CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on a roll, at least by his recent standards, as he returns to Daytona International Speedway this week.
His eighth-place finish Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway moved him just three points outside the top-12 in the Sprint Cup Series standings. With one of his best tracks before him, Earnhardt could make some serious gains Saturday night and find himself in legitimate contention for a berth in the Chase for the championship.
He knew it, too, as he completed the final few laps at New Hampshire.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The LSU Tigers have picked up another transfer, although this one will have to sit out a season because of NCAA rules.
Former Mandeville star Jamie Bruno said Wednesday that he’s headed to LSU after two seasons at Tulane.
The former Class 5A all-stater played first base and designated hitter for the Green Wave last season and batted .229 with four home runs.
The left-handed Bruno is playing for the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League this summer.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced the launch of a website for the new NAIA Eligibility Center.
The new site, www.PlayNAIA.org, is the destination for member institutions, parents, high school guidance counselors and coaches. The site features numerous resources and includes a list of frequently asked questions, scholarship information, details about the eligibility center process, fees and much more.
MOUNTAIN HOME — The Arkansas Elite, a 13-and-under softball team, won the 14-and-under USSSA Open state tournament here over the weekend and qualified to play in the 14-and-under USSSA World Series in Kansas City, according to a news release.
En route to the title, Arkansas Elite beat Arkansas Nemesis 6-5, Intensity 7-0 and Arkansas Crush 10-0. Elite faced Crush again for the championship and won 3-0.
Maybe the Highwaymen can find some energy on the road.
On their home field at the North Complex, the Batesville Atlas Asphalt Highwaymen didn’t show much while getting run over by Paragould 7up in the first game of a Zone 2 American Legion baseball doubleheader.
The final score was 11-3, and it really wasn’t that close.
Due to some afternoon thunderstorms, the Highwaymen, Batesville’s older AAA Legion squad, had not played since this time last week.
NEWPORT — Ed and Lorie Pinckard led a strong contingent of Batesville golfers and won the Newport Country Club Couples Tournament here over the weekend.
The Pinckards won with rounds of 63 and 62 during the 2-day event. John and Cecilia Vinson finished fourth in the championship flight with a 130. Andy and Mandy Brock shot a 136 and finished seventh.
Matt McDonald and Tonya Grace won the first flight with a 132. Other flight winners were Rex Williams and Shannon Vinson (137) and Eddie and Robin Brock (149).
JONESBORO — Garth Branstetter, a senior-to-be at Batesville High, finished second in the 16-17 age division in the Joe Boone Memorial Tournament at the Jonesboro Country Club here last week.
Branstetter shot a 75-74—149 and finished two strokes behind Wesley Harris of Hot Springs. James Fiscus of Searcy also shot a 149.
Preston Harmon, who will be a junior at Izard County, shot a 155 and finished in a 3-way tie for sixth. Batesville High’s Shayne Vanbenschoten shot a 162.
Playing in the 14-15 age division, Melbourne’s Bradley Lamb shot a 161 and finished seventh.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Nathan Circle of Hardy qualified for the USGA Public Links Championship with a 9-under-par 135 recently at Stonelinks Golf Course in North Little Rock.
Circle (65-70—135) edged Ethan Adamson (68-70) of Fort Smith by three strokes and Seth Sullivant (70-69) of Mountain Home by four. Circle parred the first 12 holes, then recorded three birdies and a bogie to close the first round. The putter got hot in the afternoon with five birdies, one eagle and 12 pars.
SEARCY — At least three Independence County Youth Athletic Association Torpedoes qualified for the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics with their results in a district qualifying swim meet here Saturday.
Nine-year-old Seth Bailey qualified in seven individual events. Louis Sonnier, 12, qualified in four individual events. Julie Terhune, 15, qualified in one event.
Qualifiers are to report to Virginia Beach, Va., on Aug. 2 to register. Competition is scheduled Aug. 3-6.
Below are the Torpedoes’ top-6 scoring finishers:
The Pioneer All-Star Soccer Camp is scheduled to begin July 12 and the preregistration deadline is Friday, according to a news release from Camp Director TJ Stroud.
The annual Batesville High camp is a 3-day, morning camp for girls and boys entering grades 2 through 6. Each session runs from 8-11.
A non-refundable deposit of $25 preregisters a camper. The balance of the $55 camp cost is due on arrival for the camp. The late registration cost is $65.
The 5A-East District football coaches have picked the Batesville Pioneers to win the district championship this fall, according to the 18th annual Hooten’s Arkansas Football magazine.
Cave City, which is moving up in classification this fall, is picked to finish seventh in the Class 4A-2 District, one spot ahead of Southside.
Cedar Ridge is predicted to finish eighth in the 9-team 2A-3 District.
The 423-page magazine retails for $16.99 and is available locally at Hastings, Kroger and Walgreens. It can also be ordered at www.hootens.com.
The Lyon Scots Soccer team continued to fill its 2010 recruiting class with six new signees.
Thomas Guarino, Kyle Talley, Mauricio Bruciaga, Chris Lobb, Zachery Bradley and Jessie Light all made commitments to play for Coach Brett Parker’s Scots.
Parker has also added a pair of transfers. They are Igor Pavlovic and Bill Jeffries, who have made the move from West Texas College.
Pavlovic, a 6-foot-1 defender from Las Vegas, was a 2-year starter at center back for West Texas. In 2009, Pavlovic scored two goals and had three assists for the NJCAA Region V Champions.