INDIANAPOLIS -- When Tony Stewart dreamed about winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he never contemplated saying goodbye.He still cant find the words.Now, as Stewart prepares for his final Brickyard 400, hes brushing aside any talk about nostalgic reflections so he can focus instead on making one more trip to victory lane.You guys can ask me all about how Im feeling, thinking, whatever but youre wasting my time and your time, he said before Fridays practice began. All I care about is driving that race car right now. It is probably the most focused Ive been getting ready for a race. Im not amped up, or anything like that. Im just really relaxed and focused and feel good going into it.Try as he might to downplay it, this is not just another race or just another track for Stewart.Indiana is where he developed his affinity for dirt tracks and A.J. Foyt, and where his talent broke through the fierce, sometimes temperamental moments. It was here at Indianapolis that he knew he would define his career.After being born in Rushville, Indiana, and attending high school in Columbus, Indiana, Stewart got his first big break when former IMS CEO Tony George started his own series for promising American drivers like Stewart, who struggled to find job openings with IndyCar teams.Stewart quickly emerged as one of the series bright, young faces by winning the 1997 series championship. After five seasons and no Indianapolis 500 wins, Stewart left his home state for the higher-profile, better-paying NASCAR circuit that turned him into a megastar.Over the past 18 seasons, Stewart has made 601 starts, won 49 races and three Cup championships.But the Brickyard wins in 2005 and 2007 were the ones he cherished most, and picking up No. 50 on his home track would be a fitting end to a 20-year run at the Brickyard.It would be all right, I guess, Stewart joked. No, it would be cool because this is one of the marquee races. Everybody wants to win here. Definitely, I want to win here myself.Stewart insists he will not take any distractions into Sundays race even though the signs are all around that this weekend is different.His parents and stepfather sat in the front row of Fridays pre-race news conference. At the end, he graciously accepted a gift from speedway president Doug Boles -- pieces of the fencing he climbed after each of his Brickyard wins.His answers sounded like a throwback to his early IndyCar days when he routinely responded to questions about track conditions or just about anything else at Indy with a nonchalant answer about throwing dirt on the track.I have no clue how many friends and family will be here this weekend, it was not my responsibility to get them all here, Stewart said when asked about potential distractions. I will see them after the race is over, but Im going to go to work here in a minute, and that is all I care about doing for three days.This weekend has started much like Stewarts season -- off script.The race billed as Farewell Smoke has been somewhat overshadowed by Jeff Gordons comeback bid in the No. 88 car. While his friends are disappointed that Stewart doesnt have the stage to himself, Stewart embraces it.He rallied from a rugged, injury-plagued start with three top-five finishes in the last four races, including his first win of the season at Sonoma, just like he did at Indianapolis. After finishing 24th on the speed chart with a fast lap of 180.505 mph Friday, he came within a whisker of earning his second Brickyard 400 pole. Hell start third, right behind pole winner Kyle Busch, after going 184.328 in qualifying.And it seems everyone has embraced the two sentimental favorites this weekend.To have Tony Stewart in his final race, Jeff Gordon in his final race -- Part 2, it is a big time, four-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson said. I can only imagine how loud they are going to be at driver intros.Or how crazy the fans would get if the 45-year-old Stewart winds up scaling the fence one more time before focusing on team ownership full-time.Even now, Stewart cant quite find the proper description.Im not doing all the sentimental, crying stuff you guys think Im going to be doing, he said. Im going to race this weekend. Cheap Authentic Air Max 720 . -- Anaheim Ducks defenceman Luca Sbisa will be out at least six weeks with a torn tendon in his right hand. Cheap Air Max 720 . "Theyve both been real good," said Babcock. "Havent changed our minds." A decision has seemingly been made - Sundays Group B-deciding tilt against Finland ahead - but it could not have been an easy one. Price opened the tournament with a sturdy 19-save performance against the Norwegians, yielding just one goal. http://www.cheapairmax720freeshipping.com/ . The Dane followed up his first European Tour title last weekend with eight birdies and just a single dropped shot on Thursday for a one-stroke advantage over South Africas Allan Versfeld and Portugals Ricardo Santos. Air Max 720 Free Shipping .J. -- Marty Brodeur beat the Pittsburgh Penguins yet again. Wholesale Air Max 720 . To the surprise of many, it isnt the Wolverines but their in-state rivals the Michigan State Spartans. COLUMBIA, S.C. -- PJ Dozier had a career-high 21 points and No. 20 South Carolina improved to 7-0 for a second straight season with a 68-50 victory over Vermont on Thursday night.Dozier, the 6-foot-6 sophomore, helped the Gamecocks to a 13-1 run at the start of the second half. Maik Kotsar had eight points in the charge while Dozier had a 3-pointer and a thunderous finish to an alley-oop pass that had the crowd on its feet as South Carolina took a 49-32 lead.The Catamounts (6-3) could not respond to taller, quicker South Carolina.Dozier had three of the Gamecocks four 3-pointers in besting his previous high of 17 points, set in the season opener against Louisiana Tech.Kotsar had 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, mostly from close to the basket, while Chris Silva added 12 points for South Carolina.Dozier had six rebounds, as did the 6-9 Silva, along with three steals.Anthony Lamb had 14 points, the only Vermont player in double figures.THE BIG PICTUREVermont: The Catamounts have won 20 or more games in coach John Beckers five seasons and had a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 and the NIT in 2014.dddddddddddd. They do it with a mix of strong-shooting upperclassmen and enough young talent to compete in the American East Conference. But Vermont doesnt have enough firepower to keep up with a top-20 team like South Carolina. The Gamecocks defense kept the Catamounts off balance most of the way as they fell behind by 14 points in the opening half.South Carolina: For their success last week in defeating ranked opponents Michigan and Syracuse, the Gamecocks are very much a work in progress. One starter, Kotsar, and four of the five players off the bench are in their first years at South Carolina and several times an animated coach Frank Martin yanked players, loudly questioning their technique. He calmed in the second half with South Carolinas quick start.UP NEXTVermont gets almost a week off before starting three straight at home with Dartmouth on Dec. 7.South Carolina concludes a two-game home stand against Florida International on Sunday. ' ' '
mary123, 23.02.2019 08:32