Q&A: Graham Rahal on rising popularity and driving for Honda

first_imgDespite driving for a single-car team that is going through some growing pains with Honda, Graham Rahal is fifth in the Verizon IndyCar Series points going into Toronto this weekend. Rahal spoke about keeping a positive attitude, having David Letterman as a team co-owner and driving a minivan around the Nurburgring with Chris Jenkins, Special for USA TODAY Sports.Graham Rahal (Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports)Graham Rahal (Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports)Q: How would you assess your season so far?Rahal: “I think the team has done an excellent job this year. They are the biggest part of the recent success, I think that’s the truth at this point. A lot of people give me the credit, but the guys have made this happen. I think the teamwork, the camaraderie, the mindset of everybody has been what’s transferred into work ethic. The guys have worked a lot harder, a lot better, together and that’s made the difference this year.”Q: So you’ve obviously been up front and open about the challenges you guys are facing with being affiliated with Honda. But in terms of how you go about your business, how the team goes about its business, you have to maintain a positive attitude through it all, right? GR: “Oh, for sure. And look, I think a lot of people have been very critical, very hard on Honda. I really do have the utmost confidence in them, in what they do and the people that they have around them. I think without a doubt, we keep a positive mindset but I think there’s a reason for it. Maybe we haven’t had it easy at times this year. But I know Honda, all those guys have got their heads down working hard to improve as much as we can.”Q: Do you see reasons to expect improvement this season, or is it more of a long-term thing?GR: “No, I think it’s more of a long-term process. Maybe we could see some improvement. We’re already just past halfway,  I think, in this season so I don’t know that you’re going to see a ton of improvement just due to time. But our team, we made a big mistake at Texas that we’ll learn from and our team can continue to improve. That can also really help us.”HONDA: Isn’t seeing any IndyCar oval payoffQ: The idea that you guys are a smaller team, and there’s the affiliation with Honda, but you’re still fifth in the points. Is that a source of pride for you guys right now?GR: “It is. It is, but I have high expectations. And yeah, there’s a lot of pride involved and I’m focused right now toward catching what’s ahead of us and not looking back. I’m disappointed in our performance in Texas. We found that we probably left around 200 pounds of downforce on the table compared to the top-running Honda cars — 200 pounds is a lot of downforce, and we have to make sure that we don’t do that next time. We live and we learn. But there is a sense of pride, and I think that we are only going to get better. We have to believe that our potential is huge, and we’re going to try to fulfill that over the next few races.”Q: So when you were a kid interested in racing, I’d imagine it was about having fun and going fast. Then as you get older, you realize that there’s this whole business side to racing. How did that change the way you view racing? Is it frustrating at times that there are sometimes things that are out of your hands that prevent you from doing what you want to do?GR: “Well, racing has its good and its bads. There’s a lot of work that goes into it. One of my good friends, a buddy of mine is Tyron Smith from the Cowboys, I was explaining to him last week, I said, look, the thing about racing that’s so difficult is that we are solely dependent on sponsors. Unlike the Cowboys, if Miller Lite doesn’t sponsor the Cowboys, they’re still going to play football. If Steak and Shake doesn’t sponsor me, I don’t go racing. It’s a different mentality than any other sport. It is frustrating at times, but I’ve always been somebody who’s enjoyed the challenge of that, enjoyed the challenge of finding sponsorship and working hard on it off the track. I think it’s cool. It is difficult, for sure.”Q: When younger racers come to you for advice, is that something you try to open their eyes to? That there is more to this than they might think? GR: “For sure. I mean, a lot of guys look at me and think, ‘Well, he’s a Rahal, so it comes easy.’ The truth is, it’s anything but. It’s something that I’ve worked very hard in recent years to find that sponsorship and do those things. I tell all the young guys, the Conor Dalys of the world, that it doesn’t matter what your name is. There’s a hell of a lot of good drivers out here. A lot. And what’s going to separate you from the others is how you work off the track. Because there are a lot of guys who are going to be able to get in the car and be able to go fast. But there’s not a lot of guys who are fully rounded, can help find the sponsorship and make it all work.”Q: So when you were at the Indy 500, during driver introductions, it seemed like you got one of the biggest ovations of anyone. I don’t know if you’re so focused at that point that you block it out, but do you have a sense of your popularity and how people have rallied behind you?GR: “Well, I think this year people have rallied behind me, and I really appreciate it. I’m trying so hard to make everybody proud — that’s the truth. I’m trying so hard to help build this sport. And I know that my performance does have an influence on that. And so I’m trying. It was really cool, obviously, to have a good result at Indy. I can’t wait to get back there next year, I think we have a good starting point versus coming from where we were last year, the setup for this year, I don’t think we had a whole lot of understanding of where we’d be this season. And I think by the end of the month we had a good starting point. I’m excited to get back there and give it a shot.”Q: So now that David Letterman is retired from the late-night talk show game, is he around more?GR: “Well, he hasn’t been. But I have heard from him more via email, and I think he wants to be. I think he does, and I think we will see him. So far, not much, but we’re only a couple of weeks into that.”Q: What’s it like to drive for him?GR: “It’s cool. I’ve been spoiled to drive for him and Paul Newman, and both those guys are just so passionate about this sport. And it’s refreshing to see people who are such huge celebrities that find IndyCar racing so spectacular. That’s what I love about it, more than anything else.”LETTERMAN: Talk show host gave IndyCar another platform Q: So Toronto is up next. What should fans know about the challenges you guys face there?GR: “It’s very challenging. That course has so many different types of pavement, concrete, bumps, mid-corner bumps. It’s one of the most difficult tracks to get a good handle on. It’s probably the track with literally zero margin for error. If you make a mistake there, you’re finding yourself in the concrete wall right away. I think that’s what’s cool about it. But I have huge expectations for our team, and we’ve had good runs on road courses lately and I’m definitely excited to get out there and give it a shot in Toronto.”SPEED ROUNDQ: Favorite track you’ve ever raced on?GR: “Road America. Road America is spectacular.”Q: Would love to see it back on the schedule, I’d imagine?GR: “Oh, yeah. One place, that would be it.”Q: One track you’ve never raced on that you’d like to try? GR: “Probably Spa over in Europe. I think Spa is one of those tracks that everybody wants to race there. Road America is our Spa. I’d love to go try it out. I’ve been there before. When we raced in Europe, I went and drove by it. And I’ve been around the Nurburgring, it wasn’t a race but I’ve been around it.”Q: What did you drive around the Nurburgring?GR: “A minivan.”Q: And you’re getting passed by Porsches and things like that?GR: “Yeah, but it was just fun.”Q: First street car you ever owned?GR: “A 2004 Subaru WRX STI.”Q: Not bad!GR: “Yeah, it was an absolute blast. I loved it.”Q: Favorite city in the world?GR: “Truthfully, I’m from Columbus, Ohio. And I love Columbus, Ohio. But actually, San Francisco. I really like San Francisco. Tokyo is really cool, too.”Q: Kind of cool that you guys get to travel to different places as part of this job?GR: “It’s awesome. I was going to say, I love Toronto. It’s a really cool city, really cool people. One of the perks of the job, the traveling is no fun but at least when you get there, when the traveling’s over and you actually get to where you’re supposed to be, there are some cool places that you get to go and see.”Q: Final question: If you weren’t a race car driver, what would you be doing for a living?GR: “I would probably be a car salesman. Beyond racing, cars, that’s probably my biggest passion. So I think I’d definitely be involved with cars no matter what.” Session ID: 2020-09-18:1ecc6b3ade80a009ade50a2a Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-835412-4288517697001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again Error Code: MEDIA_ERR_UNKNOWNlast_img read more

Girls basketball: Benton clinches share of seventh-grade title

first_imgThe Benton Lady Tigers clinched a share of the Bossier Parish middle school seventh-grade district title with a 37-9 victory over Rusheon Thursday night at Benton.The Lady Tigers improved to 8-0 and have a two-game lead over Greenacres with two to play. Greenacres defeated Elm Grove 20-14 Monday.In the other seventh-grade game, Cope downed Haughton 34-27.Rusheon regained the lead in the eighth-grade district with a 19-11 victory over Benton.Cope knocked Haughton out of a tie for first with a 37-31 victory over the Lady Bucs. In the other eighth-grade game, Elm Grove slipped past Greenacres 16-15.Rusheon improved to 6-2 and has a one-game lead over Haughton and Elm Grove, both 5-3. Greenacres and Cope are both 4-4.At Benton, Emily Ward scored in double figures for the eighth straight game to lead the Lady Tigers seventh-graders. She had 13 points and four assists.Morgan Bradford and Madison Breazeale scored six each. Abbie Wynn and Abby Colvin played outstanding defense, coach MaryJo Duddy said.Destiny Thomas scored seven points to lead the victorious Rusheon eighth-graders.Benton’s Mackenzie McEntee and Braylin Shaffer combined for eight points.Mackenzie Terhune and Malorie Gill played tough defense, and Brittney McLelland was strong on the boards, Duddy said.At Cope, Brooklyn Brandon and Jaisha Banks scored 15 points each to lead the Lady Cougars seventh-grade team.Caitlin Ward and Ebarb had nine points each for Haughton.Chloe Walker led the victorious Cope eighth-graders with 14 points. Jasmyne Dawson added eight, Jalyn Robertson seven and Lauren Daley six.Robertson scored all of her points in the second quarter and had three big offensive rebounds. Daley also had several key rebounds.Champagne Dennis topped Haughton with 16 points, and Mayghan Myers had 10.At Elm Grove, Traciona Russell led the Greenacres seventh-graders to the victory with 14 points. Jhnaudika Cook and Zakiya Johnson combined for six.Madeline Grunewald paced Elm Grove with six points. Marianna Gonzalez, Tracilyn Bell, Shanna Abdeljabar and Natavia Anthony combined for eight.Dionisha Wilson, Kaylan Coker and Abbie Norcross all scored four points for the victorious Elm Grove eighth-graders.Greenacres’ Comuilla Rodriquez scored a game-high 13. Premier Diamond BoutiqueHong Kong’s first lab-grown diamond empirePremier Diamond Boutique|SponsoredSponsoredUndoInstant Voice TranslatorInstant Voice Translator (43 Languages) Takes Hong Kong By StormInstant Voice Translator|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoStanChart by CNBC CatalystBlockchain Is Changing the Game for Trade Financing. Here’s How It’s Driving Future Global Trade.StanChart by CNBC Catalyst|SponsoredSponsoredUndoDating.comThe Most Handsome Guys In Hong Kong On This Dating SiteDating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoStrategyCombatIf you own a Computer, then you have to play this Game. No Install.StrategyCombat|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Russell Hedgesrhedges@bossierpress.comlast_img read more

College basketball: BPCC’s Eric Parrish named NJCAA Division I men’s Player of the Week

first_imgCharlie CavellBPCC Athletic CoordinatorFor the second time this week, Bossier Parish Community College’s Eric Parrish has been honored for his outstanding play on the basketball court. Wednesday, the National Junior College Athletic Association named Parrish as its Division I men’s basketball Player of the Week for the week of Nov. 26 through Dec. 3.In the three games during the week, Parrish averaged 27.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game. He registered two triple-doubles during the week, including scoring 35 points, pulling down 12 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists against Cy-Fair Learning Center. Parrish was the first Cavalier to have a triple-double since Jerry Perry accomplished the feat in 2016. He scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and doled out 10 assists on the road in the Region XIV opener for the Cavaliers versus Lamar State College – Port Arthur. Parrish, who has signed with the University of Nevada, has helped Bossier Parish get off to a 7-0 start, which is the best record for a Cavaliers team since before the 2001-02 season. BPCC plays Lee College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Coach Billy Montgomery Gym.Parrish and Louisiana-Lafayette forward Jakeenan Gant were named the college basketball co-players of the month for November by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Parrish, averaged 22.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game.Premier Diamond BoutiqueHong Kong’s first lab-grown diamond empirePremier Diamond Boutique|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAspireAbove.comRemember Abby from NCIS? Take A Deep Breath Before You See How She Looks NowAspireAbove.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoCelebsland.com9 Celebrity Before-And-After Plastic Surgery DisastersCelebsland.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

Bacchus defends ECB, GCB on Beaton’s bowling ban

first_img… says Beaton never listens to the ECB or GCBDESPITE not having a system designed to detect possible deficiencies in bowlers, not only in Guyana but also in the entire region, acting president of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and president of the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), Fizul Bacchus, is of the opinion that Guyanese fast bowler Ronsford Beaton should accept full responsibility for his bowling action.Jimmy AdamsBeaton, the 25-year-old, was suspended from bowling in international cricket by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday after he failed an independent assessment over his bowling action.The fast bowler had been reported with a suspect bowling action during the second ODI against New Zealand in Christchurch on December 24.“It’s simple. Beaton never listened to the Essequibo Cricket Board or the Guyana Cricket Board. You can’t talk to Beaton. He never listens to anyone. He’s just not a disciplined player,” Bacchus said.Bacchus comments came even after the local cricket board and by extension Cricket West Indies (CWI), failure over the years to implement a structure where players’ technical and tactical skills are closely monitored.“While I am totally sorry for him (Beaton), I will not blame anyone but Beaton himself,” Bacchus pointed out.Beaton will join CWI’s ongoing fast-bowling camp in Antigua as part of his remedial programme, following which he will undergo reassessment.Director of CWI, Jimmy Adams says the Board is fully committed to working with Beaton during this period of remedial work which will hopefully accelerate his successful re-admission to the professional game.Fizul BacchusMeanwhile, Beaton may play domestic cricket in West Indies subject to Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) consent. However, the suspension will be enforced by all cricket boards for domestic events under them.He, however, may still be able to play in the upcoming Caribbean Premier League starting in August, where he was a 10th round pick for reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders at the recent draft.However, CWI will have to approve his participation.The Essequibian made his first-class debut in March 2011 but first caught eye during the 2012 Under-19 World Cup for his ability to bowl at a brisk pace. He has played two ODIs for West Indies, both in New Zealand in December 2017.last_img read more

Live: Auburn 89 Xavier 88 – Final

first_imgAUBURN — It’s the biggest test, literally and figuratively, for Auburn this season as Xavier comes to the Plains for the toughest non-conference game to date. Final in Double Overtime: Auburn 89 Xavier 88 — Malcolm Canada hits two free throws with 14 seconds left— Jaylen Reynolds with a bucket.— Reed makes 1/2 FTs— Stainbrook draws a foul on Reed and makes 1 of 2 FTs. XU 24/27 from teh line today— Harrell opens the frame with a pullback jumper Overtime: Auburn 83 Xavier 83 — KCRM misses layup for the win.— Malcolm Canada with the go-ahead layup. XU ties at FT line.— XU with 2 FTs— Harrell with a three-pint play with 1:22 to go.— Canada with 2 FTs— Harrell hits a 3 to make it 77-76. XU with a pair of FTs. End of regulation: Auburn 73 Xavier 73 — Bowers makes it 73-71, XU ties it at the FT line. Auburn nearly loses it on final in-bound play, turning it over. Long 3 is way off and we’re headed to OT.— Xavier 3 ties it at 71— Ross-Miller hits a jumper to make it 68-65. KCRM then draws a charge. Auburn ball under a minutes to go. Tigers with 2 timeouts left, 7 team fouls. Musketeers with 1 TO, 10 team fouls.— Harrell buries a 3. Auburn regains the lead for the first time since 9-8 at 13:22 of the first half. Bowers with 4 fouls— Harrell makes a layup to cut it to 64-63— Bowers hits a jumper and can’t convert three-point play— Antoine Mason misses a would-be game-tying layup. Xavier responds with a 3— Auburn 53 Xavier 58 7:59: Auburn on a 10-2 run, also 15-6. Cinmeon Bowers with a two-handed slam that brings the bulding to its feet with 8:18 to go.— Auburn clawing to within 7, crowd ready to erupt if it gets any closer. TIgers can’t capitalize and get it to within two scores.— Auburn 45 Xavier 56 11:39: Malcolm Canada with a great sequence of 3 rebounds and 2 buckets that draw fouls, converting on the second. Xavier responds each time though.— Auburn 35 Xavier 47 15:39: Teams trading buckets. Harrell and Mason bout at 9 points. Both teams 4/5 from the field in the half. Halftime: Auburn 25 Xavier 38 FG: AU 10/25 XU 13/333FG: AU 1/10, XU 5/13FT: AU 4/7 XU 7/7REB: 20-15 XUBench: 14-4 XU— Auburn 25 Xavier 38: Xavier closes half on 21-8 run. Bluiett and Reynolds each with 7 in that span.— Auburn 21 Xavier 29 3:20: Xavier is 5 of its last 6. Bowers with 3 fouls.— Auburn 17 Xavier 24 5:27: Pearl calls another TO. XU on a 7-0 run.— Auburn 14 Xavier 17 7:51: Auburn 5/8 from 2, 1/7 from 3 & missed first 6 tries. Tigers not attempting to get to the rim at all vs. Xavier’s bigs.— Auburn 11 Xavier 11 11:28: Five players have scored. Auburn 5/10 FG, 0/3 from 3. Xavier 4/13 FG, 3/5 from 3.— Auburn 6 Xavier 3 15:50: Cinmeon Bowers with 4 pts & 2 rebs but got his second foul at 16:15. Xavier currently on a 2:53 scoring drought and just 1/7 FG.— Auburn starters: Shamsid-Deen, Mason, Harrell, Granger, Bowerslast_img read more

Snow adds to the Christmas season

first_imgTOP PHOTO:  The snowy look at Lynch Hollow near Norris Point.La Follette City HallLAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – WLAF’s Charlotte Underwood and Charlie Hutson were out and about with their cameras on Tuesday and Tuesday night.This photo was snapped at the old La Follette Post Office.You almost can’t see Rosa Barks, the white dog.‘Tis the season.Snow totals around Campbell County range from an inch up to three inches.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 12/11/2019-6AM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

PCUD offers information update

first_imgROCKY TOP, TN (WLAF) – As a provider of essential services to the community, Powell Clinch Utility District (PCUD) is committed to the health and safety of the public during the outbreak of the coronavirus and we are suspending disconnections for nonpayment effective immediately.  This applies to all residential and small commercial accounts.While services will not be disconnected, bills will continue to accrue.  Customers can contact customer service at (865) 426-2822 or (423) 562-2795 with any questions and to learn more about payment options and assistance. In addition, customers in need can also visit our website to learn more about energy assistance programs HERE.Payments are still being accepted at our payment locations, but alternative payment options are encouraged and available which include: mailing a check, paying by phone, or paying online HERE or HERE.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/16/2020-1:40PM)Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

German and English clubs are interested in Uldriķis

first_imgRoberts Uldriķis | Foto: LFFAfter the end of the great season, the Swiss Super League’s interest in the striker of the Latvian national football team Roberts Uldriķis has been shown from the English, German and Polish leagues, the footballer said in a conversation with the newspaper “Latvijas Avīze”.Uldrikis ended the season brilliantly, because after a break of almost ten months, he managed to score four goals in the last five dues. The footballer is currently going to rest in his homeland for ten days in self-isolation, but then he has to return to Switzerland.“At the end of the season there were pleasant feelings… A new coach came for the last two months of the season, the mission was clear – we had to stay in the top league,” Uldriķis remembers the end of the Swiss Super League season. “At first I didn’t play, but I was given the opportunity to show myself and I used it. The team also started to win and managed to score on its own. ”The forward of the Latvian national team under the new coach Paolo Tramecani gained more playing time in the last matches of the season. The specialist certainly does not regret his choice, because it was Uldriķis’ goal against the Geneva “Servette” Zion Club that guaranteed to stay in the Swiss Super League, as well as later brought the team into the semi-finals of the cup.“Both goals in the championship were very important, before that with a goal against” Zurich “sent March Osh’s team” Xamax “league below. The goal against Servette saved us from overtaking, and by the way, Thun lost Vaduz. It can be said that these two goal goals solved the whole bottom of the table, ”the striker describes the tense end of the season.In a conversation with the newspaper, the footballer revealed that during the Covid-19 pandemic he worked hard on physical fitness, which was helped to do by the experienced specialist Ēriks Visockis. The work has paid off, as the interest in football services is from the strongest championships in several countries.“Most of me write to me personally, but I immediately send it to my father, who is my agent. It is he who solves these issues so that I can focus on football myself, ”says Uldriķis about the activity of other teams. Agents write about the Championship in England, Germany and Poland and are interested in the situation. I have another two-year contract with Sion, I am going to return to the club, the first training will be on August 20. ”The striker did not deny that he would like to have a stable playing time next season, so that after one season he could look towards a stronger championship.For the Latvian national forward, the contract with the Sion unit is still valid for two seasons.Uldrikis ended the season with a loss in the semi-finals of the Swiss Cup, where the superiority of the champion Bern’s “Young Boys” was acknowledged with 1: 3.The striker scored his team’s only goal, but also previously emerged in the quarterfinals.“Sion” finished the season in the Swiss Super League in eighth position and only avoided overtime in the last match.last_img read more

Barça refused to let Messi go without money, Leo is furious

first_imgLeo Messi’s desire to leave Barça as a free agent has been cut short by the club’s bosses.According to El Periodico, Messi has requested an urgent meeting with the leadership of the Catalans. The ransom in Messi’s contract is 701m euros. There is no club in the pandemic that can pay that money even for Messi. If a compromise is not reached, Messi will have to stay until the summer of 2021. Then he will leave as a free agent. However, Barça could make a lot of millions if they still decide to sell it now.The biggest interest in Messi is shown by Man City and PSG. The Argentine has already arranged a meeting in Barcelona with the coach of City – Pep Guardiola.last_img read more