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the checkered, this loss stung Go

  • 26 Apr
    LONG POND, Pa. -- Jeff Gordon had the inside line, a lead and his first win of the season in sight, usually a sure thing for Poconos top winner. Kasey Kahne was about out of time to pass his Hendrick Motorsports teammate. "It was either to go for it and make it work," Kahne said. "Or not." Cruising from the outside, Kahne got the jump he needed, zipped past Gordon and pulled away with two laps left Sunday to win at Pocono Raceway. "I about gave it away when Jeff got by me," Kahne said. Kahne recovered in the No. 5 Chevrolet for his second victory of the season, all but securing his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. He had the car to beat for the final half of the 400-mile race until a late caution bunched up the field. Gordon nudged past Kahne after some thrilling two-wide racing and seemed poised to win at Pocono for the seventh time. After the final caution, Kahne was simply too fast, too strong to be denied his first win at Pocono since 2008. So close to the checkered, this loss stung Gordon. Even worse, his runner-up finish came on his 42nd birthday in his 42nd career Pocono start. "I thought all I needed to do was get in here and got to the bottom and Id be good," Gordon said. "He got a killer run and blasted by on the outside of me. Caught me by surprise. It just kills your momentum." Kurt Busch, who also celebrated a birthday, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. rounded out the top five. The top five cars were Chevrolets. Busch helped out Kahne with one final push down the frontstretch to find some needed speed. "That was kind of the race at that point," Kahne said. "Once I cleared (Gordon) getting into two, from there it was just, dont make a mistake and try to run the quick lap on the last one." Kahne, Gordon and Earnhardt made it an outstanding race for Hendrick. Teammate and series points leader Jimmie Johnson was 13th after a blown tire knocked him out of the lead. Kahne had stretched his lead to almost 8 seconds when a caution for debris came out with 12 laps left. Gordon, who won at Pocono each of the last two years, was strong in the No. 24 and had the lead as he tried to extend his record for career wins at Pocono. Matt Kenseth spun with four laps left to erase Gordons lead and set up the thrilling finish. Gordon led again until Kahne ran him down with a hard, sweeping run past his teammate for the win. "We had them. We certainly had the position," Gordon said. "Im pretty disappointed I let him get inside of me on (turn) one." Kahne also won this season at Bristol. He jumped a spot to eighth in the points standings and need a win to make sure hed at least qualify for a wild-card spot should he fall below 10th place. Kahne was third last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and seems to be heating up with five races left until the Chase field is set. With two wins, hed also be closer to Johnson and Kenseth once the points are reset when Chase field is set. Kahnes 16th career win should make him a Chase lock. "The Chase is what its all about in NASCAR," Kahne said. "You need to make it." Gordon, who has six Pocono wins, finished second last week and has three straight top 10s to also position himself for a spot in the 12-driver field. He had won at Pocono each of the last two seasons. When Gordon leads late at Pocono, he usually wins. Just not this time. "Im frustrated right now because we had a shot at it," Gordon said. "We know how important wins are." Gordon hangs on to ninth in the standings, but could be out of a Chase spot if he falls outside the top 10 without a win. Johnson, who set a track record in qualifying, again had the dominant car for half the race until he blew a front tire. A week after a slow, final pit stop cost him a win at Indianapolis, Johnson was done in this time by a tire issue that ended his chance to win. Johnson, who won the June race from the pole, stretched his points lead to 77 over Clint Bowyer. Danica Patrick lost control of her car, triggered a four-car crash and was 35th. Kenseths late spin knocked him to 22nd. But it was that spin that made the difference for Kahne. He may not have caught Gordon without the final caution. "We had speed. I could move around," Kahne said. "But to actually clear him and make the pass, I think it would have been really difficult. Im glad that second caution came out there and gave us another shot." Kahne took a moment in Victory Lane to remember his friend, Jason Leffler. Leffler was killed in June on a dirt track in New Jersey only days after racing in the Pocono Cup race. Kahne and Leffler were friends and travelled together on the way home from the June race. "Just me and him," Kahne said. "We spent a bunch of time together and then that happened that Wednesday. It was tough. There are so many people that are good friends with Jason and knew him really well. I just wanted to mention something about him." Cheap Adidas Superstar Canada Discount . LOUIS -- Roman Polak was celebrating even before Alexander Steen scored the winning goal in Saturdays 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Wholesale Superstar Canada . The deal is pending a physical, assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. Traded from Seattle to Baltimore on Aug. 30, Morse also can play first base and right field to give manager Bruce Bochy some flexibility in writing his lineup. http://www.superstaroutletcanada.com/ . However, he did make them miss him a little less. Cundiff, who had the unenviable job of replacing Dawson last season, agreed Thursday to a one-year, $1. Cheap Superstar Canada . The next step is a better finish. 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With both teams coming off Atlanta Coast Conference losses, No. 16 Miami and North Carolina will be playing essentially an elimination game in the Coastal Division race when they clash at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday (ABC/ESPN2) at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.A second conference loss at this early stage of the race doesnt necessarily eliminate either team, but it does put the loser in a position of needing help, particularly North Carolina (4-2, 2-1 ACC).That is because the Tar Heels lost to Virginia Tech, and in the case of a two-way tie with Tech, which is 2-0 in conference play, the Hokies would hold the tiebreaker.A second league loss, this one to Miami, also would give the Tar Heels defeats to both of their chief rivals in the Coastal Division. Few scenarios would work out in their favor in that case.The Hurricanes (4-1, 1-1 ACC) could withstand the impact of a second ACC loss a bit better because they still have Virginia Tech yet to play. But they still would need some help in the form of a second defeat for the Hokies in ACC play if they lose to the Tar Heels to have tiebreaker scenarios start to work in their favor.The Hurricanes are scheduled to play at Virginia Tech just five days after their game against the Heels in a Thursday night encounter in Blacksburg.Unlike the Tar Heels, however, the Hurricanes control their own destiny in the Coastal race. Win out, and they earn their first berth in the ACC championship game.The Coastal is wide open right now, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya said after the Hurricanes lost last week 20-19 when the Seminoles blocked an extra-point try after a late touchdown. I think just about everyone has a loss.We just have to keep going, keep fighting and plan on winning it. Thats what I plan on doing. I know thats what the rest of the team plans on doing. We cant let this loss define us.Miami coach Mark Richt also noted how wide open the race is at this early point.Everybody has a lot to play for, and were one of them, he said. We have North Carolina coming up and a few more Coastal opponnents pretty quick.ddddddddddddWell find out how we fare on that side.Hopefully, we can get back in the race. I think we will.It should be pointed out that although all conference games figure in a teams conference record, the second tiebreaker after head-to-head competition is a teams record within the division. That adds a little extra to this weeks game as well.Kaaya will go into the matchup after throwing for 214 yards and two touchdowns against the Seminoles. He threw one interception, however, and that was a costly mistake. His pass into the end zone came on a second-down play early in the third quarter and denied the Hurricanes an opportunity to build on a 13-3 lead.The Seminoles then cashed in on the miscue to drive 80 yards for their first touchdown.Kaaya said there was a miscommunication on the play between him and freshman receiver Ahmmon Richards, who dropped a pass on the previous play.I kind of threw it underneath, Kaaya said, and the corner turned around and made a play.The Tar Heels certainly can point to more than one play as being costly in the 34-3 beating they took from Virginia Tech that dropped them out of this weeks Top 25 rankings. They rushed for 73 yards and passed for only 58 more on a windy, rainy afternoon.I honestly dont know if Ive been a part of a worse performance offensively, Heels coach Larry Fedora said. Defensively, I thought that for a large part of the game we hung in there pretty well.However, the offense kept putting the defense in untenable situations, losing four turnovers on quarterback Mitch Trubiskys first two interceptions of the season and two fumbles.Before last week, when he completed only 13 of 33 pass attempts, Trubisky had completed 76 percent of his passes. He has a deep stable of receivers to throw to led by senior Ryan Switzer, who has 49 catches for 589 yards for the season, though Switzer had only two receptions for 2 yards against the Hokies. ' ' '