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Keselowski: Everyone Has a Shot

Keselowski: Everyone Has a Shot

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(NEW YORK) -- The chase for the Sprint Cup title is down to eight drivers headed into Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski had to win last weekend to get into the Eliminator round and found a way to win in the final laps at Talladega. Still, he feels it's anyones game right now.

"Everyone has a strength," Keselowski said of the final drivers remaining. "It really is pretty open to me."

Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards will join Keselowski.

Hamlin is hoping to continue his run of success at Martinsville. "It's been a great track for us," Hamin said on Tuesday. "No one saw us winning last year, we were running like 15th every week and all of a sudden we went to Homestead, it's hard to pinpoint the favorites and underdogs at this point."

Gordon and his team have had success at every single track in this round, so he's betting on Martinsville.

"This to me is where we're going to shine," Gordon said. "There's such a realistic chance for us to not only win one or a couple of these races coming up, but seriously get ourselves to Homestead with a shot at winning this thing."

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Brad Keselowski Survives Round, Wins at Talladega

Brad Keselowski Survives Round, Wins at Talladega

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(TALLADEGA, Ala.) -- Brad Keselowski is into the eliminator round after holding off Matt Kenseth at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

Keselowski needed to win in order to stay alive in the chase for the championship and took the lead during the final caution flag in the green-white checkered finish.

The win comes after last weekend's post-race brawl between Kenseth and Keselowski, but Keselowski will take a win no matter what.

"I know there's probably some people out there that aren't really happy I won. I can understand that. But I'm a man like anyone else and not real proud of last week," Keselowski said of last weekend's post-race brawl at Charlotte.  "But I'm real proud of today."

"It was funny how this racing world works out. I don't know why it is that way. I don't know why it seems like every week where there's either a fight in the garage or a mishap or something like that happens, those two cars and people end up together."

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, and defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson were all eliminated from the Chase for the Championship.

Jeff Gordon, a Hendrick teammate of the three who were eliminated, said it's tough to see them go out that way.

"Great teams, great drivers, great friends. I hate to see them not in there," Gordon said about Johnson, Earnhardt and Kahne. "I really thought the chances of two of them getting in were very good, and certainly one of them. I thought two of us would be in there, and I thought there's a decent chance three could be there."

Gordon, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, and Kenseth are all moving onto the next round.

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Talladega Superspeedway Preview

Talladega Superspeedway Preview

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(TALLADEGA, Ala.) -- The Chase field will be cut from 12 to eight on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

The final stage of the contender round will take place in the Geico 500 and Denny Hamlin is looking forward to another shot after winning at the track in May.

"My guess is that [Brad Keselowski] will probably try to wreck everyone -- that's his only shot," Hamlin said this week. "He'll just be out of control like normal. We'll do what we have to do to get in and that's the big picture."

Keselowski was fined $50,000 on Tuesday for a post-race altercation with Tony Stewart at Charlotte.

Jeff Gordon leads active drivers with six Talladega victories, but still isn't looking forward to the race.

"Nobody wants to deal with Talladega," Gordon said this week.  "Everybody would like to take the weekend off there if they could. Two guys [Contender Round winners Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano] in some ways get to, and the rest of us are going to have to go race there. We've got a little bit of a cushion but not near enough to be comfortable by any means."

"We'll go and race the way we normally do there, which is just try to be smart, try to stay out of the mess and then put ourselves in a good position to get a good finish [and] hope it works out," he continued.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five victories at Talladega and won a record four straight from 2001-2003. Unlike Gordon, he's looking forward to the track.

"[We just have to] go out there and win it. We can do it. We have won there a lot of times," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I know what we need to do. We will just have to build a fast car and hope that we don't have any gremlins and try to go out there and win it."

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Gordon Wins Final Race of “Challenger Round”

Gordon Wins Final Race of “Challenger Round”

Geoff Burke/Getty Images(DOVER, Del.) -- Jeff Gordon led the final 71 laps of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, cementing his spot in the next round of the NASCAR's 10-race "Chase for the Sprint Cup". It was Gordon's fifth win at The Monster Mile, and his first since winning his last series crown in 2001.

"I think it makes a statement of what type of team we are," Gordon said. "I think that it makes a statement that we're a team to beat for this championship."

Although he didn't need the win to advance, Gordon joined Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as winners through the first round of NASCAR's new playoff format which eliminates four drivers after every third race. At the conclusion of the race at Dover, Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, and Aric Amirola were knocked from championship contention.

Kevin Harvick led 223 laps but poor tire management left him with a 13th place finish. Keselowski took second while Jimmie Johnson, Logano and Matt Kenseth finished out the top five. The points will now reset for the "Contender Round" which features races at Kansas, Charlotte, and Talladega.

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Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(JOLIET, Ill.) -- Brad Keselowski passed between both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson to seize the lead with 19 laps to go, winning the MyAFIBStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The win kept Keselowski atop the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings after the first race and guarantees his advancement into the next round.

"Man, the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun, knowing we don't have to worry too much and we are going to move up," said Keselowski. 

A late crash forced one more restart, but the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion easily pulled away from the field with six laps remaining. It was Keselowski's second-straight trip to victory lane, and his series-leading fifth win of the season.

Jeff Gordon finished second while Kyle Larson took third. The new playoff format in NASCAR will eliminate four drivers every three races during the 10-race Chase. Drivers are able to earn a pass into the next round with a win in the individual event.

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Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Keselowski Wins Chase Opener at Chicagoland

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images For NASCAR(JOLIET, Ill.) -- Brad Keselowski passed between both Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson to seize the lead with 19 laps to go, winning the MyAFIBStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. The win kept Keselowski atop the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings after the first race and guarantees his advancement into the next round.

"Man, the next two weeks are going to be a lot of fun, knowing we don't have to worry too much and we are going to move up," said Keselowski. 

A late crash forced one more restart, but the 2012 Sprint Cup Champion easily pulled away from the field with six laps remaining. It was Keselowski's second-straight trip to victory lane, and his series-leading fifth win of the season.

Jeff Gordon finished second while Kyle Larson took third. The new playoff format in NASCAR will eliminate four drivers every three races during the 10-race Chase. Drivers are able to earn a pass into the next round with a win in the individual event.

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Jeff Gordon Is Looking Forward to Bristol

Jeff Gordon Is Looking Forward to Bristol

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Fresh off his third win of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Jeff Gordon hopes to continue one of the best seasons of his career on Saturday night.

Gordon has five wins, five poles, and 16 top five finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway and has an average starting position of 7.4.

"Bristol provides the teams with a lot of challenges, but I love the input a driver can give to help influence the setup," Gordon said on his website.  "It’s a track that most drivers seem to enjoy racing at. It’s a track the fans love, as well."

"(No. 24 crew chief) Alan (Gustafson) and the crew are giving me great cars each week. It’s a lot of fun going to the track right now, and this week is no exception. I love racing at Bristol and we’re really looking forward to this Saturday night’s race," Gordon continued.

Only three races remain before NASCAR's chase for the championship begins.

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Jeff Gordon Wins the Pure Michigan 400

Jeff Gordon Wins the Pure Michigan 400

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) -- Not only did Jeff Gordon win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the year, he won at Michigan International Speedway for the first time since 2001, as he won the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday.

It was Gordon's 91st NASCAR Sprint Cup win. This is his first three-win season since 2011.

Gordon remains at the top of the points standings over Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gordon holds a three-point lead in the standings.

"It wasn't easy, it's never easy to win at any of these tracks, especially when aerodynamics and track position mean so much," Gordon said after the race. "I thought we learned a lot the last time we were here on track position so Allen called a perfect race."

Kevin Harvick finished second in the race, followed by Joey Logano, Paul Menard, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

With three races left in the regular season, barring any attempt to not qualify the races, the 12 drivers have been determined in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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Jeff Gordon Wins Pole for Michigan

Jeff Gordon Wins Pole for Michigan

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) -- Jeff Gordon set the track record and won the pole for Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Gordon has two wins this season and had a speed of 206.558 mph for the record.

"I don't know where to start," Gordon said. "You can point at the repaving of the racetrack. This track is smooth -- has a tremendous amount of surface area where the tire can get a lot of grip to it. The next thing is the cars."

Joey Logano finished with the second fastest time and was followed by Carl Edwards.

"It has nothing to do with the racetrack picking up speed," said Logano, who qualified second behind Gordon. "It has (to do with) what we've been doing to the race cars to go faster. ... I believe it's cooler out, too. So I think between those two things, that's why we went faster again, but the racetrack itself isn't picking up speed. The racetrack, if anything, is maintaining to getting slower. But it's widening out, so it's becoming a better race."

Edwards, who has two wins this season, said that doesn't mind the new paved track.

"It's fast -- that's the simplest way to describe it," Edwards said. "I wish you guys could ride in that car with me there. That is screaming."

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Scoreboard Roundup – 7/27/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 7/27/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: Philadelphia Phillies 4 (46-59) - Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (45-60)

Toronto Blue Jays 5 (56-50) - New York Yankees 4 (54-50)

Washington Nationals 4 (57-45) - Cincinnati Reds 2 (52-52)

Boston Red Sox 3 (48-57) - Tampa Bay Rays 2 (51-54)

St. Louis Cardinals 1 (56-48) - Chicago Cubs 0 (42-61)

Miami Marlins 4 (51-53) - Houston Astros 2 (42-63)

Minnesota Twins 4 (47-57) - Chicago White Sox 3 (51-55)

Cleveland Indians 10 (52-53) - Kanas City Royals 3 (53-51)

New York Mets 2 (50-55) - Milwaukee Brewers 0 (59-47)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2 (63-41) - Detroit Tigers 1 (57-45)

Baltimore Orioles 3 (58-46) - Seattle Mariners 2 (54-51) - 10 Innings

Atlanta Braves 8 (57-48) - San Diego Padres 3 (46-58)

Pittsburgh Pirates 7 (55-49) - Colorado Rockies 5 (43-61)

Oakland Athletics 9 (65-39) - Texas Rangers 3 (41-64) 

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (59-47) - San Francisco Giants 3 (57-48)

NASCAR: Sprint Cup Series: Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Jeff Gordon Wins the Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon Wins the Brickyard 400

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Jeff Gordon won the inaugural Brickyard 400 in his rookie year and took home his fifth on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 43-year-old has competed in all 21 Brickyard 400s in his career and passed Kasey Kahne at lap 144 during a restart to grab the lead for good.

"Never know when your next win is going to come," Gordon said.  

"We've been close a couple times, to getting number five," Gordon continued. "Everytime I come here to Indianapolis, I feel like we have a shot at winning.

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Denny Hamlin.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Brickyard 400

Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Kevin Harvick won the pole for Sunday's Brickyard 400 on Saturday.

Harvick was followed by Jeff Gordon, and Brad Keselowski for the top three spots.

"I think that we certainly look at all the Hendrick cars and the Stewart-Haas cars ... and Penske, to me, is the team to beat outside of what we have," Gordon said. "I'm pretty sure all those groups have their best stuff here."

Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson have three wins this season.

"When you think you really understand what's going on, you never know what somebody else has in their hand -- much like if you were playing a game of poker," Keselowski said. "We think that we have the two strongest hands with Penske and Hendrick, and certainly that's been the case to this date in the season, but you just don't know what's out there."

Gordon is the points leader and has one win this season.

"To be on the front row, 20 years after my first win, I get excited about that," Gordon said.

Indiana native Ryan Newman won last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Carl Edwards Takes Sonoma

Carl Edwards Takes Sonoma

Jerry Markland/Getty Images(SONOMA, Calif.) -- Carl Edwards had to hold off Jeff Gordon on the final lap, but he was able to secure his first ever road course win on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway in California. The victory was Edwards' second of the season, cementing his spot in the Chase for the Cup field.

"My road racing progression, it's been a pretty long climb," said Edwards, who had never finished higher than third at Sonoma. "The real special part to me was to stand in Victory Lane at Sonoma and have Jeff Gordon come and give me a handshake as the second-place finisher. 

Gordon leads all drivers with five wins at Sonoma and almost picked up his sixth. After Edwards took the lead off a restart with 25 laps to go, Gordon made a strong run at the lead but was able to pass the 99 car. His second place finish keeps Gordon on the top of points standings.

Edwards helped Rousch Fenway Racing snap a five-race win streak for rival team Hendrick Motorsports. It also comes one week after Rousch Fenway failed to have a single driver finish in the top-10. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished third with Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounding out the top-five.

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Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Michigan 400

Kevin Harvick Wins Pole for Michigan 400

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images(BROOKLYN, Mich.) -- Kevin Harvick took home the pole for Sunday's Sprint Cup series race at Michigan.

Harvick's pole-winning speed of 204.557 mph was the fastest qualifying speed since Bill Elliot in 1987.

"This is one of those racetracks where you're running fast, but you really can't put it all in perspective, I guess, until you hit something," Harvick said. "It's so wide, it's so fast and so smooth, but you don't really get that huge sensation of speed."

Sprint Cup points leader Jeff Gordon was the second fastest on Friday and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"This format has obviously been good for me to kind of, I guess, creep up on it as you go through the sessions," Harvick said. "A fast car really solves a lot of problems."

Harvick enjoys racing at Michigan.

"Michigan's been fast for a long time. How fast is too fast?" Harvick said. "The cars will slow down a tremendous amount when we get them in race trim and you get them in a pack, and it's going to be quite a bit hotter on Sunday. They'll slow down. Qualifying speeds are high. It's just a matter of whose opinion is taken on whether it's too fast or not."

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Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Consecutive Sprint Cup Race

Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Consecutive Sprint Cup Race

Jerry Markland/Getty Images(DOVER, Del.) -- Jimmie Johnson is at it again.  The six-time Sprint Cup champion took home the checkered flag for the second consecutive weekend after a win at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.

Johnson won last weekend's Coca-Cola 600.

Brad Keselowski won the pole and made a late rally, but fell short and finished in second.

"It's amazing that we can stay on top of things here with the different generation car, different rules, different tires," Johnson said. "This place just fits my style and (crew chief) Chad Knaus' style."

Kyle Busch's bid at a sweep this weekend took a turn for the worst after the No. 18 Toyota slammed into the wall 124 laps into the 400-lap race and was forced into the garage. Busch won the Nationwide Series race earlier in the weekend.

Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

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Joey Logano Wins at Texas Motor Speedway

Joey Logano Wins at Texas Motor SpeedwayChris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Joey Logano had a big lead with 15 laps to go and held off Jeff Gordon in a green-white checkered finish in the rain-delayed Texas Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race on Monday. The race was postp...

Clint Bowyer Wants to Win at Martinsville

Clint Bowyer Wants to Win at MartinsvilleChris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) -- Clint Bowyer is eager to win the seven-foot tall grandfather clock this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Bowyer finished in second at last year's race and followed that with a third-place fi...

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins the Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins the Daytona 500Tom Pennington/Getty Images Sport (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) --  It was a long day in Daytona, but when it was all said and done, NASCAR's most popular driver stood alone: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on Sunday for the second time i...

Jeff Gordon Wins at Martinsville

Jeff Gordon Wins at MartinsvilleChris Graythen/Getty Images(MARTINSVILLE, Va.) -- Jeff Gordon picked up his first short track win since 2005 after catching Matt Kenseth late to take the checkered flag on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. The win moved Gordon from fifth to third in the...

Kevin Harvick Wins at Kansas

Kevin Harvick Wins at KansasJared C. Tilton/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) -- Kevin Harvick won the pole and then won the race on Sunday at Kansas Motor Speedway to put himself third in the Chase championship. Kurt Busch finished in second, followed by his teammate Jeff Gordon, ...
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