the coaches have the flexibility to move some players around and in order to try different lineups and give them experience at other positions. Freshman Dominic Davis — who has been playing at tailback in games — received some snaps at wide receiver.Sophomore offensive tackle Toa Lobendahn saw some snaps at center as well.“With the bye week, you have the chance to move some guys around a bit,” Sarkisian said.The bye week also allows the coaching staff to get out on the road and look at potential recruits. Sarkisian said that he and some of his coaching staff would be heading out after practice to jump back on the recruiting trail.“This is a great chance for us to get on the road, see some games, go to high schools,” Sarkisian, who plans on utilizing the next two days to visit potential players said after practice. “We don’t have the natural bye that normal people do, so we have to take advantage of our days we have.”After practice, Sarkisian talked about the committment of wide receiver Michael Pittman, who becomes the fourth spring 2016 enrollee for the Trojans after signing a financial-aid agreement. The second-year head coach believes that Pittman’s physicality will yield dividends on the field for USC.“The big physical receivers are a real presence for us,” Sarkisian said. “I think he’s going to provide that same mold for us.”Sarkisian is widely known as a skilled recruiter. ESPN ranked USC’s 2015 recruiting class as the third best in the country, but, it’s no secret that USC’s reputation as one of the nation’s most storied programs in the country helps too.One of the recruits that Sarkisian previously sealed the deal on National Signing Day was sophomore Adoree’ Jackson, who has displayed his outstanding speed sparingly thus far this season in all three phases of the game.Jackson had an 80-yard touchdown on Saturday against ASU. On the game, he put up 131 yards on three receptions.“I don’t think anybody can get me … if we were in the open field, and if he had an angle, and I had to use my speed, I doubt it,” Jackson said. “So at the same time, I try to make sure that I don’t use my speed as much, so I lull them to sleep — then you think you got it — then I turn it on and go.”Plays like last week’s against Arizona State make it mandatory for Sarkisian and his coaching staff to find ways to get Jackson the ball. It’s his confidence in his ability that makes Jackson deadly.When he saw an Arizona State linebacker signal blitz and the safety drop back, he said he knew he was going to score. When watching Jackson play on offense, comparing former running back Reggie Bush and Jackson seems almost unavoidable.“There is about one guy I can compare him to, and I am not allowed to say his name around here,” Sarkisian said. “Obviously as a staff, we’ve been beating ourselves for days thinking, ‘How do we find a way to keep getting number two the ball.’”Junior linebacker Jabari Ruffin, who practiced with the first team today, largely attributes the young players’ improvement and effectiveness to defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox’s platoon substitution system.With this system in place, players often practice with the first, second and third string defenses, which Ruffin says is an opportunity that allows them to work on fundamentals.Wilcox’s constant influx of talent appears to promote competition in practice and get the most out of his players.“With extra time with the bye week, we’re going to look back on defensive film so far,” Ruffin said. “Whether that be the Stanford game or the ASU game, we just want to look at things that got us and things we really need to focus on in order to be a great defense and as close to perfect as we can.”Additionally, Cameron Smith and Iman Marshall highlight a freshmen class filled with superb, impactful players who are already exceeding the high expectations of them this season.“I think that was the coaches’ goal: to get some of these younger guys to play. And I think that we are doing a great job at that. I think we are getting really comfortable,” said Smith, who leads the defense in tackles.Smith believes that practices like Wednesday’s, where the team spent the majority of the time in 11 on 11, are a reason for his success. Smith noted that going against USC’s offensive line and offense, that is perhaps the best in the Pac 12, forces his defense to play more physical — helping them to get off blocks faster, work on schemes and establish a better understanding of how they can be most effective.Along with simulating game play situations in 11 on 11 work, players also hope to use this extra time off to get healthy and take care of their bodies.“I mean, with the bye week, we like to go back more and focus more on ourselves, fundamentals, techniques and our footwork,” defensive tackle Cody Temple said. But the motto has really been ‘Come back ready to work,’ and that’s how it is.”The Trojans will finish up their bye week and continue to prepare and improve with the heart of their schedule coming up, beginning with next Thursday night’s game at home against Washington.