Escalon tops reign­ing TVL champ Ripon

Ripon Bulletin - - Sports - Bul­letin staff re­ports

ESCALON — Reign­ing cham­pion Ripon was up­ended by ri­val Escalon in its Trans-Val­ley League opener Thurs­day, 17-25, 20-25, 25-22, 19-25.

Makayla Buie amassed seven kills and 21 digs to lead the In­di­ans (0-1, 2-7 over­all). Alyssa Bar­rios ac­counted for five of Ripon’s eight blocks and added five kills. Mia Van Lewen chipped in seven kills, three digs and two aces.

Deven Stokes paced the back row with 30 digs. Set­ters Rachel Sausedo and Shan­non John­son

denced by Watkins Glen,” he said philo­soph­i­cally. “Hope­fully that turns into a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me and not just an er­ror.”

Many pun­dits feel Dixon now has the ad­van­tage head­ing to Sonoma.

In his 16th year of IndyCar rac­ing, the 37-year-old New Zealand na­tive sits third in all-time vic­to­ries with 40 and has cap­tured four (2003, 2008, 2013 and 2015) cham­pi­onships. In 12 races at the 12-turn, 2.385-mile Sonoma road course, he has amassed three vic­to­ries and six top­five fin­ishes.

“I wouldn’t say that it makes me feel any more re­laxed or any more con­fi­dent,” Dixon said re­cently. “There’s still a lot on the line, and it takes a lot to beat the com­pe­ti­tion that we have in the Ver­i­zon IndyCar Se­ries. It’s good to be in the hunt and have a tight gap, but we’re still go­ing to have to do our best to beat four of the clos­est com­peti­tors right there.”

While New­gar­den and Dixon are the odds-on fa­vorites, He­lio Cas­tron­eves is def­i­nitely the sen­ti­men­tal fa­vorite.

The pop­u­lar 40-year-old Brazil­ian has won the Indy 500 three times and has been the se­ries run­ner-up in four sea­sons, but amaz­ingly he has never won the cham­pi­onship. He also won “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007 and proudly dis­plays the mir­ror ball from the com­pe­ti­tion in his home along with his rac­ing tro­phies.

It may also be his fi­nal crack at the ti­tle with ru­mors swirling that Roger Penske wants to shift Cas­tron­eves to the team’s sports car pro­gram (with Mon­toya) and bring in a younger driver to his IndyCar ride.

For now, Cas­tron­eves is un­con­cerned about his fu­ture and think­ing only about the cham­pi­onship within his grasp.

“We’ve just got to keep bring­ing what we’ve been do­ing the whole sea­son,” Cas­tron­eves said. “We’re not here at this po­si­tion by luck. We’re here be­cause we per­form as a team, in a con­sis­tent way, in a com­pet­i­tive way most of the time, and that’s what we’re go­ing to have to con­tinue do­ing.”

Prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and sup­port di­vi­sions will take place on Fri­day and Satur­day while Sun­day’s race will be­gin at 3:30 pm with TV cov­er­age live on NBCSN. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.sono­marace­way.com.

Scott Speed Tan­ner Foust led the Volk­swa­gen An­dretti Ral­ly­cross Volk­swa­gen Bee­tles to a clean sweep of last weekend’s Red Bull Global Ral­ly­cross dou­ble­header at Ev­er­green Speed­way in Seat­tle.

Al­though he didn’t stand at the top of the podium, it was also a win for Foust’s team­mate Scott Speed. By fin­ish­ing sec­ond in both races, the Man­teca na­tive now holds a com­mand­ing 30-point edge over Foust in his quest for his third straight cham­pi­onship as the se­ries heads to the sea­son fi­nale in Los An­ge­les on Satur­day, Oct. 14.

“We came out of here with loads of points and plenty of gap for the last race of the year,” said Speed with his eyes on the prize. “The cars are clean, they’re not bro­ken, and it’s ex­actly what we wanted to come out of here and do. We just need to keep the wheels on it for a cou­ple of heat races.”

99 Speed­way The 99 Speed­way will con­clude its reg­u­lar sea­son with Cham­pi­onship Night this Satur­day, Septem­ber 16th in which will de­ter­mine the 2017 sea­son ti­tle win­ners. Lodi’s Ar­ron Shankel holds a nar­row lead over four other driv­ers in the Stock­ton Late Mod­els while Stock­ton’s Ben Lewis II leads the Bomber Di­vi­sion and Stock­ton’s An­drew Rum­sey heads the B-4s stand­ings.

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