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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ran As Hard As He Could In Final Race At Talladega Superspeedway

By: Sarah Sedwick/TheFourthTurn.com

TALLADEGA, Ala. – After what he called a lucky day, Dale Earnhardt Jr. managed to avoid several accidents to finish seventh during his last race at Talladega Superspeedway, a track that has been synonymous with the Earnhardt family.

Sunday’s Alabama 500 marked the first time Earnhardt Jr., driver of Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Mountain Dew Chevrolet, started on the pole in 35 starts at Talladega Superspeedway. During qualifying on Saturday, Earnhardt Jr. reached a top speed of 190.544, which held off Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 24 NAPA Chevrolet by .035 seconds.

Earnhardt Jr. has had a thriving record at Talladega Superspeedway throughout his career. In the early 2000s, he won five races, which included two in the 2002 season. Earnhardt Jr.’s total wins then rose to six in 2015, marking Talladega Superspeedway as holding the most wins of his career at a single track. He holds 12 Top-5 finishes and 17 Top-10 finishes at the track. Overall, he has led 967 total laps at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I just wanted to come in here and be considered talented, but to be great at anything was beyond my imagination,” said Earnhardt Jr. “I appreciate people’s compliments on my plate driving and the success we’ve had at all the plate races.”

Throughout Sunday’s race, Earnhardt Jr. led a total of seven laps. Earnhardt Jr. also received two penalties; one for pitting before pit road was open, right after a major wreck on lap 26, and the other for speeding while entering pit road on lap 52.

As if dealing with penalties weren’t enough, Earnhardt Jr. narrowly escaped four accidents, all in Turn 3.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Trump the fifth grader” by Stuart Neiman

“Trump the fifth grader” by Stuart Neiman

“Preachin'” from The Times and Democrat

“Preachin'” from The Times and Democrat

“Free Treasures” from The Times and Democrat

“Free Treasures” from The Times and Democrat

“Senate GOP” from The Times and Democrat

“Senate GOP” from The Times and Democrat

Living on Purpose: Learning to read our heavenly blueprint

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

I recently spent an afternoon with a young man as he was sharing about his search for personal direction. In his attempt to discover what type of life God wants for him, he’s hoping that he will eventually find happiness and contentment. I truly respect anyone (especially a teenager) that is trying to do the right thing and willing to invest the time it takes to search until they find it. I remember a few years ago reading about another young man named Guiseppe, who was also trying to find his place in the world. His parents had come to America from Sicily and his father was from a long line of fisherman (no pun intended). His father was very proud and considered it an honor to carry on this profession and he expected all of his sons to continue just as all the generations before. The problem was that even though he wanted to please his father, the Sea and the smells of dead fish made Guiseppe nauseated. Instead of this type of work, he had a passion to play sports. Sadly, throughout his teenage years, his father was very disappointed and constantly declared Guiseppe was lazy and would grow up to be good-for- nothing. Nevertheless, in spite of the emotional hurt and pain, he continued with his vision and surprisingly ended up more successful than anyone in his family could have ever dreamed. You may have heard of him, his full name was Guiseppe Joe Dimaggio.  Read the rest of this entry »

South Carolina State Fair brings stampede of cattle competitors to Columbia

By Delaney McPherson
THE CAROLINA REPORTER AND NEWS

Hundreds of ranchers from across the state flocked to the fairgrounds to show their cattle, horses and other livestock in competition as the South Carolina State Fair opened Wednesday morning.

Beth Rogers points out which cows are Guernseys and which are Holsteins. Her cows compete under two farm names, Twin Ridge and Double Ridge, depending on which breed they are.

The fair has categories for dairy cattle, junior dairy cattle, beef cattle, junior beef cattle and junior beef showmanship, as well as other competitions featuring animals from horses to rabbits. The cows are judged on their demeanor, body frame and shape, and in the case of dairy cows, their ability to give milk.

Beth Rogers and her husband own Double Ridge and Twins Ridge farms where they raise dairy cows for their twin granddaughters to show. While this year they brought one cow to the fair to sell, the real joy in raising livestock is the opportunity to show the cows.

“The girls wanted to get involved because they loved 4-H, they got involved in the 4-H program and then next thing you know they had rabbits. Next thing you know they wanted a cow so, we just enjoy it,” Rogers said. In addition to the one cow they are selling, the Rogers family brought 10 cows total to the State Fair.

For Tim Tinsley, a man who has spent his life working and traveling with cows, showing them is a family affair. He started raising and showing cows through the Clemson 4-H program, which teaches youths how to raise and care for livestock, and he has passed that experience on to his children.  Read the rest of this entry »

My Brain on NASCAR: The SV Talladega

Cathy Elliott

By Cathy Elliott

On Sunday, October 15, NASCAR Cup Series racing will return to Talladega, and we’re already wondering what will happen this time around.

It’s no secret that Steven Spielberg is a great cinematic tease, a master of the slow build, giving audiences little glimpses and hints of a monster before finally hitting them with the thing all at once.

In the classic thriller Jaws, audiences didn’t get the full effect of the terrifying (well, it was terrifying for the 1970s, anyhow) shark until well into the film, when our unlikely trio of hunters — police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled World War II vet Quint (Robert Shaw) — least expected it.

The mixture of shock, humor and dread that followed encapsulated everything that’s great about the movie, and Scheider played it perfectly, famously ad-libbing the oft-quoted line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” without dropping his cigarette.

Nobody told NASCAR founder and CEO Bill France Sr. that he needed a bigger racetrack, but he was determined to build one anyway. His masterpiece, Daytona International Speedway (DIS), was going like gangbusters and had inspired the construction of several new speedways, effectively pushing traditional dirt tracks aside in favor of bigger, faster and more lucrative venues.

But DIS didn’t quite satisfy Mr. France. He had a “go west, young man” type of vision: to make NASCAR a national sport with a racing schedule that stretched from coast to coast. He wanted a bigger, faster racetrack, and in 1968, ground was officially broken on Talladega Superspeedway, now widely considered NASCAR’s biggest, fastest and most dangerous track.

The project had its issues, of course. The land was located smack in the middle of nowhere, and the two-lane country roads one took to get there were, let’s just say … rustic.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bright lights, sweet confections as the South Carolina State Fair opens

By Caroline Davenport
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS

Jason Burroughs and Chasity Lynch are excited for the fair crowd to visit their newly renovated trailer and taste the freshly prepared candy apples, caramel corn, cotton candy and lemonade.

Gate attendant Pat Roberts directs workers and vehicles through the State Fair gate in front of the rocket during preparation week. She said it will close Wednesday morning when visitors are allowed to enter the park.

A fair worker inspects this roller coaster, making sure everything is bolted down and ready to run smoothly for opening day Wednesday.

The gates of the fair grounds opened Wednesday for the 148th South Carolina State Fair. For South Carolinians, the fair marks autumn’s arrival even as temperatures hover in the high 80s. The fair hosts exhibitions from every county in the state, but it’s not unlikely to bump into people from all across the country and world.

“When you see it at night, it’s really pretty lit up,” said Chasity Lynch, who runs a candy cart with husband Jason Burroughs.  They travel year round with Stuart Confections Inc. This is the couple’s first time at the South Carolina State Fair.

“We love what we do… we make some of the best product on the Midways,” Burroughs said. He has worked with the company for 20 years and said the boss’s caramel recipe is award-winning and hasn’t ever been shared with anyone.

Lynch and Burroughs are looking forward to serving the South Carolina crowd in their newly renovated trailer. “I hear it’s going to be shoulder-to-shoulder and we’re going to be packed at all four windows on both of our wagons, so I’m looking forward to it,” said Burroughs.

The couple arrived Monday and completed setup only three hours later. They have another candy wagon yards away, and a location in Virginia selling anything from daiquiris to pizza. Not only do they have an impressive setup record, they sell a lot of candy apples on the average weekend. “We sell anywhere from 300-500 bags of cotton candy, and 40 bushels of apples, so it could be around 3,500 per day,” said Lynch.

The customers are what make the job most rewarding, and both Lynch and Burroughs say giving away treats to the children brightens their day. “I have a lot of fun working here, but the best thing in the world is handing a little kid their candy apple or bag of cotton candy and seeing that smile, because it just lights their face up,” said Lynch.

Burroughs also recalls a recent stop in Virginia when he was carrying a cart of apples away during shutdown. “I see this little boy crying because he really wanted a candy apple, and I’m towing a wagon with three racks of apples on it, so I said ‘here you go, bud.’ You know what, that’s what I live for. To see that little kid just light up. I love it,” he said. 

Martin Truex Jr. Wins Bank of America 500 In Overtime Finish At Charlotte

By: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com

CONCORD, N.C. – Martin Truex Jr. held off the field in NASCAR Overtime at Charlotte Motor Speedway to win the Bank of America 500, the first race of the Round of 12.

Truex Jr. was on his way to the victory, but on lap 327, Kyle Busch brought out the caution for the third time of the afternoon. On the restart, Truex Jr. lined up on the inside with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin to his outside. When the green flag flew, Truex Jr. in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, was able to stay out in front; however, on lap 333, the caution came out for the 10th and final time, when Kurt Busch slid up the track, hit Kyle Larson and spun through Turn 2. On the NASCAR Overtime restart, Truex Jr. got an even better jump on Hamlin and went on to win his sixth race of the season.

“Unbelievable win. Just a total team effort,” Truex Jr. said. “Every single guy – every guy on this team just did a perfect job today and I can’t be more proud of them and at this time of the year is just when you want it to happen. You dream about days like today. I don’t know if we had the best car, but we damn sure go it in victory lane.”

Chase Elliott, who started third on both of the last two restarts, finished second in his Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet. Elliott has now finished second for two consecutive weekends. Last weekend, he nearly won at Dover until Kyle Busch was able to get around him in the final laps. On Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Elliott led 12 laps and ran up front throughout the entire event.  Read the rest of this entry »

How Long South Carolina, How Long….?

Phil Noble

EDITOR’S NOTE: MR. NOBLE ANNOUNCED HIS CANDIDACY FOR GOVERNOR ON OCT. 10. THIS WILL BE MR. NOBLE’S LAST COLUMN UNTIL THE ELECTION IS OVER OR HE WITHDRAWS HIS CANDIDACY FOR GOVERNOR.

By Phil Noble

In 1934, Gov. Ibra Blackwood signed legislation to create the South Carolina Public Service Authority that become known as Santee Cooper. This state-owned enterprise grew to become the state’s largest power producer serving all 46 counties in the state. Thanks to a special law passed by the legislature in 2007 that essentially eliminated all financial risk, Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric and Gas tried to build two nuclear reactors at a cost of $9 billion.

Today, the project is dead – mired in scandal and corruption. Estimates are the failed project will cost the average South Carolina family of four $9,000 that they will be paying for 60 years. The disgraced president of Santee Cooper (a state employee) left with a $16 million golden parachute and the five senior executives of SCE&G paid themselves $21 million in ‘performance bonuses’ during the time the project was failing.

How long South Carolina, how long must we wait for honest power companies that fairly serve the people of South Carolina and not themselves – and an honest and independent legislature that we want, need and deserve?

In 1993, 39 largely rural school districts in what became known as the Corridor of Shame, filed suit seeking to have the courts rule that their students were being denied an adequate education and asked the courts to mandate that the legislature provided a reasonable education. In 2014 – 21 years later – the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the students were not receiving a ‘minimally adequate’ education and mandated that the state legislature enact measures to remedy the inequities.

Today, three years after the court’s ruling, the legislature has done virtually nothing and recently U.S. News and World Report ranked South Carolina’s schools the worst of any of the 50 states.

How long South Carolina, how long must our children wait to receive the type of education they want, need and deserve?  Read the rest of this entry »

“We need to do” by Stuart Neiman

“We need to do” by Stuart Neiman

“Cow’s Out” from The Times and Democrat

“Cow’s Out” from The Times and Democrat

“Racist?” from The Times and Democrat

“Racist?” from The Times and Democrat

Living on Purpose: Choosing to give our stress to God

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

It may seem insensitive, but the idea of stress being an issue we can control is worth considering. Many within the medical world agree that stress is not a monster that forces us to be afraid but rather our worries originate as a response from within our own mind. Thus, if we can learn how to re-wire the way we think, we can begin to walk in victory over the stress which we blame for ruining our happiness. In some way or another, we have heard about going to our “happy place” a seemingly magical location where we can take shelter from whatever is threatening our security. But just what is this well-intentioned advice really talking about? It can mean different things to different people but to many, it’s a place in the deepest part of our conscience where we can commune with God and embrace the safety and joy of His presence. I remember a movie where a young girl was experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks whenever a stressful situation would present itself. Her family would lovingly remind her to go to her happy place, and she would close her eyes and begin to control her breathing. As she blocked out what was happening around her and focused on comforting thoughts, she would eventually calm down and return to a peaceful state of being. As Christians, we are reminded that Jesus is a type of strong tower where those who are afraid can run into Him and be safe. Psalm 91:1 says, “They who dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God in Him will I trust.” If we stop and think, we realize that everyone has a choice to either emotionally wrestle with their problems or immediately give them over to God and let Him take care of them. If you notice when we become entangled with these external circumstances and allow them to hold us in the bondage of stress, we are consumed with hopelessness and can hardly focus on anything else. However, when we embrace God’s truth by faith and allow Him to carry them for us, our confidence is renewed as we press forward in the freedom of His peace which passes all understanding.  Read the rest of this entry »

NASCAR presents … Snark Tank

Cathy Elliott

By Cathy Elliott

It’s October, and only seven races remain in NASCAR’s playoffs. (On a side note, I’m still stymied regarding the reason why NASCAR changed the name of its post-season competition. The Chase was a pretty cool moniker, once you got used to it. The Playoffs, well, that name is just done to death.)

Anyhow, yet another random act of tweeting during the race weekend at Dover reminded me once again of one of my favorite things about NASCAR: When the going gets tough, the tough get snarky.

Although stock car racing has seen its share of physical altercations over the years – Cale Yarborough vs. the Allisons is always the first and best one that comes to mind – in recent years most of the competitors seem content to engage in wars of words rather than the harsher, and more painful, alternative.

Let’s take Kurt Busch and Jimmy Spencer, for example. It’s common knowledge that these two were never the best of buddies, but after an on-track incident in 2002 at The Brickyard, when Spencer wrecked Busch, taking him out of the race, Kurt expressed the opinion that Spencer was nothing but a “decrepit old has-been.” He later softened up and changed his mind, deciding instead that Spencer was actually a “never-was.” Ouch.

Another great (and by great I mean silly) incident was the verbal scuffle between Boris Said and Greg Biffle at Watkins Glen in 2011. Said felt that Biffle was racing him too aggressively for someone who was multiple laps down. Things got testy after the race when Boris really got out of line, going on a verbal tirade that included calling The Biff an “unprofessional little scaredy-cat” and “a chump.”

Wow. Call the censors. Language that salty simply can’t be tolerated on national television. There are kids watching.  Read the rest of this entry »

“News Fear” from The Times and Democrat

“News Fear” from The Times and Democrat

“In Your Ear” from The Times and Democrat

“In Your Ear” from The Times and Democrat

“County Taxes” from The Times and Democrat

“County Taxes” from The Times and Democrat

Corruption is Crippling South Carolina

Phil Noble

By Phil Noble

The ever deepening and broadening corruption scandal that is unfolding daily across the front pages of newspapers is crippling our state.

It is crippling us in ways big and small – seen and unseen.

It does not have to be this way.

Let’s begin with an ever so brief summary of the scandals by putting things in two different but interrelated (slop) buckets: the legislature and the utilities.

First the legislature. We see daily how the legislature has kept all the money and all the power in the Statehouse where they can auction it off to the highest bidder. By all accounts, the biggest auctioneer is Richard Quinn and Associates and his legislator son, Rick Quinn, who keep a generous cut of the auction price for themselves.

The folks on the ‘selling’ side are Quinn’s clients who include: Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Lindsay Graham, Rep. Joe Wilson, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Treasurer Curtis Loftis, Superintendent to Education Molly Spearman, Pres. Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell, and more than three dozen members of the legislature and other elected politicians in our state’s Congressional Delegation in Washington.

On the ‘buying’ side are those that benefit from the favorable actions of the politicians and include: South Carolina Electric and Gas and Santee Cooper (more on them later), The State Ports Authority, University of South Carolina, S.C. Trial Lawyers Association, a variety of health care companies and dozens of others.  Read the rest of this entry »