Crown thy good at Richmond


Crown Royal booze pays good money to sponsor Saturday’s Sprint Cup race but instead of just putting its name on the event in Richmond, Va., it invests in a higher cause.

The race is officially called the “Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400.” I don’t hype sponsors but don’t mind giving the Canadian whiskey a plug because it has taken the story of the Hansen twins to millions.

Only Matthew, a former Marine, will be part of race ceremonies because brother and fellow Marine Daniel was killed by a road-side bomb two years ago while serving in Afghanistan.

Matthew, who lives in San Marcos, Calif., was chosen from a group of five military finalists who were nominated for demonstrating “core values of the military in performing a selfless act that made them a hero.” Matthew’s godmother nominated him for both military service during three deployments to Iraq and “for continuing to serve with amazing courage and faith after losing his twin brother and best friend.”

Matthew and Daniel joined the Marines weeks apart in 2002. Matthew deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom three times and due to injury now works at the San Marcos base. Daniel was picked to guard former President George W. Bush at Camp David in 2004 and later Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer in Iraq.

As long as you do it at home and don’t drive, have a shot of Crown to salute the Hansen brothers.

This is a very worthy sponsorship.


Bayne’s pain

Trevor Bayne was on top of the world after winning the Daytona 500 this year.

Since then he’s been snake-bitten, actually bug-bitten.

Bayne remained hospitalized Friday morning for treatment of effects apparently from an insect bite suffered earlier this month when he was briefly hospitalized after the April 9 race at Texas Motor Speedway.

He has been pulled by Roush Fenway Racing from Friday night’s Nationwide Series race at Richmond, Va., and replaced by Chris Buescher. The move likely ends Bayne’s campaign for winning the Nationwide season championship.

Team officials said Bayne was not feeling well this week, and they sent the 20-year-old driver for evaluation.


Kasey’s knee needs time

Cup driver Kasey Kahne expects to feel soreness in his surgically repaired knee during Saturday night's race at Richmond.

"I hope it doesn't, but it's still a little bit sore," Kahne said Friday. "I think it may be sore throughout the race, but really as far as affecting the speed or the way that the race plays out, I don't think it will affect that at all."

Kahne had surgery April 18 to repair the meniscus in his right knee. He also had surgery on both knees in November He said Friday he re-injured the right one earlier this season when he slipped while exercising.

"I finished a workout and I slipped off the bench and my feet kind of gave out," he said. "I laid there for about five minutes, and then the last two months, I've hoped that it would get better. It didn't, so I got it checked again and I had blown basically the stitches that held it together that they had fixed the first time."

Kahne said he knew he needed a second surgery, and waited until NASCAR's break last week to have the procedure. He's hoping the issue is now resolved.

Kahne goes into Saturday night's race at Richmond ranked 18th in the Cup standings.