HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Jeff Gordon did his best to shake off the disappointment over his elimination from the championship field by winning the pole for Sundays season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.Gordon turned a lap at 180.747 mph in Friday qualifying to earn the top starting spot for a race that became meaningless to his season after he crossed the finish line last week at Phoenix. Gordon finished second and was in the field of four drivers for the championship race, but he was knocked out seconds later by Ryan Newman.Using an aggressive pass of Kyle Larson coming out of the final turn, Newman picked up the one position he needed to knock Gordon from the championship race by one point.Now Gordon will race only for the trophy on Sunday, while Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman will compete for the title.It hit me hard when I crossed the line at Phoenix. I think I was just really in disbelief for a good 24 hours that we did everything so right and didnt make it, Gordon said. That disappointment was definitely there throughout the week. I think even if we win this race on Sunday, thats only going to make it hurt a little bit more in some ways because we could have won the championship if we were here.Gordon, a four-time winner this season and the points leader for most of the year, was seeking his fifth championship. Now hes just trying to close out the season on a high note for his Hendrick Motorsports team.The first step was winning the 200th pole for the Hendrick organization. Kurt Busch qualified second and was followed by Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.I think the way were looking at this weekend is we want to finish this season on the best note possible, Gordon said. Its been a tremendous season for us. Im disappointed were not in this thing for the championship, but thats not going to stop us from trying to win the pole and win the race.Harvick will lead the title contenders Sunday by starting fifth. Hamlin will start eighth and Logano is in the 12th slot. Newman was the worst qualifier at 21st.Harvick continued his needling of Logano, the youngest driver in the championship field. It began at Wednesday nights contenders event when he deliberately tried to rattle Logano, and carried over into Friday when he was told to wait off to the side while Logano and Hamlin were participating in a news conference.Im going up here anyway, he said as strolled onto the stage. Going to sit right here next to my buddy.Logano grinned, patted Harvick on the back, and said: Whats up, buddy?Hamlin then stood as if he was going to leave, Alright, Ill let you two have at it, he joked.The champion will be the highest-finishing driver among the four on Sunday, and it will be the first Cup title for the winner.Hamlin, the defending race winner, said his car feels as good as the Toyota he drove to victory last season.Last year, I knew we were going to win the race. I knew in practice we were going to win the race, Hamlin said, and my car feels equally as good this time around.But Harvick was also confident — just not prepared to talk as tough as Hamlin.I think theres just too many things, way too much to live up to, to make those kind of comments, he said. You want to try to prepare yourself for the races as best you can. Hopefully, you make the right adjustments going into the race, and regardless of how our car is in practice, well all wonder if we made the right decisions.As the lowest-qualifying driver, Newman seemed to recognize hell have his work cut out for him Sunday.Its going to be a crazy race, Newman said. Its going to be some really crazy restarts, but I dont think your starting position defines whos going to finish there. Browns Jerseys
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. There will be no Down Under four-peat for Djokovic, as the eighth-seeded Swiss slugger Wawrinka outlasted the second seed 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 at Melbourne Parks Rod Laver Arena in yet another five-set thriller in their burgeoning rivalry.CHICAGO -- Some hitters arent comfortable swinging at 3-0 pitches. Alexei Ramirez and Jose Abreu arent among them. Ramirez hit a grand slam to fuel Chicagos seven-run fourth inning and Jose Abreu hit his major league-leading 13th homer and drove in two runs -- both homers came on 3-0 pitches -- to lead the White Sox to a 9-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night. Ramirezs blast was his sixth career grand slam and broke open a 2-2 tie. "I was looking for a good pitch to connect, something that was over the plate," he said through a translator. "Thats what I did and I was able to hit it." Abreu was the designated hitter because of a nagging left ankle injury. He went 3 for 4 and leads the AL with 37 RBIs. His blast to straight away centre was estimated at 442-feet. "You dont see balls hit like that very much," said White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, who filled in for manager Robin Ventura in the postgame news conference although Ventura managed. "Well probably do the same thing tomorrow, DH him and try to get him a couple of days off on the road." Tyler Flowers also homered for the White Sox, who pounded out 15 hits. Andre Rienzo (3-0) allowed three runs on four hits in 5 2-3 innings and the bullpen pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings. Brandon McCarthy (1-6) allowed nine hits and seven runs -- all in the fourth inning. "I have no idea what happened; I really dont know," McCarthy said. "I dont know if they changed their approach or just got super aggressive. I was throwing a lot of strikes, they just started jumping on everything." Arizona went up 2-0 on Gerardo Parras two-run homer in the third inning. The lead appeared secure because McCarthy was cruising, retiring all nine batters he faced in the first three innings on a total of 33 pitches. Things quickly turned in the bottom of the fourth. Alejandro De Aza broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff double and scored on a single by the next batter, Gordon Beckham. Following Connor Gillaspies single, Abreu drove in Beckham with a single to tie the score at 2 and make it four straight hits.dddddddddddd Things were just getting started. Following a strikeout by Adam Dunn for the first out, Dayan Viciedo singled to load the bases and Ramirez broke the game open by sending a drive into the left-field bullpen. The White Sox werent done as the next three batters singled. McCarthy, who threw 31 pitches in the fourth inning, was knocked from the game on the last of those hits, a run-scoring single by De Aza, to make it 7-2. "Even looking back, theyre not terrible pitches, theyre not anything different than what I was doing the first three innings," McCarthy said. "Its just I dont know, I dont know how you get 9 hits out of 10 hitters, when I felt like I was doing the things I needed to do. Im baffled at this point." The Chicago hitters werent baffled by anything in the fourth. "The first time around, he was able to throw his sinker, he was able to throw his curveball efficiently," Ramirez said. "The second time, I just kind of lay off of that stuff and thats how I was able to get a good pitch. I think thats what everybody else did." The Diamondbacks got a run back in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single by A.J. Pollock. Abreu then homered in the seventh to make it 8-3. Flowers had a leadoff homer in the eighth to close out the scoring. NOTES: Chicago RHP Nate Jones, whos been sidelined all season with a mysterious back injury, had surgery Monday to repair a pinched nerve. "It is a relief," he said, "because after surgery Im not feeling any pain in my hip." Jones isnt expected to begin baseball-related activity for four weeks, but expects to pitch this season. ... Chicago manager Robin Ventura will miss Saturdays game to attend the graduation of his daughter, Rachel, at Oklahoma State. Bench coach Mark Parent will manage. ... LHP Wade Miley (2-3) faces Jose Quintana (1-2) in the second game of the series. China NFL Jerseys White Cheap NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys 2019 Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Youth NFL Jerseys China
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