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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:00 am


No restrictor plates at Daytona, Talladega

Staff, news services

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR will use two primary rules packages next season and race at Daytona and Talladega without restrictor plates for the first time since 1987.

The rules packages revealed Tuesday will be tailored to specific tracks and designed to slow Cup Series cars to create more passing for the lead. At Daytona and Talladega, the two fastest tracks in NASCAR were horsepower-sapping plates are used on the engines, NASCAR will now use a thicker tapered spacer with tapered holes aimed to restrict air flow.

NASCAR next year wants to lower the horsepower in Cup cars at 21 races, all on ovals larger than 1.2 miles, from 750hp to 550hp. The 14 races on tracks shorter than 1.2 miles in length will use the same sized spacers from this season.

The season-opening Daytona 500 next year will be run under current configurations that combine the restrictor plate with a tapered spacer. NASCAR will go to just a spacer at Daytona and Talladega after the 500.

NASCAR believes the adjustments will create more passing, more drafting and afford a better throttle response for the drivers. NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell insisted the idea is not to create pack racing at every track, but instead tighter competition.


USA Diving asks to be out of suit

USA Diving is seeking to be dismissed as a defendant in a federal lawsuit from several female divers who say they were sexually abused and exploited by a former coach who worked in Ohio and Indiana. They accuse Indianapolis-based USA Diving of not taking appropriate action to stop Will Bohonyi from coaching beyond listing him as a banned coach.


Mastodon runner wins again

Purdue Fort Wayne women's cross country's Emma Rafuse was named the Summit League Women's Athlete of the Week for the second time this season and sixth of her career. Rafuse finished third out of 139 runners in a time of 16:58.87 at Notre Dame's Joe Piane Invitational on Sept. 28.

Tech athletes take awards

Indiana Tech senior Cayce Griffin was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Runner of the Week for the second time this season. Griffin paced the No. 25-ranked Warriors in the “Blue Division” race of the Greater Louisville Classic this past Saturday with a career-best time of 25:24. ... Tech junior Cecilia Heck was named the WHAC Women's Golfer of the Week. Heck won her second title of the season with a career-low 147 (77-70) to win the Blue Devil Classic by two strokes. It is the third time this season she was won the award. ... Warriors senior Dylan Holsclaw was named a Second-Team All-Conference honoree by the WHAC. Holsclaw averaged a 75.50 in three tournaments through a 10-day period in September and finished with a 108-hole score of 453.

Spartans runner collects honor

Manchester junior women's cross country runner Hannah Wappes of Columbia City was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's women's cross country Runner of the Week. She was the top HCAC finisher in the silver race at the 2018 Greater Louisville Classic on Sept. 29. The junior also claimed the top NCAA Division III finish with a 5K time of 19:02.4, which was good for fifth.


Seattle poised to get NHL team

The NHL is moving forward with plans to expand to Seattle. Commissioner Gary Bettman said the Board of Governors' executive committee recommended proceeding with Seattle's expansion application, with an eye on voting to approve the league's 32nd franchise in December. Seattle could be awarded the league's 32nd team two months from now.



Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber came back from a break down twice in the first set to beat Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the second round of the China Open. Also, No. 1-ranked Simona Halep revealed on Twitter that she has a herniated disk in her back, putting the rest of her season in doubt. She retired from her first-round match at the China Open on Sunday ... Top-seeded Marin Cilic was knocked out of the Japan Open in the first round after losing to Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6, 6-4, 7-6. Eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet and Stan Wawrinka also advanced