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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tyler Reddick will start from the pole in the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Kansas Speedway.

Reddick leaned on his extensive background driving dirt late models to ride the rim around the mile-and-a-half track on Saturday. He stopped the clock in 29.899 seconds, denying Joey Logano a second straight pole.

“It took off fast. I was really happy with the car,” Reddick said. “It definitely likes the top two or three grooves of this race track, but just really happy with the entire performance of our team today.”

It’s the first time that Reddick, who is fifth in the playoff standings, has earned the pole on an oval.

“I’m really excited about that,” he said, “and it’s crazy — I think my first Xfinity pole came here, too.”

The drivers who made the final round had to contend with changing conditions – the first few qualifying laps were made under cloud cover, while the sun began peeking out for Austin Cindric and remained out the rest of the session.

They also had to decide whether to ride the far outside groove or a line that was slightly lower on the track.

Christopher Bell, who opted for the rim, was the fastest in the first group of five with a lap of 30.057 seconds. And he was pleased with the time for Joe Gibbs Racing, telling his team over the radio, “That’s all I got, buddy.”

It was enough to start alongside Alex Bowman on the outside of the second row.

Bowman took a slightly lower line around the track and posted a time of 29.964 seconds before Logano overtook him down the back stretch and carried enough speed through Turn 3 and Turn 4 to set a new best time of 29.936.

“I thought we had a pretty good lap,” Logano said. “Our car was tighter than it was the first run. It was so good the first run that we didn’t want to adjust too much. We picked up a lot from practice and laid down a pretty good lap.”

Just not quite as good as Reddick, who landed the No. 8 of Richard Childress Racing up front.

“This place continues to change. It’s the kind of track you can move around a lot,” he said. “Just the amount of on-throttle time you have is a big adjustment and, thankfully, we got it pretty good and got to the last round.”

The top five starting spots belong to playoff drivers with Ross Chastain rounding it out. Bubba Wallace qualified sixth, ahead of three more playoff drivers in Kyle Larson, Cindric and William Byron. Chris Buescher will start 10th.

The rest of the playoff field has some ground to make up.

Austin Dillon will start 11th with Chase Briscoe in 13th, Kevin Harvick behind him, and Daniel Suárez in 15th. Ryan Blaney qualified 17th with Kyle Busch in 20th, Chase Elliott in 22nd and Denny Hamlin 25th.

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Georgia’s Bennett arrested for public intoxication

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Georgia's Bennett arrested for public intoxication

Former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who led the Bulldogs to their second straight CFP National Championship earlier this month, was arrested on a misdemeanor public intoxication charge in Dallas on Sunday morning.

In a statement to ESPN, a Dallas Police Department spokesperson said officers responded to a report of a man banging on doors in the 1600 block of Tribeca Way at 7:10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

“The preliminary investigation found when officers arrived, they located the man, Stetson Bennett, 25, and determined he was intoxicated,” the police statement read. “Bennett was taken into custody, transported to the City Detention Center and charged with public intoxication.”

Bennett left the detention center Sunday morning, but he could not be reached for comment.

Bennett, who started his college career as a walk-on, was a Heisman Trophy finalist this past season, after leading the Bulldogs to a 15-0 record and SEC championship. He passed for 4,127 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while rushing for another 10 scores.

Bennett was named the offensive MVP in both of Georgia’s victories in the CFP, a 42-41 comeback win against Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and a 65-7 rout of TCU in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T.

Bennett, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, is considered a potential selection in April’s NFL draft. He recently won the Manning Award, which is given to the top quarterback in the FBS by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

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Sources: Ex-Buffs QB Shrout picks Arkansas St.

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Sources: Ex-Buffs QB Shrout picks Arkansas St.

Former Tennessee and Colorado quarterback J.T. Shrout is transferring to Arkansas State, sources told ESPN.

Shrout visited Arkansas State over the weekend and his commitment looms as a significant win for Butch Jones, who is entering his third season as Arkansas State’s head coach.

Shrout will graduate from Colorado this spring and plans to enroll at Arkansas State in May, according to sources. He has one year of eligibility remaining and potentially a second if he gets a medical redshirt after missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL.

Shrout most recently played at Colorado in 2022, where he threw for 1,220 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions and delivered the game-winning touchdown pass against Cal in overtime in Colorado’s lone victory of the season. He started seven games at Colorado and had one start during his three seasons at Tennessee (2018-2020).

Shrout is one of three Buffaloes quarterbacks who have entered the NCAA transfer portal since the school hired Deion Sanders as head coach. Sanders has made it clear that his son, Shedeur, will be the starter next season. He introduced him at his opening news conference by saying, “This is your quarterback.”

According to sources, Shrout was attracted to the potential opportunity at Arkansas State, including playing in offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf’s West Coast-style offense. Shrout also had some teammates at Tennessee who played for Jones, and sources said the former teammates endorsed Jones both as a person and a coach.

Arkansas State (3-9) ranked No. 118 in total offense last season and No. 85 in scoring offense. The Red Wolves open the 2023 season at Oklahoma on Sept. 2.

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Sources: Harbaugh, Broncos meet but no deal

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Sources: Harbaugh, Broncos meet but no deal

Broncos owner Greg Penner and University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh met last week in Ann Arbor to discuss Denver’s head-coaching position without any deal materializing, league sources told ESPN.

Although Harbaugh two weeks ago announced he was staying at Michigan, Penner did his due diligence and still traveled to Ann Arbor to meet with the coach in person, like he’s done with seven other candidates during the Broncos’ head-coaching search.

The follow-up conversations were part of the process for both Denver — led by Penner with general manager George Paton — and Harbaugh. The face-to-face meeting came after Harbaugh’s initial video interview with Denver, after which he pulled his name out of contention and reaffirmed his commitment to Michigan.

“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, president Santa Ono and especially the players and their families,” Harbaugh said in his statement Jan. 16. “My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”

The Broncos moved on as well, continuing their discussions with several other candidates. Denver has interviewed former Saints coach Sean Payton, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, former Stanford coach David Shaw, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and their own defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero.

Harbaugh now has met with the Vikings and Broncos in back-to-back years. While one source wondered how many more chances Harbaugh would get, another league source said “The league is likely to be interested in Jim as long as he is successfully coaching. He’s proven at every level including the NFL. That’s a hard resume to match.”

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