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by on January 24, 2019
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Roquan Smith Jersey . -- Aric Almirola grew up two hours from Daytona International Speedway, attended countless races as a kid and even "dreamed about what it would be like to have a chance to race at the highest level at this racetrack." He found out Sunday, after two days of thunderstorms, three red-flag stoppages and dozens of wrecked cars. As a bonus, he also accomplished the feat on a milestone anniversary for his car owner, NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Almirola won the delayed and rain-shortened Sprint Cup race at Daytona, putting Pettys famed blue No. 43 back on top for the first time since 1999. The 30-year-old Almirolas first Cup win came on the same weekend Petty celebrated the 30th anniversary of his 200th career victory. "The 43 car is without a doubt the most famous car in our sports history," Almirola said. "And to have that opportunity to drive that race car has been really special from the day that I stepped foot in it. All I wanted to do from the very first time I drove it was get it to Victory Lane. It took 2 1/2 years I guess, but I finally did it." Petty wasnt around for the festivities, having already left Daytona during one of the many delays. The Coke Zero 400 was supposed to start Saturday, but steady rain forced it to be postponed a day. When it did finally get going, it was interrupted several more times. There were seven cautions and three red flags, two of them because of huge accidents that took out most of the 43-car field. Top contenders Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch were among those knocked out. Only seven drivers avoided both crashes. Not surprisingly, Almirola was among them. He became the first Cup driver other than Petty to win in the legendary No. 43 at Daytona. The previous time the 43 won was with John Andretti behind the wheel at Martinsville in 1999. So Pettys renowned car went 543 races without a victory. "Everybody always asks me, How, how much pressure is it to drive The Kings car?" Almirola said. "To be honest with you, theres nobody that can put any more pressure on me than me because I want to win for myself. I know this sounds terrible, but its more about winning so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment more than just winning to give Richard Petty another win. Hes won enough races." Here are five other things to know about the Daytona race: NO SWEEP: Dale Earnhardt Jr. had hoped to become the sixth driver to sweep the season at Daytona. His chances were shot just 20 laps into the race when he was collected in a 16-car accident that caused serious damage to his No. 88 Chevrolet. He fell a lap down during repairs, eventually got back on the lead lap and finished 14th. The Daytona 500 winner was particularly annoyed because hed actually avoided the accident, but got hit from behind. "We were going to be fine on that first wreck, but we got run over," he said. "I cant believe all of the cars we have wrecked today." WILD RIDE: Kyle Busch went for the wildest of rides in a 25-car crash that will be remembered for his car flipping onto its roof. But that wreck was just as unsettling for Jamie McMurray, whose car briefly went airborne. "I have never had a car thats off the ground, and its a crazy feeling, and its a helpless feeling," McMurray said. "I was really lucky that it set back down." As spectacular as the big accidents look, McMurray said they are usually the easiest for drivers. "You see these big wrecks and those are probably the easiest hits you take all year long because everyone is going the same speed, and for the most part, those dont hurt near as bad as if you have a tire issue or something," he said. CHASING THE CHASE: Slots are filling fast in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, with Almirolas victory likely securing him the latest berth. There are only eight races remaining and, with 11 winners to date, there could effectively only be five remaining spots to fill. NASCAR overhauled the format this year to create a win-and-in system, and several stars have yet to grab the needed victory. Among the winless with two months to go are Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer. It could lead to one of the most competitive on-track summers in some time. "Obviously the fewer spots there are, the intensity picks up," said second-place finisher Brian Vickers. "You go to every race trying to win and knowing whats at stake if you do, and whats at stake if you dont." DODGED THE BIG ONE: A mistake on pit road likely saved Danica Patricks race at Daytona. Patrick was running eighth when she headed to pit road for a routine stop, but she missed her stall. She had to back up, losing valuable time and dropping to 30th when she got back on track. It turned out to be a blessing when it put Patrick far behind the pack and in position to avoid being collected in a 25-car pileup. She ultimately finished eighth. Still, she wanted a shot to race for the win. "On a normal speedway weekend, you would say eighth is pretty good, lets just go home with a car that is not too badly banged up," she said while she waited out the final rain delay. "But there is a lot less to lose than normal, so it would be fun to go back at it." FORD FACTS: Aric Almirolas victory at Daytona was the third consecutive win for a Ford driver. The streak started last month when Carl Edwards won at Sonoma and continued last week with Brad Keselowskis victory at Kentucky. The last time Ford won three straight Cup races was in 2005, when Greg Biffle won Dover, Edwards won at Pocono and then Biffle won again at Michigan. The win is the seventh of the season for Ford Racing, equaling the most wins for Ford since 2011. It was the third win for Richard Petty Motorsports as a Ford-backed team. Anthony Miller Jersey . The Giants chances of winning the division were dealt a serious blow by the three-game sweep at the hands of the lowly Padres. The Giants open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. San Francisco is still in good shape to clinch a wild-card berth, although it dropped into a tie with Pittsburgh in the race for the top spot. Cody Parkey Bears Jersey .C. -- After turning Tobacco Road into "Raleigh Top," Tennessee is headed to the round of 16.Ski jumpers will have to don better helmets and could be required to wear body armour as part of a determined bid by authorities to make the sport as safe as possible, a top official said. "Its an outdoor sport, its a risky sport. We were able over the years to make it safer... we could make it (even) safer," said Walter Hofer, the ski jumping race director at the International Ski Federation (FIS). Spectacular crashes are fairly common in jumping. Three-times Olympic gold medallist Thomas Morgenstern of Austria has ended up in hospital twice in the last two months after crashes where he suffered a broken finger as well as face and head injuries. "The next goal must be to make safer helmets with higher standards. Maybe we can do something for the protection of the body," Hofer told reporters high up on the normal hill late on Monday night as women jumpers whistled by at 90 kph (60 mph) at the Sochi Olympics. "Whatever is available on the market we will try." Hofer noted that Alpine ski officials had spent a long time studying jackets that contain small air bags to help cushion the impact of falls. "When they get something up there we will use it. At the moment I am preparing to use some protection for certain parts of our body, mostly the backbone," he said. Tougher helmets will be introduced into Alpine skiing and ski jumping authorities want to adopt the same standards. In recent years the FIS has taken a series of sometimes unpopular steps it says will make the sport fairer and safer. The federation imposes minimum body mass index requirements to weed out jumpers which it says are too light. Jumpers have to wear body tight suits with low aerodynamics, much to the irritation of athletes such as four-times Olympic gold medallist Simon Ammann of Switzerland. New hills have been redesigned to make the in-run smoother, a development which some jumpers say make takeoffs harder. A complex new system to compensate skiers for wind conditions will be used at the Sochi Games for the first time. Hofer, who has been at FIS for 22 years, said he began trying to make the spoort safer some 20 years ago after he saw a series of bad falls. Cody Parkey Jersey. "I started to talk to experts and they told me Are you crazy? If you make ski jumping safer nobody will watch. It isnt right," said the ebullient Austrian. "I would like to attract parents to deliver their children to our beloved sport in a way they know it is a sport where athletes are cared for." As well as improving safety, Hofer - who notes that "when you release an athlete at 100 km/h from the takeoff, you cant take him back - is particularly keen to address rapidly changing wind conditions that have wrecked many a competition. Headwinds help athletes soar further but if they are too strong they can produce dangerously long jumps. Conversely, tail winds cut flying distances. In the past, officials would either scrap competitions altogether or restart them halfway through to take into account changing winds, which Hofer said frustrated spectators. Jumpers used to be judged on distance and style. Under the new system, they now can also gain or be docked points to take wind conditions into account. The calculations are made by a series of computers linked to seven sensors along the in-run. "The athletes performance is removed from the influence of external conditions," said Hofer, pointing to a screen which showed the wind strength and direction from each sensor. The challenge for audiences is that the athlete who jumps the furthest does not always win. Alexander Pointner, head coach of the Austrian team, told Reuters that spectators should not have "to think What is this, that guy jumped so far but hes only fourth, whats that? Our sport should not be so difficult". Hofer has no intention of changing his mind. "Whatever makes ski jumping safer and fairer is worth it, even if sometimes you have to take something (away) from the transparency. People will understand sooner or later," he said. FIS is looking at whether it would be possible to shine a blue laser line on the snow to show the public exactly where a jumper has to land to take the lead, he added. Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Hockey Jerseys China Nike Baseball Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys China Cheap Football JerseysWholesale Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys Canada Wholesale Nike MLB Jerseys Canada Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic Canada Stitched Soccer Jerseys Canada Cheap Jerseys Canada NFL ' ' '