NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen: Starting lineup and race information

The NASCAR Cup Series travels to Watkins Glen International Speedway in Upstate New York for the Go Bowling at the Glen. Chase Elliott will look to win his third consecutive race at Watkins Glen, dating back to 2018 (NASCAR skipped the event last season because of COVID-19 protocals).

Sunday’s race is expected to go green at around 3:00pm ET on NBCSN with coverage beginning at 2:30pm. FS1 will air a special pre-race show beginning at 12:30pm. The race is expected to conclude around 5:30pm in time for IndyCar racing in Nashville.

Like most years, drivers will complete 90 laps around the 2.45-mile, 7-turn road course with hundreds of feet of elevation changes. Stage breaks will be at laps 20 and 40.

Below is Sunday’s starting lineup: (Position number, driver, car number)

  1. Brad Keselowski (2)
  2. Joey Logano (22)
  3. Ryan Blaney (12)
  4. Kyle Larson (5)
  5. Kevin Harvick (4)
  6. Denny Hamlin (11)
  7. Christopher Bell (20)
  8. Aric Almirola (10)
  9. Martin Truex Jr. (19)
  10. Alex Bowman (48)
  11. Chase Elliott (24)
  12. Ross Chastain (42)
  13. Tyler Reddick (8)
  14. Matt DiBenedetto (21)
  15. William Byron (24)
  16. Austin Dillon (3)
  17. Kurt Busch (1)
  18. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (47)
  19. Cole Custer (41)
  20. Kyle Busch (18)
  21. Daniel Suarez (99)
  22. Erik Jones (43)
  23. Ryan Preece (37)
  24. Chris Buescher (17)
  25. Michael McDowell (34)
  26. Bubba Wallace (23)
  27. Chase Briscoe (14)
  28. Ryan Newman (6)
  29. Corey LaJoie (7)
  30. Justin Haley (77)
  31. Anthony Alfredo (38)
  32. Garrett Smithley (53)
  33. Kyle Tilley (78)
  34. Josh Bilicki (52)
  35. Quin Houff (00)
  36. James Davison (51)
  37. RC Enerson (15)

 

New York Jets: Four standouts from the Green & White Scrimmage

Playing in front of an East Rutherford crowd for the first time since December 2019, several New York Jets made early statements.

MetLife Stadium welcomed New York Jets fans through its gates for the first time since December 2019 on Saturday night, hosting the annual Green & White scrimmage.

Nearly 20,000 supporters came out to watch the special practice, which was the first sporting event at MetLife since an XFL contest in late February 2020. The team will spend another Saturday at the stadium next weekend, when open their preseason slate against their East Rutherford roommates, the New York Giants (7:30 p.m. ET, WNBC).

“It was awesome to come out here,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh  It was awesome to just be able to go through this thing, go through the stadium and just be able to go through as game-like of an experience as we can create for the players so next Saturday is normal. But it was cool.”

In case you missed the proceedings at MetLife, ESM has four names who stood out…

K Matt Ammendola

The Jets will likely wait until game situations against squads of different colors to make their decision at kicker. But it’s hard to not pencil in Ammendola’s name at the top of the early depth chart after Saturday.

Team reporter Ethan Greenberg stated that while Chris Naggar converted only 1-of-4 attempts, Ammendola was perfect in his quartet, half of them coming from at least 50 yards away. The Jets have converted only 6-of-11 from that distance since Jason Myers absconded to Seattle after the 2018 season.

WR Corey Davis

Davis helped the Jets make the most of a tough night offensively. Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Zach Wilson struggled, completing only 11-of-24 passes and throwing two interceptions. But the incoming Davis helped the unit keep their chins up and gave the fans something to cheer about.

A lot of excitement in the Jets’ new receiving outlook has surrounded Elijah Moore, particularly after he stole in the show in public training camp practices in Florham Park. But Davis made a decent case for primary receiver duties on Saturday, making three big grabs during two-minute drills. One highlight reel grab saw him tear the ball away from Bryce Hall.

Some may have already built the Jets’ offensive future around the Wilson-Moore connection, but it’s clear that Davis plays into the team’s long-term plans and can’t be forgotten.

LB C.J. Mosley 

Fans had to be extra patient when it came to seeing Mosley again. Saturday marked only the third time in the last 24 months that his cleats touched the MetLife Stadium turf, as his Jets career has been weighed down by medical issues.

Mosley knew going into Saturday’s proceedings that he was going to have to do a lot to live up to the five-year, $85 million deal granted to him in 2019 as the final marquee signing of the Mike Maccagnan era. Even a perfect showing wasn’t going to alleviate the concerns, but he was one of the biggest breakouts of a strong day for the New York defense.

The former Baltimore Raven, down nearly 20 pounds from his last listed playing weight (250) worked mostly in coverage during Saturday’s proceedings. His shining moment came during a two-minute drill, when he cashed in on Lamarcus Joyner’s breakup of a Wilson pass intended for Jamison Crowder, diving to earn the interception.

Mosley was pleased to reintroduce himself to the New York faithful but acknowledged that it has to be the start of something bigger.

“I haven’t put (anything) on tape in two years. I just have to remind everybody,” Mosley said afterward, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. “Today was a great start. It felt good to be out there after a long time.”

“There’s always more to improve on. I missed two tackles out there, two big tackles, in my opinion. That’s something I’ve just got to get back to working on in practice.”

Assessing the defense was a little tough considering Saturday’s restrictive nature…live tackling was kept to a minimum…but several defenders managed to post strong showings. John Franklin-Myers tallied a sack, while Javelin Guidry likewise earned an interception of Wilson.

QB Mike White

Much like their kicking slate, the Jets’ backup quarterback conundrum will likely gain more clarity through the exhibition slate. But in the absence of newly minted favorite Josh Johnson, who did not partake in Saturday’s event, White gained some early ground.

White was the only Jets thrower to earn multiple scoring passes, finding Josh Malone and Kenny Yeboah for the respective tallies. A big opportunity awaits the former Dallas Cowboys draft pick, who has been on and off the Jets’ active roster over the last two years. Fellow New York returnee James Morgan likewise had a scoring pass on Saturday, finding rookie rusher Michael Carter.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankees 8/8: 3 Major takeaways from another Yankee win

andrew heaney, yankees

The New York Yankees entered last night’s game with a split of the series with the Seattle Mariners and hoping to take the series with a win. In his first game, Andrew Heaney, who had a rough start for the Yankees, faced Chris Flexen. The Yankees got that win their fifth in a row and now hope to sweep the Mariners today. The final score was New York 5, Seattle 4.

Andrew Heaney rebounds for the win

After a disastrous first start of the Yankees last week, Andrew Heaney opened last night’s game against the Seattle Mariners; it looked like Deja Vu all over again. First, he allowed a double to the first hitter he faced. Then, Kyle Seager got a two-run homer to the right-field porch just beyond Stanton’s reach, and just like that, the Yankees were behind 2 runs. Heaney used 40 pitches just in the second inning.

In the second inning, Heaney gave up another two runs. But then Heaney pulled it together. At the top of the third, Seager ground out to first. Murphy went down on strikes. Then, Fraley struck out for Heaney’s first 1-2-3 inning as a Yankee. After that, Heaney was sharp. At the end of the second inning, no one would have thought he would go more than four innings, but he did. He saved the Yankee bullpen and completed six full innings using 108 pitches; meanwhile, the Yankees went ahead in the game, and Heaney earned his first Yankee win.

After the game manager, Aaron Boone called Heaney the player of the game

Bullpen holds as Yankee win fifth

Using nine pitchers the night before, the Yankees needed Heaney to go deep into the game, and he did. Then, in the seventh inning on Saturday, Clay Holmes, when the Yankees were in dire straits, proved why they went after him from the Pirates before the trade deadline.

The seventh inning was led off by Moore facing new pitcher Clay Holmes and struck out. Toro went dowl looking. Haniger also struck out as Holmes struck out the side all looking. For the Yankees and Holmes is was his second perfect outing. Joey Rodriguez finished up a scoreless eighth inning. Then with no rest for four days, Jonathan Loaisiga came in, closing it out for the Yankees in the ninth.

The Yankees creep up in the standings

For the past month, the New York Yankees have been the winningest team in baseball. Last night was a total team effort to get their fifth win in a row and creep up in the standings, albeit without a few major players, the Yankees have found a way to get it done. Last night Aaron Judge homered. Rougie Odor logged a 2 run smash to the short porch. Kyle Higashioka got his first pinch-hit double that ended up being the winning run, while DJ LeMahieu diverted attention to him in a run down.

After a lethargic first half of the season, when even the most earnest Yankee fan thought it was pretty much over the team they loved. Aaron Boone and company kept saying that the Yankees would perform like the championship team they were supposed to be; few believed that.

But early in July, everything seemed to change. The Yankees began winning series. They’ve won 20 of 28 games over the last month, starting with a badly needed victory over the New York Mets. As the trade deadline approached, the Yankees became the most successful team picking up the pieces they needed to complete their team. They picked up three pitchers, contact lefty Anthony Rizzo and lefty powerhouse Joey Gallo. They now have a balanced lineup that can win games.

During the last 28 games, the New York Yankees have gone from 41-41 to 61-49. The Yankees are now just 5.5 games out of first place in the AL East, led by the Tampa Bay Rays. They are 2.5 behind the Boston Red Sox. In addition, they are 1.5 games out from the second wild card slot behind the Oakland Athletics. With 52 games left in the season, the Yankees are looking to win the East division possibly.

 

 

 

 

Giants’ receiver John Ross details where he needs to improve to reach his potential

New York Giants, John Ross

When wide receiver John Ross was first drafted out of Washington University in 2017, he was expected to be one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the class. However, his career hasn’t lived up to expectations thus far, having signed a one-year, $2.25 million prove-it deal with the New York Giants this off-season.

Ross, who has never played in all 16 games, featuring in a career-high 13 games back in 2018, is looking to prove his health and availability this upcoming year.

“My story is obviously out there. I think my biggest thing isn’t my ability, it’s my availability and me being healthy. You can tell when I’m not healthy, you can see when things aren’t going right, and I think that’s my biggest thing. I haven’t played 16 games yet and I’m going on my fifth year. I think that says a lot and that’s a big deal,” Ross said.

Last season with Cincinnati, Ross made just three appearances, tallying 17 yards on two receptions. His best season to date came in 2019 when he posted 506 yards and three touchdowns over eight games.

Despite being labeled a bust up to this point, the Giants do see him as a play-making weapon this upcoming season. Aside from blazing speed, he has the ability to put his foot in the ground and change direction in the blink of an eye. During practice on Saturday, Ross took a basic slant route to the house, blowing the defense away with his speed.

Head coach Joe Judge has been vocal about his confidence in Ross, specifically how they can deploy him this upcoming year and what GM Dave Gettleman would call “a touchdown maker.”

“I think the one thing that he’s really demonstrated early on right now is his ability to control his speed. That he’s not a fast, out-of-control player, but he’s got the ability to run fast, threaten you deep and also stick his foot in the ground and redirect and come back for the ball,” Judge said. “Obviously, the speed stands out, but the work ethic and he’s coming in, he’s very down to earth, very humble guy, a great teammate.”

Ross isn’t guaranteed a roster spot, though, with several players looking to secure one of the back-end wide receiver slots on the 53 man roster. He’s currently competing with David Sills, CJ Board, Dante Pettis, Alex Bachman, and Derrick Dillon.

One of the best ways that John can make the roster is to provide value as a kick returner on the punt team. Judge loves depth pieces who can also contribute on special teams, and unless he’s able to help in that category, sticking with the Giants this upcoming season will be that much more difficult.

Can the Knicks depend on Kemba Walker’s knee to hold up for an entire season?

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

The Knicks are expected to officially announce the signing of All-Star point guard Kemba Walker on Sunday when the buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder finalizes. Walker brings experience, play-making ability, and elite potential at a minuscule price point for Tom Thibodeau this upcoming season.

After starting free agency with a focus on loyalty and retaining players like Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks, and Derrick Rose, the front office turned their attention toward upgrades. Depending on Rose to last the entire season without picking up minor injuries is optimistic, so landing Walker provides a nice cushion at point guard to mitigate fatigue and hopefully maintain health.

However, Walker has dealt with left knee injuries in the past, and at this point in his career, they’re considered degenerative.

Marc Berman of the NY Post spoke to Dr. Wellington Hsu, professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University, regarding Kemba’s knee and the likelihood of it holding up next season:

“He’ll always have the issue the rest of his career,’’ Hsu told The Post. “He’s not a spring chicken. He’ll have some type of lingering issue.”

Having played in 43 games last season, averaging 31.8 minutes per game, the Knicks are hoping he can split time with Rose and remain in peak form as a result. Ideally, the Knicks would have both during the postseason, which would take a tremendous amount of pressure off Julius Randle and the PG position.

The expectation is that Kemba will likely be on a minute count, but if they can get his All-Star version during that time, the team will improve their scoring production 10-fold.

“Any GM would look at history of arthritis knee injuries in guards and would know that he’s on a game count or minutes count,’’ Hsu said. “He’s not going to be available all the time. I don’t know if you want a max salary on a guy like that, especially if you’re in your 30’s. If he was in his 20’s, there’s chance he can regenerate some of that tissue over time. It’s going to be dicey on how much he plays.’’

Kemba is only one year removed from a season where he averaged 20.4 points, 4.8 assists, and shot 38% from range over 8.4 attempts. His high-clip from 3-Pt is a big addition to a Knicks team that featured Elfrid Payton and his 28.6% shooting from range last season.

Overall, depending on Kemba to be available the entire season is a bit lofty of an expectation, but if they monitor his minuted apporiorately and balance him with Rose, Luca Vildoza, and Miles, McBride, there’s no question they can get the most out of the Bronx-native.

Ciryl Gane dominates and finishes Derrick Lewis at UFC 265

Ciryl Gane UFC

In the headliner of UFC 265 we saw two top heavyweights battle it out for the interim heavyweight title. The hometown favorite Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) was taking on Ciryl Gane (9-0) in Houston.

The Black Beast entered the octagon as the second ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He’s on a four-fight win streak, but his last performance really put him over the top. Back in February, he knocked Curtis Blaydes out cold to earn this shot.

Standing across from Lewis is Ciryl Gane. Gane has a perfect record and he’s been dominant since joining the UFC. Gane made his debut with the promotion back in 2019 and he’s gone 6-0.

This year alone, Gane has had two headlining fights against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov. In both of those fights, Gane used his footwork and incredible striking technique to pickup two lopsided decision wins.

UFC 265 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 265 main event gets started with a touch of the gloves and here we go. Gane immediately on his toes as he takes the center of the cage. Lewis is sitting on the outside already looking to time a power shot.

Big head kick attempt from Lewis gets blocked by Gane. Gane pushing forward and Lewis has his back against the fence. Jab lands from Ciryl Gane. Three straight low kicks land for Gane.

Gane very light on his feet here in the first. Lewis starts plotting forward looking for his opening. However, Gane is remaining elusive here in the first. Nice jab lands for Gane. He follows it with a nice kick and another jab.

Low kick for Gane. Lewis trying to cut off Gane, but Gane lands a kick and gets out of the way. Another jab from Ciryl Gane. Lewis goes for a body kick and it lands low and we have a break in the action.

Lewis circles on the outside as we get back to the action. Gane light on his feet and Lewis tries to explode and land a bomb. However, Gane avoided the power. More shots from Gane land in the final seconds and the round comes to a close. 1-0 Ciryl Gane here at UFC 265.

Round 2

Entering the second here at UFC 265 and both guys still look fresh here. Gane bouncing again to start the second and he lands a couple of low kicks. Power jab lands for Ciryl Gane that backs up Derrick Lewis.

Big leg kick lands for Lewis, but he’s still not able to find any shots up top. Good 1-2 lands for Gane over the guard of Lewis. Lewis explodes forward, but again, can’t find the bomb that he’s looking for.

High kick from Lewis just misses. Low kick and jab lands for Gane. Gane tries for a jump knee and the two men end up in a clinch. Lewis gets pushed back to the fence by Gane and Gane starts landing knees to the thigh.

The crowd is becoming a little restless here and the two men separate. Another kick lands for Gane. Lewis tries for a big right hand, but he’s a too far out of range. Two good jabs land for Gane and he follows it up with a big right straight.

The two clinch briefly and Gane lands a vicious elbow on the break. Lewis tries to land a counter right hand, but he misses wildly. The second round comes to a close and it’s 2-0 Gane here at UFC 265.

Round 3

Entering the third round at UFC 265 and Lewis needs to get it going here. Lewis starts the striking with a body kick, but Gane immediately pushes him back with pressure. Gane lands two powerful leg kicks and he follows it with a big right hand.

Another huge kick from Gane finds it’s home and Lewis’ lead leg. Gane is completely chopping down Lewis’ lead leg here in the third round. Another kick lands and Lewis tries pushing forward, but Gane just shrugs him off.

We are halfway through this fight and it’s been completely one-sided. Lewis gets a body lock and tries for a takedown, but Gane defends well. Gane breaks and he lands a jab to the body. Lewis explodes and it looks like his leg buckles.

Gane hurts Derrick Lewis badly and he starts pouring it on. Lewis tries to blast back, but there’s nothing there. Gane is beating him up and Lewis goes down. Follow up shots are not answered and the referee calls a stop to the action. Domination by the new interim UFC heavyweight champion.

Ciryl Gane def. Derrick Lewis by TKO – Round 3

Jose Aldo outclasses Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265

In the co-main event of UFC 265, we saw big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (29-7) returned as he took on Pedro Munhoz (19-5).

Pedro Munhoz was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career. The last time we saw Munhoz was back in February when he took on Jimmie Rivera. That night, Munhoz used a steady diet of leg kicks to get the win.

That win snapped a two-fight skid for Pedro Munhoz. The former UFC featherweight champion is in a very similar position as Munhoz. The last time we saw Jose Aldo was back in December when he defeated Chito Vera by decision.

That win by Aldo snapped a three-fight losing streak including his first two fights at bantamweight. Granted, I’ll still maintain to this day that Jose Aldo defeated Marlon Moraes in his UFC bantamweight debut.

UFC 265 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 265 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Munhoz starts the striking with a spinning back kick tot he body. Lots of pressure and volume early from Pedro Munhoz. Leg kick from Munhoz as Aldo is remaining patient.

Munhoz looks to move forward behind two jabs. Aldo rips to the body to get his striking started. Nice jab lands for Aldo and he checks a leg kick from Munhoz. Munhoz throws another spinning kick, but easily blocked by Aldo.

Aldo is block and checking every kick Munhoz is throwing right now. Nasty knee to the body lands for Jose Aldo. Aldo rips to the body with a hook. Speed advantage early on belongs to the former UFC featherweight champion.

Good right hand lands for Aldo. He follows that up with a check left hook that lands on Munhoz. Munhoz tries to land a right as Aldo circles, but falls short. Another vicious shot to the body lands for Jose Aldo.

Steady body work from Aldo here late in the round. Munhoz just misses a huge right and Aldo counters with two big hooks to the body. Both exchange big shots as the round ends. Good moments for both, but should be 1-0 Aldo at UFC 265.

Round 2

The first round at UFC 265 was pretty close, but Aldo’s speed is definitely an advantage heading into round two. Aldo doubles up on the jab to start the striking in the second. Munhoz lands a nice left hook to start his striking.

Powerful low kick lands for Aldo. Munhoz steps in and lands a good body shot of his own. Aldo lands three straight left hands on Munhoz. Munhoz tries to push forward, but Aldo rips a vicious combination to the body.

Spinning kick for Munhoz misses it’s mark. Munhoz steps forward with an uppercut that grazes Aldo. Aldo pops him with a jab, but Munhoz lands a really nice right hand. Another stiff jab from the former UFC champion.

Leg kick for Munhoz and Aldo is looking a little tired here in the second round. Powerful kick lands for Aldo and Munhoz tries to counter over the top. Nice jab for Aldo lands, but Munhoz keeps pushing with a ton of pressure.

Both men push the other back with stiff jabs. Another vicious combination to the body lands for Aldo. Aldo outlanding Munhoz as the second round is nearing it’s end. Big right lands for Aldo at the end of the round and it should be 2-0 Aldo at UFC 265.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 265 and Pedro Munhoz needs a finish on my scorecard. Both men embrace to start the final round and here we go. Pedro Munhoz moves forward, but Aldo landed three insanely powerful combinations to start the striking.

Amazed that Munhoz was able to take all of those shots from Aldo. Munhoz keeps pushing forward and he tries a jump kick that misses badly. Leg kick lands for Jose Aldo. Aldo keeps Munhoz at distance with his jab.

Nice shot to the body lands for Aldo. Three minutes left and Aldo lands a big leg kick and he follows it with three jabs. Another huge combination from Aldo, but Pedro Munhoz just eats it and keeps pushing forward.

Aldo unloading on Munhoz here in the third. Munhoz then lands a massive right hand of his own that gets respect from Aldo. Aldo drops Munhoz with a powerful leg kick and throws a combination as Munhoz gets up.

Huge right hand from Aldo and Aldo follows it with a combination. The speed of Aldo is something to behold here at UFC 265. One minute left and Munhoz is going to need a miracle here.

Munhoz pushes forward, but he isn’t throwing much here. Another miss on a spinning kick from Munhoz. Aldo rips a massive combination and lands on Munhoz. The chin of Munhoz was tested, but he makes it to the end.

Jose Aldo def. Pedro Munhoz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)