#1 shot at having a good von Cl11234566 05.12.2019 11:57

Concord, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Saturday nights Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be a pivotal race for six-time and defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Charlotte is the second of three races in the Contender Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Talladega (Oct. 19) is the last event in this round. After Talladega, the playoff field will be trimmed from 12 drivers to eight for the Eliminator Round, which includes the races at Martinsville (Oct. 26), Texas (Nov. 2) and Phoenix (Nov. 9). Johnsons hopes of winning a record-tying seventh title in NASCARs premier series this year are in jeopardy after he finished 40th this past Sunday at Kansas, the first race in the Contender Round. He was involved in an accident with Greg Biffle in the early going. Johnson, the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, is now 12th in the Chase point standings. He is 27 points behind eighth-place and teammate Jeff Gordon. Per NASCARs new playoff format for Sprint Cup, any current championship- eligible driver who wins a race during a round will automatically advance into the next round. Joey Logano won at Kansas and secured one of the eight positions for the Eliminator Round. If Johnson can win at either Charlotte or Talladega, he will move on to the following round as well. In May, Johnson won at Charlotte for a record seventh time when he took the checkered flag for the Coca-Cola 600 -- NASCARs longest race of the season. He scored a season-sweep at this 1.5-mile track in both 2004 and 05. His last victory in the fall race here occurred in 2009, the same year he claimed his fourth of five consecutive series championships. Were ready to go racing, Johnson said. I love competing at this racetrack, and I look forward to a great race on Saturday night. The mindset is really to come in and try to take a trophy out of here. That would really solve our problem in the points that we have right now. If we cant get a win, then we need to focus on finishing as high as we can. And the reason that leaves us a little bit of hope is if you miss the big ones (major crashes) at Talladega then you could assume that some of the Chasers will be involved in one or two of those. You might have another chance. Johnson has three wins this season but has not been to victory lane since June 15 at Michigan (18 races ago). Surprisingly, he has not led a lap in a race since the Aug. 17 event at Michigan. Johnson started the Chase with a 12th- place finish at Chicagoland, followed by a fifth-place run at New Hampshire and then third at Dover before finishing 40th at Kansas. Were just not where we want to be, bottom line, he said. Were working very hard to get there. This sport is not forgiving. And what youve accomplished in the past doesnt buy you a damn thing for the present. Youve got to go out there and earn it and make the most of it. Weve been a third-to-fifth-place car, and we can run and finish there, but we havent been a dominant car. Were certainly hoping that when we come to tracks that have been very good for the 48 then we can be able to find that little bit and find that extra tenth (of a second) to put us in that position and get our mojo going in the right way. Johnson has several good tracks ahead of him. He has eight wins at Martinsville, three at Texas, including a victory there one year ago, and four at Phoenix. I know what our team is capable of, and I know if we can find that last stone to flip over, where the speed is at, whats holding us up, then we can go, Johnson said. Were eagerly awaiting for that moment in time to happen. So I feel like good tracks are going to promote that and help us find that way sooner. Dover, although we didnt lead a lap there, we were still very competitive and ran third. Were here at another great track (Charlotte). Martinsville is right around the corner, so were hopeful to get on our way. For now, Johnson is just hoping to stay alive in the Chase and make it into the Eliminator Round. Forty-four teams are on the entry list for the Bank of America 500. Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Saturday, Oct. 11. Race: Bank of America 500. Site: Charlotte Motor Speedway. Track: 1.5-mile oval. Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET. Laps: 334. Miles: 501. 2013 Winner: Brad Keselowski. Television: ABC. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio. Yeezy 350 On Sale . Bouchard went down to a 1-6, 6-1, 6-2 defeat at the hands of Svitolina in her opening match at the Sony Open on Friday. Bouchard got the rivalry going two years ago when she won the junior Wimbledon title over Svitolina. Yeezy 350 Online . Its the second time this season that Milan has been sanctioned by the league judge, after fans also subjected Napoli supporters to discriminatory chants. The ban will come into effect for Milans next match, against Udinese on Oct. https://www.cheapyeezy350outlet.com/. -- Mixed martial arts fighter Cristiane Justino Santos has been suspended and fined for testing positive for steroids. Yeezy 350 Clearance . Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Tim Jitloff underlined the squads enormous potential on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria. Yeezy 350 Cheap . His apology came before a pregame ceremony in which the team honoured its 2004 team that won Bostons first World Series championship since 1918. "I realize that I behaved bad in Boston," Ramirez said.PHOENIX - Rob Gronkowskis ankle is fine. So are his forearm and knee. Hes way past those injuries that ruined his last three postseasons.You cant even hurt his feelings.So when Seattle nickel back Jeremy Lane says I actually dont think hes that good, the best tight end in the NFL says, simply, Everyones entitled to their own opinion.Of course, the 265-pound Gronkowski can change that opinion when the Patriots face the Seahawks and the 190-pound Lane in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Healthy again, he should be a handful.Ready to roll, he said Tuesday.Gronkowski missed the AFC championship games the past two years with a broken left forearm in 2013 and a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in 2014. In the Super Bowl in 2012, he was limited by a high left ankle sprain. New England lost all three.The fun-loving but hard-working Gronkowski was back on a Super Bowl Media Day platform on Tuesday. His laugh and smile were present, just as they were three years ago. The questions were different.It feels good to be 100 per cent healthy, he said, and not get a million questions like last time about my ankle.Even when he got them, his sense of humour kicked in.Asked before the 2012 game how he was feeling, Gronkowski said with a grin, Good. How are you feeling?When another ankle question came up Tuesday, even though that body part hasnt sidelined him this season, he said, Its very good. Thanks for worrying about my ankle.Thats Gronkowski. He keeps a light touch whether hes healthy or hobbling. His upbeat character rubs off on teammates.The young man has had to deal with so much early on in his career and he has a great, great attitude and a great heart. Hes got a unique joy about him, Patriots special teams star Matthew Slater said. Even in the midst of that adversity, he was staying positive. He was focused on getting back on the field.Gronkowski rehabbed obsessively, played in the opener and gradually made a greater impact. He caught just 13 passes, although three were for touchdowns, in the first four games. But in each of the next fiive, he had at least five catches with 100 or more yards receiving in three of them.dddddddddddd He knocks down defenders and keeps on running.Totally back to my old self, said Gronkowski, who holds NFL single-season records for most touchdowns and yards receiving by a tight end. Going into that Cincinnati game (six catches for 100 yards) in Week 5, everything just kicked in and I felt good, he said.He has a touchdown catch in each of his two playoff games.But now he must face the NFLs best defence. Seattle allowed the fewest points, yards and yards passing.Depending on where he lines up — wide, in the slot or right next to the tackle — Gronkowski will be covered by different defenders. On some plays, it will be 232-pound safety Kam Chancellor. On others it could be linebackers K.J. Wright or Bobby Wagner. And when the Seahawks play a zone defence, cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell may get a crack at him.No matter who covers him, Gronkowski wont back down.He recalled that in high school when someone would deliver a big hit, he and his teammates would go crazy.Hes taking that same passion for physical play into the most important game Sunday.It gets you amped up, Gronkowski said. Thats whats so special about (football) is how hard you can go and just take whatever you have built up and just go full speed at someone and level them. And someone can do that to you, so youve got to be ready at all times.No wonder wide receiver Julian Edelman calls him just a big goofball who has fun playing football.Or why team owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday, In our next life, a lot of people might want to be Rob. He never has a bad day.Now, for the first time in four years, he has a healthy shot at having a good day in the final game of the Patriots season.Its definitely a tough experience being hurt for big games, Gronkowski said. Definitely dont take the game for granted anymore. Its an honour to be out there on the field with my teammates.___Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '

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