Martin Truex Jr. earns first pole of the season in Phoenix

first_imgAVONDALE, Ariz. – Defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. finally found the extra speed he needed at ISM Raceway.Saving his best lap for the final round of knockout qualifying on Friday at the one-mile track in the Sonoran Desert, Truex sped around the circuit in 26.288 seconds (136.945 mph) to win the pole position for Sunday’s TicketGuardian 500 (3:30 ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).Truex beat Kyle Larson (136.643 mph) by .058 seconds to earn his first pole of the season, his second at ISM Raceway and the 16th of his career. But Truex hadn’t claimed the top starting spot at ISM since he led the field to the green flag in the fall of 2009. Truex said a strong game plan and a variety of factors contributed to the pole-winning run for the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota.RELATED: Full qualifying speeds | See the full field | Practice 1 results“I think it was a little bit of everything,” Truex said. “I wouldn’t say I held back that much the first two runs. But we really worked on our car in practice to try to be best in that third run and to understand what we needed to do for balance-wise throughout those three runs. Honestly, sometimes you just hit it right, and today all the stars lined up, and here we are. “So many little things come in to play when you’re talking about how to pick up half of a tenth at the racetrack. Just a lot of little things and details that were done properly, and that’s what’s so fun about our team. We work together so well. They can tell me I’m not driving right, and I can tell them they’re not setting up the car right, and we can meet in the middle.”Chase Elliott (136.126 mph) qualified third, followed by Alex Bowman (136.080 mph) and Joey Logano (135.947 mph).Time trials took place two hours earlier than their traditional later afternoon time slot, and Larson thought he had a strong shot at his first Phoenix pole.“Our Credit One Bank Chevy has been really good here the last few years and actually, I’m a little disappointed in second, because I always qualify good here,” Larson said. “I think I’ve been like in the top eight every single time I’ve qualified at Phoenix (except for a 12th-place start in 2015) and still don’t have a pole yet. “I thought today was going to be the day. I thought my first lap was okay, but Martin, obviously, their team hit it there for that final round. Sunday’s race will be fun. Like I said, we’ve been fast here the last few years, so it would be nice to close out the weekend with a win.”Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Erik Jones and Kevin Harvick completed spots six through 10 on the grid. Harvick is a record eight-time winner at ISM and is on a two-race winning streak this season entering Sunday’s event.After laying down the fastest lap in Round 1, Jimmie Johnson failed to make it into the final 12-car round as he’ll start 17th in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on Sunday.Brad Keselowski was the biggest shocker of the day after failing to advance to the second knockout round. He’ll start 25th in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford.The red flag was briefly displayed after Jeffrey Earnhardt hit the wall during the first round of group qualifying, locking up the brakes on his No. 00 Chevrolet going into Turn 3. He will start last in the 37-car field.last_img read more

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Real Madrid begin scuffle for Mourinho’s signature to replace Solari

first_imgReal Madrid want to give Jose Mourinho a route back into football in the summer.The Spanish giants are looking to replace Santiago Solari, who they only appointed as their head coach last month, when the season comes to a conclusion.And Diego Torres, who wrote a book on Mourinho’s first spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, has reported in newspaper El Pais that Real and president Florentino Perez are keen to bring him back.They would look to pay him €20million (£18m) annually after increasing an initial offer of €15m (£13.5m). Discussions have taken place since October.Real are also planning to appoint him on July 1, as that would mean avoiding a €5m (£4.5m) penalty fee to Manchester United. Mourinho was dismissed as United manager on Tuesday morning after a chastening defeat at Liverpool on Sunday. He left with the club down in sixth, and has since been succeeded by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis.But Real believe the Portuguese manager is the man to replace Solari.The former Real B manager has suffered two 3-0 defeats at the hands of Eibar and CSKA Moscow after signing a deal to keep him in the post permanently until 2021.A survey of Madrid members suggested that re-appointing Mourinho, who managed Real between 2010 and 2013, would be a popular move.The Portuguese manager previously took charge of Real Madrid between 2010 and 2013Even Marcelo, who fell out with Mourinho during his spell at Real, has backed him as a manager. “It is a real pity because he (Mourinho) is a great coach,” he said.“It is a real shame that he is without a club and it is not my place to say that he should return to Madrid, but I have a lot of appreciation for what he did for me at the club.”He will be handed a significant transfer budget and influence over transfers. RelatedManchester United To Sack Mourinho If……..November 13, 2018In “England”How Man Utd Sack is Affecting Mourinho’s ReputationJanuary 11, 2019In “Europe”Mourinho Lieutenant Rui Faria To Leave United Post This SummerMay 13, 2018In “England”last_img read more

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Loss to Rams adds to U. woes

first_imgE-mail: [email protected] FORT COLLINS, Colo. — It’s been a long time since the Utah basketball team was as bad as 5-11 at this point of the season, 34 years to be exact.It’s been even longer — 54 years — since the Utes started a conference season 0-3, which is their record after a dispiriting 73-57 loss to Colorado State Tuesday night at Moby Arena.This time there was no chance for the Utes to win in the final minute as had been the case in their last three games and four others this season.The Utes were out of this one after a 13-0 run by the Rams late in the first half and showed little gumption the rest of the way. The loss left Ute coach Ray Giacoletti practically speechless afterward.”What do you want me to say, guys?” a glum Giacoletti said after emerging from the locker room. “At some point, enough’s enough. I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of doing things a certain way. … I don’t care who’s coaching the team or what the circumstances are, you stand up and go get something done.”Giacoletti said he couldn’t think of one player that had a good game Tuesday night.Johnnie Bryant actually had decent numbers, with 16 points, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, three steals, two assists and no turnovers in 32 minutes. And freshman guard Luka Drca exceeded his season total of field goals with three — all 3-pointers — and finished with 11 points.But starters Luke Nevill, Shaun Green, Stephen Weigh and Lawrence Borha all had off nights.Green had 11 points, but fouled out and had four turnovers with no assists, while Nevill had just 10 points and five rebounds, going against Colorado State’s two 7-footers, Jason Smith and Stuart Creason. Borha had three turnovers in 13 minutes and Weigh had more turnovers than points in his 14 minutes.”We had 12 turnovers the first half — we have to handle the basketball. We got outrebounded by 15. You’ve got to put a body on people and box out,” Giacoletti said.After trailing by 10 at the half, the Utes couldn’t score a field goal until the 12:54 mark of the second half when Bryant sank a 3-pointer. But by that point it was 52-30 and even though another Bryant three and two treys by Drca brought the Utes within 12, it was too little, too late.Colorado State had a balanced attack with three players, Jason Smith, Tyler Smith and Tim Denson scoring 13 points, Cory Lewis 12 and Creason nine. They finished with 35 rebounds to Utah’s 20 after the Utes had outrebounded their first two MWC opponents by an average of 15.”I was pleased with the intensity, the effort,” said CSU coach Dale Layer. “It’s another step in the right direction.”When asked how the players reacted to the loss, Giacoletti said they “had blank looks on their faces.”The Ute players say they’re still hopeful about the season and say they just need a win to get over the hump.”Once we get our first win, it will be easier to get wins after that,” said Nevill.”We are really talented. We need one win and we’ll be really good after that,” said Drca. The Utes’ next chance will be Saturday night at New Mexico against another 0-3 MWC team. Then its back home for a home game against No. 15 Air Force Tuesday night. GAME NOTES: This was the largest CSU victory over Utah since 1992 when the Rams won 67-48 in Salt Lake … All 12 Utah players who traveled played at least six minutes … Colorado State shot 52.4 percent from the field, but only 35.3 from 3-point range. Utah shot just 41.3 percent for the game … The Rams defeated the Utes twice last year, winning 84-78 here and 69-61 in overtime in Salt Lake … CSU plays in Salt Lake on Feb. 7. last_img read more

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