LOUDON, N.H. (AP) - Joe Gibbs didn’t hear Denny Hamlin predict a victory in the NASCAR race in New Hampshire. And it’s a good thing, too.
When the former Washington Redskins coach was in the NFL, he didn’t like it when his players were overconfident _ especially in public. Gibbs told a story Sunday about loquacious defensive lineman Dexter Manley, who would sometimes give media interviews outside the window of Gibbs’ office.
“You knew Dexter was going to say something like, `We are going to kill `em’ or something,” Gibbs said Sunday after earning his 100th victory in the Sprint Cup series. “And I would be going like this: `Don’t you dare.’ I’m glad I didn’t hear about that until later on, because normally that one for me doesn’t work out.”
Gibbs, who won three Super Bowls and 154 games with the Redskins, is the sixth team owner to reach the 100-win milestone in NASCAR’s top series. The occasion was important enough that Hamlin attended the post-race news conference wearing a special hat to commemorate it, instead of the usual sponsor’s attire.
Gibbs’s success in two sports is rare, especially in ones that are so different. An NFL coach controls almost everything, even what a 250-pound lineman like Manley says to reporters.
“The difference over here, the drivers tell me what to do. As an owner, I’m along for the ride,” Gibbs said. “Dexter could threaten me a little easier than what Denny can.”
FENWAY, NO WAY: It was a tough weekend for Fenway Sports Group, a part-owner of Roush Fenway Racing and the owners of the Boston Red Sox and England’s Liverpool soccer team.
RFR drivers Matt Kenseth (14th), Greg Biffle (18th) and Carl Edwards (19th) all struggled on Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Biffle is now ninth in the Chase to the Sprint Cup standings, 33 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson, and Kenseth remained in 11th, 35 behind.
“Everybody wants to be leading, but … we got everything we could out of our car,” Kenseth said. “It wasn’t much better than that.”
Biffle climbed into the top 10 on the track but struggled with the grip.
“We were doing well in the middle part of the race and I thought, `Man, we’ve got something. We’re going,’” he said. “We got up to 10th and then went straight backwards. I don’t know what happened.”
Elsewhere, it was the same for the sports conglomerate.
Liverpool lost 2-1 to Manchester United on a controversial penalty kick. The Red Sox, who are playing the worst seasons in the current ownership’s tenure, beat Baltimore 2-1 on Sunday but dropped two of three to the Orioles.
BORN TO BE WILD: A baby born in the parking lot of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway last week was given a gift basket Sunday along with tickets for life to every NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the track.
Katie Ann Hebert, 9 days old, had a news conference in the track media center before Sunday’s race. Her mother, Shawna Arnold, said she was in labor and on her way to Concord General Hospital on Sept. 14 when her water broke in front of the race track. The baby’s father, Erik Hebert, pulled off the road into the track’s parking lot, which already had ambulances standing by in preparation for the race.
NHMS general manager Jerry Gappens said he believes “there are angels among us.”
“That was certainly the case last Friday when they gave birth a little miracle baby in our parking lot,” he said. “This was as good a place for it to happen because we had the people in place to help.”
It’s the third daughter for Arnold, 27, but the first outside of a hospital. Swaddled in pink, the baby was mostly quiet as her mother held her during their news conference on Sunday morning, a few hours before the race.
The family received a gift basket that included a pillow pet featuring the track mascot, Milo.
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