Over the last two years, some of the most interesting IndyCar races have happened in Edmonton. Two years ago, Brazilian Tony Kanaan suffered first and second degree burns to his body when a splash of fuel got into his cockpit and ignited him and his car.
Then last year, Brazilian Helio Castroneves, who was the leader after 92 laps, was black flagged for blocking on the restart and finished tenth. The eventual winner was New Zealand’s Scott Dixon, the 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner.
Fast forward to 2011, where Dario Franchitti of Scotland has been the driver so far on the IndyCar circuit. He won two weeks ago in Toronto, and has also won in St. Petersburg, Florida and Milwaukee. He leads Australian Will Power by 55 points.
Organizers have changed the layout of the 2011 Edmonton Indy, giving competitors more opportunities to pass.
The race starts Sunday at 12:45pm on TSN.
Here are the other events I’ll be watching this weekend:
Saturday & Sunday–10am–Senior British Open–TSN–I wasn’t go to watch this, but now I will. Rod Spittle of St. Catharines, Ontario is the co-leader with Americans Mark Calcavecchia and Lee Rinker. Spittle shot a -5 on Friday to tie for the lead at -7. The emergence of Spittle, 56 years of age, is remarkable because he never played on the PGA Tour. He won the Canadian Amateur in 1977 and 1978, but decided to sell insurance instead of turning professional. Now he is one of the world’s top senior golfers.
Saturday & Sunday–1pm–RBC Canadian Open–CBS–Americans Chad Campbell and Michael Thompson are the current leaders at -4. But the big story Friday from Vancouver was the performances by Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, British Columbia and David Hearn of Brampton, Ontario who are each only two shots off the lead. American veterans Paul Goydos and Lee Janzen are tied for third at -3. This is the first major sporting event in Vancouver since game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, when fans rioted in the streets following the Canucks’ game seven loss to the Boston Bruins.
Saturday–2pm–MLB–San Diego Padres @ Philadelphia Phillies–FOX–The Phillies at 62-36, currently lead the Atlanta Braves by four games in the National League East, while the Padres are 44-56 and out of contention in the National League West. With all the hype surrounding the big pitching studs on the Phillies, Kyle Kendrick has had a solid season in Philadelphia. He is 5-4 with a 3.34 earned run average. The Padres will have their 2010 ace on the mound. Mat Latos (5-10, 4.02 ERA) gets the start.
Saturday–5pm–CFL–Edmonton Eskimos @ Calgary Stampeders–TSN–In the game I’m the most excited about on the weekend, the 3-0 Eskimos travel to McMahon Stadium tonight. I have huge praise for the Eskimos’ running game. Jerome Messam has been sensational, rushing for 193 yards on 37 carries. Other good news for Edmonton is the return of running back Arkee Whitlock. But if I have a message for head coach Kavis Reed, it’s this. Don’t overplay Whitlock tonight because of the great rushing success lately of not only Messam, but Daniel Porter, Calvin McCarty and even Ricky Ray as well. Even though the Stampeders are 2-1, they haven’t blown anyone out like Edmonton has. Also, Joffrey Reynolds hasn’t had that breakout game so far in 2011.
Sunday–2pm–MLB–Milwaukee Brewers @ San Francisco Giants–Sportsnet–The top team in the National League Central, Milwaukee (54-47) take on the top team in the National League West, San Francisco (57-43). The Brewers lead the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals by a game, while the Giants lead the Arizona Diamondbacks by four games. The Brewers are led by offensive superstars Ryan Braun (.319, 18 HR, 66 RBIs) and Prince Fielder. It is expected, according to Fox Sports, that Fielder (.288, 22 HR, 73 RBIs) might get the day off because lefthander Madison Bumgarner is slated to start for the Giants. On Friday night, in Milwaukee’s 4-2 win over San Francisco, I saw Brewer closer John Axford of Simcoe, Ontario, pitch for the first time in collecting his 27th save.
Sunday–5pm–CFL–Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Montreal Alouettes–TSN–This game has two major storylines– a rematch of the 2009 and 2010 Grey Cup Championship each won by Montreal, and a game where we’re seeing the best team in the CFL play the worst. That’s right. We have the 3-0 Alouettes and the 0-3 Roughriders. The Saskatchewan side has been awful, so let’s look at the Alouettes’ greatness to start the season instead. Even at 38 years of age, Alouettes’ quarterback Anthony Calvillo continues to get it done. So far in 2011, he has thrown for 1,038 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions. Among the 1,038 yards, 276 have gone to Jamel Richardson.
Tags: adam hadwin, anthony calvillo, arizona diamondbacks, arkee whitlock, atlanta braves, british senior open, Calgary Stampeders, calvin mccarty, chad campbell, daniel porter, dario franchitti, david hearn, Edmonton Eskimos, edmonton indy, helio castroneves, jamel richardson, jerome messam, john axford, kavis reed, kyle kendrick, lee janzen, lee rinker, madison bumgarner, mark calcavecchia, mat latos, michael thompson, milwaukee brewers, montreal alouettes, paul goydos, philadelphia phillies, pittsburgh pirates, prince fielder, rbc canadian open, Ricky Ray, rod spittle, ryan braun, san diego padres, san francisco giants, Saskatchewan Roughriders, scott dixon, st. louis cardinals, tony kanaan, will power