Other Sports

NASCAR weekend recap: Kevin Harvick wins first race of 2019 in New Hampshire

kevin-harvick-nhms-nbcsw.png
Getty Images

NASCAR weekend recap: Kevin Harvick wins first race of 2019 in New Hampshire

Another weekend, another mail-biting finish? Count me in.

Kevin Harvick got off the snide and visited Victory Lane for the first time this season, Denny Hamlin was left second guessing and there were plenty of bubble drivers that encountered issues, some more detrimental than others, this past weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301.

Here's what went down this weekend in the racing world.

Harvick Holds On

It took 20 races, but Happy Harvick was finally back smiling in Victory Lane.

It was much in part thanks to a call by crew chief Rodney Childers to stay out for the final restart with under 25 laps to go on old tires. While most of the field pitted for either two or four, Harvick admitted he felt like a sitting duck on the restart.

But once he cleared Erik Jones and got out to a half-second lead over Denny Hamlin, he was feeling confident. That was until lapped traffic came into the picture.

From there, Hamlin bumped Harvick in Turn 1, but driver No. 4 wasn't going to led this year's Daytona 500 winner get another shot. He used Hamlin up off Turn 4 to the checkered flag and earned Stewart-Haas Racing's first victory of the season.

Denny's Woulda Coulda Shoulda

Denny Hamlin was second-guessing himself post-race, calling himself "stupid" after replaying what he should have done in his head.

"Well, I kind of shoved him up a little higher and tried to get him out of the groove," he said. "I wanted to just tap him there, but I didn't want to completely screw him.  I at least wanted to give him a fair shot there.  Down the backstretch, I kind of let off, and I'm like, 'all right, well, I'll just pass him on the outside and kind of do this thing the right way,' and once I had that big run, he just turned right. But I would do the same thing. It was a fun race, and congratulations to him and his team. They made a great call there at the end."

If Hamlin were to have moved Harvick more aggressively, those five playoff points would be added to his already impressive double-digit total. But Hamlin is scared of lonsters--literally--so maybe second was for the best.

Bubble Trouble

It must've been the New England heat, because a number of drivers on the playoff bubble encountered trouble on Sunday. Some escaped unscathed, but some took a beating.

Kyle Larson brought out two cautions for spins in Turns 1 and 2 and wound up finishing 33rd. However, he holds a 31 point advantage above the cutoff. Barring a disaster in the next six weeks, Larson should be safely in the playoffs.

Erik Jones leaves NHMS 14th in the standings, 28 points to the good. His third-place finish kind of came out of nowhere, but nonetheless was much needed for driver No. 20. 

Ryan Newman's roller coaster day wound up ending on a high, finishing seventh. He called it "the most fun (he's) had in a race car all year" following an afternoon marred by a broken coil wire that saw him fall as far back as 15th coupled with starting in the rear with a back-up car.. Once his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team diagnosed and subsequently fixed the problem, he started passing cars with relative ease, something that nobody else was able to do.

Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez both had seperate issues, sustaining minor damage. Bowyer holds the final transfer spot (+16 over Jimmie Johnson), while Suarez is 17 markers behind in 18th-place.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in win or go home mode following his 36th-place finish. Afrer contact from Jones which ultimately cut a tire, he slammed the wall and vowed for revenge on the No. 20.

2019 NASCAR CUP SERIES STANDINGS

This upcoming weekend, NASCAR travels to The Tricky Triangle for the second time this season at Pocono Raceway. The Gander Outdoors 400 is scheduled to go green on Sunday afternoon (July 28) at 3 p.m. EST on NBCSN.

In the Loop: Peyton Manning crashes an online class, the Tebows get three new puppies

In the Loop: Peyton Manning crashes an online class, the Tebows get three new puppies

First up, most college classes have been converted to online group lectures and this University of Tennessee communications class had an extra student jump on their call. Proud Volunteer alum Peyton Manning shared some words of encouragement! The students were stunned and one girl even threw her professor under the bus for not warning them to put on makeup and look more presentable for this class.  

Next up, Tim Tebow and his wife Demi welcome not just one, not two, but three puppies to their family. Meet the Tebow Pack! I would love to be a fly on the wall in that household with all those puppies.  

View this post on Instagram

Happy family. Meet @thetebowpack

A post shared by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on

View this post on Instagram

...But Paris needed a brother. Meet Kobe!

A post shared by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on

 

Finally, the sports world fell in love with the Still family years ago when former NFL defensive end Devon Still shared the story of his precious daughter, Leah, battling cancer. Leah is now five years cancer-free and celebrated with a steakhouse dinner at home. That spread looks delicious and she deserves every bit of that. Leah is an inspiration and the true definition of strength! 

What happened in Netflix's Tiger King, Episode One

What happened in Netflix's Tiger King, Episode One

Netflix's seven-episode documentary, Tiger King, follows the life of a man who calls himself Joe Exotic. Not only does he own over 200 big cats on his private zoo in Oklahoma, but he is also accused of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot. The series has animal rights activists, a true-crime plot and some wild characters (pun intended). Lucky for you, we are recapping each episode.  

Episode 1: Not Your Average Joe

"Monkey people are a little different... big cat people are backstabbing pieces of [expletive]." 

We are introduced to Joe Screibvogel aka Joe Exotic via a phone call from The Grady County Jail. Accused of involvement in a murder-for-hire plot against a well-known animal rights activist, he is being threatened with the 79-year sentence. 

No story ever starts with a man in jail. This story spans years and years of feuding, way before Netflix decided to ask, "what is going on with people keeping big cats in this country?" back in 2014.

A man with a mullet, eyebrow ring and a baby tiger in hand appears on the screen. This is Joe Exotic. 

He began building Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (G.W. Zoo)  in 1999 and is now home to almost 200 big cats and other exotic animals. His staff, described as a family of misfits, is introduced to us one by one. 

There is Erik, John aka "Rink", and Kelci aka "Saff". Each member of this "family" seems to have two things in common: They came to G.W. Zoo in need of a place to belong and unwavering love for these cats. 

Note: It is illegal to keep big cats and other exotic animals as pets in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. So, don't get any ideas. 

The love Joe Exotic has for these cats is very apparent. He believes that people will protect what directly affects them. So, if you hold a baby tiger and look it in the eyes, how could you not feel the need to save the rainforest? 

He hosts a live stream each night on Joe Exotic TV to talk about two things, his love for his cats and his hatred for Carole Baskin. 

Baskin, a flower-crown wearing animal rights activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida, has a mission to save animals that are bred to be kept in cages, like the ones at the G.W. Zoo. 

Their feud began in 2006, we learn. Joe Exotic was traveling around to shopping malls showing off his animals. Carole would email (and encourage others) to reach out to the owners of the malls to refuse his traveling show. The malls would become overwhelmed with emails that Joe and is show would get banned. And thus, the cycle continued. 

This feud, however, involved more than just the two of them. PETA was on Carol's side and a man named Doc Antle, a fellow private zoo owner was on Joe's.

Doc Antle owns and operates a private exotic zoo in Myrtle Beach, SC. His animals have been featured in movies such as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dr. Doolittle, and The Jungle Book. 

Like Joe, he too just loves his cats and wants to keep his zoo out of the hands of people like Carole. And it seems, Joe will do it by any means necessary. 

"This is my little town," he says of the zoo. "I'm the mayor, the prosecutor, the cop and the executioner."

Joe and Doc seem to believe that Carole is worse than them. She is profiting off of her cats while "brainwashing" others to believe that they are hurting their cats. 

"People who really love animals are rarely ruthless," Doc explained that is exactly what Carole is, ruthless. 

Note: I don't want to give anything away... but in future episodes, we really get a definition of the word ruthless. 

Episode one ends with a flash-forward to the phone call from Grady County Jail. "Before this is over... I will shut everybody down," Joe Exotic warns. Even after one episode, it's clear that Joe Exotic is not messing around.