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. -- Brad Keselowski saw one shot in front of him to steal the win in the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He had twice picked his way through the field Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, and found himself watching a spirited, side-by-side battle for the lead between Kevin Harvick and rookie Kyle Larson. As everyone else held their breath watching the Harvick and Larson duel, Keselowski saw his opening and pounced. He used a daring three-wide drive through the middle to grab the lead for good. I just saw a hole and I went for it, he said. I didnt know if my car would stick or not, but I knew Id regret it if I didnt try it. The win in the first race of the 10-race Chase automatically advances Keselowski, the top seed in the 16-driver field, into the second round. NASCAR this year has debuted an elimination format and four drivers will be knocked out after every third race. As Team Penske celebrated in Victory Lane, Keselowski moved his name on a bracket-type Chase grid into the next round. I guess you couldnt ask for a better way to start the Chase, he said. Today was about as much of a statement as you can make. Keselowski opened the 2012 Chase with a win at Chicago and went on to his first Sprint Cup title. He failed to make the Chase last year and was ineligible to defend his title, but has raced this entire year as if hes on a mission to win a second championship. Now he can race for fun the next two weeks as he awaits the Chase reset following the Sept. 28 race at Dover -- all because he went for broke on Sunday. The first thing we wanted to do was get a win for one of our cars so were automatically in the next round, team owner Roger Penske said. With Brad being able to split in between (Larson) and (Harvick), it was the winning move. The gamble with 15 laps remaining put Keselowski solidly out front, and he easily pulled away from the field while Harvick and Larson had their hands full trying to hold off Jeff Gordon. Then contact between Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. set up one final restart with six laps to go, but Keselowski again surged to the front for his second consecutive victory and Sprint Cup Series-leading fifth of the year. It was a huge turnaround from Fridays opening practice, when he and Penske teammate Joey Logano struggled to find speed. Keselowski started 25th, but worked his way up to second, only to give it all up following a questionable pit stop under yellow. The rear tire changer fretted he didnt get the wheel on tight enough, and crew chief Paul Wolfe had to make a split-second decision on if they should address the issue or see how it played out. Wolfe decided to give up track position and bring Keselowski back to the pits under yellow instead of gambling there wasnt a problem and it backfiring under green. The real winner today is the young man that changes the rear tire, (he) put his hand up and said Hey, I screwed up. The wheel might be loose, Penske said. Paul had the guts to say on the radio, Were not going to go out and run to find out. Were coming in now. It made for an exciting finish a week after Keselowski led all but 17 laps in a snoozer of a regular-season finale. It also put the rest of the Chase field on notice that Keselowski is a very strong title contender. Although 12 Chase drivers finished in the top 15, Sunday proved theyll all have their hands full with Keselowski, Gordon and Harvick. Gordon, trying for his fifth NASCAR championship, wound up second while Larson, the rookie who flirted with Chase contention, was third. Logano was fourth and Harvick faded to fifth after leading a race-high 79 laps. Chase-eligible drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch took the next three spots, while Larson teammate Jamie McMurray was ninth. Matt Kenseth finished 10th as all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers finished inside the top 10. The next three spots went to Hendrick Motorsports as Chase drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., six-time and defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne finished 11th through 13th. Ryan Newman battled back from three laps down to finish 15th, but the rest of the Chase field didnt fare as well. Carl Edwards wound up 20th after a tire problem, AJ Allmendinger (22nd) and Greg Biffle (23rd) werent competitive, and Aric Almirola finished 41st after an engine failure. It was a devastating blow for Almirola, an underdog in the Chase who ran as high as fourth in the race. He was sixth and headed for a routine pit stop when his engine suddenly failed. He was greeted with a hug from Hall of Famer Richard Petty, his car owner, in the garage. Heartbroken, I think, is the easiest way to describe it, Almirola said. We know we are capable of running in the top 10. Everyone else might not think so, the rest of the world thinks we are underdogs, and we will gladly accept that tag. We dont have anything to hang our heads about. The four drivers at the bottom of the standings and currently in danger of being eliminated are Newman, Allmendinger, Biffle and Almirola. Cheap Julius Peppers Jersey
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.5 million per season with defenceman Chris Phillips. Phillips deal reportedly includes a no-trade clause.MONTREAL - Former coach Marc Trestman always had a slogan for the season, but the one for new coach Tom Higgins for the 2014 campaign ought to be Better Late Than Never. Nine days after the Alouettes announced the veteran Higgins as their new head coach, he finally met with the media in the teams Olympic Stadium locker-room and introduced his coaching staff on Thursday. The Alouettes are a couple of months behind the rest of the Canadian Football League in getting their staff settled, but at last it is in place. Higgins named former CFL quarterback Rick Worman as offensive co-ordinator, former Edmonton and Calgary coach Kris Sweet as offensive line coach and ex-Toronto Argonauts coach Greg Quick as linebackers coach. He also brought in two former Alouettes, Andre Bolduc and Anwar Stewart, as quality control coaches for the offence and defence respectively. Jean-Vincent Posy-Audette, who worked with Bolduc at the University of Sherbrooke, was named a defensive and special teams assistant. The rest of the staff, including defensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach Noel Thorpe, had already been retained by general manager Jim Popp, who stepped in as head coach when Dan Hawkins was fired five games into the 2013 campaign. They will have less than three months to prepare for the start of training camp. Its a challenge for Worman, a former offensive co-ordinator with the Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, to set up an offensive system and work out who will be the starting the quarterback. With Anthony Calvillo retired, the club will need a new starter for the first time since 2000, with 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and the inexperienced Tanner Marsh as the leading candidates. "To be honest, I havent spent a lot of time evaluating them yet," said Worman, who has worked with CFL veterans pivots Ricky Ray and Khari Jones, among others. "I saw them a minor amount of time on (U.S. television). "The biggest thing they have to be is consistent — get rid of their mindset of following Anthony and just focus on what they do. Theres no magic formula. My job will be to match up what they do well for them to be successful." Popp has said Smith is the frontrunner, but Worman said the decision on the opening game starter will be made after camp and the teams two pre-season games. They also have former Winnipeg quarterback Alex Brink in the mix. "Everyones going to get lots of reps, so its not important at this time to say who is and who isnt (the starter)," saidd Worman. Cheap Kyler Fackrell Jersey
. "If thats what Jim wanted to say, thats fine, but it doesnt matter to me. "Neither is an established, proven quarterback in the CFL." Higgins also named himself as special teams co-ordinator, a job he did for nine years with Calgary. He will be aided by Posy-Audette and Bolduc. "When youre special teams, you get to coach the whole team," said Higgins. "So theres some merit to that. "Its so much a part of the fabric of the CFL because of the three downs. You need a solid foundation for your kicking, and youre not giving lip service when the head coach is the guy thats responsible." Alouettes owner Bob Wetenhall and his management team took their time after last season, when they went 8-10 and were beaten in the East Division semifinal, to decide whether to keep Popp in the dual role of GM and coach or to find a new coach. Wetenhall finally decided to have Popp concentrate on what hes best at _ finding talent. Now the new staff has to get to know their players in a hurry. "To me its not about the time issue, its what they do from now to training camp," said centre Luc Brodeur-Jourdain. "The good thing is weve been able to re-sign all our veterans and (the coaches) can get feedback from them. "Its on them now to settle everything about training camps, playbooks and the first part of the season. And we have a challenge in Montreal that most teams dont have. We have to move every day to get to practice facilities. That takes half an hour off of our 4.5 hours (daily working time limit). So we have to be sharper and more accurate in everything we do than any other team in the league." The Alouettes veteran offensive line will also have to get to know Sweet, who reportedly was unpopular with his players on previous CFL stops, although his line helped Calgary win a Grey Cup in 2008 and led Joffrey Reynolds to a rushing title. "I heard he was pretty intense as an O-line coach, but the Montreal Alouettes O-line group has a lot of veterans," said Brodeur-Jourdain. "We always took a lot of pride in being intense and very accurate in everything we do. "I think hell come to realize were passionate about what we do, and even if stuff happens in a game, even if it gets intense, were all adults and we can deal with it." Returning from last season are quarterbacks coach Ryan Dinwiddie, receivers coach Erik Campbell, running backs coach Mark Speckman and defensive line coach Keith Willis. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China
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