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11-12-2017, 07:36 PM
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Juan Pablo Montoya is turning Indianapolis into his own triple play. Roger Penskes team announced Wednesday that the Colombian driver will add two NASCAR races -- Indianapolis and Michigan -- to his full-time IndyCar schedule. Montoya already is scheduled to compete in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10. One week later, he will attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Now hell return to Indy for the Brickyard 400 in July, too, and if he qualifies for each one, Montoya would be the first driver to start three feature races at Indy in the same season. "Three chances gives me a better chance of winning one of them now," said Montoya, who will drive the No. 12 Ford Fusion for Penskes team at Indy and Michigan. No driver has won even two of the biggest feature races at the track -- the 500, the Brickyard, the U.S. Grand Prix or the MotoGP race. Montoya wants to be the first to have it on his already unique resume. The 38-year-old was dominant in his 2000 Indy win, becoming the first rookie winner in 34 years. He completed another first Wednesday -- becoming the first driver to experience every racing configuration at the historic Brickyard. In addition to competing on the 2.5-mile oval in IndyCars and Cup cars, he also has competed on the original road course in Formula One, did a two-seater ride on the MotoGP course and was one of about two dozen drivers testing Indys new road course Wednesday. This years return to open-wheel cars could help him prepare for the June 15 and July 27 Cup races. He has competed in that series for the previous eight years. "I think running Michigan and here are two tracks where running open-wheel helps you, especially Michigan, which is a lot like an open-wheel car because you dont slow down much and use momentum and lot of high speed," Montoya said. "Coming here to the Brickyard, its one of those places where I feel like I got robbed a few times. To be able to come here and be able to close that deal will be really, really nice."" Montoya has two wins, 24 top-five finishes and nine pole awards in his Cup career. He has one top-10 finish in three IndyCar races this year. He will join Penskes full-time Cup drivers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, both of whom have already visited Victory Lane in 2014. Ryan Blaney will drive the same No. 12 car for NASCAR races in Kansas and Talladega. SKF will sponsor all the races except Indianapolis. Until moving back this season, Montoya hadnt driven IndyCars since 2000 when he was competing with Chip Ganassis team, Penkses biggest rival. Montoya won seven races in CART and the 500 in his two open-wheel seasons with Ganassi. Their run together also included the 1999 CART championship. He then moved to Formula One, where he spent six seasons before abruptly quitting to return to the United States to compete in NASCAR. He reunited with Ganassi, but the results never came. His last win in NASCAR was in 2010, a year after he made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship and finished a career-best eighth in the standings. Montoya was in serious contention to win at least two Brickyard 400s, but both chances slipped away in the waning laps. Montoya led 116 laps in 2009 until a speeding penalty on his final pit stop cost him the win. He was also leading in 2010 with 20 laps to go before a late caution sent him to pit road, where he got four tires while everyone else took two. Stuck deep in traffic with little time to make up the ground, Montoya crashed and finished 32nd. Penskes team is willing to give him another chance. "It (the Brickyard) is one of the biggest races of the year and to go there with somebody that could have won the race a few of times already is something that were looking forward to," Team Penske President Tim Cindric said. "To just run the Brickyard would be a pretty big ask of our team and of Juan, without having spent much time in our cars or having been out in a Cup car for a while, so we felt like we needed to give him another shot at it prior to the Brickyard so he could get ready for us." Mohamed Salah Jersey (http://www.chelseasoccerjerseysonline.com/womens-mohamed-salah-chelsea-jersey/) .com) - Nathan MacKinnon scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Colorado Avalanche rallied for a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Branislav Ivanovic Jersey (http://www.chelseasoccerjerseysonline.com/womens-branislav-ivanovic-chelsea-jersey/) . Carcillo was a little of both for New York in Game 3. Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Dan Girardi and Carcillo scored goals, leading the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. http://www.chelseasoccerjerseysonline.com/womens-cesar-azpilicueta-chelsea-jersey/.5 million contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. 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The 27-year-old wants to believe that a turnaround is still possible, that his team can salvage the season, dig out from a deepening slide and claim a second straight playoff berth. But as time ticks down and the results continue to linger in the wrong direction, that belief is tested. "Its a struggle," he said in a near-empty visitors dressing room at Wells Fargo Center. "Ill tell you that. We thought we had something going here tonight." Whatever fight they mustered in a 4-2 loss to the Flyers didt matter by the time the night was through. It was just another empty loss, another opportunity to regain ground for not. "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night," said coach Randy Carlyle afterward, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." Never more evident than at this late stage in the season, the difference between winning and losing remained painfully thin. And for the Leafs it was just enough for defeat. Two power-play goals against, a few too many odd-man rushes, a bad break or two and a key mistake at the wrong time. Claude Giroux was the benefactor of one such mistake that sealed defeat for the visitors. The Flyers captain picked off former teammate James van Riemsdyks neutral ice pass attempt - the puck ricocheted off the skate of Scott Hartnell - and zipped a bullet beyond the glove of Jonathan Bernier. "Right now every big scoring chance they get, I think it feels like its going in," said Bernier afterward. "When its not going your way, thats usually what happens." "I thought we played pretty good," he continued. "A few mistakes that end up being goals. From the last game, obviously, I think we played a lot better." But like their harrowing loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, one that saw them manhandled for half the game by the top team in the West, Fridays defeat in Philly counted all the same. It was just another loss at a critical point in the season. "We worked hard," Carlyle said. "Did we work smart enough in some areas? No." Any chance the Leafs have at resuscitation starts Saturday night in a massive showdown with the Detroit Red Wings. A victory reignites whatever belief and hope still lingers. They may have no hope of catching either the Montreal Canadiens or Tampa Bay Lightning, but sitting on near-equal ground with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Washington Capitals - all have 80 points, but with games in hand - a wild card position is still in play. "Obviously, this one, its going to be a tough one to swallow," Bernier said. "But, at the same time, we cant feel sorry for ourselves. [Saturday] is a big game and we all know that." Five Points 1. Carlyles Approach Carlyle has tried to push a few different buttons in midst of his teams recent slide. "Some days, it is a little bit more harsh. Some days, its a pat in the back. Some days its a hug," Carlyle said on Friday morning. "Whatever it is, whatever you feel is necessary. Nobody in life feels like coming to work and being ground into the dirt everyday and thats part of the process. Youve got to pick and choose when to apply pressure and when not to." As to his preferred approach of late, Carlyle said, "Its been more reality of the situation. Just showing and trying to get an understanding that were not that far away. But there are some areas that need to be addressed. Thats as simple as I can put it. Our compete level has to go up. We havent won enough one-on-one battles. Weve given up too many odd-man rushes and breakaways. Weve got to play better on the defensive side of the game." 2. Penalty Kill The Flyers scored twice on the power play, marking the 12th time this season that the Leaf penalty kill has given up two goals in a game this season. Vincent Lecavalier fired a laser for the first of two, a five-on-three goal that was not without some controversy. Jay McClement, taking the draw as Torontos lone forward, was thrown out of the face-off ciircle, charged with knocking the puck from the hand of linesman Michel Cormier.dddddddddddd Dion Phaneuf promptly stepped in and lost the first (and likely last) face-off of his career, Lecavalier blowing the one-timer by Bernier just three seconds later. "Thats not something that you want to happen," McClement said of the face-off incident. "I dont think [Cormier] wanted to do it either. But he explained to me that its black and white when I knocked it out of his hand." Scott Hartnell would add the second power-play marker, redirecting a Kimmo Timonen point shot just beyond the grasp of Bernier. The Toronto penalty kill remains third-worst in the NHL this season. 3. Bollands Comeback Dave Bolland scored for the third time this season in Philadelphia and the first time since his left ankle was sliced by the skate of Zack Kassian on November 2. The 27-year-old hasnt played more than 13 minutes since he returned from the injury and he was kept right in that region against the Flyers. "I just see that in some of the situations, hes struggled with the mobility," Carlyle said of Bolland before the 4-2 loss. "Its not sore, [but] it just doesnt have the strength there. Wre going to try to find a way to get him some more minutes. We know what kind of player he is." 4. The 18-Wheeler Luke Schenn was there in 2012 when the Leafs collapsed and knows all too well how quickly the pressure rises in Toronto. "Lose a couple in a row and everything magnifies that much more," he said. "You lose three in a row and people tend to get on you a little bit. All the fans and the media think that everythings falling apart. Thats just the way it is over there. "Its obviously a tough market to play in when things arent going the way you want them to, but its a great market when things are going well. Theres always adversity in Toronto. Its never going to change. Im sure those guys are going to get through it." Reflecting back to the infamous 18-wheeler skid two years earlier, Schenn couldnt put his finger on just what wrong. "There is no exact reason why. Its probably a combination of different things. Id have to go back and look. Obviously, youre probably getting off to some tough starts in games. Special teams probably werent as good as they need to be. At the end of the day - when I was there - it probably just came down to being outcompeted some nights. Obviously, you lose a couple in a row, confidence isnt always there. Thats just the way it goes. Youve got to find ways to get out of it." 5. Gardiner Offence Just ahead of a clash with the Flyers three weeks ago, Jake Gardiner revealed his disappointment with the offence hed put together to that point. "I dont think my point production has been that great this year,"he said. "Id like to improve on that." The 23-year-old scored a goal the next night in a 4-3 overtime win, rounding up nine points in the past 11 games, including a helper on Bollands seventh goal this season. "Ive tried to jump in the play a lot more and be an offensive threat from the blue line," he explained of his recent surge prior to the game. Gardiner has 26 points on the year. Stats-Pack 1-8-0 Leafs record in the past nine games. 9 Points in the last 11 games for Jake Gardiner. 3 Goals by Dave Bolland in Philadelphia this season. 24:31 Ice-time for James van Riemsdyk opposite his former team Friday, tied for the team-lead. 15 Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, who has just 10 this season. 8 Number of times the Leafs have allowed the first goal in the past nine games.4 Seconds elapsed in the second period before van Riemsdyk scored the first Leafs goal. It was the fastest goal to start a period for the team this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4Season: 20.6% (4th) PK: 2-4Season: 78.1% (28th) Quote of the Night "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." -Randy Carlyle, following a seventh straight loss in Philadelphia. Up Next The Leafs return home to host to the Red Wings on Saturday night. Cheap NFL Jerseys (http://www.jerseyscheapsports.com/) Wholesale Jerseys (http://www.cheapnfljerseysauthenticchina.com/) Wholesale NFL Jerseys (http://www.wholesalejerseysnflchinaauthentic.com/) Jerseys From China (http://www.authenticcheapjerseysnfl.com/) Wholesale NFL Jerseys (http://www.cheapnflchinajerseys.org/) Cheap NFL Jerseys (http://www.wholesalesoccerjerseys.net/) Cheap Jerseys (http://www.wohlesalejerseysauthentic.net/) ' ' '