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Larson Captures Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

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Kyle Larson wins the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Photo: NASCAR.
Kyle Larson wins the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Photo: NASCAR.

MIAMI, Fla. (Oct. 23, 2022) – Kyle Larson has led a lot of laps and come awfully close to hoisting a trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On Sunday he finally did both, winning the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race in dominant form.

 

Larson swept both Stage wins and led 199 of the race’s 267 laps in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to pull away to a 1.261-second victory over Florida native Ross Chastain in the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevy.

 

Kaulig Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger was third with Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon and Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing’s Brad Keselowski rounding out the top five. It is the 2012 series champion Keselowski’s first Top-five finish since becoming co-owner of the organization this season.

 

The win was 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson’s third of the year and 19th of his career – but the first at the 1.5-mile Homestead oval after a pair of previous near-misses. He led a race best 132 laps in 2016, but finished runner-up. He led 145 laps in 2017 and finished third.

 

“No matter what team I’ve been with, things haven’t worked out on my end to get a win, so glad to get one today,’’ Larson said.

 

“Definitely the best run we’ve had all year long,’’ he added. “We’ve been capable of it I feel like many weekends, we just hadn’t quite put it all together. [Crew chief] Cliff [Daniels] gave a great speech this morning and got us all ready to go and focused.

 

“Amazing race car,’’ he noted with a smile.

 

The 30-year-old Californian was eliminated from the Playoffs in the last round, so Chastain was the top-finishing championship contender with only one race – next week at Martinsville, Va. – to set the four driver Championship field for the Nov. 6 season finale at Phoenix.

 

Only two Playoff drivers finished in the Top-10 Sunday at Homestead: Chastain and Denny Hamlin, who was seventh in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

 

Playoff drivers Christopher Bell (finished 11th), Sunday’s polesitter William Byron (12th), Chase Elliott (14th), Ryan Blaney (17th) and Joey Logano (18th) were still running on the lead lap at the checkered flag. The eighth Playoff-eligible driver, Chase Briscoe, finished last (36th) after making contact with the wall on lap 160.

 

Hamlin (four laps), Bell (four laps) and Byron (33 laps) all spent time leading the field before various setbacks.

 

Team Penske’s Logano is the only Playoff driver who has already earned his position in the Championship race thanks to a victory at Las Vegas a week ago. Chastain, Elliott and Byron now complete the Top-four driver ranking.

 

Hamlin sits in fifth place, five points below Byron. Blaney is 18 points below the cutline, Bell, 33 back and Briscoe now essentially in a must-win situation, trailing by 44 points.

 

With his victory, Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Chevrolet is eligible for the owner’s title.

 

While Larson dominated the laps-led category and even paced the field by more than 9-seconds at one point late in the race, he had to earn this trophy after a late-race caution flag.

 

Martin Truex Jr. had taken the lead after a caution period with 46 laps remaining and pulled away to a nearly 2-second lead when the final yellow flag flew again with 23 laps remaining.

 

As the field pitted, Larson’s Chevy was right behind Truex’s Toyota and it appeared Truex was going to miss his pit box when Larson’s car bumped Truex’s car from behind. The contact spun Truex, whose team was still able to service the car, but he fell outside the Top-10 initially before racing back up to a sixth-place finish.

 

“I was just going behind him and he had a hard left and was hard on the brakes at the same time and I got into the back of him, ‘’ Larson explained of the incident. “My team said he was late getting into his stall. I don’t know. If it was my fault I’m sorry, but I don’t think it was. It’s hard to see on this pit road. . hate that happened. He was definitely the one I was going to have to beat.”

 

Truex, who is still racing for his first victory of 2022, was obviously disappointed in the outcome, but could only shake his head at the circumstances.

 

“It’s really hard to see through these windshields with the sun like that and all the stuff covering it,’’ Truex said. “I did see my box late for sure, so I slowed down before I turned out of the way of the 5 (Larson) there.

 

“Partly on me, I didn’t expect to get turned around and glad nobody got hurt there. Overall, just tough, just disappointing to have a good day going like that and have a shot at winning and couldn’t close the deal. I hate it for my team.

 

“It’s been one of those years.”

 

The final race to set the Championship 4 is next Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the Xfinity 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Playoffs driver Byron won at Martinsville earlier this season.

Next year’s Dixie Vodka 400 is set for Oct. 22, 2023. For more information on all events at Homestead-Miami Speedway, please visit www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com

 

Fans can also receive updates about upcoming events and races at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the NASCAR Tracks App for the latest speedway news.

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NFL

Tom Brady: ‘I’m Retiring for Good’

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Tom Brady announces his retirement again, this time with a recorded video posted on Twitter instead of a written statement or tweet. Image: Tom Brady (Twitter, screen capture).

TAMPA BAY, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Is it finally the end of an era for Tom Brady? The greatest quarterback of all-time announced on Twitter, Wednesday morning that he is retiring from football and didn’t mince words.

“Good morning guys, I’ll get straight to the point, I am retiring for good,” Brady said. “I know the process was a pretty big deal last time so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. I won’t be long winded, you only get one super emotional retirement essay and I used mine up last year.”

“I really want to thank you guys, to every single one of you for supporting me, my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors, I could go on forever, ” he added as the emotions clearly kicked in. “There are too many. Thank you guys for allowing me to live my dream. I wouldn’t change a thing, I love you all.”

Brady’s 23rd season didn’t exactly go as planned with a career-ending 31-14 loss to Dallas in the NFL Wild Card round. His sentiments to the media following the game, seemed like Brady would be gone in Tampa, but many were unsure if it would be the last time we’d see him on a field.

His storied career is the best ever.* 7 Super Bowl Wins

* 5 Super Bowl MVP Awards
* 3 NFL MVP Awards
* 15 Pro Bowls
* Most Career Wins
* Most Career Passing Yards
* Most Career Touchdown PassesAs a starter, he made the playoffs in 20 of 21 seasons. Now that Brady is hanging up his cleats, he will make a new start in the NFL world. As the lead analyst for Fox Sports NFL broadcasts. A 10-year deal reportedly worth $375 million.

So we may see Brady at Super Bowl LVII in Arizona after all, but it will be in the Press Box, not under center this time.

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Sports

2023 Super Bowl: Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs

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NEW YORK, NY – It’s official, the Philadelphia Eagles will be meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs for Super Bowl LVII. The NFL teams will match up at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, February 12, 2023, on Fox.

The Eagles dominated the San Francisco 49ers in the 2023 NFC Championship Game with a final score of 7-31. The NFC East team last won Super Bowl LII in 2017 when they faced the New England Patriots. Their previous Super Bowl appearances were in 2005 against the Patriots and in 1980 against the Oakland Raiders, both games in which they lost.

 

The Chiefs are headed to another Super Bowl and hoping to win their third win at the championship game. Patrick Mahomes led his team to a win at the AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals and it was a field goal kick that gave the Chiefs the 3-point advantage in a close game that ended with a score of 20-23.

Their last win at the Super Bowl was in 2020 when they faced the 49ers and won. Previous to that, the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV when they faced the Minnesota Vikings in 1970. The Chiefs last appeared in a Super Bowl in 2021 when they lost against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On the entertainment side, country music star Chris Stapleton will perform the National Anthem and Babyface will sing “America the Beautiful” before kickoff. Additionally, Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph will be singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during the pre-show.

The Halftime show will be headlined by Rihanna, the first show produced under the new Apple Music sponsorship, who replaced Pepsi.

Roc Nation founder Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter said, “Rihanna is a generational talent, a woman of humble beginnings who has surpassed expectations at every turn. A person born on the small island of Barbados who became one of the most prominent artists ever. Self-made in business and entertainment.”

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NFL

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Jamal Agnew Named to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games

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Sep 30, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew (39)runs during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Source: Jacksonville Jaguars // WR Jamal Agnew was named to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games as a return specialist to replace Ravens WR Devin Duvernay, who is unable to participate due to injury, the NFL announced today. Agnew is the first Jaguars Pro Bowler since 2019 and the 31st Pro Bowler in franchise history. Agnew is the first return specialist to make the Pro Bowl in team history and the fourth specialist, joining punters Bryan Parker and Chris Hanson and kicker Mike Hollis.

Agnew returned 21 kickoffs for 547 yards (26.0 average) and 25 punt returns for 205 yards (8.2 average). Agnew’s 26.0 kick return average was the second-highest in the AFC (min. 20 kick returns) and he had two kick returns of at least 50 yards in the regular season, including a 54-yard return in Jacksonville’s Week 18 victory against Tennessee.

In the postseason, Agnew returned seven kickoffs for 265 yards (37.9 average) and three punt returns for 23 yards (7.7 average). Agnew’s 37.9 return average is the second-highest in a single NFL postseason by any player with a minimum of five kick returns. Agnew had four kick returns for 134 yards with a long of 52 yards against the Chargers and three kick returns for 131 yards with a long of 63 yards against the Chiefs.

The 2023 Pro Bowl games will take place in Las Vegas beginning on Thursday, February 2 with the Pro Bowl players competing in skills challenges. The Pro Bowl Games competition culminates with a seven versus seven NFC action-packed Flag football game at Allegiant Stadium.

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