The Sideline – March 27

IndyCar set to open season on Florida track

Verizon IndyCar Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Site: St. Petersburg, Florida

Schedule: Today, practice; Saturday, practice, qualifying; Sunday, race, 3:20 p.m. (ABC, 3 to 6 p.m.)

Track: Streets of St. Petersburg (street course, 1.8 miles)

Race distance: 198 miles, 110 laps

Last year: Team Penske’s Will Power won the opener for the first of his three 2014 victories en route to the season title.

Fast facts: Power also won the 2010 race. … Team Penske’s Helio Castroneves won at the track in 2006, 2007 and 2012. … Simona de Silvestro is driving for Andretti Autosport after skipping last season to pursue a Formula One career. In 2013, she was 13th in the season standings for KV Racing Technology. … KVSH Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais teamed with Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi on Sunday to win the Twelve Hours of Sebring. … Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves is making his first series start, driving for Bryan Herta Autosport.

Next race: Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, April 12, NOLA Motorsports, Avondale, Louisiana



NASCAR heads to Virginia for next race

NASCAR Sprint Cup STP 500

Site: Martinsville, Virginia

Schedule: Today, practice (Fox Sports 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.), qualifying (Fox Sports 1, 4:30 to 6 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Fox Sports 1, 10 to 11 a.m., 1:30 to 2 p.m.); Sunday, race, 1 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)

Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles)

Race distance: 263 miles, 500 laps

Last year: Kurt Busch raced to the last of his 25 victories.

Last week: Brad Keselowski won in Fontana, California, taking advantage of debris cautions.

Fast facts: Kevin Harvick was second at Fontana after winning the previous two weeks at Las Vegas and Phoenix. The defending series champion has four victories and four second-place finishes in his last eight races. Richard Petty set the record of 11 straight top-two finishes in 1975. … Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the October race for his first victory at the track. Hendrick teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon each have eight Martinsville victories. … Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott is making his series debut. … Petty won a record 15 times at Martinsville, the only remaining venue from NASCAR’s inaugural 1949 season.

Next race: Duck Commander 500, April 11, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas



Marian hires Evansville assistant as head coach

Carson Harris, an assistant at the University of Evansville the past six years, was introduced as the Marian University men’s basketball head coach Wednesday. The former Lafayette Jefferson standout replaces Todd Lickliter, who was let go after the Knights went 16-15 overall and 7-11 in the Crossroads League this season.

Harris led Lafayette Jeff in scoring in 1996, when it reached the one-class state finals. Harris went on to play at Manchester College. He began his coaching career as an assistant with at Division III programs Manchester, Earlham and DePauw before moving to Division I Evansville in 2009.

Pacers schedule

Sunday vs. Dallas, 7 p.m.

Tuesday at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

April 3 vs. Charlotte, 7 p.m.

April 5 vs. Miami, 6 p.m.

April 8 at New York, 7:30 p.m.

April 10 at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

April 12 vs. Oklahoma City, 6 p.m.

April 14 vs. Washington, 8 p.m.

April 15 at Memphis, 9:30 p.m.

Prep Calendar


Baseball: Greenfield-Central at New Palestine (scrimmage), 5:30 p.m.; Mt. Vernon at Eastern Hancock (scrimmage), 5:30 p.m.

Softball: Greenfield-Central at New Palestine (scrimmage), 5:30 p.m.; Mt. Vernon at Eastern Hancock (scrimmage), 5:30 p.m.


Track: Mt. Vernon at Fishers, 5 p.m.


Softball: New Palestine at New Castle, 5:30 p.m.

April 3

Baseball: Pendleton Heights at Greenfield-Central (DH), 5:30 p.m.

April 4

Baseball: Delta at New Palestine (DH), 10 a.m.; Yorktown at Mt. Vernon (DH), 11 a.m.

April 6

Baseball: Martinsville at New Palestine, 5:30 p.m.; Greenfield-Central at Lawrence North, 5:30 p.m.

Softball: Speedway at Greenfield-Central, 5:30 p.m.

Golf: Greenfield-Central at Eastern Hancock, 4:30 p.m.