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Kayıt Tarihi: 24-Aralık-2014
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Gönderen: 06-Şubat-2015 Saat 04:08 | Kayıtlı IP Alıntı yuguhun

LOS ANGELES -- When Scott Dixon stood next to the Astor
Cup on a stage in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, he
was still a bit surprised to be so close to IndyCars
championship trophy heading into the season finale.
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. Just two weeks ago, Dixon
needed an enormous amount of help to take control of the
overall IndyCar race. Helio Castroneves gave it to him
with a broken gearbox during a wild doubleheader in
Houston, allowing Dixon to head for California with his
third series title in sight. "Its been such an up-and-
down season for us that its kind of hard to believe were
here," said Dixon, the series champion in 2003 and 2008.
"We started so poorly, but we managed to find some
redemption at midseason and got back in the hunt. And
then Houston happened, and now were here. Its been a wild
ride." Indeed, Dixon hadnt been on top of the overall
standings all season long until he left Houston with the
lead. The last time Dixon led the championship was back
in 2009, with one race to go -- and Dario Franchitti sped
past him to claim the title. Thats why Dixon isnt cocky
about his chances in IndyCars season finale at Fontana on
Saturday night. "Its very easy to jinx yourself," Dixon
said. "I think maybe you start thinking its a given, and
you get too complacent. Everybody knows its not over. If
were leading at the end of this race, then job
accomplished, but we could still very well lose it." The
New Zealander realizes he only needs a fifth-place finish
to stay ahead of Castroneves for the overall title, but
he wont change tactics just to stay safe. He expects a
dynamic race on the long oval east of Los Angeles -- but
hopefully without the pyrotechnics of the Houston
doubleheader, which ended with teammate Franchitti in a
hospital with two broken vertebrae, a broken ankle and a
concussion. Castroneves had led the overall standings for
14 of the 18 races this season, and the Brazilian had a
49-point lead in the overall standings heading to
Houston. But mechanical failures in both races left him
25 points behind Dixon, who won the first race of the
doubleheader and finished second in the second race.
Despite the horrific results in Houston, Castroneves
hasnt lost his usual chipper demeanour -- or given up
hope for a dramatic comeback. Hes the only racer who
could mathematically catch Dixon for the title. "The
reason Im not mad is because its not over," Castroneves
said. "We have a chance. Some things happened in Houston
that youd never expect. Breaking the gearbox? No way to
predict something like that could happen." Roger Penske
said his team "fell on our face" in Houston, a failure
that could leave Penske just short of the title for the
sixth time since 2006. "In our case, with the scenario,
its pretty simple," Penske Racing President Tim Cindric
said. "Winning is really the only thing at the end of the
day, and then you still have to hope." Dixon was among
the first people to realize Castroneves championship
hopes were in trouble during that second race in Houston:
Oil from Castroneves gearbox doused Dixons car from the
second or third lap onward, and Dixon screamed about it
into his radio. Even when Castroneves was forced to stop,
Dixon got no enjoyment from Castroneves woes. "Youre
thinking, If its happening to him, it could very well
happen to us as well," Dixon said, realizing Castroneves
problems probably were caused by contact with a bump on
Turn 1 in Houston. "Youve had so many situations where
you think its great, and then five laps later, you have a
problem yourself. Its very easy to get ahead of yourself
and lose focus." Both Castroneves and Dixon are changing
engines for the Fontana race, a common tactic on an oval
track that makes the resulting speed more important than
the 10-spot penalty on the starting grid for making a
switch. Castroneves had easily the fastest race car at
the Fontana test last month, and hes counting on that
speed to give him a shot at the title. Dixon also will
have a new teammate as he goes for the Cup: Alex Tagliani
is the temporary replacement for Franchitti with Target
Chip Ganassi Racing. "Its going to come down to the last
lap, the last corner, probably," Dixon said. "Were going
to have to dig deep. Im just excited to be a part of it."
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. Fortunately for the Ragin
Cajuns, they had Corey Trim to make a game-changing play
on defence. Trim returned an interception 82 yards for a
touchdown, Hunter Stover hit a go-ahead 27-yard field
goal in the fourth quarter, and Louisiana-Lafayette held
off Tulane 24-21 on Saturday night for its third straight
New Orleans Bowl victory.
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. -- The new starting
quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs is a former first-
round draft pick on a one-year deal whose career thus far
has been a disappointment.TORONTO -- The Rochester
Knighthawks went on an 11-goal run that began late in the
second quarter and went into the third, in a 17-9 victory
over the Toronto Rock in National Lacrosse League action
on Saturday. Cody Jamieson had five goals and five
assists for Rochester (5-2), while Dan Dawson was all
over the scoresheet with 10 assists. Stephen Keough had
four goals, and Joe Walters three for the Knighthawks.
Cory Vitarelli had two goals, and Rochester got singles
fromm Scott Campbell, Mike Accursi and Johnny Powless.
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. Colin Doyle scored three of
his four goals for the Rock (3-4) in the opening quarter.
Stephen Leblac scored twice, while Patrick Merrill, Rob
Hellyer, Garrett Billings completed the scoring for
Toronto. Rochester goalie Matt Vinc made 54 saves.
Toronto goalie Zac Boychuk stopped 10 of 13 shots in
relief of Nick Rose, who allowed 14 goals on 33 shots
before being pulled in the third quarter.
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