subject: tain, Walters has a chancePosted: 4:45am, Jan 28, 2013
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For two-thirds of the Edmonton Indy on Sunday, it looked like it might be Alex Taglianis day. Jameel McClain Jersey . The Lachenaie, Que.-native led for almost two-thirds of the race, but fell behind for good after his second pit stop. Finishing fifth, it was a decent showing for the Canadian on home soil, but Taglianis failure to capture the checkered flag means that it has now been more than five years since a Canadian driver has reached the top of the podium at an Indy race, the last coming when Paul Tracy claimed the 2007 Cleveland Grand Prix. James Hinchcliffe – expected to be Canadas next great racing hope – finished 12th overall. What has happened to Canadas winning tradition in IndyCar racing? That victory came in the final season of the Champ Car World Series, before it merged with the Indy Racing League to form the current IZOD IndyCar Series. The reunification of the two leading circuits has coincided with a long drought for Canadian drivers in a sport that once captivated an entire nation. Starting in the early 1990s a crop of Canadian drivers emerged to take North American open-wheel racing by storm. Scott Goodyear thrust himself into the national spotlight in 1992, finishing a mere 0.043 behind Al Unser Jr. at the Indianapolis 500. The result remains the closest finish in the races 101-year history. Goodyear would win the Marlboro 500 that same year to become the first Canadian Indy driver since Jacques Villeneuve Sr. in 1985 to win an Indy race. From there the floodgates opened. Tracy would win five races in 1993 including the Molson Indy in Toronto, becoming the first Canadian to win on home soil. The next year, Canadians would win five Indy races, including three by Tracy, helping him to third in the year-end drivers standings. That year would also mark the debut of Jacques Villeneuve (the younger), who would win Rookie of the Year honours. Villeneuve would help launch the team that would come to define Canadian racing for the next decade. Forsythe-Pettit Racing - under the sponsorship of Players – would produce a long line of successful Canadian drivers. Despite losing Villeneuve to Team Green, where he would win the Indy drivers title as well as the Indy 500 in 1995, Forsythe found success with the likes of Greg Moore, Patrick Carpentier and Tagliani who would thrive on the circuit from 1996 through 2004. Tracy and the Forsythe drivers became breakout stars in North America while Villeneuve conquered the Formula One circuit with Williams-Renault, winning the 1997 overall Grand Prix points title. The future looked bright, with Forsythes pipeline of successful Canadian drivers winning races at the Indy Lights and Atlantic Championship levels as well. In addition to developing Moore, Carpentier and Tagliani, the teams stable included promising young drivers like David Empringham, Claude Bourbonnais and Lee Bentham. Forsythes biggest breakthrough, however, would come in 2003. After signing with Forsythe from Team Green, Tracy would win the CART drivers championship in 2003 after winning seven races. He along with Carpentier and Tagliani would guide Canada to the Nations Cup that season with a Canadian reaching the podium in 13 of the seasons 18 races. The trio would repeat the feat in 2004, missing the podium just four times in 14 races. However, the bubble would burst soon after. The Vancouver Indy – founded in 1990 – would run for the last time in 2004. The Grand Prix of Montreal would also be cancelled after just five races in 2006. The Toronto Indy, long viewed as the strongest Indy event in Canada, would also be forced to shut down, cancelling the 2008 race after the merger of CART and IRL. It would return in 2009 with fresh sponsorship from Honda. Coupled with a lack of success on the track, the sports prestige in Canada has tumbled in recent years. But is the sport on the rebound? Hinchcliffe has become the nations poster-boy in the sport after winning the 2011 Rookie of the Year Award and has a pair of podium finishes under his belt thus far in 2012. The Series CEO has also hinted at adding another Canadian race for the 2013 season, so there may still be room for further growth for Indy north of the border. So, what do you think? Is Indys star once again on the rise in Canada, or are the series glory days merely a thing of the past? As always, its Your! Call. Lewis Super bowl Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Joe Flacco Womens Jersey . Far from it, fortunately for him. Chacin made an impressive return from an extended absence and the Colorado Rockies backed him with a pair of sharp defensive plays, beating the New York Mets 6-2 Tuesday night. . Tipsarevic set up a match with 2009 champion Gilles Simon, who won the all-French quarterfinal with Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-1. "It was really tough but I expected it. I have played Fernando 5-6 times," said Tipsarevic, who improved to 4-2 against the Spaniard. Dennis Pitta Black Jersey . -- Jerome Verriers power-play goal gave the Drummondville Voltigeurs the insurance they needed in a 3-2 win over the Val-dOr Foreurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Thursday. Justin Tucker Elite Jersey . Or call it a big underdog trying to gain some sort of mental edge on the eve of a big game at the Olympics.(Sports Network) - The Toronto Blue Jays hope rookie Drew Hutchison can help them bounce back against the Minnesota Twins in the third installment of a four-game series tonight in Minneapolis. Hutchison is coming off of his first career loss in which he surrendered four runs and eight hits while striking out six in a start against the LA Angels of Anaheim. The Blue Jays rookie has been limited to a pitch count in the 80s in both of his first two starts. Hutchison will try to erase the sour taste of yesterdays loss in which Kyle Drabek (2-4) gave up three runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. "He didnt have consistent command tonight, especially his first two innings," said Toronto manager John Farrell about Drabek. "I thought we did some good things offensively and gave ourselves every opportunity to win this game. We never roll over and we never pack it in." Torontos Jose Bautista hit two home runs in Fridays loss and third baseman Brett Lawrie singled in three of his four plate appearances. Bautista hit more home runs against the Twins than any other player last season. The Blue Jays won the season series against the Twins, 5-1, last season. They outscored the Twins 44-14. The Twins ended their two-game losing streak on Friday behind Darin Mastroiannis strongg performance in which he drove in three runs. Ed Reed Black Jersey. Ryan Doumit had two RBI while Denard Span and Joe Mauer scored two runs each in the 7-6 victory. "It was unbelievable out there tonight," said Mastroianni, who had his first hit and RBI in the game. "Getting that hit was big and it was even more special that it was an important one that helped us win." Minnesota will look to tie its season high winning streak of two tonight as P.J. Walters makes his debut with the team. Walters was called up from Triple-A on Thursday after going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in six starts for Rochester to take over Francisco Lirianos spot in the rotation. Liriano was recently demoted to the bullpen. The right-handed Walters will be making his first start since Sept. 29, 2010 in which he pitched seven scoreless innings for St. Louis in the Cardinals 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although his future with the team is uncertain, Walters has a chance to make an impression with one of the worst pitching staffs of the early season. "Obviously, I was excited," said Walters of receiving the news from Gene Glynn, the Triple-A manager. "He just kind of told me I was going up and pitching on Saturday, so make the most out of the opportunity." ' ' '

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