PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Simmons was signing 76ers jerseys and eating cheesesteaks before he was even drafted.
Darrell Lanigan hadn't raced at Magnolia Motor Speedway in nearly 10 years. There was hardly an adjustment period Saturday for the former World of Outlaws champion and driver of the No. 15 Georgia Boots Super Late Model car. Lanigan started sixth in the Country Pleasin' Clash at The MAG and sprung past Jimmy Owens on lap 49 to win the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model race and a $12,000 prize.
Qualify well, make smart decisions, and relax. Sounds easy enough for the Super Late Model drivers hoping to make the Country Pleasin' Sausage Clash at the MAG, which begins tonight with qualifying and heat races that will lead up to a full-slate of feature races Saturday. The Clash is highlighted by a 100-lap Lucas Oil Super Late Model race, an opportunity to win a portion of largest purse of the year -- $20,000 to the winner and more than $85,000 in total payouts -- and a chance for the local guys to show they can hang with the full-time racers.
PHILADELPHIA -- Standout defensive tackle Fletcher Cox agreed Monday to a six-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles that could earn him nine figures. The 2012 first-round draft pick from Mississippi State has been a starter since midway in his rookie season. One of the NFL's most versatile defensive linemen, he has 308 tackles and 22 sacks in his four pro seasons.
Heath Beard doesn't race a Camaro in Street Stocks races anymore, but he's the guy to call if anyone wants to know how to set up one for a race. "The other day someone called (Street Stocks racer) Lee Ray and said, 'Can you help me figure out this Camaro?' " Beard said. "Lee said, 'Nope, you need to call Heath Beard.' "
As racers from across the Golden Triangle and bordering states ate steaks and toasted to another season at Magnolia Motor Speedway, the Crate Late Model drivers were treated to an extra special dessert.
Scott Dedwylder's early dominance in the NeSmith Late Model Touring Series continued Sunday night with a $2,000 win at Magnolia Motor Speedway. The Vossburg native has led or been in second place in the NeSmith points race each week of the season. After starting sixth, Dedwylder rode a harder tire compound and an unfamiliar setup to the win. He finished second at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian a night earlier in a 50-lap NeSmith Touring race.
Brian Rickman remembers a time when competing in four races in four days was common.
Harold Rich is an "old-school" crappie angler.
Imagine going 60 mph on the water and coming to a stop.
Patience has been a theme of Craig Barham's racing career since he first climbed into a Street Stock car in 2001. From joking with friend Scott Stripling before races to biding his time to set up numerous passes over the years, Barham always has taken a slow and steady approach to racing. These days, each week is an exercise in patience.
If Hunter Rasdon hoped to win the Comp Cams Super Late Model race Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway, he had just a narrow window to do it. Rasdon, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started second and opened a multi-second lead over the field, moving freely between the high and low sides of the track before Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, of Northport, Alabama, climbed from fifth to second by lap 10 and took Rasdon on the high-side in turns 3 and 4.
Scott Dedwylder is back. Not that the 2012 Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series points champion ever left, at least not entirely. In October 2013, Dedwylder, of Vossburg, lost his home to a fire. Priorities realigned, he couldn't afford to chase points full time in Super Late Models. He filled in for Chase Washington for several races before returning to the track full time in 2014, his final season in Super Late Models, a division in which he'd competed since 1998.
JACKSON -- The Columbus Christian Academy boys track and field team won the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AA State title on Saturday at Jackson Prep.
It had been resting in the woods for nearly 10 years. The No. 47 1978 Chevrolet Camaro was a regular in victory lane at Columbus Speedway when Danny Gable competed in Street Stocks in the early 2000s.
Evan Ellis wasn't going to make a mistake.
CALEDONIA -- Forty pounds isn't a lot to an experienced powerlifter.
When Tony Silvestri wasn't racing his No. 24 Chevrolet S-10 Street Stock, he'd watch Super Late Models.
The dream had life years earlier, but on Nov. 7, 2011, Rachel Hollivay gave voice to the road she hoped to travel when she gave a verbal commitment to play basketball for coach C. Vivian Stringer at Rutgers. "I think it will be great to play for coach Stringer," Hollivay said. "I'm excited about playing for her, and I can't wait to play for her. I think she is a great coach and that Rutgers is the place I need to be to be successful and to follow my dreams (to play professional basketball)."
Tennis is still in the blood of James Carr. Nicknamed the "Coach," Carr, 90, still finds time several days a week to practice his ground strokes for about an hour a day at the Magnolia Tennis Club in Columbus. He said his movement has slowed to the point where he no longer plays in tournaments, but he still enjoys watching the sport and attending events, like the Heritage Academy tennis team's matches at the club. Tennis also is something that helps keep Sunny Logan going.
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