tied a season-high with 12

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CONCORD, N.C. - One bad race knocked three of NASCARs biggest names to the bottom of the championship standings, and a repeat Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway will put the trio on the verge of elimination.Thats the harsh reality for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and six-time and defending NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson. They combined to win more than a third of the races this season, and their title hopes could end before the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.NASCAR eliminates four drivers from the Chase field after every third race, and Keselowski, Earnhardt and Johnson are ranked 10th through 12th in the field. A win automatically advances a driver into the third round; anything else forces the drivers to depend on next weeks elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway to stay in title contention.Its a mathematical longshot to think that Keselowski, winner of five races this season, and Earnhardt and Johnson, who have three wins apiece, can all recover enough to move into the third round. None is concerned about anything but Saturday nights race.But after a solid first practice Friday, Earnhardt was confident.Were going to win this race. I really got a good feeling about it, he said on his 40th birthday. This is what weve got to do anyway to try to get further points and try to win the championship. The cars been great all weekend. Attitudes good. Everybodys excited. The teams working well together. The cars responding well. The car ran some good laps in practice and felt real good.Johnson won the Coca-Cola 600 here in May and Keselowski is the defending race winner. Earnhardt won the All-Star race in his 2000 rookie season but has never won a points race at his home track.They are all in a hole right now because of Kansas, the opening race of the second round. Earnhardt had a tire failure while leading, and Keselowski later also had a tire issue. Johnson just had a bad all-around weekend, was in an early accident, and finished 40th.He also was off in qualifying Thursday at Charlotte, where hell start 21st.We are just not where we want to be, Johnson said. Bottom line. Were working very hard to get there. This sport is not forgiving. What you have accomplished in the past doesnt buy you a damn thing for the present.Jeff Gordon, Johnsons teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, cautioned not to count Johnson out just yet.I have just seen too many times these guys pull it out and do extraordinary things when they seem to be down and out, Gordon said. I dont know exactly what is going on right now. I know that those guys are incredibly good and put up a heck of a fight.I wont be surprised if they still make it to the next round or are a major threat for this championship.Keselowski, who averaged a fifth-place finish in the first round of the Chase and won the opener, said the pressure is intense at Charlotte for the entire Chase field. Penske teammate Joey Logano won last weekend at Kansas to earn the automatic berth into the third round, and his victory extended the streak of Penske or Hendrick drivers winning on every 1.5-mile track this season.Were going to do what we normally do, Logano said. We normally go out there and try to help each other. As a two-car team, weve got to work very tight together to make sure both our cars are fast. I feel like thats something we applied to Team Penske a long time ago.But theres little Logano can do come race time to assist his teammate.Theres only so much you can do on the race track to help your teammate, said Logano. My goal is still to win. I might be greedy, but I want to win.Keselowski is treating Saturday night as if it is the season finale with the championship on the line. Hes been there before a€” in 2012 when he clinched the title over Johnson at Homestead-Miami Speedway.Theres a lot at stake, but it is every weekend. This is part of the challenge, Keselowski said. For us, this is a very Homestead-like weekend. We need to perform. This is our last chance to really control our destiny in the Chase for this round, and we want to make the most of this opportunity. Discount Shoes Black Friday . Hes the same player he always was, only now his efforts are being rewarded. The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent. But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form. Cheap Shoes Black Friday . Now, the hottest team on the ATP are pointing their sights on qualifying for the eight-team season finals in London next November. Pospisil has now established the year-end World Tour Finals as the benchmark for a breakthrough season, with Pospisil and Sock provisionally standing ninth. https://www.cheapshoesblackfriday.com/. Louis Cardinals, the team will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of the SkyDome. Jays legends Jimmy Key and Ernie Whitt, members of playoff and World Series-winning teams of the past, will be on hand for the festivities to look back at what was the beginning of the Jays halcyon years. Buy Shoes Black Friday .J. -- Patrick Sharp is on one of those streaks. Shoes Black Friday Deals 2020 . The lightning strike was in the parking lot of Crew Stadium on Saturday night, but its not known if the off-duty lieutenant was struck directly, Columbus Fire Department Battalion Chief Tracy Smith said. The firefighter, identified as Lt.PHILADELPHIA - Suddenly, the 76ers arent everyones punching bag.Michael Carter-Williams hit a running layup with 9.9 seconds left to lift Philadelphia to a 93-92 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.Tony Wroten had 20 points to lead Philadelphia, which won its second straight game for just the second time this season. Its the 76ers third victory in the last four games. They won for the second time at home and are 7-12 since beginning the season 0-17.We try to stay pretty grounded and understand what were all about and what our purpose is, Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. (The 0-17 start) does seem a while ago. Whether what weve done lately has erased that stat, that fact from peoples minds, I dont know.David West tallied a season-high 28 points for the Pacers but came up short on a 13-footer at the buzzer that wouldve won it for Indiana. West had put the Pacers in front with a fadeaway 12-footer with 17.6 seconds left.But Carter-Williams sent Philadelphia to the win with his layup eight seconds later. He also had nine assistsWeve been able to stop teams and guard teams, but they have some good guards and we just couldnt stop their penetration, West said. Carter-Williams made a heck of a play.Carter-Williams, last seasons Rookie of the Year, avoided Pacers 7-foot-2 centre Roy Hibbert on the winning basket.I knew I couldnt go over the top because hes a pretty good shot-blocker, so I went underneath and I was able to get it off, Carter-Williams said.West had a chance to win it but was defended well by Luc Mbah a Moute on the final possession.They didnt bite on the pick-and-roll, so it turned into a one-on-one at the top of the key, West said. He just guarded it well and I wasnt able to get any separation.Robert Covington added 16 points for Philadelphia.Theyre shooting the ball better and theyre just growing, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. You can see theyre putting in the work. Coach Brown is doing a great job with them and theyre improving, both in their play and their confidence.Wroten made two highlight-rreel passes in the fourth quarter, setting up JaKarr Sampson for an alley-oop dunk with 9:38 remaining and then bouncing the ball off the backboard for K.ddddddddddddJ. McDaniels breakaway jam.We just play together, man, Wroten said. We play hard, regardless, and we never give up.The jam gave Philadelphia an 84-77 advantage, matching its largest lead, with 7:28 left. But the Pacers scored 11 of the next 14 to go up 88-87 with just under 2 minutes, as Philadelphia missed nine straight shots.Wrotens layup put the 76ers back in front, 89-88 with 1:29 to play before Hibberts putback with 41 seconds remaining made it 90-89 Pacers.The 76ers used a 12-3 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter to take a 53-52 lead. The Pacers struggled from the field in the quarter but stayed close thanks to free-throw shooting. Indiana made nine straight attempts from the stripe during one stretch.Indiana entered one game behind Miami for the final playoff spot after winning eight of 14.Were just going to have to make it up somewhere, West said. We had gained some momentum over the last week and felt like we were playing some pretty solid basketball. We felt like this was an opportunity to keep it going. They just outplayed us down the stretch.C.J. Miles left with 42.1 seconds left in the first quarter with a left eye abrasion and didnt return. Miles was under the basket when Wroten accidentally hit him in the eye while following through on a layup attempt.BLOCK PARTYPhiladelphia tied a season-high with 12 blocks.TIP-INSPacers: George Hill (strained left groin) missed his sixth straight game. ... The Pacers have won (9 of their last 11) regular-season meetings against Philadelphia, including a 103-91 win in Indiana on Oct. 29.76ers: Little League star Mone Davis of Philadelphias Taney Dragons sat courtside and threw T-shirts to the crowd during one break in the first half. ... Former Sixers big man Darryl Dawkins also was in attendance.UP NEXT76ers host Atlanta on Monday night.Indiana hosts Minnesota on Tuesday night. ' ' '

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