arting to gain chemistry playing alongside one

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von riluowanying123 • Gaser Meister | 2.685 Beiträge

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Jimmie Johnson walked across the stage after driver introductions to find his car inexplicably missing from pit road.In a dramatic start to his race for a record-tying seventh championship, Johnson learned NASCARs inspectors had yanked his Chevrolet off the pre-race grid and sent it back through tech. The Hendrick Motorsports team had been accused of manipulating a body panel, and Johnson had to start last in the field.In less than 30 laps, he was sniffing the top-10.He come from last doing that? Joey Logano asked him team, Wow.The best was yet to come.For most of the day, Johnson was the worst of the championship contenders in a winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He needed only to beat three other drivers to tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with a record seven titles, but he was clearly not in the same league as the other finalists Sunday night.Johnson, who seemed to have sensed the last 10 weeks that he was finally going to grab that special seventh title, never panicked.I felt like something was going to happen, and I was going to be OK with it, Johnson said. For a while I came to grips with the reality of (finishing) third, fourth, somewhere in there and shaking somebody elses hand and being happy for them.Then it changed so quick at the end.Johnson was practically gifted his seventh title when Carl Edwards aggressive attempt to win the championship ended in a wreck. Johnson got the restart of his life in overtime, took the lead on the very last lap of the race, won for the first time in his career at Homestead and grabbed the final Sprint Cup trophy.The win was the 15th for Hendrick Motorsports and seventh for crew chief Chad Knaus, who now only trails Dale Inmans record eight.When I was coming to the checkered flag, I had to really look closely at it going by to make sure it was, like, `Is this really happening? Johnson said.Johnson received kind words from Petty, while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. represented his late father in victory lane.I told Jimmie I wish Dad was here to shake his hand, Earnhardt said. Dad would think hes such a bad-ass. Hes such a great race car driver. How he won this thing tonight, I dont think a lot of people know, he can will himself to get (his all) out of a car when it matters. Theres a lot of circumstance that played into it, but he put himself in that position.Edwards seemed headed for the title until a caution with 10 laps remaining set up a wild sequence. Edwards tried to block Logano on the restart, wound up wrecked, and it was Johnson who drove through the carnage to take the championship lead.Johnson withstood two more restarts and dedicated the final two attempts at the win to the late Ricky Hendrick, who was one of 10 friends and family members killed in a 2004 plane crash.They were nowhere all day, and just kind of ran around, I dont know, probably, Id guess sixth, said 2015 champion Kyle Busch. Never really showed their hand at all and didnt really show any speed, never really led in the laps until the last one, and thats the only one that really matters.Perhaps its because Johnson had no plan. This was one of those rare days in racing when someone elses bad breaks benefited a driver who was prepared to pounce. Edwards accident gave him a chance Johnson didnt have a mere five laps earlier.It wasnt looking good, Knaus admitted. I still dont think that we necessarily had the speed that we need. The one thing that we have in our corner is we have Jimmie Johnson. He is the one that makes things happen when we dont necessarily have the race cars.When we do have the race cars that we need, he does phenomenal things.Also doubting the situation was team owner Rick Hendrick, standing atop the pit box and lamenting with 10 laps to go that it was over for Johnson. His wife told him Johnson was still going to win the race. Hendrick didnt take her seriously.When we had that last caution and he came out and took the lead, I couldnt believe it, Hendrick said. I was actually stunned because we had so many ups and downs in that race.Indeed, from last to first and the top of the record books.---More AP auto racing: www.racing.ap.org http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Jordan-Howard-Jersey/ . John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo were also being counted on to slow down sizzling Rangers forward Rick Nash. That plan didnt go so well early. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Nick-Kwiatkoski-Jersey/ . "Hes going to have hip surgery on Jan. 7, and hell be expected to rehabilitate for four to six months beyond that," Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said Friday in an interview. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Dan-Hampton-Jersey/ .ca NHL Power Rankings for the second straight week, ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Pernell-Mcphee-Jersey/ . That gave fans outside Joe Louis Arena another chance to ask for autographs from the 19-year-old whose stardom in the NHL has arrived earlier than most expected. http://www.bearsrookiestore.com/Bears-Devin-Hester-Jersey/ . Datsyuk will miss Tuesdays game against New Jersey and could be sidelined longer, while Cleary will likely miss at least the next three games. Its been an injury-plagued season for Datsyuk, who has suited up for just 39 games. The Golden State Warriors have been dominant during the regular season over the past two years. They finished 67-15 in 2014-15 and had a record-breaking 73-9 record during their 2015-16 campaign.But theres one team that has given them trouble over that stretch, and seems to have the formula for how to give the Warriors fits -- the Boston Celtics.All four meetings between the Celtics and Warriors over the past two seasons have been decided by five points or fewer. Their first matchup last season went to double overtime, where the then-unbeaten Warriors squeaked out a 124-119 victory. The second time around, the Celtics defeated the Warriors 109-106, handing?Stephen Curry and company one of their nine losses and snapping Golden States 54-game home winning streak.Friday nights first matchup between the teams this season (8 p.m. ET, on ESPN) will be played at the TD Garden in Boston, where both Curry and his new teammate, Kevin Durant, have excelled in recent years. Curry is averaging 37.5 points in his past two games there, while Durant has averaged 30.5 points in his past four games in Boston.The Warriors are starting to find a comfort level with their newly constructed team. Theyre on a five-game winning streak and have scored at least 115 points and dished out at least 30 assists in each contest. The last team to have six straight games of 30 or more assists was the Portland Trail Blazers in November of 1990.Golden State is averaging 33.2 assists since Nov. 7, which is eight more than any other team over that span. They could become the first team since the Showtime Lakers in 1984-85 tto average 30 assists in a season.ddddddddddddNot only has the team shared the ball well, but Curry and Durant are starting to gain chemistry playing alongside one another. Theyre both averaging 27 points per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. They were the only two players in the NBA to reach both of those thresholds last year and are hoping to become the first teammates in NBA history to accomplish that during the same season.Boston, meanwhile, has stepped up its defense since the first seven games of the season, allowing just 93.8 points per game in the last four contests. Teams are shooting just 40.4 percent from the field during that stretch. In their past three home games, the Celtics have held opponents to just 90 points per game.And Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, whos averaging 27.2 points per game, is on pace to become one of the the most prolific scorers among players under 6-feet tall in NBA history.Thomas has scored 30 or more in his past two games. He never has scored 30 in three straight contests, but has a chance to do so Friday night against Golden State. Thomas is also the first Celtics player since the great Kevin McHale in 1986-87 to score 20 or more points in each of the teams first 11 games of a season.His backcourt mate, Avery Bradley, also has played well this season. Bradleys averaging a career-best 18.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game -- which is second among guards behind the?Oklahoma City Thunders Russell Westbrook. 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