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KANSAS CITY -- Maybe weve had it wrong all this time, thinking the restrictor-plate lottery at Talladega Superspeedway is the wild card in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.Charlotte Motor Speedway certainly staked its claim for that honor last weekend. Five of the twelve remaining Chase-eligible drivers finished 30th or worse Sunday, with wrecks or mechanical issues putting their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship hopes very much in jeopardy.That makes this Sundays Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway ultracritical, especially for those drivers who find themselves in a deep hole in terms of advancing in the Chase. For Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott, who are all on the outside looking in, and even Denny Hamlin on the bubble, winning is pretty much the only option if they want to make the cut when the Chase field is narrowed from 12 drivers to eight after next weeks race at Talladega.Its exactly the kind of drama NASCAR hoped for when it created the 16-driver elimination format for the Chase in 2014, and it makes a race like Kansas that might have faded into obscurity become vitally important.It drastically changes the dynamic, said Team Penskes Brad Keselowski, who came out of the opening race of the round of 12 in good shape, sitting fourth in the standings with a 25-point cushion over ninth.When I look at this format that we have, theres really two ways you can get in, and thats through consistency and winning. And when you look at the simple math, there are four cars that are going to be eliminated and there are five cars that are in really rough shape that arent going to have the opportunity to be consistent and make their way in.Keselowski didnt have the best of days at Charlotte, but his seventh-place finish was enough to keep him in the top half of the eight drivers who will advance. Barring a disaster at Kansas, he should be able to move on in the Chase through consistency.Easily, he remarked. If we could run top-10 the next two races, I would say its an easy transfer. If youre a car that has any kind of gap right now, youre just going to go and lay up at Kansas.Certainly there are some situations you cant avoid -- you blow a tire or things like what happened to Joey [Logano, at Charlotte], he added. Those arent avoidable situations. You can break down, but the reality is, if you have a pretty good gap, you probably are going to take a log off the fire.The DNF at Charlotte was a major turnaround from a year ago for Logano, who won all three races in the 12-to-eight cutoff round in 2015. Logano was then famously knocked out of the Chase a couple of weeks later when Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked him at Martinsville in retaliation for the move Logano had made on Kenseth to win the Fall Kansas race.Like the other drivers who are in the danger zone, Logano remains bullish about his chances of advancing. A two-time Kansas winner, the Penske Ford driver knows he cant dwell on the tire problems that ruined his race at Charlotte.Its part of racing, but were not out, Logano said. Were not gonna die. This team is resilient. Weve proved it before, and well just have to go out and prove it again. We just have to have two flawless races. Its something we can make up.Although a multicar wreck at Charlotte affected several Chase contenders, mechanical issues also played a big role. Martin Truex Jr.?and Carl Edwards were lucky to finish 12th and 13th after respectively battling engine and clutch problems in their Toyotas.They lie sixth and seventh on the Chase grid, about 20 points to the good.Im not going to think about having a cushion, Edwards commented. I know what this competition is about, and all these guys can go win the next two races.With half of the 10 Chase races run on 1.5-mile intermediate speedways, perhaps it is appropriate that Charlotte might end up playing such a pivotal role in this years championship. The same potential for drama exists this weekend at Kansas.Among the drivers currently not in the top eight, Harvick probably has the best chance of recovering from a bad weekend at Charlotte. Engine and electrical problems relegated the 2014 Cup champion to a 38th-place finish.Harvick has a previous win at Kansas, though, and nobody has come through in the clutch more frequently since the elimination-style Chase debuted in his championship season. Over the past three years, Harvick has won races three times when facing elimination: Phoenix 2014, Dover 2015 and New Hampshire earlier this year.Logano is a two-time winner at Kansas, a venue where Hamlin has also visited Victory Lane. Hamlin looked in good shape at Charlotte until his engine blew late in the race.Unlucky, but in this format you can still win and advance, and some other guys had some tough days, Hamlin related. I think each race youre going to have a handful of guys that are going to have issues; Kansas I dont think will be any different, and Talladega we know will be crazy.Thats why were not out of it by any means, he added. We just have a little hole we have to dig out of.While several drivers are in a relatively comfortable position in terms of advancing in the Chase, only one man doesnt have anything to worry about: Charlotte winner Jimmie Johnson.But that doesnt mean JJ and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team are going to relax.Im so glad Im not one of the teams that had trouble at Charlotte because its just so tough, Johnson said. A victory is a huge boost, theres no way around it. Were definitely building momentum at the right time, though it happened maybe a little later than we would have liked.Were clearly in that round of eight, but ideally I want to keep the pressure on our team and have more exposure to race-winning pressure situations, he added. It would be smart not to change anything because you have to be at ten-tenths for these last few races.I want more trophies this year. Nick Chubb Jersey . But what about the officials? Every sport has officials and they also have stories about hard work and sacrifice but their accomplishments are seldom recognized by anyone outside their inner circle. Browns Jersesys Outlet .Y. - Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. http://www.brownsjerseyscheap.com/cheap-damion-ratley-jersey/ . They hope to persuade the other team owners and commissioner Roger Goodell to put pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to drop the nickname they find offensive. "Given the way the meeting transpired," Ray Halbritter, an Oneida representative and leader of the "Change the Mascot Campaign," said Wednesday, "it became somewhat evident they were defending the continued use of the name. Cheap Cleveland Browns Jersesys .com) - Christian Ponder will get another chance to prove himself for the Minnesota Vikings, with head coach Leslie Frazier announcing Wednesday that the struggling quarterback will start this weekends game against the Green Bay Packers. Simeon Thomas Jersey . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. NEW ORLEANS -- The man who fatally shot retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith insisted Saturday that he did so only after a drunken, irate Smith retrieved a gun from his damaged SUV following an April 9 car crash.I knew for a fact that I was going to get shot, Cardell Hayes, 29, told the jury in his second-degree murder trial, adding that he heard a pop that he believed to be a gunshot before he fired. Hayes also insisted he didnt shoot Smiths wife Racquel that night. Prosecutors say ballistics evidence shows otherwise.Hayes defense lawyers rested their case Saturday afternoon, setting the stage for closing arguments and the beginning of jury deliberations Sunday.On the stand, Hayes vehemently denied intentionally running into Smiths Mercedes SUV moments after the Mercedes appeared to have bumped Hayes car. He said he armed himself only after he and his own passenger were accosted by Smith and Richard Hernandez, a passenger in the SUV. Hernandez, he said, wildly stripped off his shirt and took something shiny from his pocket -- Hayes said he feared it was a knife.Smith didnt initially notice the gun, Hayes said. He said Smith, 34, threw a cup containing some type of alcohol at him and punched him repeatedly. At some point during the fast-unfolding melee, Hernandez alerted Smith to Hayes gun, Hayes said under questioning from defense lawyer John Fuller.Hayes testified that Smith addressed him with a racial epithet and then told him, ... you got your gun. Well Im going to get mine and Ill show you what to do with it.Hayes said Hernandez, a white Hispanic who fled the scene, also used racial epithets.However, race has not been raised as an alleged factor in the confrontation. Hayes and Kevin ONeal, his passenger, are black, and so was Smith.Hayes was calm and soft spoken under questioning from Fuller, his voice catching briefly as he noted that he hass been jailed since the shooting, unable to be with his 6-year-old son.dddddddddddd. He was the only witness to place a gun in Smiths hand that night. Police say a loaded gun was found in Smiths SUV. Prosecutors say it was never fired that night and that Smith never grabbed it.Hayes fired a .45-caliber handgun numerous times. Racquel Smith was hit twice in the legs, and Will Smith once in the side and seven times in the back. Hayes and others have testified that she tried to calm her husband that night. Some prosecution witnesses say she appeared to have done so and that there was no apparent reason for Hayes to fire.On cross examination, Assistant Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Napoli repeatedly noted that no other witness said Smith had a gun and that Hayes never told investigators he saw a gun in Smiths hands that night.I never gave a full statement to anyone, Hayes said, growing testy as Napoli asked about inconsistencies in his testimony and past statements.Prosecutors also called a rebuttal witness -- a firearms expert who said there was no evidence Smith had fired a gun when he died.The first witnesses called Saturday were friends of Hayes who said he was in a good mood and was not drinking at a party before the crash. Among Saturday mornings spectators was Saints coach Sean Payton. Smith was a defensive leader on the Payton-coached Saints team that won the 2010 Super Bowl.Prosecutors rested their case Friday after nearly a week of hearing from witnesses, including Racquel Smith.She and Smiths former teammate Pierre Thomas were among prosecution witnesses who said Smiths anger seemed to have cooled before the gunfire. But Hayes passenger in the Hummer insisted that Smith and others with him were the aggressors. Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Cheap NFL Jerseys Throwback Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Hoodies Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '