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Nov 17, 2012 12:06am
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NYON, Switzerland—UEFA has banned Chelsea captain John Terry for three
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one-match ban. UEFA says its disciplinary panel has added two more matches,
after ruling that Terry was guilty of violent conduct when he struck his knee
into the back of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez. Terry is ineligible for the
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Chelseas first Champions League group-stage match in September. Terry and
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Christian Ponder.INDIANAPOLIS—Tony Kanaan has been called just about every
name in the book. Fan favourite, pole-sitter, race-day favourite, race leader,
even the last starter on the grid. For Kanaan, the past decade of Indianapolis
has been filled with close calls, bad luck and frustration. But he keeps coming
back to this 2.5-mile oval because he loves the race and its fans, and he
figures eventually, the racing spirits might show some empathy for him, too. “I
dont think Ive had a bad memory here,” he says with that confident smile and
playful chuckle. “Ive just got to think things happen for a reason.” Whatever
the reason, Kanaan, the 2004 IndyCar champ, has been the king of hard knocks at
Indy. —In 2004, he was leading until a pit stop on lap 133, then ran second
until Buddy Rice passed him on lap 150. Thirty laps later, a storm sent Rice to
Victory Lane and Kanaan to a post-race news conference as the runner-up. —In
2007, he was leading on lap 113 when the rain came. After a lengthy wait in
which it appeared Kanaan may finally have had his coveted Indy win, the race
restarted, and Kanaan stayed in front until he ceded the lead during a pit stop
on lap 157. Nine laps later, another storm moved through, ending the race.
Kanaan finished 12th. —In 2008, Scott Dixon passed Kanaan for the lead on lap
106. A few moments later, teammate Marco Andretti went to the inside to make
another pass of Kanaan. All Kanaan could do was go high, scraping the outside
wall and forcing him to turn into the path of Sarah Fisher. Both cars were
knocked out of the race. Afterward, Kanaan complained that every time he leads
the race, something happens. —In 2009, a broken suspension sent the Brazilian
into Indys concrete wall. The hit was so hard he bounced off, slammed into the
wall again at more than 180 mph and was still limping when he showed up for the
Milwaukee race a week later. If theres one person at Gasoline Alley who
understands Kanaans plight, its Michael Andretti, his former team owner. “Weve
talked about it a lot,” Andretti said Friday. “Hes probably one of the best
drivers at this track without a win under his belt. I know how he feels, and he
knows how I feel, and he knows hes running out of chances, too.” Andretti led
the most laps of any non-500 winner (431). Kanaan has led more laps at Indy
(214) than any non-winneer still active in the series. Randy Moss Jersey. So perhaps this will be
the year fate intervenes. For the first time since 2009, Kanaan qualified in the
front three rows. Hell start eighth, the middle of Row 3, a stark contrast from
two years ago when he started from the final position in the 33-car field after
using pieces from two crashed cars and Ryan Hunter-Readys No. 28 car just to
qualify for the race.. Its also Kanaans 11th Indy start, matching both his car
number and his lucky number, and it just happens to be coming on a day that he
will be wearing special sunglasses in tribute to the late Dan Wheldon, his close
friend and ex-teammate. “You know, every time Dan came here, he tried to enjoy
it and I learned this from Dan,” Kanaan said. “He was pretty good around here,
but every time he was here, he would be like, Oh, look at the flags blowing or
Oh, they changed the photos in the Pagoda.” Kanaan insists he has learned to
take a similar approach to Indy by staying relaxed and avoiding discussion of
the things that could have been. His buddies in Gasoline Alley know better. “I
think if Tony had a chance of winning the IndyCar championship, the points, or
winning Indy, hed go 100 times for Indy,” KV Racing Technology teammate and
longtime friend Rubens Barrichello said. “When he was going for the setup out
here, I told him Just relax, man, youre so tense. It freaks you out sometimes.”
Kanaan certainly has a large, loyal fan base. He spoke of the roar he heard when
he made the first qualifying run last Saturday only to have the time erased
because of a technical violation. When he returned several hours later to
qualify again, the roar was even louder. Drivers ranging from Marco Andretti to
Barrichello and even former drivers such as Michael Andretti acknowledge that
deep down theyre still rooting for Kanaan to win one. “I think the pressure
keeps building when you know you have less and less shots,” Michael Andretti
said. “So you just have to go out and do your job and hope this is your year.”
And thats exactly Kanaans mentality heading into Sunday. “Im more confident than
last year, so Im ready,” Kanaan said. “And why not?” When reminded he drove from
33rd into the front pack in 2010, Kanaan said: “Well try to do it again from
eighth.” ’ ’ ’ 

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