Sooners will have their best chance to shake off their sluggish play and show they havent | Forum

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123 Nov 11 '17
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Kevin Harvick doesnt just want to run well this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway because running well could go a long way toward advancing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Womens Ravens Jerseys .With tires that will be the same compounds as the ones Cup drivers will have in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale, Harvick views this race as a good predictor of who could run strong at Homestead, a race many believe a driver needs to win in order to win the title. ?While Homestead is similar to Texas as a 1.5-mile track, Homestead has a variable banking that lends itself to drivers choosing different grooves to pass. At Texas a driver spends more time avoiding bumps.Weve worked hard on this race just for the fact that we ran so poorly here in the spring and qualified poorly, said Harvick, who started 22nd and finished 10th in April at Texas. We felt like this is an important race because its on the same tire as Homestead. Its a very similar surface as Homestead.Theres a lot to be learned from Chicago [to start the Chase] to here to Homestead.So watch whoever runs well Sunday in the AAA 500 and remember that for 14 days later when four drivers among the 40 starters will have a shot for the title.Harvick leads the list of what to watch for at Texas, and it doesnt have anything to do with tires:Harvick in the ClutchHarvick needs another clutch performance after a 20th-place finish at Martinsville has him sixth in the series standings, 16 points behind the current cutoff with races at Texas and Phoenix left in the semifinal round.The four winless remaining Chase drivers lowest in points after Phoenix will be eliminated from convention, leaving four drivers to vie for the title.It wasnt much of a surprise when Harvick was solid in qualifying as he will start third Sunday. For whatever reason, the team led by crew chief Rodney Childers appears motivated after sour outings and has delivered clutch victories in must-win moments.We dont really care what we did last week, were coming in to this week and every other week we expect to come to the race track and have a chance to win, Harvick said.Its not about points. Its not about what happened last week. Its about how do we win this week? Thats really the mentality of the team that Rodney had instilled in it from the very first day. It is good motivation.While Harvick has won six of the last eight races at Phoenix -- the site of the finale in the round -- he does not have a winning Cup resume at Texas. He had back-to-back second-place finishes before a third a year ago and then a 10th in April. He was 28th in final practice Saturday.His last win came three races ago at Kansas, a place where he had three runnerup finishes after a victory there in 2013.Kansas -- we finished second like five times and that one finally paid us back, Harvick said. That stuff has a funny way of working itself full circle. We had a car capable of winning the last fall race here and I had to hold it in gear for 100 laps or 100 miles, whatever it was.It is just one of those places that we run well, we just hadnt made it all happen.Busch back in the packKyle Busch didnt have the best of days Friday as he smacked the wall on the first lap of practice. Then in qualifying, a water leak ended his effort after just one round.The two events were related.It is a byproduct of pounding the fence before we even completed a lap in practice, Busch crew chief Adam Stevens said. In our hurry to change the motor and all the drivetrain afterwards, apparently we didnt get the lower radiator hose completely clamped on the water neck out of the block and proceeded to dump all the water out of it on pit road after our first run.Were going to start 24th and get after them from there.Busch didnt have to change engines, but teams often do when bringing out a backup car so they can have a non-race-ready engine in the backup car that can run a few laps in a practice session. If they didnt, then teams would? have race-ready engines sitting in the backup cars in the haulers and more than likely not being put to use on a weekend.If there is any consolation for Busch, it appears his backup car has good speed. He ran third in the final practice.All these cars are built probably within five downforce numbers of one another, Busch said. Theyre very similar and I wouldnt be worried for us that were at a disadvantage.Johnson has no pressureJimmie Johnson will start 19th and whether he runs any better than that or not he probably wont worry too much after Sundays race.His organization already has focused on Homestead after his win at Martinsville. The team didnt change which car it would bring to Texas but it was busy during the week preparing cars to take to the wind tunnel to get ready for Homestead.We have the car we raced at Darlington and then a new car that we built that are both going back to the wind tunnel and let the wind tunnel [decide] which one goes [ to Homestead as a primary], Johnson said. Its given us a little time to complete a second car and then make a decision between those two.After the team debrief Tuesday on Martinsville and a little talk about Texas, the Hendrick organization started looking ahead to Homestead. So if Johnson doesnt turn into much of a factor, there could be a reason.We did our Tuesday debrief and we couldnt get through the Martinsville debrief and the Texas prep quick enough because we were all there to talk about Homestead, Johnson said. We stayed long and talked about Homestead and that led to more conversations [that] night.Instead of obsessing over Texas and Phoenix -- were definitely giving it time and attention -- but the obsession is about Homestead.Rain? Drying could take hoursRemember how the 2015 race at Phoenix that determined the finalists was cut short by 93 laps because of rain?Well theres a chance the round could be impacted by rain once again. The forecast for Sunday shows the chance of rain increasing throughout the afternoon.Its a good thing the race will start shortly after 1 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) and Texas has lights. The bad news: It took NASCAR more than three hours to dry the track Friday morning for truck practice. If the track does get some rain, NASCAR will have to ask fans to wait a few hours for the race to resume.It more than likely will make every effort to do just that - especially with Chase spots on the line. Wholesale Ravens Jerseys . Tevez, who has had conflicts with coaches in the past, has not been called up since Sabella was named coach in 2011. Argentina boasts Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Angel Di Maria. Ravens Jerseys From China . -- Yogi Ferrell orchestrates pretty much everything in Indianas offence. http://www.cheapravensjerseyschina.com/ . Barcelona also left injured defenders Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba out of its squad for the trip to Glasgow. That means that Marc Bartra will probably start again in the centre of the defence alongside Gerard Pique. NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger doesnt expect his Sooners to reach last years Final Four-level status immediately with so many new faces.Thats why hes fine with the baby steps they took on Tuesday. Freshman Kristian Doolittle scored 17 points to help Oklahoma defeat Northern Colorado 87-66.The young Sooners have three new starters, and four freshmen played at least 10 minutes against the Bears.Theres not an unrealistic expectation from my perspective, Kruger said. Weve got a lot of work to do. We need a lot of reps. These games are all great for us. Every time these guys get on the floor and get a little more comfortable and identify their role in a game situation, its huge for us.Doolittle did his damage on 7-for-8 shooting and added five rebounds in just 18 minutes off the bench. He scored 11 points in the second half to help the Sooners pull away.Jordan Woodard had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He didnt know he was so close to a triple-double.I just got some rebounds, he said. I was just trying to be aggressive. Coach wanted everybody to stay in attack mode.Christian James added 14 points and seven rebounds for the Sooners (5-1), who shot 54 percent from the field.Jordan Davis had 15 points and seven assists, DJ Miles scored 11 points and Chaz Glotta added 10 points for Northern Colorado (2-5).Oklahoma led 40-34 at halftime behind seven points, six rebounds and four assists from Woodard. Northern Colorado scored the first five points of the second half to cut Oklahomas lead to 40-39, but the Sooners finally got things going. A technical foul against Northern Colorado coach Jeff Linder helped spark the Sooners to a 10-point lead with about nine minutes to play. Woodard sent the fans to the exits when he made a circus layup and was fouled to put the Sooners up 79-61 with about three minutes to go.The Sooners outrebounded Northern Colorado 26-16 in the second half, and the Bears commiitted 15 turnovers overall. Ravens Jerseys Outlet. With their length and athleticism, they can make a few more mistakes than we can and kind of make up for it, Linder said.BIG PICTURENorthern Colorado: The Bears were battle tested with losses to traditionally strong programs Butler, Santa Clara, Arizona and Bucknell. They hung tough with the Sooners until the final minutes, and may be a handful for teams in the Big Sky Conference.These guys, for being such a young team, and a new coaching staff, they have not shown one ounce of fear, Linder said.Oklahoma: The Sooners struggled against a non-power five conference opponent for the second straight game -- they defeated Abilene Christian 72-64 last Friday.STAT LINESOklahoma center Khadeem Lattin had five blocks and three steals to go with 10 points. He spearheaded a defense that allowed just 36.6 percent shooting.He affected a lot of things on the defensive end, Kruger said.NEW STARTERMatt Freeman, a freshman from New Zealand, got his first start in Doolittles place. He didnt score and took just two shots in 13 minutes.Doolittle said not starting for the first time this season affected him.To say the least, but I didnt take it personally, he said. I have all the faith in the world in Matt to go out there and do a great job.UP NEXTNorthern Colorado hosts Northern New Mexico on Saturday.Oklahoma travels to No. 17 Wisconsin on Saturday. The Sooners will have their best chance to shake off their sluggish play and show they havent fallen off too much since Buddy Hield left for the NBA.Good challenge there, Kruger said. Kohl Center is a tough place to play. A top-ranked team -- we respect that. Weve got to go in there and value the ball and compete like crazy on the boards and defensively.---Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP . Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' ' 
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