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 everal national sports and talk shows in the two days

While much of the racing community is focused on James Hinchcliffes participation on Dancing With The Stars, the small matter of the Verizon IndyCar Series championship will be decided this weekend at Sonoma Raceway.Simon Pagenaud arrives in California wine country with a comfortable 43-point advantage over his Penske Racing teammate Will Power. But the Frenchman will need to perform at his best because Power is the acknowledged master of the undulating road course that is serving as the venue for the IndyCar Series season finale for the second year in a row.Power is a three-time winner at Sonoma and has started from pole position in five of the past six IndyCar races there. Excluding bonus points for pole and laps led, if Power wins Sunday, Pagenaud can clinch his first IndyCar crown with a sixth-place finish.Thats why Power is determined to dominate at one of his favorite tracks in the hopes of adding a second title to the one he won in 2014.Im very relaxed, but I have to say Ive definitely done my homework on how to execute this weekend, Power said from his home in North Carolina. Im looking forward to it.Ive got to expect that Simon is going to have a really good weekend, and that means that Ive got to start on the pole and win the race, he continued. Its pretty obvious what Ive got to do. I cant be conservative in any way -- I really need to make it happen, and I know if I win it gives me the best chance.Just being in championship contention is an unexpected bonus for Power, who missed the season opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg when a severe sinus infection created concussion-like symptoms that prevented him from competing.Pagenaud finished second and led the most laps at St. Pete, scoring 43 points -- the exact cushion he enjoys 14 races later. Actually, his edge coming out of St. Pete was 43-1, because Power had earned the point for the pole before being sidelined by INDYCAR medical staff.Power claims he has put that all behind him.You have to put that out of your mind, he said. Thats just the way it is. Not running at St. Pete was a pity because its a pretty straightforward race, I was starting on pole and Im pretty good around that joint. So there were probably some pretty good points on the table. Even if Id started and parked it I would have gotten 10 or 12 points, and maybe another if I led a lap from pole.But honestly, I havent thought about that all year and I havent regretted it, he noted. Ive just been kind of going with it. For me, it was surprisingly a really good year. After St. Pete, Id have never said that I would win four races. Hell, before St. Pete, I was wondering how I was even going to survive the season!Instead, Power went on a tear starting in June, winning four races and adding a series of seconds. After his triumph at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 21, Power closed to within 20 points of Pagenaud, only to see the gap more than double when he crashed out at Watkins Glen.Still, with double points on the line (100 vs. 50 for a win, etc.), Powers title hopes are still very realistic. And no matter whether Power or Pagenaud prevails, team owner Roger Penske is guaranteed his 14th Indy car championship crown.After Pocono, for sure I thought, This is really possible now, Power said. Even when I was 117 points out or whatever, I never thought it was over or said I was out of the championship. Watkins Glen obviously made it a little harder but I still have a shot, and a pretty good one. After St. Pete, [Penske Racing president] Tim Cindric said double points can be your friend, so well see if hes dead-on right.It would be great. Any championship is fantastic, but winning one for Rogers 50th year would be awesome on so many levels. Just phenomenal.In some respects, the greatest pressure is on Pagenaud, who has never finished higher than third in the IndyCar Series standings.The Frenchman has matched Powers total of four race wins this year and is in excellent position to secure the title. But thanks to the double points on offer, he must still be wary.Last year, Scott Dixon won and made up a 34-point deficit at Sonoma to steal the title from Penskes Juan Pablo Montoya.This is our big season finale and Im very excited to get to battle it out on the track, Pagenaud said. The job is a little different than usual, as we are only fighting Will Power.Our season has been incredible, he added. I am so proud of my team and what we have already accomplished with six poles and four wins. Now we want the championship, and may the best man win.Theres still a strong battle for third in the standings, with Helio Castroneves and Dixon tied and Josef Newgarden just five points behind them. Tony Kanaan is within striking distance of securing the third and final spot on the championship podium, and Graham Rahal and Carlos Munoz still have a remote shot.Castroneves is trying to complete Team Penskes first 1-2-3 since Al Unser Jr., Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy swept the top three spots in the 1994 CART-sanctioned Indy car championship. Four-time IndyCar champion Dixon, meanwhile, is trying to preserve a streak of top-three championship finishes that dates to 2007.At this point, were going to do everything we can to finish 1-2-3 in this championship, Castroneves said.Although Dixon is out of the championship hunt, hes eager to watch the showdown between the Penske drivers -- hopefully in his rearview mirrors.Both of them have just got to go for it, Dixon said. Youve got to race it like any other race and thats hard. I think all of us fall victim to falling into a championship battle and racing for a championship as opposed to just doing what we need to do.Its definitely a very emotional ride going into it, and Will has been in a lot more battles for the championship than Simon has, he added. Well have to see how that team handles it. I think Roger will be very happy that the championship lies with that team and they can fight it out. Hes going to be a happy man either way.Newgarden, the young American star whom many observers predict will join Team Penske in 2017, could play the spoiler in what may be his last race for Ed Carpenter Racing.Like Power, Newgarden essentially missed a race after crashing out at Texas prior to the rainout. Third place in the championship would be a worthy achievement for the 25-year-old.?As far as whats going to happen at the front, I dont know, Newgarden said. I think theres a lot of pressure for sure on Will and Simon, and thats going to be up to them how they manage that. And really for guys like Tony, Scott, Helio or me, its kind of a battle to be best of the rest.I think youre going to see a great race. Eugenio Suarez Jersey .875,000, avoiding arbitration. Clippards deal Monday means all eight Nationals players who filed for arbitration wound up settling before a hearing. Tom Seaver Jersey . Defenceman Yannick Weber scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Canucks breathed a sigh of relief with a 2-1 win on Saturday night. http://www.redsgearshop.com/Reds-Drew-Storen-Kids-Jersey/ .2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for the leagues broadcast and multimedia rights. Custom Cincinnati Reds Jerseys . After a replay, the winner will meet Sunderland in the quarterfinals. Sagbo did well to control Sone Alukos right cross and fire past Brighton goalkeeper Peter Brezovan. Aluko was making his first start in four months after recovering from an Achilles injury. Joe Morgan Jersey . Dukurs winning time was 1 minute, 45.76 seconds, a quarter-second better than Russias Alexander Tretiakov. Lativas Tomass Dukurs was third, 1.41 seconds off the pace. Jon Montgomery of Eckville, Alta. As NASCAR prepares to celebrate and honor Jimmie Johnson for his seventh career Sprint Cup title this week, he likely isnt thinking about which new endorsement deals could come his way by tying the sports record for number of championships.Johnson indicated a couple of weeks before winning his seventh title that he would have to think long and hard about any additional opportunities he could earn by tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.With two daughters, ages 3 and 6, he doesnt need to add to his commitments. He is focused on family, racing, his current partners and his foundation.I kind of pulled all that [endorsement work] back when we first started having a family, Johnson said in early November. I had to free up some space somewhere, somehow. Maybe a seventh [title] would bring some opportunity there and I would have to look hard at it.With so little free time as it is, I didnt want to be worrying about chasing all that.Johnson has 11 primary sponsors either through personal endorsements or through the Hendrick Motorsports team: Lowes (plus Kobalt), Chevrolet, Gatorade, Wells Enterprises (Blue Bunny Ice Cream), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Seiko, Sunoco, Valvoline, Bank of America and Microsoft.Thats a long enough list of big companies to keep any big-time athlete busy.Johnson, who will be honored in Las Vegas at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, was speaking after a Jimmie Johnson Fouundation event where the foundation gave grants to schools for projects.dddddddddddd His wife, Chani, said she didnt think another championship would have a big impact on their fundraising, which the couple says has been steady year to year, championship or no championship.I dont think there is a correlation, Chani said. Its more about the mission and the programs we have in place to raise those funds is what matters. It hasnt really been related [except] maybe some name recognition.Johnson appeared on several national sports and talk shows in the two days after his championship. That certainly added to his exposure. But he indicated that he wouldnt let all that extra spotlight distract him.The most important thing is being prepped and ready for the car, have time for that and my family, Johnson said. The endorsement side, the amount of stuff you have to do for the endorsement stuff, Id have to look at it, but Im not eager to go jump into any endorsement deals.Still, he certainly isnt turning away the opportunity to have more name recognition and seeing what might come with that.What Im doing, business side is really not glamorous stuff -- buying some real estate here and there, Johnson said. If I was to have more interest in the spotlight or [being in] the public eye, it wouldnt hurt one bit. 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dasg234, 24.09.2018 09:14
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