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  • 21 August 2019
    HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- On the eve of Jimmie Johnsons attempt to make NASCAR history, the six-time champion planned to go for a little run.How many miles?Seven, of course.Ive just got something with that number, Johnson said.His race for a record-tying seventh NASCAR championship is Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hes been chasing Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt in the history books for three years and finally has a shot at that magical mark.He may have even sensed months earlier that this would be his year. He had failed the last two years to advance to the championship-deciding finale, yet picked this year to wear a commemorative helmet during the 10-race Chase.The helmet is a tribute to Earnhardt and Petty. It reads Chasing 7.We just wanted to pay respect to Dale and to Richard, Johnson said. Its been cool to wear it. Its definitely been getting some attention, and honestly, its just out of respect to those two guys.Johnson has been stuck on six titles since 2013, the last year the Chase was decided on points. The elimination format introduced the next year was not kind to Johnson, and he failed to make it into the round of eight the last two seasons. He broke though this year and now just need to finish the finale higher than reigning champion Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Joey Logano to join the exclusive club.I never thought Id ever see a seventh championship in my lifetime by any driver, said three-time champion Darrell Waltrip. At the time, what Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty did was sort of unheard of.Petty is neutral on Johnsons potential milestone. He said he won his championships against Hall of Famers David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough, while Earnhardt raced against Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott.Theres no way to compare with what Ive done or what Earnhardts done or what Jimmies doing against each other, he said. I aint got a dog in this fight, you know what I mean? Probably from the PR standpoint, it would be great if he could win it. Because then every time they say something about him, theyre going to say something about me and Earnhardt.Johnson has been quite dominant in an impressive crowd during his illustrious career. Although all his titles were won after the 2004 introduction of the Chase, hes won in various formats and set a record with five-consecutive titles.Johnson has raked in 79 wins -- seventh all time, ahead of Earnhardts 76 -- and collected them against Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and the Busch brothers. Yes, hes done it in amazing equipment fielded by Rick Hendrick, and sure, crew chief Chad Knaus ranks in the top three crew chiefs of all time.But Johnson puts in the work and has honed in on a clean, professional career in what ranks him on former teammate Gordons list of all-time greats.I think he is the best that Ive ever raced against and possibly the best that there has ever been, Gordon said. Even days where I felt like I had a car that could compete with him, he did extraordinary things to get more out of it. He is a pretty calm, cool guy, but boy when you put that helmet on him and you get him in the racecar, he just becomes another person and takes it to another level.Yet for some reason, Johnsons accomplishments arent feted the way others have been. Johnson has often been referred to as too vanilla, and fans have cited his dominating stretch from 2006 to 2010 as a reason for NASCARs decline in popularity.Only the California native leads a very active life and, with personal fitness his cause, has created a wellness challenge for the community. He and his wife also have donated $4.8 million since 2009 in annual grants to schools in California, North Carolina and Oklahoma.He dressed as a handsome prince for Halloween to the delight of his two young daughters, and you would be hard-pressed to find a single person speak ill of Johnson.Jimmie is everything but vanilla, Hendrick said. I mean, he may come across at the track that way because hes so focused and driven, and he thinks like a computer when hes in the car. The way he eats, the way he exercises, everything is about physical and mental fitness for the race car.I think when he won five in a row, he was winning a lot of races and a lot of championships, and people maybe got a little tired of it. But I think then after the sixth one and we had a lull, I think they respect him now, and they look at what hes accomplished.Jimmie is going to get more credit when hes done than hell get when hes driving.Johnson remains immune from the discussions. Oh, he desperately wants that seventh title, but he doesnt worry about rankings or respect. Hes noticed more cheers in the last few years, but he doesnt need any approval.The way people talk about me, I feel like Ive received a lot of respect, he said. I think anybody thats winning gets booed. I watched Earnhardt get booed. I watched Gordon get booed. When you get older and dont win as much, you get cheered a bit more. I watched that for both of those guys.I get more cheers now. I feel Ive been very respected for what I do and what Ive accomplished, so I dont have a negative (feeling) on the way people think of me and what Ive done.---More AP auto racing: Solomon Thomas 49ers Jersey . 4 Villanova with a 96-68 drubbing on Monday. Wragge hit 9-of-14 from behind the arc, matching Kyle Korvers school record for 3-pointers in a game set in 2003, as Creighton (16-3, 6-1 Big East broke a conference record with 21 treys in the rout. Tom Rathman Womens Jersey . John Tavares, Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo were also being counted on to slow down sizzling Rangers forward Rick Nash. That plan didnt go so well early. . Ronaldo produced a spectacular individual performance on Tuesday, scoring all three goals and guiding Portugal into the next years World Cup in Brazil with a 3-2 victory in Sweden. The Real Madrid forward has scored 66 goals in 2013, but the last three may be the boost he needs to upstage Messi after FIFA unexpectedly extended the voting period for the Ballon dOr to Nov. Dante Pettis Youth Jersey . - Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie never doubted he would bring back coach Dennis Allen for a third year despite back-to-back 4-12 records. Tom Rathman 49ers Jersey . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at .Glasgow Warriors have signed Australian winger Ratu Tagive on a one-year deal. Tagive has arrived from Sydney where he has been playing in the Shute Shield club rugby competition for Eastern Suburbs. Glasgow Warriors vs Ospreys November 25, 2016, 7:30pm Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass The 23-year-old had previously spent time with the Brumbies as a member of their Super Rugby squad after switching codes from rugby league in which he had spells with the Canterbury Bulldogs and Wests Tigers. Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: Ratu is quick and powerful and arrives at a good time with Leonardo (Sarto) out for a few months through injury.He has played at a good level in Australia and has shown that he has the ability to score tries and will help provide competition for places on the wing. Six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports to watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Saturday and get the first six months half price Im sure that he will develop within our environment and it wont take him long to look to get to grips with the style of rugby we play. England vs Fiji November 19, 2016, 2:00pm Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Tagive said: There is so much to be excited about, especially seeing how well the team has started the season.dddddddddddd My roots are in rugby league but Ive spent a year at the Brumbies learning how to play union, surrounded by Wallabies and fantastic players and Im really grateful to everyone there for everything theyve done for me. Ireland vs New Zealand November 19, 2016, 5:00pm Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Upgrade to Sky Sports now to watch Man Utd v Arsenal this Saturday and get the first six months half price! Also See: Hughes frank over finances Fiji upset over awards snub WATCH: Greenwoods favourite 5 Team of the week ' ' '