Martin wraps up 11th track title at Independence Motor Speedway

first_imgBy Ryan Clark INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (Aug. 23) – Nobody has won more track championships or Late Model features at Independence Motor Speedway than Curt Martin.He added to that stellar career Saturday night.Martin, who entered the night tied atop the standings with Darren Ackerman, led all 30 laps of the IMCA Late Model feature and took the checkers half of a lap ahead of Jon Passick during Budweiser Season Championships. It was Martin’s 95th Late Model win in weekly racing history and his 11th track championship at the speedway, his first since 2006. Martin’s first track title came in 1984.Troy Cordes, Alex Zwanziger and Benji Irvine also locked up track titles by finishing the season in victory lane. Roger Ciesielski earned his first Independence win in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division while Norman Chesmore earned track champion honors in that division.All feature events were lined up straight-up based on season point totals. The top four in each division’s standings were given the chance to double their money by taking the Indee Challenge – winning the feature after starting at the tail of the field. From his front row start, Martin quickly pulled away from Ackerman and extended his advantage to over a straightaway before a lap seven caution bunched the field. Martin continued his dominant performance when racing resumed and built a half a lap lead when the yellow flag again bunched the field with nine laps to go. He pulled away once more on that restart to drive to the convincing win.Cordes earned his fifth win of the year in the Performance Bodies IMCA Modified 25-lapper. He took the lead at the drop of the green while Tyler Droste worked his way past Scott Hogan for second on lap two. Cordes held the point on a lap 11 restart as he and Droste pulled away from traffic. Droste kept pace with the leader, however was unable to challenge for the win as Cordes drove to victory and his fourth track title in the division.Zwanziger earned the first track championship of his career in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division.Zwanziger set the pace at the drop of the green and built a sizable advantage over the pack. Meanwhile, Jenae Gustin, who took the challenge and started at the tail, made a quick run through the 18-car field. Gustin found herself in the top five after just six laps and worked her way past Danny Dvorak for second with three laps to go. Gustin closed the gap on the leader, however Zwanziger was too strong out front as he raced to victory in the caution-free 20-lapper. Irvine fought off heavy pressure from Justin Wacha in lapped traffic to earn his seventh win of the season and his second straight IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock track championship. Irvine built a comfortable lead until he encountered slower traffic midway through that 20-lapper. Wacha chased Irvine through the backmarkers in the waning laps and challenged to the inside of the leader, however Irvine held on for victory. All four drivers at the top of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car standings took the challenge and started at the tail of that 12-car feature. That left Jason Hocken on the pole for that 25-lapper. Hocken paced the field for the first 15 laps while Cieisielski raced into contention from a third row start. Ciesielski raced past Hocken on the 16th circuit to drive to victory.Chesmore wrapped up track championship honors by simply taking the green flag in the event. He finished fourth in the feature.last_img read more

WR Stefon Diggs embracing fresh start with Buffalo

first_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE LIVE TV Associated Press Television News COMMENT First Published: 6th August, 2020 06:31 ISTcenter_img Stefon Diggs has a new beginning with the Buffalo Bills. And he isn’t dwelling on his departure from the Minnesota Vikings.Speaking with Buffalo reporters for the first time since his blockbuster trade in March, Diggs repeatedly expressed excitement over his new surroundings while also downplaying his role in leaving Minnesota.“As far as my past with Minnesota, I never actually said anything,” Diggs said. “But, granted, this new situation, I can say I’m excited. There’s no right or wrong or problems to be fixed or something to replace with my old situation. I have a lot of respect for the Minnesota Vikings.”Last season with the Vikings, Diggs was fined more than $200,000 for unexcused absences from practices in October. He was also known for cryptic tweets that may or may not have offered insight into his situation with the team. Prior to being traded to Buffalo, Diggs tweeted “it’s time for a new beginning” — and hours later he was a member of the Bills for four draft picks.In Buffalo, he’s expected to be the unquestioned No. 1 receiver on a team hoping to win the AFC East following Tom Brady’s exit from the division.“I never really was too vocal about it. ‘It’s time for a new beginning’ was enough said,” Diggs said. “I’m super excited with my new situation. I feel like this is also a great organization built on a lot of hard-working guys, a lot of guys that really grind to get to where they’re at.”I trust the people that are in place. I’m just happy to be a part of it at this point. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything like that, I’m just trying to be as helpful as I can, be a puzzle piece, try to mesh as well as I can to help this team win.”Diggs has been a game-breaker throughout his career and the Bills are hoping he’s the finishing piece who can put them over the top. Diggs finished last season with a career-high 1,130 yards receiving and he was fourth in the league with an average of 17.9 yards per reception. He’s considered one of the best route runners in the NFL and is set to form a solid receiving trio alongside John Brown and Cole Beasley.Priority No. 1 for Diggs with his new team is to work on establishing chemistry with quarterback Josh Allen. The two met up for unofficial workouts in Florida earlier this summer, but have plenty of work to make up with the lack of a traditional offseason.“I’m super excited,” Diggs said. “He’s going into Year 3. As a quarterback, as a guy, big arm, big quarterback, a lot of heart, he runs around, he’s mobile, can extend the play. He does a lot of things extremely well. More so focused on how I can help him, anything I can do to help him. Always be in his ear, having communication with him, if he needs something from me … I’m just there to be his supporting cast on whatever he needs and play receiver.”So far, so good according to teammate and standout cornerback Tre’Davious White.“Obviously he’s a Grade A talent,” White said. “To have a transcendent talent like that to add with the other guys that we have … on paper, it looks great. Those guys are going to have to continue to work each and every day. Just on paper, we look sexy (on offense), we look good.”After expressing some concerns one month ago about playing football this year — and hours after White said that he was unsure about his own plans for this season — Diggs said that he will be playing amid coronavirus concerns.“Seeing that the deadline is tomorrow, I’m pretty much bought in on playing football,” Diggs said. “I’ve been here buying into the process as far as getting to know my teammates, getting to know my coaches, kind of starting to get the ball rolling. I put in a lot of time in the offseason training and (working on) my craft … I made some arrangements where I’m going to be playing football this year.”NOTES: The Bills activated CB Ike Brown and S Siran Neal off the reserve/COVID-19 list. To make room on the roster, Buffalo released RB Antonio Williams and DE Jonathan Woodard.Image credits: AP Written By Last Updated: 6th August, 2020 06:31 IST WR Stefon Diggs Embracing Fresh Start With Buffalo Stefon Diggs has a new beginning with the Buffalo Bills. And he isn’t dwelling on his departure from the Minnesota Vikings FOLLOW USlast_img read more