Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Weekly Pull List: 2/25/2015

All the comics available this week can be found on Comixology, and any breaking comics news is on Comic Book Resources.

Chew #46
Sex #20

Doctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #5

Arkham Manor #5
Batman #39
Batman Eternal #47
The Flash #39
Gotham by Midnight #4

All-New X-Men #38
Amazing Spider-Man #15
Amazing X-Men #17
Daredevil #13
Darth Vader #2
Deadpool #42
Fantastic Four #643
Inhuman #12
Spider-Gwen #1
Spider-Man and the X-Men #3
Spider-Man 2099 #9
Superior Iron Man #5
Wolverines #8

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Joey Logano Wins the Daytona 500

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 on Sunday after a last-lap wreck forced NASCAR to end the race under caution.

Photo courtesy Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Logano got a great push from Clint Bowyer on the final restart, and that pushed him in front of the field, and he never looked back.

“Clint Bowyer was the best pusher out there today,” Logano said.  “He was able to line up there at the end and give me a push out ahead.”

The green-white-checkered finish came following a red flag to clean up an accident with less than four laps to go.  Logano said he was trying to stay relaxed while leading during the red flag.

“I was so nervous the whole race,” Logano said.  “I was trying to stay relaxed, and it’s always the hard part.  That red flag gave you the opportunity to think of everything.”

A wreck on the backstretch on the final lap forced NASCAR to throw a caution flag before the race ended, freezing the field and giving Logano the victory.  Logano said he thought his car was good enough to win regardless of the caution.

“I saw them crashing in the mirror, and I still think if had got to the checkered…we had a good shot at it.”

The victory was the ninth of Logano’s career.  After winning a career-high five races in 2014, Logano is now already locked into the Chase following his Daytona 500 victory. 

Jeff Gordon led the field to the green flag on Sunday in his final Daytona 500 start.  Gordon led a race-high 87 laps before getting caught up in the last lap accident.  Gordon finished 33rd.

“I’m a little bit sad that it’s my final Daytona 500, but I’m more upset we didn’t have a shot at winning at the end,” Gordon said.

Unofficial results:
1. Joey Logano
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Casey Mears
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Kasey Kahne
10. Greg Biffle
11. David Gilliland
12. Sam Hornish Jr.
13. Michael Annett
14. Austin Dillon
15. Aric Almirola
16. Regan Smith
17. David Ragan
18. Johnny Sauter
19. Matt Crafton
20. AJ Allmendinger
21. Danica Patrick
22. Cole Whitt
23. Jamie McMurray
24. Carl Edwards
25. Michael Waltrip
26. Bobby Labonte
27. Paul Menard
28. Ty Dillon
29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
30. Trevor Bayne
31. Michael McDowell
32. Reed Sorenson
33. Jeff Gordon
34. Kyle Larson
35. Matt Kenseth
36. Mike Wallace
37. Justin Allgaier
38. Ryan Newman
39. Ryan Blaney
40. J.J. Yeley
41. Brad Keselowski
42. Tony Stewart
43. Landon Cassill

Photo courtesy Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mark Martin Among 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominees

Mark Martin was among the 20 nominees the NASCAR Hall of Fame announced for the 2016 class on Friday.

2005 All-Star Race
Martin's career began in 1981, but it didn't take off until 1988 when he teamed up with Jack Roush.  Martin stayed with Roush Racing through the 2006 season, and he won 35 races and 41 poles with the team. 

Martin cut back to a partial schedule and drove for Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2007 and 2008, but he returned to full-time racing in 2009 with Hendrick Motorsports.

Martin had a career resurgence in 2009, winning five races and seven poles in the No. 5 car.  He finished second in points to teammate Jimmie Johnson that season.  During his final two years at Hendrick Motorsports, he won three more poles, but those five victories in 2009 would be the last of his career.

In 2012, he returned to a part-time schedule, splitting the No. 55 car at Michael Waltrip Racing.  He won another five poles over the final two seasons in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career.  Following the 2013 season, he decided to step away from racing, and instead spend time with his family.

Though he has 96 career NASCAR victories across all three major touring series, Martin may go down as one of the greatest drivers to never win a championship.  He finished second in points five times in his career to a list of Hall of Fame drivers that includes Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.

Martin also never won NASCAR's biggest events.  He failed to win the Daytona 500 in his career, but he came within inches in 2007.  He was beat by Kevin Harvick by .02 seconds in a finish that is still a thorn in the side to the group of Mark Martin fans who call themselves "Markaholics."

Martin does hold the record, however, for the most victories and championships in the now-defunct International Race of Champions.  IROC pitted the best drivers from racing series around the world in equally prepared cars in a four-race season.  Martin picked up 13 victories and five championships during 12 seasons in the series.  

It was announced earlier in the year that Martin would be inducted into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame as a part of the class of 2015.

Here is the full list of nominees for the class of 2016 (new nominees in italics):
1.Ray Evernham
2. Harry Hyde
3. Alan Kulwicki
4. Mark Martin
5. Hershel McGriff
6. Buddy Baker
7. Red Byron
8. Richard Childress
9. Jerry Cook
10. Ray Fox
11. Rick Hendrick
12. Bobby Isaac
13. Terry Labonte
14. Raymond Parks
15. Benny Parsons
16. Larry Phillips
17. Bruton Smith
18. Mike Stefanik
19. Curtis Turner
20. Robert Yates

As a lifelong Mark Martin fan, this is great news.  I believe Mark has the ability and the stats to become a first-ballot hall of famer this year.  Last year was a tough year because it was the first time Mark hadn't been in a car at all during the season.  If he is inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016, I think I might have to make my first trek to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

2009 victory at Darlington Raceway

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Weekly Pull List: 2/18/2015

All the comics available this week can be found on Comixology, and any comics news is on Comic Book Resources.

Invincible #117

Batman and Robin #39
Batman Eternal #46

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #9
Legendary Star-Lord #9
Loki: Agent of Asgard #11
Magneto #15
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #10
Moon Knight #12
Nova #27
Rocket Raccoon #8
She-Hulk #12
Silk #1
Silver Surfer #9
Storm #8
Uncanny X-Men #31
Wolverines #7

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Matt Kenseth Wins the Sprint Unlimited

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited from Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night.

Kenseth never gave up the lead over the final 20 laps, even with hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards behind him.
Photo courtesy Patrick Smith/Getty Images

“All four of our cars were fast yesterday, I had a feeling it was going to be a good week,” Kenseth said.  “We have a lot of racing left to do, but all our cars have speed.”

Kenseth, who went winless in 2014 following a 2013 season that saw him pick up seven victories, said he was happy to return to victory lane.

“It’s a great feeling,” Kenseth said.  “It’s always fun to win at Daytona for sure, but it’s fun to win anywhere.  It’s been a year, so I’m really proud of this whole team at JGR…everybody’s been working really hard.”

NASCAR’s annual exhibition race at Daytona marked the official kick-off to the 2015 season.

The race, which was split into two segments, was primarily uneventful until the end of the first 25-lap segment.  Brad Keselowski spun in front of the field, but he was the only driver involved in the accident.

The second segment, a 50-lap sprint to the finish, was marred by multiple multi-car wrecks.  The three wrecks caused the race to be red flagged twice.

The first of these accidents was the infamous “big one” that affects restrictor-plate races.  Jamie McMurray spun in front of the field, and he collected 13 other cars.  Other drivers involved included Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart.

The second wreck broke out about 15 laps later.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. cut down a tire in the middle of the field, and he collected Austin Dillon and Danica Patrick.

After the race went back to green, it didn’t take long for another major accident to break out on the backstretch.  Tony Stewart got turned in front of Greg Biffle, and that accident also collected Kurt Busch.

The entire Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Sunday afternoon, when they will qualify for the Daytona 500.  That session will set the front row for the Great American Race, and Thursday night’s Budweiser Duels will set the rest of the field.  NASCAR’s biggest race will take place next Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Unofficial results:
1. Matt Kenseth
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Carl Edwards
4. Casey Mears
5. Kyle Larson
6. Joey Logano
7. Jeff Gordon
8. Kyle Busch
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10. Danica Patrick
11. Kevin Harvick
12. Ryan Newman
13. Tony Stewart
14. Greg Biffle
15. Kurt Busch
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Austin Dillon
18. Aric Almirola
19. Denny Hamlin
20. Clint Bowyer
21. Paul Menard
22. Jimmie Johnson
23. Kasey Kahne
24. Jamie McMurray
25. Brad Keselowski

Photo courtesy Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weekly Pull List: 2/11/2015

All the comics available this week can be found on Comixology, and any breaking comics news is on Comic Book Resources.

The Walking Dead #137

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #8

Batman Eternal #45
Harley Quinn Valentine's Day Special #1

All-New X-Men #36
Amazing Spider-Man #14
Captain Marvel #12
Cyclops #10
Darth Vader #1
Guardians 3000 #5
Guardians of the Galaxy #24
Nightcrawler #11
Spider-Woman #4
Thanos Vs. Hulk #3
Wolverines #6
X-Men #24