VINTON, Iowa (Dec. 4) – A self-described fan and ‘Late Model guy’ has been named director of the division by IMCA.Joe Hayes will focus on helping tracks strengthen their IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing programs as well as Deery Brothers Summer Series events in the newly-created Late Model division director position.“I’ve always been a Late Model guy. They put on a great show,” said Hayes, who grew up following the exploits of his favorite drivers at Tunis Speedway and was director of marketing at IMCA before working for promoters Al Frieden and Keith Simmons. “When you drop the green flag on 20-24 of them it makes all the hard work you’ve put into the program worth it.”Along with making regular track visits, Hayes will work closely with IMCA Vice President of Operations Jim Stannard in getting new sanctions and in overseeing the continued development of the Late Model division.“What I’ve always enjoyed most about racing is the people involved in it and their passion for the sport. I’ve met so many good people in racing,” Hayes said. “IMCA has that same passion for Late Models. I want to help this division prosper and grow.”He’d been an integral part of the IMCA staff that saw the numbers of sanctions and member drivers explode in the mid-1990s. Hayes met Frieden during his IMCA travels and soon found himself enjoying his favorite sport in a new capacity.“My time with Al was pretty unique. He was a hell of a person and a hell of a promoter. There was no job that was beneath him,” Hayes said. “I helped him promote 75 to 80 shows a year, opening with the Busch All-Star race at Davenport in the spring and ending with the West Liberty 100 in the fall.”Hayes, the branch manager at Bearing Distributors Inc. in Cedar Rapids, also worked at Farley Speedway and Dubuque Speedway the last year and a half. He and his wife Dawn have two sons, Chase and Brody, both students at Kirkwood Community College.Randy Anderson will continue his role as IMCA’s Late Model competition director, overseeing enforcement of the rules and tech inspection.“The timing is perfect for Joe to rejoin our staff. We’d been in communication during his involvement with two of our sanctioned tracks and he will be a very good fit at IMCA, especially in this capacity,” said IMCA President Brett Root. “Joe will do a great job and I hope our Late Model promoters and drivers recognize our commitment to the Late Model division and its growth.”
Press Association Chelsea tackle Premier League leaders Manchester United in their FA Cup quarter-final replay on Monday as part of a hectic fixture schedule in which they also will hope to progress in the Europa League. Wenger feels having so many key games in quick succession could work either way – but will not get overly concerned with how anyone else is set to perform. “It can be very positive if you are on a good run, and very negative if you are in bad form,” he said. “But let’s just take care of the way we play, take care of our spirit and give it our all.” Ivory Coast forward Gervinho certainly did that against the Royals, firing the home side into an early lead in what was one of his best recent displays. The 25-year-old has polarised opinion among Gunners fans since his £11million move from Lille in July 2011, with a string of inconsistent displays. Wenger feels all of his current squad have what it takes to help the club move forwards, although he will look to strengthen the group in the summer. “Gervinho did not play for his future [against Reading], he was just playing for his club, that is what every player does,” said Wenger. “We are a group of players who want to go for it, and to go for it together. Sometimes Gervinho plays, sometimes [Theo] Walcott, sometimes [Lukas] Podolski, but we can only do it if we all have the same target and do it together.” The Gunners chalked up a sixth win in the last eight Barclays Premier League games when they saw off relegation battlers Reading 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium in what was Nigel Adkins’ first match in charge of the visitors. With Chelsea losing at Southampton, the Gunners are now just two points behind the Blues, and four off third-placed Tottenham – on whom they hold a game in hand, and Wenger said: “We have the experience, we have done it before and is what we want to do again. I am sure we will, but it demands a lot of dedication and nerves until the end.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his side to hold their nerve as they look to chase down Chelsea and Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.
Syracuse rose to the No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press Top 25 and ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll on Monday, marking the first time SU has ascended to the top spot since the final week of the 2009-10 regular season.Following losses by Kentucky and Ohio State — the top two teams in last week’s polls — this past weekend, SU jumped two spots in each poll from the No. 3 ranking. Syracuse (10-0) received 51 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll and 28 of 30 first-place votes in the coaches’ poll.The Orange defeated George Washington 85-50 on Saturday, while the Wildcats fell to Indiana and the Buckeyes lost to Kansas.Following SU’s win over GW, Syracuse guard Scoop Jardine said he saw Ohio State lost earlier in the day and watched a little of the Kentucky game. But even with the speculation SU would assume the top spot, he didn’t get too hyped over the notoriety.‘For us, it don’t matter,’ Jardine said after the game. ‘No. 3, No. 2, No. 1, it’s still the same.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOhio State ranked second behind SU in both polls, garnering seven first-place votes in the AP Top 25 and two first-place votes in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches’ poll. In the AP, Kentucky, Louisville and North Carolina round out the top 5. Kentucky, Louisville and Duke complete the top 5 for the ESPN/USA Today poll.The Orange’s next game is Saturday at North Carolina State (6-3), and it’s SU’s first true road game of the season.The last time Syracuse held the No. 1 ranking, it lost in its first week as the top team, falling at Louisville. Orange junior guard Brandon Triche stressed SU will be able to remain focused and ‘humbled,’ even as the No. 1 team, because of the constant competition for playing time.‘We just got to treat it like we’re the underdog,’ Triche said after the GW game. ‘We have to get better, and I think this year more than anything we have a lot of guys who are humbled. It’s so much competition even just being on the bench, everybody wants to play, so it’s not going to be a letdown for us.’firstname.lastname@example.org Published on December 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: email@example.com | @mark_cooperjr Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments