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Jan 16, 2013 12:19am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

RICHMOND, Va. Anquan Boldin Jersey . —Its a Hendrick
Motorsports front row at Richmond International Raceway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won
the pole for Saturday nights “regular-season” finale, turning a lap of 127.023
mph in his Chevrolet to bump teammate Jeff Gordon from the top starting spot. “I
was as surprised as anybody,” said Earnhardt, who won the 11th pole of his
career. “It feels good. Ive not really been the best of qualifiers the last
couple of years. We have a lot of improvements weve made this year. It feels
good to get a pole.” Its the first pole for NASCARs most popular driver since
the 2011 Daytona 500. It came at the expense of Gordon, who is trying to race
his way into the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Gordon wound up second,
and was pleased with the effort. “Mission accomplished,” he said. Gordon needs a
strong race Saturday night and a little bit of help to earn one of the two
wild-card berths in the 12-driver Chase field. Although eight drivers go into
the race mathematically eligible for the final two spots in the Chase field, the
talk has focused on a battle between Gordon and Kyle Busch for the last slot.
Busch, a four-time Richmond winner who picked up his only victory this season
here in May, qualified 15th. But Gordon knew thats not far enough in the pack to
not worry about Busch. “In my opinion, its really Kyles to lose,” Gordon said.
“For us, its really nothing to lose, everything to gain.” Earnhardt is already
locked into the Chase and is racing only for bonus points Saturday night. The
Chase field will be re-seeded after the race, with everyone but the two
wild-card drivers starting their title hunt with three bonus points per victory.
Earnhardt has one win this season. “I think everybody wants to get the win to
kick the Chase off, and go into the Chase with a lot of confidence,” Earnhardt
said. The top seed will be Denny Hamlin, who has a series-best four wins this
season and goes into his home track coming off consecutive victories the last
two weeks. He qualified 11th and has said all week his focus Saturday night will
be in helping Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Busch make the Chase. But Hamlin could
be joined by another driver in a tie for the top seed: five-time champion Jimmie
Johnson, Brad Keselowski and defending champion Tony Stewart are all tied with
three wins this season. If one of them wins at Richmond, theyll tie Hamlin with
12 bonus points to open the Chase. Hamlin, a two-time winner here, isnt ruling
out stretching his lead with yet another victory. Hes coming off wins at Bristol
and Atlanta. “I think weve got a great shot at three in a row,” Hamlin said.
“Weve just got to keep it going.” Regan Smith, not eligible for the Chase,
qualified third and was followed by Chase drivers Clint Bowyer and Johnson.
Sprint Cup Series points leader Greg Biffle qualified 23rd in a rough day for
Ford drivers. Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, Biffles Roush Fenway Racing
teammates, qualified 16th and 17th. Edwards, who lost the championship to
Stewart last season on a tie-breaker, is clinging to the outside possibility of
making the Chase. Hes winless this year, although a late penalty for jumping the
restart cost him the win here in May. He said hes rooting for “an insane race”
Saturday night. “I want things to just be off the chart. I want rain delays and
oil on the track. I want things to happen,” he said. “I need this race to be
insane. I need people running out of fuel and crazy cautions and four-wide down
in turn one. Thats what I need and Ill take whatever I can get.” Thats exactly
what Busch doesnt want to happen. “I hope its not crazy,” he said this week. “If
I had my way, Id just as soon see somebody already in the Chase win the race and
I finish second.” Busch can clinch a berth by winning the race, or by losing 12
or fewer points to Gordon. Ray Rice Grey Jersey . Raonic, from
Thornhill, Ont., now heads to the U.S. Open after losing his first meeting with
Wawrinka 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. The 21-year-old came to the court leading the
tournament with 54 aces and added 17 in his losing effort over nearly two and a
half hours. Paul Kruger Jersey . Mike Morreale was
elected to the post Wednesday at the unions annual general meeting in Barbados.
. —Kristina Vaculik maintained a commanding lead among a group of 11 gymnasts
vying for a spot on Canadas five-member womens Olympic squad Tuesday after the
first competition in a two-part final selection event. Ray Rice Camo Jersey . Schafer was reacquired
by the Braves on Thursday when they claimed him off waivers from the Houston
Astros. “Im excited to go back,” Schafer said during an interview with The
Associated Press. Ed Reed Jersey .J. Hoes from Triple-A Norfolk
on Tuesday and designated veteran reliever Kevin Gregg and infielder Ryan Adams
for assignment.LONDON – With an overhauled car and a new driver, Williams hailed
a “fresh start” Tuesday as the team looks to bounce back from its worst season
in Formula One. The British-based team allowed a sneak peek of its new FW34 at
pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain, with the car designed by new technical
director Mike Coughlan having fewer than five per cent of the parts from last
years car and also a new engine supplier in Renault. With Bruno Senna replacing
Rubens Barrichello as the new partner of Pastor Maldonado, team principal Frank
Williams is confident of improving on the five points earned in 2011. “We have a
new car, new driver lineup, new engine and new senior personnel,” Williams said.
“The team has had a good winter at the factory and we feel ready and strong for
the fight.” Williams dominated F1 in the 1980s and 90s, winning nine
constructors championships and seven drivers titles. During that period, Renault
was used as Willliams engine between 1989-97 and the team hopes that reverting
back to the French manufacturer will offer better “drivability, flexibility and
durability. Ray Rice Elite Jersey. ” The arrival of Senna
— the nephew of three-time world champion Ayrton Senna — has also rejuvenated
Williams, with the 28-year-old Brazilian embarking on his first pre season
testing since starting Formula One two years ago. “Im really motivated and
looking forward to working hard and with everyone in the team,” said Senna, who
scored two points driving for Renault last year. “I hope we have a successful
month testing and developing the car so we arrive in Melbourne (the seasons
first race on March 18) as well prepared as possible.” Senna will have his first
drive in the FW34, which is dark blue and white and has a revised nose to fit
F1s new rule changes, on Thursday. Maldonado, who is from Venezuela, is testing
on Tuesday and Wednesday. ’ ’ ’ 

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