first_imgINDIANAPOLIS – Danny Kladis, who had the distinction of being the oldest driver and having the earliest start of living Indianapolis 500 competitors, died April 26 in Joliet, Ill. The 1946 Indianapolis 500 starter Kladis was 92.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement Although thought of generally as being a Chicago-area driver, Kladis was born Feb. 10, 1917, in Crystal City, Mo. He began racing midgets in 1935, and his career was gathering momentum when it was interrupted by World War II. Kladis flew with the Army Air Corps and was a flight instructor. After the war ended, he was hired by the youthful Granatelli brothers to drive in the 1946 Indianapolis 500. It was the first “500” experience for all of them, their mount being one of the 1935 front-drive Ford V8 Millers in which the engine had been replaced by a stock-block Mercury outfitted with a Grancor (Granatelli Corp.) head developed by Andy and his brothers. In a race of great attrition, the steadily running Kladis had moved from 33rd starting position to 16th when he made a pit stop for fuel. No sooner had he returned to the track than his engine lost power, causing him to slow and stop in Turn 2. The Granatellis raced over to the car and towed it back through the infield to the garage area, where they discovered the fuel safety valve had not been switched back to “on” at the conclusion of the stop. To their further frustration, the car was not allowed to re-enter the contest, ruled as having “left the race course,” and therefore a retirement in spite of being in perfect running order.Advertisement Kladis never qualified for a second “500” despite practicing with cars virtually every year for the next 10 years, although he did rack up 50 laps in the 1954 race as a relief driver for Travis “Spider” Webb. His final try was in 1957, when he struggled unsuccessfully with a pair of Grand Prix cars, a 10-year-old Maserati and a pre-war Mercedes–Benz outfitted – to the horror of purists – with a Jaguar sports car engine. Kladis, the surprise winner of a 1954 AAA East Coast sprint car race at Allentown, Pa., was voted into the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame in 2007 due to his numerous sectional titles. He was a fun-loving storyteller who was once described by a chuckling IMS Public Address announcer Tom Carnegie as being “a rascal.” Kladis claimed, “Andy Granatelli called me ‘The Wonder Boy of the Speedway’ because it was a wonder every time I came around.” And, when asked if he had a middle name, Kladis responded: “Oh, no. My parents couldn’t afford one.” Kladis is survived by his sons, George, Christopher, Danny and Mike, and his daughters, Joanne, Carole and Cecilia. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jean. Calling hours are scheduled for 3 to  8 p.m. (local time) Wednesday, April 29 and Thursday, April 30 at Kurtz Memorial Chapel in New Lenox, Ill. Services are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Friday, May 1 at the funeral home chapel followed by a funeral at 10 a.m. at the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Joliet. Burial will take place at the Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Ind.last_img read more

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first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Live updates as Chelsea boss Frank Lampard speaks to the media following his side’s 2-0 win over Brighton.AdChoices广告 See also:Lampard hails Jorginho and Willian after Chelsea winlast_img

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first_imgSee also:What it was like watching Brentford at their new homeBrentford’s Valencia set for Legia Warsaw loan moveBees striker Watkins to have Aston Villa medicalBees ‘standing firm’ on Raya, says Frank AdChoices广告He has signed a five-year contract with his new club and the move sees Watkins reunited with Villa’s former Brentford boss Dean Smith.Smith told Villa’s website: “Ollie has developed into one of the most sought-after strikers in the country and we are looking forward to seeing him show his great qualities in an Aston Villa shirt.“He is a hugely determined character who has both the ability and personality to succeed at the highest level.”Watkins said: “I am so excited to join Aston Villa and to reunite with Dean Smith as my head coach. I cannot wait to wear the famous claret and blue in the Premier League.“I want to do something special here and score some goals.” Aston Villa have completed the signing of Ollie Watkins from Brentford for £28m.Several other Premier League clubs were keen on Watkins, who scored 26 goals last season.last_img read more

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first_img(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens completed their practice squad Monday by re-signing former Towson wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard and adding running back Jonas Gray.Baltimore released undrafted offensive lineman Jordan Devey a day after adding him to their developmental squad.Sheppard was with the Ravens throughout the offseason and summer before he was waived on Aug. 25, but the McDonough grad left quite an impression on coach John Harbaugh, making his inclusion on the practice squad less surprising. He did not record a catch in the preseason.“These are men with dreams and aspirations who work really hard, [like] a Gerrard Sheppard — [a] local guy from Towson who just did a great job for us,” Harbaugh said in late August. “He is a really talented, hard-working, good person, and no matter what he does in life, he’s going to be amazingly successful.”Gray was with the Miami Dolphins in the preseason after spending his college career at Notre Dame. As a senior with the Fighting Irish, Gray carried the ball 114 times for 791 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 40 rushing attempts this preseason, Gray gained 107 yards and two touchdowns.The Ravens had hoped that running back Bobby Rainey would clear waivers and agree to join their practice squad, but he was claimed by the Cleveland Browns. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce are the only running backs on the current 53-man roster.Here’s where the eight-man Baltimore practice squad stands as of now:S Omar BrownTE Matt FurstenburgLB Brandon CopelandC Reggie StephensOT J.J. UngaDL Cody LarsenWR Gerrard SheppardRB Jonas Graylast_img read more

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