Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Larson Wins Pro West Race At Sonoma/Levin Needs Good Showing At Congressional

Kyle Larson made his first race at Sonoma Speedway last Saturday really count. He won the checkered flag in the Carneros 200 NASCAR Pro Series West Race, leading the race from the start.

“It’s always fun racing the K&N cars,” Larson said. “I miss running them. I got to run the East Series a couple years ago and had a blast with that. I was really excited about coming here and running the West Series at home.”

Even though the Elk Grove native raced for years as a youth at tracks throughout Northern California, Saturday’s tune-up for the Toyota/SaveMart 350 on Sunday was Larson’s first race on the 1.99-mile road coarse.

“I thought I would be OK when I came here,” Larson said. “I didn’t think I would be that good. I still don’t really think I’m that good. We just qualified good. Looking back, I was a little bit frustrated after the qualifying run. I gave up a lot of time I thought out on the track, could’ve had a shot at the pole.”

Larson was figured on to be one of the top finishers in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, mainly because he started in the third position however, he quickly slipped down the leaderboard and finished the race in 28th place. His car lost its power steering not long after the start of the race.
Kyle Larson Waves To Crowd Following Saturday's win

“Pretty happy with myself and my little arms to be able to finish the last half of the race considering our issue,” Larson later tweeted.

Carl Edwards eventually won the SaveMart 350, his first win at Sonoma in 12 seasons.

Despite the disappointing performance Larson still is NASCAR’s top rookie on the Sprint Cup series and is now 10th overall in season points. This weekend he is at the Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 Saturday night.

Levin Hopes For Rebound At Congressional

The professional golf world has been all-abuzz this week with news that Tiger Woods will return from an injury layoff and play at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Golf Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

Well accustomed to the pain of returning from an injury is Elk Grove’s Spencer Levin. The PGA Tour golfer took a medical leave of absence from the 2013 season following surgery on a ligament in his left thumb in late 2012.

Levin returned last fall for the start of the 2014 golf season, but frankly, has struggled.

“I think given the high level of golf on the Tour, he’s just trying to trust what he used to always trust,” Levin’s uncle, Elk Grove High School athletic director Bob Levin explained. “He’s been working to get his confidence back.”
Spencer Levin

On Thursday’s and Friday’s opening rounds at Congressional,  Levin was paired with Sean O’Hair and Josh Teater. His group was playing far away from the gallery mob following Woods and his playing partner, one of the young guns on the Tour, Jordan Speith. That may be good for Levin, who hasn’t made it past the Friday evening cut since April 20 at the RBC Heritage Open.

In fact, he’s missed the cut nine out of the last ten Tour events he’s entered.

In his 18 tournaments in 2014, Levin has made the cut just eight times and he’s finished in the top 25 only once. He’s currently 150th in the FedEx Cup standings and has earned $264, 260.

“I know he’s played a couple weeks in a row (on the Tour), then comes home and works on his game and then it’s back out to try again,” the elder Levin said.

Levin now has 10 starts remaining on his Major Medical Extension to earn $331,223 or 128 FedEx Cup points to retain his PGA Tour status.

In 2012, prior to the thumb injury, Levin had his best year as a pro earning a little more than $1.28 million.

On June 15, Levin turned 30-years-old.

Vaughn Called Up To AAA – Las Vegas

After starting the 2014 minor league baseball season at Double-A Binghamton, New York Mets’ farmhand Cory Vaughn got the call two weeks ago that he was being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.

The former Jesuit High School and San Diego State University outfielder has done quite well since joining the Pacific Coast League. In 18 games, he has a .277 batting average with a pair of home runs.
Cory Vaughn

The son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Mets and has worked his way through the farm system since.

Mets insiders reported on Tuesday that Vaughn may be pushed soon for playing time by New York’s top draft choice in 2013, Brandon Nimmo, a high school phenom selected out of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Nimmo was considered by baseball writers the best baseball prospect out of Cheyenne since John Misplay, who is now a P.E. teacher at Sheldon High School.

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