George Weah: from football icon to Liberia president

first_imgWenger signed Weah in 1988 when he was manager of Monaco, guiding his career for the next four years, and views the 1995 FIFA world player of the year as a shining example to the rest of the game.“I remember when I saw him for the first time in Monaco, coming in a bit lost, not knowing anybody, not being rated by anybody as a player and after, in 1995, becoming the best player in the world,” Wenger said in January.“Now he’s president of his country — it’s an unbelievable story. But it’s down to the fact that one thing that was common in George’s attitude is being strong mentally, absolutely unbelievably convinced that he has a mission.”– ‘All up to him’ –Younger voters have overwhelmingly favoured Weah, helping to propel him to power, but they are expecting quick results.“The expectation of the people and the country is all up to him (Weah). Everybody believes that if he fails us, the majority will be disappointed with politics,” said Samuel Harmon, 30, a street trader.Critics however accuse Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of having too vague a political platform, and have challenged his long absences from the senate since being elected in a 2014 race he won over Sirleaf’s son.Weah has also fended off barbs over his vice presidential pick, Jewel Howard-Taylor, the ex-wife of jailed former president and warlord Charles Taylor.Howard-Taylor is also a respected senator in her own right, and brought him important votes in the key county of Bong. Along with Sirleaf, she is one of few powerful women in Liberian public life.Weah is married to Clar Weah, and their son Timothy signed a professional football contract with Paris Saint-Germain in July 2017.Share on: WhatsApp (FILES) This file photograph taken on September 18, 2005, shows Liberian footballer George Weah as he takes part in a friendly football match in Monrovia.Former star footballer George Weah was named winner of Liberia’s presidential election on December 28, 2017, easily beating his challenger in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in seven decades scarred by civil wars, political assassinations and an Ebola crisis. / AFP PHOTO / Olivier Laban-MatteiMonrovia, Liberia | AFP | George Weah emerged from Liberia’s slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has spent the last 13 years building political credibility to match his status as a sporting icon.Weah, 51, put education, job creation and infrastructure at the centre of his policy platform to beat outgoing Vice President Joseph Boakai to the presidency, and expectations are sky-high he will deliver for the country’s youthful population.“I am a human being, I strive to be excellent, and I can be successful,” Weah told journalists ahead of his inauguration, countering critics who say he is ill-prepared for office after serving in the Senate for just over three years.The first African player to win both FIFA’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Ballon d’Or, Weah was largely absent from Liberia during the 1989-2003 civil war period, playing for a string of top-flight European teams including Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, and later Chelsea.Weah becomes the 25th president of the west African nation, taking power from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf after 12 years and completing its first democratic transition since 1944.“We love him, we just love him,” said mature student Moses Adams, as he watched Weah and his veterans’ team play a friendly game against the army ahead of his inauguration.“I expect big change. I expect our lives to be better. I expect prices of things to go down, and I expect schools to be given priority,” Adams said.Weah faces the challenges of a depressed export economy highly reliant on rubber and iron ore, and has pledged to make the country more self-sufficient by transforming the agriculture sector and providing vocational training.Sirleaf maintained a peace desperately needed after a war that killed a quarter of a million people, but extreme poverty remains the norm for most Liberians.– ‘He has a mission’ –A member of the Kru ethnic group, Weah was raised by his grandmother on a reclaimed swamp in one of the worst slums of the capital Monrovia.Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has likened Weah’s life to a film script, while the former striker has described Wenger as a “father figure” who stood by him as he faced racist attacks in Europe.last_img read more

USTA does not rule out a US Open at Indian Wells and in November

first_imgEven if simply two days in the past the US Open introduced in a assertion that “the target of the USTA is to have a good time the 2020 United States Open in New York on the presently scheduled dates, “the CEO and govt director of the US Tennis Affiliation, Michael Dowse admits in an interview for the journal Inside Tennis They do not rule out the likelihood that there will likely be a totally different setting and dates. Particularly, it factors to options Indian Wells and November.“There’s nothing off the desk”Dowse factors out, which clarifies that “No formal determination has been made on Indian Wells.” “No matter we do, we should do it in alignment with the event house owners, the ATP and the WTA”. One of many choices for the US Open is that it’s held in New York, however with out an viewers, one thing that does not persuade these answerable for the USTA. Therefore, they’ve considered one other location, in the desert of California, a state the place the confinement order could possibly be lifted quickly. The Indian Wells Tennis Backyard, with a capability of 16,000 spectators, is the second largest tennis stadium in the US. “All of us need the US Open to happen. And we’re ready to assist enhance testing (for coronavirus) and make it simpler for gamers to enter and go away the nation.”, explains Dowse, who clarifies that the USTA has “three priorities”: The well being and well-being of the gamers, the workers, the followers and everybody concerned; what is nice for tennis; and the monetary affect. The whole lot continues to be on the desk and We are going to transfer ahead in keeping with the three-phase strategy outlined in the federal pointers. “last_img read more

Fireworks expected at Digicel Grand Prix finale

first_imgTOP TEAMS and individuals will be on the hunt for major prizes as the Digicel Grand Prix Finals takes place today with the staging of the G.C. Foster Classics starting this morning at 9 a.m.This will culminate after the staging of five meets, which included the Youngster Goldsmith Classics, Western Championships, Camperdown Classics, Central Championships and Corporate Area Championships.Defending champion Edwin Allen along with St Jago Boys are in pole position to take home top prize of $1 million, as both teams have big leads going into today’s grand finale.After their big win at the Central Championships and good results at Youngster Goldsmith, the Michael Dyke-coached team Edwin Allen is on 133 points – 52 points ahead of second place St Jago on 82 points. Excelsior (80), Holmwood (77) and St. Elizabeth Technical (70) close out the top five.St Jago Boys are in a dominant position among male teams as they have a 55-point lead over nearest rival Calabar, who are on 110 points. Kingston College are in third with 82 points, ahead of defending champions, St Elizabeth Technical, on 76 points in fourth, while Munro College are in fifth position on 58 points.While Edwin Allen girls and the boys of St Jago look a cinch for the top team prizes, it is expected to be keen competition in individual events as with the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships a few weeks away, athletes will be hoping for bragging rights as they seek psychological advantages going into ‘Champs’.MORE WINNINGCalabar’s Christopher Taylor, the World Youth champion in the 400m, looks set to continue his winning ways here and after his fast time in the 100m a week ago, he looks ready to go faster than his 47.18 seconds posted at the Youngster Goldsmith meet and should come out on top here as overall winner.St Elizabeth Technical’s Nigel Ellis has been having a great season so far in both the 100m and 200m and he is down to defend his title in the 100m for Class I boys.Among the girls, the 100m and 400m are expected to keep the crowd on their feet throughout as both events should be thrillers. In the 100m, Edwin Allen’s Shellece Clarke will be hoping to avenge her mid-week defeat to St Jago’s Kimone Shaw, who won the Class II event at Central Championships in a close finish.The Class I 400m will see two sub 53 seconds girls in action as St Elizabeth Technical’s Junelle Bromfield and Holmwood’s Ashley Williams are expected to have an epic battle. At Western Championships, Bromfield cracked 52.43 seconds, but the vastly improved Williams with her 52.72 seconds clocking at Central Championships will be hoping to go much faster.Today will also see the staging of the Ben Francis Invitational meet. This will take place at Jamalco Sports Club in Halse Hall Clarendon starting at 9 a.m:last_img read more

Grizzlies overcome LeBron James’ triple double, dent Lakers’ playoff hopes

first_imgGretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “I was very pleased with the effort and the togetherness of our group,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “I thought we got back to what we were doing earlier in the season. Unfortunately, we didn’t make enough plays.”Joakim Noah had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Avery Bradley scored 15 points for Memphis, which ended a four-game skid.Memphis led 105-98 with 1:42 left, but a 3-pointer from Kuzma and layup from James pulled the Lakers within 105-103 with a minute left.Conley converted 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch, and one Lakers possession ended with an offensive foul on James. An airball on a 3-point attempt by James with 16 seconds left gave the Grizzlies the ball with a 108-103 lead.Bradley made a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to provide the winning margin.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? It was the first time that Valanciunas had been a part of a win at FedExForum since joining the team at the trade deadline.“It felt really good and was really needed,” the 7-foot center said. “It’s fun to play with this group.”TIP-INSLakers: G Lonzo Ball missed his 12th straight game with a left ankle sprain. … With an assist in the first quarter, James moved past Andre Miller for 10th place in NBA history. James entered the game tied with Miller with 8,524 assists. … Los Angeles shot 70 percent (14 of 20) in the first quarter, but trailed 34-31. For the game, the Lakers shot 45 percent. … James had 10 points in the fourth. … Ingram was 12 of 18 from the field, including all three of his 3-pointers.Grizzlies: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said before the game there was no medical update on F Jaren Jackson Jr. (right thigh bruise) or timetable for his return. … He also had no update on Kyle Anderson, who missed his 10th straight game with right shoulder soreness. Anderson sought a third opinion on the injury last week. … Bradley was helped to the locker room with 2:22 left in the third quarter when he rolled his ankle in front of the Grizzlies bench after trying to block Kuzma’s shot. He returned in the fourth quarter.HAPPY BIRTHDAYNoah, the Grizzlies’ reserve center, turned 34 on Monday.“I’m really happy that we got the win,” Noah said. “I got my people in the building too. And, you know, that’s what it’s all about — playing against the best players, beating the Lakers, competing, winning and just coming back to the locker room happy.”ONE OF A KINDNoah has brought a new energy to the Grizzlies. Asked if he had played with anyone as intense as Noah, Valanciunas replied: “Uh, no. I’ve never played with a guy like this. I’m happy to be part of that.” Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UP NEXTLakers: Host New Orleans on Wednesday.Grizzlies: Host Chicago on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifyingcenter_img Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil The loss to the Grizzlies, in next-to-last place in the West, came two days after the Lakers lost 128-115 to the Pelicans in New Orleans. That game had James wondering if his teammates’ lack of experience in the playoff hunt had them prepared for the pressure and grind of trying to reach the postseason.This time, James, who finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, couched his comments with optimism, saying it is up to him and his teammates to continue their push.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“Just to stay positive and keep knocking on the door,” James said when asked about improving through the final stretch of the regular season. “I feel like if we play like we did (Monday), then we’ve got to continue that consistent effort to get us over this hump while we make this push.”Kyle Kuzma finished with 22 for Los Angeles, which is tied with Minnesota in 10th place in the Western Conference — three games out of the final playoff spot occupied by San Antonio. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies guard Avery Bradley (0)in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Lakers got a triple-double from LeBron James and 32 points from Brandon Ingram but still suffered another dent to their playoff hopes.Mike Conley had 30 points including key free throws in the final minute, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat Los Angeles 110-105 on Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT DeMarcus Cousins snaps out of frustrating slump, carries Warriors past Hornets View commentslast_img read more

Linden’s Deputy Mayor representing Guyana at UCLG Congress in Bogota

first_imgDeputy Mayor of Linden Waneka Arindell is presently representing Guyana at this year’s World Congress of the United Cities Local Government (UCLG) in Bogota, Columbia.Deputy Mayor Arindell (red jacket) along with other representatives from the Caribbean. From left: Mayor Scean Barnswell (Jamaica), CARILED Programme Director Marion Villanueva, Alderman Anthony Roberts (Trinidad and Tobago) and Councillor Ralston Frazer (Belize)Arindell departed on Tuesday to participate in the World Summit being held from October 12 to 15, and continues with a study tour from October 17 to 20.Her trip is fully sponsored by the Caribbean Local Economic Development (CARILED) Project Guyana, an organisation funded by the Canadian Government. The invitation for the World Congress was extended to Linden Mayor, Carwyn Holland, who agreed for the Deputy Mayor to attend.Holland said Arindell’s appointment shows the elevation of the Linden community and municipality, therefore he urged the deputy mayor to use the opportunity to make representation for the twinning of Linden with Bogota. Speaking from the location on Friday, Deputy Mayor Arindell said she is happy to be a part of the initiative, noting that it is a great learning experience.“The purpose of the Guyana local authority’s participation is to learn from experiences and best practices from other local authorities. It is used to strengthen the capacity of other local authorities by participating in various workshops. It helps with collaboration, because you get a chance to hear from other local authorities, how they have been functioning, their best practices, where they may have fallen short…It’s an opportunity for you to share, learn.“It’s an opportunity for you to network with other mayors and municipalities and it’s a wonderful experience”, she added.Held every three years, the event sees the interaction of over 3000 representatives from various towns and cities around the world. Other representatives from the Caribbean this year include Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.last_img read more

Entrepreneurial skills training aids in crime reduction – Ramjattan

first_img…programme challenged with late stipends, inadequate materialsFollowing nine months of vocational training through the Citizen Security Strengthening Skills programme, 50 youths, drawn from communities such as Albouystown, South and North Ruimveldt, Sophia, Haslington, Enmore and Buxton, are now equipped with the necessary prerequisites to better their lives.Valedictorian Joel Primo receiving one of his prizes from Public Security Minister Khemraj RamjattanAs part of the course, facilitators were assigned to guide the youths in six fields; namely: masonry, information technology and business, welding, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration, and catering.Many youths had started the programme, but only 18 males and 32 females successfully completed the training.Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has said the training helped to create responsible citizens who can make lifelong earnings and, more so, contribute to society. The main focus of the youths’ training was to eliminate the plaguing increase of criminal activities in the various areas from which they were drawn.“It is the completion of a milestone, and (their) taking one step closer towards becoming responsible citizens, employees and entrepreneurs. The programme had to do with a reduction in crime and a reduction of youth violence”, Ramjattan expressed.Participants who recently completed the training programmeHe added that the programme guarantees a reduction of violence among our young people, even as he explained that this approach is used by many Caribbean countries, and positive responses have been recorded. The youths in Guyana who participated in the programme were also offered tutoring in Mathematics and English.Ezraleen Mc Lean of the Sophia Training Centre, who was responsible for some of the programme’s activities, highlighted some challenges the programme had faced over the nine months of its existence, including stipends for the trainees arriving late and materials for the projects being in inadequate supply. Some participants had also failed to comply with the dress code, among other requirements.“We have encountered our fair share of challenges during the period under review. Some of these are late payments of stipend, late and inadequate supply of training materials, lateness, failure to comply with our dress code, absenteeism due to economic situation at home, students’ low academic level, no entrepreneurship instructor, late payment of staff members, and lack of involvement of community action officers,” she listed.Valedictorian of the programme is Joel Primo. Osafa Browne has been declared the second best graduating student. Others recognised were as follows: Alana Argyle, best graduate of the catering class; Jolana Callender, best graduate for information technology; Nkala Gordon, same for masonry; Joel Primo, same for plumbing; Osafa Browne, same for refrigeration; and Fay Robinson, same for welding.This initiative was launched in 2016 with US$15 million funding from the Inter-American Development Bank. Going forward, the Ministry will supply finances for its continuation.last_img read more

Bay Area companies vow to be green

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Coalition leaders say being green is good for business and want to change the perception that curbing emissions of heat-trapping gases will result in job losses and lower profits. “For the region, we think it has tremendously beneficial economic implications,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, a business advocacy group. Mountain View-based Google is committed to helping combat global warming, said Robyn Beavers, who heads its corporate environmental programs. The Internet search leader offers employees a free shuttle service on buses that run on biodiesel, is working to boost its energy efficiency and serves locally grown, organic food at its company cafes. The company is also installing more than 9,200 solar panels that could provide as much as 30 percent of electricity at its headquarters, Beavers said. SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc., Gap Inc., Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and other companies pledged Thursday to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and help make the Bay Area a leader in combating global warming. More than two dozen companies joined the Business Council on Climate Change, a coalition of Bay Area businesses that promise to report and reduce carbon emissions, share the best green practices and advocate for policies to address global warming. “If the environment fails, markets fail. As contributors to the problem, companies have a responsibility to act,” said Gavin Power of the United Nations Global Compact, which seeks to promote corporate responsibility. The BC3 coalition was launched at San Francisco City Hall on Thursday at an event aimed at encouraging more businesses to join. The initiative is being organized by the Bay Area Council, city of San Francisco and UN Global Compact, which plans to promote the business-led initiative as a model for other cities and businesses worldwide. last_img read more

Tunisia World Cup coach takes charge of Qatar’s Al Duhail

first_img“Tunisian coach Nabil Maaloul (will be) the new technical manager of the football team,” said Al Duhail in a statement.The club added that Maaloul was already on his way to Austria to meet players at a pre-season training camp.The Tunisian football federation announced earlier they had agreed to a request from Maaloul to end his contract following an offer from Al Duhail.Maaloul led Tunisia to their first World Cup since 2006 when they qualified for Russia.Tunisia won one game and came third in a group containing both beaten semi-finalists, Belgium and England.Maaloul had been in charge of the national side since April 2017.Al Duhail beat Xavi Hernandez’s Al Sadd to the Qatari league title last season and are in the last eight of the AFC Champions League, which resumes next month.They were formerly known as Lekhwiya but last season the club was merged with El Jaish to form Al Duhail.Maaloul was the coach of El Jaish, back in 2014.Qatar’s domestic season starts on August 4.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tunisia’s World Cup coach Nabil Maaloul has been appointed as coach of Qatari league champions Al Duhail. © AFP/File / JACK GUEZDOHA, Qatar, Jul 12 – Tunisia’s World Cup coach Nabil Maaloul has been appointed as coach of Qatari league champions Al Duhail, the club announced on Thursday.Maaloul, who turns 56 later this month, takes over from Djamel Belmadi, who quit and is widely expected to be appointed coach of the Algerian national team.last_img read more

QPR Verdict: Hoddle on Redknapp, Premier League survival, Ferdinand and Remy

first_imgGlenn Hoddle joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Wednesday morning to discuss his new coaching role at Queens Park Rangers.The former England manager admits the approach from Harry Redknapp came totally out of the blue, but he reveals he is looking forward to getting back out on the training pitch with players following a lengthy break from the game.He admits Premier League survival is the aim for the Hoops this season, and also discusses working again with Rio Ferdinand, what he feels he can bring to the club, and the possibility of a swap deal involving Loic Remy and Andros Townsend.last_img

Hart High grad Herta finishes race an unlucky 13th

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event “I was hanging way back on the restart just to stay out of everybody’s way,” Herta said. “I went into turn one and it just came around. I don’t know if it was cold tires or the turbulence from the cars in front or something else. I have no idea. The car hadn’t behaved that way up to that point and it just caught me by surprise.” Dan Wheldon, driving for Chip Ganassi’s Team Target, won the Miami race, successfully defending his victory from a year ago. Dario Franchitti was the highest finishing Andretti Green Racing driver. He was fourth. It snapped a streak of 39 straight races of top-three finishes for Andretti Green Racing. “I had some runs on Dan but I couldn’t go anywhere,” said Franchitti, driver of the No. 27 Honda-powered entry for Andretti Green. “It’s frustrating when it gets like that. We were lucky with the cautions (Sunday) and the boys in the pits were really on it. That kept us in the hunt all day. The car was balanced all day, just not fast enough to win.” Andretti Green’s Tony Kanaan was 11th and Marco Andretti was 15th. “We felt like we had cars that were good,” Herta said. “We were competitive. Only one of our cars made it to the end.” Only 16 cars started the race after driver Paul Dana was killed during the morning practice session. Dana, a driver for Rahal Letterman Racing, crashed at nearly top speed with Ed Carpenter, who spun out and hit the wall during the warm-up session before the race. Dana’s Rahal Letterman teammates Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice were withdrawn from the race by team owner Bobby Rahal. Rahal said he would not enter a driver in Dana’s No. 17 car for the next race on the IRL schedule in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is Sunday. Roberto Moreno will replace Carpenter in the No. 20 Vision Racing entry for the St. Petersburg race. The 47-year-old Brazilian has been working as a consultant for Vision Racing and racing in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Herta won the pole in the St. Petersburg race last year. He finished fourth in the race and was part of a 1-2-3-4 finish for Andretti Green Racing. “We have our work cut out for us trying to recreate what we did last year,” Herta said. “I do really love the challenge of a street course.” John Watkinson of Canyon Country started his NASCAR Grand American Modified season on a winning note. Watkinson won the Grand Am race last Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway, finishing ahead of longtime friend Joe Ruggles of Palmdale, who was second. In other action, Kevin Thompson of Bakersfield won the NASCAR Super Late Models race. Canyon High graduate Todd Southwell of San Marcos was third, Canyon Country’s Rod Johnson was fifth and Canyon Country’s Cory Fancy was 16th. Ron Peterson of Riverside won the Super Trucks race. Pat Mintey Jr. of Quartz Hill was second, Brian Reed of Castaic was fourth and Dave Blakenship of Stevenson Ranch was fifth. The NASCAR Late Models, Pure Stocks, West Coast Pro Trucks and Ford Focus Midgets are scheduled to race tonight at Irwindale Speedway. Newhall’s Travis Thirkettle, Action’s Chris Houwen and Canyon Country’s Aaron Staudinger are expected to be entered in the Late Models race. Gates open at 4 p.m. Races start at 7. Irwindale Speedway: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series: Ron Hornaday Jr.’s record at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, site of tonight’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, includes three top-five finishes and four top 10s. His best finish is third, a feat he has accomplished twice. He was third in one of the Martinsville races last year and posted a third-place finish in 1998. This time around, Hornaday, driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Kevin Harvick Inc., has a new truck. Coming off a 20th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hornaday would like to see a better result at a track that has been kind to him in the past. “We’re taking a brand-new truck to Martinsville this weekend,” said Hornaday, a former Saugus Speedway champ from Palmdale. “After my run at Bristol (Motor Speedway) in the Busch car, it’s exactly what I needed to get my head back in the game and give me that little extra boost of confidence.” Hornaday made his NASCAR Busch Series season debut for Kevin Harvick, Inc., in the team’s No. 33 Chevrolet Monte Carlo last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee and finished seventh. “Watching Hornaday get around Bristol was definitely a treat,” said owner DeLana Harvick. “He made some great saves and brought the No. 33 home in one piece.There may have been a few places that were knocked in, but that’s just Bristol. I think that will be a great motivator going into Martinsville this weekend. I know it will be for me.” Staff Writer Tim Haddock covers auto racing for the Daily News. He can be reached by e-mail at timothy.haddock@dailynews.com NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES Kroger 250 Site: Martinsville, Va. Schedule: Today, qualifying, 9:05 a.m., race (Speed Channel, noon). Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns) Race distance: 131.5 miles, 250 laps. Last race: A spectacular four-wide pass gave Todd Bodine the lead and the momentum to pick up his first victory of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 17. Bodine finished second behind Nextel Cup star and part-time truck racer Mark Martin in the first two events this season, losing both in overtime duels. Last year: Bobby Labonte became the first driver to win in each of NASCAR’s top three series at Martinsville Speedway by capturing the Kroger 250 in the closest truck event at the track. His Chevrolet beat Ricky Craven’s Ford to the finish line by 0.257 seconds. Fast facts: Bodine has won four of the last six races dating to last year. … Former truck champion Bobby Hamilton has a cancerous growth in his neck and will miss most if not all of the season while undergoing treatment. Bobby Hamilton Jr. will step into the No. 18 Dodge until he returns. … Ted Musgrave has top-five finishes in all three races this season. Next race: Dodge Ram Tough 200, April 29, Madison, Ill. On the Net: www.nascar.com INDY RACING LEAGUE Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Site: St. Petersburg, Fla. Schedule: Today, qualifying, 10:45 a.m.; Sunday, race (ESPN, 12:30 p.m.). Track: Streets of St. Petersburg (1.8 miles, 14 turns). Race distance: 180 miles, 100 laps. Last race: Rookie Paul Dana died after a two-car crash during the warm-up for the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. … While streaking around the oval during a warm-up session, Dana failed to notice that the car of Ed Carpenter had spun to a stop, slamming into it at close to 200 mph. The race went on as planned, with defending champion Dan Wheldon beating Helio Castroneves by a nose cone. Last year: Wheldon became the circuit’s first multiple winner of 2005 when he took the inaugural Honda Grand Prix at St. Petersburg. … Andretti racers claimed the top four spots, with Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta finishing behind Wheldon. Fast facts: Carpenter came away from the crash with a bruised lung and was released from the hospital Monday. He was not cleared by doctors to take part in the open test in St. Petersburg, but hopes to be ready for the race. … The Rahal Letterman team withdrew Dana’s veteran teammates, Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice, from the season-opening race after the crash. Both are expected to begin their seasons this weekend. … Wheldon won four of the first five races last season. … Last year’s race was the IRL’s first on a non-oval track. Next race: Indy Japan 300, April 12, Suzuka. On the Net: www.indyracingleague.com – Associated Press160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Valencia’s Bryan Herta opened the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series with a 13th-place finish at the Toyota Indy 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. Before the race even started, Herta’s car had a fuel pressure problem and he had to take it into the garage for repairs. “I really don’t know what happened,” said Herta, a Hart High of Newhall graduate and driver of the No. 7 Honda-powered entry for Andretti Green. “We were a long way down, so we were just trying to run laps and pick up a few positions.” When he returned he was 28 laps down and completed only 140 laps before colliding with the wall, ending his race. last_img read more