Thursday night was not one of the United States’ finest Winter Olympics hours. Nathan Chen, America’s best hope for a men’s figure skating gold, stumbled to 17th place in the short program. Mikaela Shiffrin, battling a compacted Alpine skiing schedule caused by high winds earlier in the week, failed to medal in the women’s slalom, her best event. And decorated X Games veteran Lindsey Jacobellis did not medal in the snowboard cross.
Limited Youth Brandon Carr Jersey American Adam Rippon, fast becoming a fan favorite, had the USA’s best showing, but even that was just seventh place, more than 16 points back of a medal position. America’s youngest men’s competitor, Vincent Zhou, did make a bit of a name for himself by landing the competition’s first quad early in the night. Still, entering the free skate in 12th makes him unlikely to medal as well.
Women’s super-G won’t boast the star power it would normally have either. Shiffrin announced she withdrew from the competition due to the expedited schedule. Heading into Pyeongchang, the 22-year-old had hoped to compete for five gold medals. However, 33-year-old Lindsey Vonn, trying to prove she’s still got it after one of the best Alpine skiing careers in history, will be there looking for redemption after missing the 2014 games in Sochi due to an injury.
It all started with Kevin Hart walking on the stage and demanding an all-star jersey from some dude named Coach.
Conventional wisdom suggests restrictor-plate races are proverbial crapshoots where with good fortune, just about anyone can win if circumstances break their way. The list of unlikely winners certainly supports this thinking with a bevy of drivers whose lone NASCAR Cup Series victories occurred at either at Daytona International Speedway, site of Sunday’s Daytona 500 (3 p.m. ET, FOX), or Talladega Superspeedway.
Limited Youth Jonathan Cooper Jersey Perception doesn’t align Womens William Hayes Jersey with reality, however. While there has been a surprise winner or two over the last five seasons — David Ragan (2013, Talladega) and Aric Almirola (2014, Daytona) more than qualify — a look at drivers who’ve won the previous 20 plate races shows a lot of the same names. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have won 16 of those 20 races, an 80 percent winning clip.