Why Jimmie Johnson was disqualified from Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte

Jimmie Johnson was a position away from ending his 101-race winless streak with a second-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Yet that second-place finish quickly turned into a last-place finish in terms of points awarded.

NASCAR announced after the race that Johnson’s No. 48 car failed post-race inspection and was disqualified, meaning his team will get credit for a 40th-place finish. NASCAR Cup Series director Jay Fabien said early Monday that Johnson was disqualified after the rear alignment of his car did not meet post-race requirements.

Cliff Daniels, Johnson’s crew chief, claimed he thinks “something must’ve broken.”

Below is the transcript from Fabien’s media conference in which he explained why Johnson was disqualified:

FABIAN: Yeah, so tonight after the race, post-race inspection, going through the optical scanning station, the 48 car has failed the post-race alignment numbers in the rule book and will be DQ’d.

Q.: Can you be a little bit more specific in terms of what particular area? Obviously there’s a fudge factor for the car movement. More detail on this please, sir.

FABIAN: Yeah, the failure was rear alignment. It’s the same thing that we check at least a handful of cars for post-race after every event. I can’t really give specifics on the numbers. Yes, there is a pre-race number and a post-race number that does give a pretty decent tolerance. It was outside of those post-race numbers.

Q.: This is a speeded-up process with the crazy schedule. The team would still be allowed to potentially appeal by noon tomorrow?

FABIAN: So they do have a standard right to appeal, just like any penalty. I would have to follow up, with the crazy schedule, like you said, with the rule book to see exactly when that deadline is because it’s 2 in the morning Eastern time. I would have to verify when that appeal deadline is.

Q.: Cliff tweeted they think they broke something. Is there any sort of allowance for breaks or damages when deciding on this type of penalty?

FABIAN: The 48 ran strong tonight all night. I hate it for them. They had a good car, performed well. But, yeah, the allowance is built in for parts that move. There’s an allowance for that. But if parts break, you know, the number is the number. There is no real parameter outside of that. There’s parts in the past that have been designed to fail or break. Certainly not suggesting that’s the case here. But that’s what’s gotten us to this hardline of this is a post-race number and there is a fair tolerance from pre-race numbers to post.

Q.: Can you characterize it at all? Was it close or not close?

FABIAN: Yeah, I’m not going to characterize that. It was out of the box. In the OSS, once that box turns red, it’s exactly like a speeding penalty. There is no turning back from that.

Johnson, who had earned 46 points throughout Sunday night’s race, would have moved up to eighth in the Cup Series points standings. He instead earned zero points and sits 15th in points. The technical last-place finish also means Johnson will start Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte, for which there will be no qualifying, in last place.

Brad Keselowski, who took the lead in overtime Sunday night after Chase Elliott pitted during the final caution, won the Coca-Cola 600 by beating Johnson to the checkered flag.

“I feel sorry for Chase,” Johnson said of his Hendrick Motorsports teammate after the race, before the No. 48 car failed post-race tech. “Last week — Wednesday, it was — he had such a great car, and to be leading here and have the caution come out with a couple to go, I feel bad for him.
 
“But I’m very proud of my team, very proud of everybody. Second’s OK, but it’s tough being this close to victory lane. But we’ll get there.”

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Uncle Toni reveals why he 'prefers' Nadal to face Federer rather than Djokovic

Toni Nadal, the uncle and former coach of Rafael Nadal, revealed he prefers his nephew to face Roger Federer rather than Novak Djokovic because they ‘have a way to beat him’.

Uncle Toni can’t say the same for world No. 1 Djokovic. Devising a game plan for the 17-time Grand Slam champion, in his words, is more ‘difficult’.

It shows in the head-to-head records. Nadal trails Djokovic 29-26 but leads Federer 24-16. Djokovic is also up 27-23 on Federer.

‘For us it was always more difficult to play against Djokovic,’ Toni Nadal told Eurosport. ‘Because it’s not about who of them is better.

‘For us, when we play against Federer, we have a way to beat him. In my mind, before going on court, I know what we have to do.

‘When we play against Djokovic, many times we didn’t know exactly what we had to do. This is more difficult, for me. I prefer to play against Federer.’

That said, Toni Nadal still rates Federer as the greatest of all time (GOAT), for the time being, at least.

And he admitted he would support ‘elegant but effective’ Federer if he wasn’t emotionally tied to Nadal.

‘For me, he’s a wonderful player,’ he added.

‘I like to watch Roger Federer a lot. If I wasn’t the uncle nor the coach of Rafael, I would want Federer to win all the matches.

‘But at the end, I like how he plays, because he’s very elegant but he’s very effective too.

‘I know Federer is the best ever with I don’t know who; maybe Rod Laver or maybe Rafael, he’s not too far. But at the moment Federer is the best.’

So what is the secret to beating Federer?

Toni Nadal said: ‘When we play against Federer, we know – at least, that’s what I said to Rafael – we have a way to beat Federer: play two, three, four times with a high ball over his backhand and then you can go forward and take the lead.’

Simple, right?

Toni Nadal and Carlos Moya were speaking to Eurosport as part of its Players’ Cut series which this week features Rafa Nadal. Players’ Cut airs from 6pm each evening this week on Eurosport 1.

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Why have BeIN Sport launched bid to scupper Newcastle takeover?

BeIN Sport have launched a last-minute bid to scupper the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United, but why are a Qatar-based media group crying foul over their £400m rights, and what can the Premier League do to stop it?

  • BeIN Sports has written to the Premier League to protest the Newcastle takeover
  • The North East club are on brink of a £300m takeover by a Saudi-led consortium 
  • The Saudi state have been involved in piracy of the broadcaster’s products  
  • The Qatar-based service is in the middle of three-year deal worth £400million 

BeIN Sports has launched a last-minute bid to derail the Saudi-led takeover of Newcastle United.

The Premier League are understood to be going through the owners and directors test to put their seal of approval on the deal, but it may not be a straightforward case given the protests from one of their largest rights holders.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at why a Qatar-based media group are urging England’s top flight to have a second think over ratifying the deal. 

Newcastle United are on the verge of a £300million takeover by a Saudi-led consortium

Who are beIN Sport?

BeIN Sport are a Qatar-based  media group boasting the largest portfolio of sporting rights in the world, beamed into the homes of millions across 16 countries.

Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi is the broadcaster’s chairman, they are the largest overseas Premeir League rights holders – paying £400m for a three-year deal back in 2018. 

Fronting that coverage are the familiar faces of Richard Keys and Andy Gray, the former Sky Sports duo, while they have access to a host a big names for their coverage – with the likes of former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger regularly appearing. 

Former Sky Sports pair Andy Gray and Richard Keys front the coverage for the broadcaster

So, what have the group done?

The company’s CEO, Yousef Al-Obaidly, has taken it upon himself to write to the Premier League and each of the 20 clubs in it.

It is a plea that the organisation take a stance against the impending takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-led consortium, and do not allow it to go through. 

In a letter address to the league’s chief executive Richard Masters, he wrote: ‘The danger of allowing the acquisition of a controlling or material interest (whether acquired directly or indirectly) in a major Premier League club by what is effectively the Saudi Arabian government cannot be ignored.

‘As a longstanding partner and huge investor in the Premier League, we urge you to consider carefully all the implications of doing so.’

The group’s chief executive has written to Richard Masters at the Premier League 

Why have they done that?

Alerted by just how close a potential takeover is, they’ve been forced to act with urgency in bringing the issue into the public eye. 

It all stems from the state-sponsored piracy of beIN Sports within Saudi Arabia, a campaign that has been onrunning for three years now.

BeoutQ has been broadcasting to homes in the Kingdom by state-sponsored satellite broadcaster Arabsat using the stream of beIN Sport, stealing millions of pounds worth of rights in the process. 

Despite protests of no wrongdoing, several independent studies, including one carried out by a British cyber securities firm, show ‘indisputably’ that commerical theft is being carried out – and through state-backed operations.  

They want a proper investigation this, and they want that carried out through the owners and directors test.  

Yasir Al-Rumayyan is the governor of the Saudi PIF and is set to become the new chairman

So what’s the link between beoutQ and the Newcastle takeover?

Well, little directly. However, given the takeover is being spearheaded by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, there is a clear link to the state. 

The fund is run by crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman, while the governor of the fund – Yasir Al-Rumayyan – is set to replace Mike Ashley as chairman.

BeIN Sport are adamant that Bin Salman must have had knowledge of the commerical theft being undertaken in his country. As head of the PIF, there is a direct link there between those about to hold a controlling stake in a Premier League club, and the company stealing rights from that very same body.   

Why would the Premier League listen to BeIN Sport?

For one, they are their largest rights partner overseas. As stated previously, they are in the middle of a three-year deal worth £400m.

However, it is in the Premier League’s best interest to take a stance here. Nine times they have attempted to bring legal action against beoutQ, only for it to be thrown out at every turn. 

In essence, this may be the only opportunity the league has to serve its own kind of justice to protect its intellectual property.  

BeIN Sport are not the only company to have called for action against the piracy of rights in Saudi Arabia either.

Both the BBC and Sky Sports have also lobbied for action to be taken, writing to the UK government in a bid to hold the Saudi state to account.

The Qatar-based service has already frozen payments to Ligue 1 and the Turkish top flight

What can the Premier League viably do?

The power is with the Premier League, during their directors and owners test, to properly scrutinise the link between the Saudi PIF and beoutQ.

One of the rules in the Premier League handbook deal directly with the notion of dishonest acts that have gone unpunished, but could bring proceedings in a British court of law.

Rule F. 1. 6 states: ‘A Person shall be disqualified from acting as a Director and no Club shall be permitted to have any Person acting as a Director of that Club if in the reasonable opinion of the Board, he has engaged in conduct outside the United Kingdom that would constitute an… if such conduct had taken place in the United Kingdom, whether or not such conduct resulted in a Conviction.




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Michael Clarke explains why Australia were 'scared' to sledge Kohli and India

Michael Clarke believes Australia have ‘sucked up’ to India in recent years and been ‘too scared’ to sledge Virat Kohli’s side due to the Indian Premier League.

At the start of last year, India beat the Baggy Greens 2-1 to clinch their first Test series victory in Australia.

Clarke felt that during the series the hosts became ‘a lot softer’ as a result of the IPL, the most lucrative and successful T20 franchise tournament in the world.

The former Australia captain said on the Big Sports Breakfast radio show: ‘Everybody knows how powerful India are in regards to the financial part of the game, whether that be internationally or domestically in regards to the IPL.

‘So, I feel, Australian cricket, and probably every other team, over a little period went the opposite – actually sucked up to India.

‘They were too scared to sledge Kohli or sledge the Indian players because they had to go and play with them in April.

‘And they wanted… if Kohli is the captain in the IPL, Rohit Sharma is the captain in the IPL, you know, name a list of ten players, they are bidding for these Australian players to get into their IPL team.

‘So the players are like, “well, I’m not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for [Royal Challengers] Bangalore, so I can make, you know, a million US (dollars) for my six weeks”.

‘And I sort of feel that was where Australia went through that little phase of our cricket, became a lot softer or not as hard as what we’re accustomed to seeing.’

Kohli addressed the topic of whether the IPL has made international cricket less confrontational and more respectful recently.

Speaking on Instagram Live, the India captain said: ‘The IPL has done a lot in terms of respecting each other.

‘I would never ever be able to do it [sledging] to [South Africa batsman] AB de Villiers. There is a friendship that lasts much longer than all these things.’

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