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silver lining

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    March 8, 2018 7:52 PM CST

    HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Jimmie Johnson has a sixth NASCAR championship in hand and two legends within reach. Johnson staked his claim as one of the most dominant competitors Sunday by winning his sixth Sprint Cup title in eight years. He needs one more championship -- hes sure to be the early favourite in 2014 -- to tie the NASCAR record held by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt. Johnson barely got to complete his celebratory burnouts before the debate began: Where does he rank among NASCAR greats? This much is certain: At 38 years and 61 days old, Johnson is the youngest driver to win six NASCAR championships. Petty was 38 years and 144 days old when he won No. 6 in 1975. Earnhardt was 42 when he won his sixth in 1993. "Well see if I can get seven," Johnson said. "Lets wait until I hang up the helmet until we really start thinking about this." Thats not really how it works, so here are a few more worthy comparisons for Johnsons remarkable run. Tennis star Roger Federer won 16 Grand Slam titles from 2003-10. American swimmer Michael Phelps won 18 gold medals over three Olympics, including eight golds in eight events in Beijing in 2008. Professional golfer Tiger Woods won seven majors from 1999-2002, including four straight in 2000 and 2001. And race-car driver Michael Schumacher won five consecutive Formula 1 championships from 2000-04, winning 56 per cent of his races in that span. The only other organizations to pull off six titles in eight years: --The New York Yankees did it twice, winning six of eight World Series titles between 1936 and 1943 and six of seven between 1947 and 1953. --The Montreal Canadiens hoisted the Stanley Cup six times in eight seasons between 1953 and 1960. --The Boston Celtics won eight consecutive NBA championships between 1959 and 1966. --UCLA won seven consecutive NCAA championships between 1967 and 1973. --The Chicago Bulls won six of eight NBA titles between 1991 and 1998. And now Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 team, led by Johnson and relentless crew chief Chad Knaus. "Every one of them is special," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "It makes you hungry to continue to try to win more. ... They got this championship mentality. "Well just keep digging and see if we can come back and be competitive. (If) luck will be on our side next year, well be able to win another one." Aside from Johnsons on-track dominance, here are five things to know about NASCARs 2013 season: KENSETH CLOSE: Matt Kenseths first season at Joe Gibbs Racing was his best in seven years, a title-contending run that fell 19 points short of a championship. The 2003 Sprint Cup champion finished with a career-best seven victories this season and led the majority of the 10-race Chase. Maybe its his experience. Maybe its his comfort level in the redesigned cars. Or maybe its the move from Roush Fenway Racing to Gibbs. "I dont know if I feel like Im the best driver Ive ever been in my career, but I really dont feel like Ive deteriorated," Kenseth said. "Its probably the best Ive felt physically and mentally and emotionally in as many years as I can remember. Its probably as confident as Ive ever felt." SEAT SHUFFLE: NASCARs annual seat shuffle has more moves than usual. Kevin Harvick, who finished third in points, is leaving Richard Childress Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing. Hell be joined there by Kurt Busch, who is leaving Furniture Row Racing after one season. With Ryan Newman out at SHR, hes moving to RCR. Martin Truex Jr. is moving from Michael Waltrip Racing to Furniture Row. Confused yet? Well, Jeff Burton also is done at Richard Childress, and although nothing has been officially announced, he appears headed to MWR for a part-time ride. Then theres Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte and Juan Pablo Montoya -- all of whom might be done behind a NASCAR wheel. Martin is stepping away. Labontes future is uncertain. And Montoya is returning to IndyCar, where he will drive for legendary owner Roger Penske. KEY INJURIES: Between Tony Stewarts broken leg and Denny Hamlins broken vertebra, the season had two significant injuries. But those were just a glimpse of what happened across auto racing. Former NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, a two-time winner in the Nationwide Series, died in June after crashing in a sprint car event. Justin Wilson fractured his pelvis and bruised a lung in the IndyCar finale, and four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti abruptly retired Thursday because of injuries sustained in a crash in Houston early last month. Franchitti fractured his spine, broke his right ankle and suffered a concussion. "The one other thing weve learned again and are reminded of in 2013 is that its a dangerous sport," NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday. "Our drivers are human." CONFLICT, CHAOS & CHANGE: Those bickering disputes between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart and Logano were minor compared to what happened during and after the Richmond race. It might go down as the most memorable moment of 2013. Clint Bowyer intentionally spun and triggered the biggest credibility crisis in NASCAR history. Bowyer was trying to help a teammate earn a valuable spot in NASCARs version of the playoffs, but the situation snowballed and led to a full-blown scandal. When the dust settled, chairman Brian France gathered all the competitors and tersely ordered them to give 100 per cent at all times going forward. DANICAS DUD: The year began with former IndyCar star Danica Patrick on the Daytona 500 pole and making history by leading laps at the Great American Race. Oh yeah, she also announced she was dating fellow rookie of the year candidate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He bested her in the race for the award as she mostly struggled in her first full Sprint Cup season. Patrick finished eighth at Daytona, but failed to crack the top 10 in the next 35 starts. She finished 28th in points. But shes never been happier, personally and professionally, despite her below-average results. Jansen Harkins Jersey. Patrick Sharp scored twice and Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell and Nick Leddy also connected to lead Chicago to a 5-2 win over the Devils on Monday night. Jacob Trouba Jersey. -- When the Los Angeles Kings are on top of their formidable defensive game, they revel in the silence they can create in a frustrated road arena. http://www.hockeyjetsauthority.com/logan-stanley-jets-jersey-c-27/. - Aaron Rodgers makes tough throws that can leave fans of the Green Bay Packers speechless. Brandon Tanev Jersey. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are tightening the race for second place in the Atlantic Division. Adam Lowry Jersey. Im very excited about the playoffs, particularly in the Western Conference with amazing match-ups, as well as the wonderful local story in the Toronto Raptors. It should be a blast. Here are my predictions, but based upon my lousy prognostications during the NCAA Tournament, you might be better off going the other way on some of mine - particularly with the Raptors, who I hope and pray are able to win an incredibly difficult match-up.TORONTO -- In the hours leading up to baseballs trade deadline, Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos heard small bits of news about moves around the American League but didnt have time to digest them. "Youre not really spending time to sit back and analyze what your competitions doing and things like that," Anthopoulos said. "Youre so focused on what were trying to get done." Ultimately, while the landscape around them changed with trades both major and minor, the Blue Jays did nothing before Thursdays non-waiver deadline. The chase for the AL East continues after the Baltimore Orioles burnished their bullpen and the New York Yankees beefed up their infield while Toronto stood pat. "We werent going to do deals that we didnt think were going to make us better," Anthopoulos said on a conference call. "I know probably everyone would like to make a splash and add players, but to add players to make the team worse just to say we did something, that wouldnt make a whole lot of sense for us." Entering Thursdays action, the Blue Jays held one of the ALs two wild-card spots. They were 2 1/2 games back of Baltimore and three games ahead of New York. On deadline day, the Orioles added left-handed reliever Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox, who had their own fire sale by also sending Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics, John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals and Stephen Drew to the Yankees. New York also got infielder Martin Prado from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ace left-hander David Price left the division as the Tampa Bay Rays sent him to the Detroit Tigers in a three-way deal that also included the Seattle Mariners. As part of the return, the Rays got centre-fielder Austin Jackson from Detroit. Refusing as usual to discuss specific names, Anthopoulos said the Blue Jays "got the prices on most if not all the players that got moved." He also said, in general terms, that young and established players on the major-league roster were asked for by other teams in trade talks. Undoubtedly starters Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez came up at some point, and the Blue Jays understandably did not want to part with either of their top pitching prospects. Anthopoulos said the team was open-minded but unwilling to discuss pulling from its 25-man roster. "To be talking about those guys, youd be filling one hole and then youd create a new hole," he said. Jose Bauutista told reporters in Houston before Thursday nights game against the Astros that he had "mixed feelings" about the Blue Jays inaction at the trade deadline.dddddddddddd "Of course its a little disappointing that we somehow werent able to get anything done, but everyone around us thats in contention -- and even some teams that arent in contention like the Red Sox -- somehow figured it out," he said. "Maybe they believe enough in our talent that they didnt feel like they wanted to break up our group and sacrifice our talent and what weve got going." In recent weeks, Bautista and other players made similar comments in favour of Anthopoulos adding to this team. "In terms of players wanting to improve the club, I expect that," Anthopoulos said. "We want to improve the club. I wouldnt expect anything less. Theres a great group of guys in that clubhouse that are very competitive, that want to win." Amid reports that financial limitations prevented Anthopoulos from making trades, the GM stressed that the biggest payroll in franchise history wasnt a hindrance. "We absolutely had the financial resources to add at this trade deadline," Anthopoulos said. "Any deal that we felt was a good baseball deal, the finances were certainly there for us. That has never been a problem." One problem of late for the Blue Jays has been injuries. They expect to have Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., and Adam Lind back in the lineup sooner rather than later, which could give them a post-deadline boost. Anthopoulos also didnt rule out making a trade within the next month, though the need to put players on waivers could make that more difficult. "Maybe some things get done in the next month here," he said. "Im not going to promise or guarantee that. Were definitely not going to stop being active and going over the wire and probably going to make some claims and things like that, see if we can add a player or two, and well see where things go." Playing "armchair quarterback" a half-hour after the deadline passed, Anthopoulos judged "off the cuff" that contending teams improved by adding some great players. And while the Blue Jays didnt get any of them, Price and Lester going to other divisions might be a silver lining. "Certainly any time great players leave the AL East its certainly not a bad thing for us," Anthopoulos said. Wholesale Jerseys  Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '