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MJL456 May 17
HOMESTEAD, Fla. Superstar Canada Sale . -- Jimmie Johnson had the commemorative helmet and a photographer chronicling his every move. He even ran a symbolic 7 miles the night before his shot at a seventh championship.He must have known something special was coming.Johnson was the dog of the championship contenders in a winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He needed only to beat three other drivers to tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as drivers with seven titles, but he was the worst of the final four for all but one lap Sunday night.Johnson was practically gifted his seventh title when Carl Edwards aggressive attempt to win the championship ended in a wreck that opened the door. Johnson got the restart of his life in overtime, took the lead on the last lap of the race, won for the first time in his career at Homestead and grabbed that elusive seventh title.I had this crazy calmness over myself all day long leading into this, Johnson said. Even with us running fifth and the championship looking like its not going to be there, I just felt something.Most of the race was spent talking about backflips, repeats or a Penske sweep because Johnson just wasnt as good as contenders Edwards, reigning series champion Kyle Busch or Joey Logano.Then all that conversation took a backseat to a record-setting -- albeit improbable -- championship run. The win was the 15th for Hendrick Motorsports and seventh for crew chief Chad Knaus, who now trails only Dale Inmans record eight.Johnsons No. 48 Chevrolet was seized by NASCAR shortly before the race for a last-minute trip through inspection, setting Johnson up for a mind-boggling race in which he never seemed to be a legitimate contender. He had to start last because of the inspection issue and was the worst of the final four, and he had no shot until Edwards coughed away the title.Petty welcomed Johnson to the VIP section of NASCARs most exclusive club.They set a goal to get where they are, and circumstances and fate made it a reality, Petty said. Jimmie is a great champion and this is really good for our sport.He was also feted by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who represented his late father in Victory Lane.I told Jimmie I wish Dad was here to shake his hand, Earnhardt said. Dad would think hes such a badass. Hes such a great race car driver. How he won this thing tonight, I dont think a lot of people know, he can will himself to get [his all] out of a car when it matters. Theres a lot of circumstance that played into it, but he put himself in that position.Edwards was in position to win until a caution with 10 laps remaining set up a wild sequence that ruined his title hopes. Edwards tried to block Logano on the restart, wound up wrecked, and it was Johnson who drove through the carnage to take the championship lead.Johnson withstood two more restarts, and dedicated the final two attempts at the win to the late Ricky Hendrick, who was one of 10 friends and family members killed in a 2004 plane crash.My heart was full because I was thinking of some loved ones like Ricky Hendrick and his influence, he said. Something happened from above.Johnson drove the entire 10-race Chase with a tribute helmet to Earnhardt and Petty, the Hall of Fame drivers hes been chasing since he won his sixth title in 2013. Immediately after the race, he gifted the helmet to three-time champion Tony Stewart, who retired at the end of the race.Drivers have been giving Stewart special helmets the past month, but Johnson had earmarked this one for the driver forever known as Smoke.I promised him Id give him a helmet; I wanted to wait and see if I could give him this one, Johnson said. He doesnt really want it. He said if I want it back, I can have it back, but I promised Id give him a helmet.The title was there for the taking for Edwards until the fateful sequence that changed history.He was leading when Dylan Lupton brought out a caution with 15 laps remaining, and it forced Edwards to hold off the competition on a restart with 10 to go.Logano, so masterful on restarts for two years now, tried to dart around Edwards on the bottom. Edwards refused to yield and tried to fend off the move by blocking Logano low. Contact between the two sent Edwards hard into an interior wall, then all the way across the track for a second hit. He had been the most dominant driver of the Chase contenders but was left with a wrecked car.He came down right in front of me, Logano said on his radio.Edwards stood on the track and watched the replay of the accident, and appeared to mutter damn, hands on hips, before he began a long walk to pit road. Once there, he stopped at Loganos pit box before continuing a journey on foot through the infield to make the mandatory stop at the care center.He acknowledged he was aggressive protecting his position from Logano.I was racing for my life up to that point, he said. I just pushed the issue as hard as I could because I figured that was the race there. I had to push it -- I couldnt go to bed tonight and think that I gave him that lane.The beneficiary of Edwards error, though, was Johnson, who had darted through the wreck ahead of Busch and Logano. Knaus pumped his fists in joy, all too aware that they were suddenly in the game.Thats what makes a seven-time champion -- someone that fights and battles and digs and never gives up, said four-time champion Jeff Gordon, the teammate who discovered Johnson for Hendrick Motorsports. They keep themselves in position and allowed some of those unfortunate instances to work in their favor. You can say luck, whatever you want to say, but those guys battled. They battled hard.Logano wasnt giving up his effort, though, and headed to pit road to take on new tires for a final restart.This guy on a restart with five laps to go, Ill take him every day of the week, crew chief Todd Gordon said.Logano restarted eighth but was a bull as he pushed his way through traffic and into third place, behind Johnson, after a caution forced another restart.This time, Johnson got the start of his life and jumped into the lead. He didnt look back, only forward at his slice of NASCAR history.They were nowhere all day, and just kind of ran around, I dont know, probably, Id guess sixth, said Busch, who ended up sixth. Never really showed their hand at all and didnt really show any speed, never really led in the laps until the last one, and thats the only one that really matters. Superstar Canada Shoes Outlet . But by the time the game started, the Toronto Raptors forward felt even worse. And, for three quarters, it showed as Gay shot a woeful three-for-13 from the field. Cheap Adidas Superstar Canada Discount . Hargreaves began his career in 2008 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and has played with the Edmonton Eskimos and last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. .Y. - Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. American Brooks Koepka held off a final-round charge by Japans Yuta Ikeda to win the Dunlop Phoenix tournament on the Japan Golf Tour on Sunday.Koepka, 26, who played on the United States Ryder Cup team and has one victory on the PGA Tour, held off Ikeda after taking a 5-stroke lead into the final round. Ikeda birdied 10 of the first 15 holes to tie before Koepka birdied the final two holes to win by one stroke.Koepka shot a final-round 65 to Ikedas 61 to win his seventh professional event, including a European Tour title and four on Europes Challenge Tour. Cheap Superstar Canada. Justin Thomas?of the U.S. tied for fourth; Americans Smylie Kaufman and Harold Varner III tied for 11th.Other winners of the Dunlop Phoenix event have been?Johnny Miller, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, Craig Stadler, Ernie Els and Tiger Woods.Koepka finished second recently at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open on the PGA Tour. He was ranked 21st in the world coming into this week. ' ' '