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  • 27 Mar
    NEWTON, Iowa -- IndyCar Series leader Helio Castroneves pole-winning news conference lasted barely a minute and ranked among the more sheepish in recent history. Castroneves knew he wasnt going to remain on the front row for long. Castroneves claimed the pole for Sundays race at Iowa Speedway, but he will start 11th after an unapproved engine change. Still, it wasnt all bad news for Castroneves or Penske -- which claimed its third pole in seven Iowa races. Penske teammate Will Power will start first, and Castroneves still earned nine championship points by winning the top heat. Castroneves also extended his lead over defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay to 25 points in the process. James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., will start second, followed by Marco Andretti, Scott Dixon and Ed Carpenter. "These points, its always good. Its always crucial when you are fighting for the championship, and every point counts," Castroneves said. This was the second straight year that the IndyCar series seeded the Iowa field with heat races. After receiving mixed feedback from drivers and fans, officials tweaked the formula this year. The runs were extended from 30 to 50 laps, and the heats were set by a single-lap qualifying run rather than practice times. The first race didnt produce a ton of excitement as Dixon and Takuma Sato advanced with relative ease. Castroneves cruised, as well, leading all 50 laps of his heat before being forced to go to a new engine. "The good news is my car, as you could see, is really fast. Anything could happen," Castroneves said. The second heat provided some much-needed drama. Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud battled furiously for second and final berth in the last heat, and Rahal passed Pagenaud and then Ed Carpenter to take first. The strong qualifying run was crucial for Power, who remains in 11th place after finishing second each of the past three seasons. "I really need to gain some points on those guys, Helio, Hunter Reay, everyone in front of me," Power said. "Theres a lot of people in front. But at some point the championship is going to become out of reach." The biggest concern about heat races was potential wrecks. Those fears were realized when James Jakes lost control and hit the wall two laps from the end of the second heat. Jakes was checked in the medical centre, released and cleared to drive Sunday, though he will start near the back. Hunter-Reay, who won last week at Milwaukee and last year at Iowa, was just 14th after qualifying. "You know, it was way off the mark. Weve been sitting on our own thumbs all day. We just missed it," Hunter-Reay said. "Were starting buried in the pack. We gave up points." Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., will start 12th. Wholesale Blank Jerseys China . -- Arizona raced out to a big lead and did not back off, hitting the accelerator instead. Cheap NFL Blank Jerseys .Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Kevin Porter and defenceman Chad Ruhwedel from the minors as part of a five-player roster shuffle made by the NHLs worst team. http://www.wholesaleblankjerseys.com/ . Robredo, ranked No. 16, bounced back from an upset loss to Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the Royal Guard Open in Chile last week to down Carreno Busta in 1 hour, 25 minutes. On a day filled mostly with qualifying matches, fifth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain also entered the second with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, while Guido Pella of Argentina defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-4 to advance. Wholesale NFL Jerseys . - The Washington Redskins have cut defensive lineman Adam Carriker and punter Sav Rocca. Cheap Blank Jerseys . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. ST. LOUIS -- In what was billed as a largely ceremonial pinch-hitting appearance, Matt Holliday hit a home run Friday night.The St. Louis Cardinals activated the outfielder before playing the Pittsburgh Pirates so that fans at Busch Stadium could bid the seven-time All-Star goodbye in one of the final three regular-season games.Holliday was greeted with a loud standing ovation from an announced crowd of 43,070, but that was nothing compared to the greeting after he hit reliever?Zach Phillips third pitch to him over the right-field wall. It was the first pinch-hit home run of Hollidays 13-year major league career.Cardinals players also greeted Holliday with a standing ovation, and he was mobbed in the dugout before coming out for a curtain call.The Cardinals went on to win 7-0.I still have chills, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. To watch how the fans responded, we had a great crowd tonight, and every one of them made that extremely special for him. And how he responded, thats, yeah, amazing. Very special night.General manager John Mozeliak said before the game that he spoke with Holliday earlier this week and informed him the odds of the team picking up his $17 million option for 2017 were low.Most people who have options and they ask me in season, I simply tell them, Look, well deal with that when the time comes. In his case, I feel hes earned the type of respect and had the type of career here that he had that right, Mozeliak said.The Cardinals said Holliday was too emotional to meet with reporters before the game, but he released a statement through the team that read, in part: It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization. I can honestly say it has been a dream come true. While Im disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.Holliday, 36, expressed his love and admiration for Matheny, former manager Tony La Russa and the coaches with whom he worked.The most emotional part of this is my teammates andd the relationships Ive built with some of these guys over the years, particularly,?Adam [Wainwright] and Yadi [Molina], to be considered part of the core with two of the finest human beings Ive ever known, Holliday said.dddddddddddd.Holliday had faced live pitching just once since he was hit by a pitch in July, which required surgery on his thumb.Its been tough for him because he wants to be back, Wainwright said. Each time he went out and hit batting practice, his thumb would swell up, and nobody wants to have surgery and then have it swell up. I think he just wanted to get out there and play, help the team win. Hes a great hitter, one of the best hitters of this generation. Hes been a great Cardinal, but I know he did not want to sit on the bench and not get another at-bat here.Matheny said he thinks Holliday wants to continue playing beyond this season. Holliday entered Friday batting .247, the lowest average of his career, but the home run Friday gave him 20 for the sixth time in his past seven seasons.I dont think theres a question about that, at least in conversations weve had, Matheny said.The Cardinals acquired Holliday from the Oakland Athletics in 2009, then signed him to a seven-year, $120 million extension the following offseason. Over nearly 1,000 games with the Cardinals entering Friday, Holliday had collected a .292/.379/.493 line.Once the Cardinals decline his option in November, he will get a $1 million buyout.Hollidays extension is viewed as one of the few multiyear free-agent deals in which the player lived up to it throughout its length.Very rare, especially a deal of that length. I feel grateful, Mozeliak said. As I mentioned, Ive always admired him as a player, even before we traded for him, thought he was one of those gritty, hard-working individuals. But getting to know him, getting to see how he is as a person, Ive gained tremendous respect for him. ' ' '