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Denny Hamlin was the new kid at Joe Gibbs Racing – an unknown in the shadow of defending NASCAR champion and teammate Tony Stewart – when he rolled into Daytona International Speedway for his 2006 rookie season.

He needed just two days to change that. With a push from good buddy Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hamlin stole the victory in the non-points Budweiser Shootout to rocket into NASCAR stardom.

He now considers that victory one of the greatest accomplishments of his short career.

Only problem? In Hamlin’s mind, he’s done very little to back up that breakthrough win.

“That’s the thing – when you have so much early success, it can be hard to fall off that mountain,” Hamlin said. “If we would have come in during my rookie year …  More info



FLYING down the Murray River on a ski at 160kmh is second nature for Hamilton’s Mason Vaughan.

The 17-year-old apprentice builder is facing one of the ski racing calendar’s most gruelling events this weekend, the Southern 80.

This year’s race comes after a rigorous six-months on the water and in the gym for Vaughan where he has been building the leg strength needed to handle 125 turns between Torrumbarry and Echuca.

Today he and ski partner Rhys Duggan, of Ballarat, will race behind a Melbourne-owned boat called Spinal Tap in the single motor, open cockpit (SMOC) class, alongside 20 other boats…  More info

People are bundled up to the hilt with layer after layer of warm clothes, and still some teeth are chattering. It’s certainly not the kind of weather when you want to be wet.

But a group of young people in Seffner can’t wait to hit the water.

They are international students at Mc Cormicks Cable, Wake and Ski School.

David Kazek says the worst weather here in Florida is nothing in comparison to what it’s like back home.

“Now in Poland, it’s about minus one or something,” said Kazek, right before a boat revved up and pulled him off the dock into the water…  More info


Ken Lupton hung on with half one side of his boat missing to win the first round of the world grand prix hydroplane championship in Tauranga two weeks ago and has worked around the clock since to repair the damage.

The success of those repairs will be seen tomorrow when the Waverley driver attempts to guide his boat, Annihilator 3, to overall victory in the 2009 Union International Montoniquie World Grand Prix Hydroplane Championship at Lake Karapiro….  More info