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Old 12-01-2017, 09:14 AM   #1 
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. Custom San Diego Padres Jerseys . - Two years ago, Kevin Harvick was evaluating his life. He and his wife, DeLana, had welcomed a son, their only child. Theyd sold their race team and began to prioritize what really mattered to their growing family.Harvick wanted two things: to be happy, and to race for championships.So he took a gamble and left Richard Childress Racing, the only NASCAR team hed ever known, and agreed to drive for good friend Tony Stewart in 2014.Now, he is the new Sprint Cup champion, with his family, Stewart and a dedicated crew chief helping him reach racings summit. Harvicks first career Cup title was celebrated Friday night at NASCARs annual season-ending awards ceremony.The weeklong celebration in Las Vegas gave Harvick a chance to again reflect on the decisions that got him to the head table at Wynn Las Vegas.That evaluation of our lives, my job falls into that, Harvick said this week. DeLana and I, since we knew we were going to have Keelan, we had always talked about What its going to take to be great parents? One of those things in that category is What is it going to take to make you happiest at work?We knew that I wasnt over-the-top excited about everything that I was dealing with at that particular time.In courting Harvick, the driver signed by Richard Childress and then thrust into the firestorm when he was given Dale Earnhardts team one week after the seven-time champions fatal accident in the 2001 Daytona 500, Stewart promised his friend he could win a championship at Stewart-Haas Racing.Stewart was coming off his own 2011 title for SHR when discussions began with Harvick. With more than a year left on his contract, Harvick decided to make the leap. He waited out one final season on his deal with RCR, where hed spent 13 years of his NASCAR career but simply tired of the ebbs and flows of an inconsistent race team.By figuring out his 2014 plans so early, Harvick had almost a year to find a crew chief he believed would guide him to that coveted Cup championship. He set his sights on Rodney Childers, who was content at Michael Waltrip Racing even if that organization wasnt championship calibre.But Harvick wanted Childers — badly — and wouldnt give up his recruiting.It was a lot of conversations, Harvick said. Hes one of those guys that just has to have that feeling of being comfortable and knowing that hes dotted all his Is and crossed all his Ts. Its still business for him, and he has to support his family, and the decisions that he made will affect his life for the next few years and the contract that he was signing.It definitely has been a lot of big decisions for really everybody on our team, and the team itself made the commitment to me to get everything started.It took a meeting between Childers and team co-owner Stewart to sway Childers decision. Stewart wont reveal what he said in that meeting.These are combinations that are just as valuable as marriages, so to have Kevin have somebody that he really wanted, its my job to seal the deal, said Stewart, who recognized during that meeting why Harvick so badly wanted Childers.Getting a chance to spend that time with Rodney, I saw what Kevin was seeing. Those are meetings and those are steps that are necessary to make sure you are putting that right package and chemistry together.Still, Childers had no prior relationship with Harvick and knew only the reputation of a hot-headed driver who is tough on his crews.All I knew was a reputation, what other people had said. Id never even had a conversation with him before, Id never carried on a conversation with DeLana or anybody, Childers said. In the beginning, it was all I could think about: Is he going to eat me up? Is he going to yell at me? But the thing Ive learned with him is hes none of those things that everybody says. Nobody has a clue who he really is.What Childers learned about Harvick was that, at 38 years old, with a young son now helping him find some balance, he was a driver committed to doing whatever it took to win a championship. With Childers building the team from scratch, relentlessly working the crew to build a new fleet of cars, Harvick flipped a switch and once again found passion in his job.I needed to make a change and get something that rejuvenated me to get up in the morning and go to the shop and go to work and really take the time to be as good as I can, he said.They were good from their first on-track session and led the series with eight poles and 2,137 laps led.But under a revised elimination-style format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, Harvick and the No. 4 team had to step up and deliver. They succeeded with victories in the final two races of the season.Now, with the entire industry on hand to celebrate their success, Harvick and Childers are finally enjoying their achievement.Being able to fulfil your lifelong dream is something that a lot of people cant really say that theyve ever done, Harvick said. Johnny Manziel Jersey . -- The Chicago Bears agreed Tuesday to a one-year contract with defensive lineman Israel Idonije and are bringing him back for a second stint. Rollie Fingers Jersey .The league also seems to have a fairly active Twitter account that features the description “We provide a positive alternative to the hockey community and a venue for adult female hockey athletes to continue in their sport. . Brassard and Coyotes defenceman Derek Morris were battling for position in the crease when a nudge from Morris sent Brassard on top of Smith late in the third period. BRISBANE, Australia -- Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are set to renew their long and not-so-friendly rivalry in the semifinals at the Brisbane International, a key warm-up tournament for the Australian Open. The pair played back-to-back quarterfinals on centre court Thursday, with the third-seeded Sharapova beating 2012 Brisbane champion Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. She dropped three service games in the first set and another to open the second before finding her range and staging her comeback against the No. 30-ranked Kanepi. The top-ranked Williams, the defending champion, was next on court and didnt lose a point on serve in the first set en route to a 6-3, 6-3 win over ninth-seeded Diminika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Williams has a 14-2 record and 13-match winning streak against Sharapova dating back to the 2005 Australian Open semifinals, beating the Russian most recently in last years French Open final. Any friendship the pair had at that stage soured when they traded personal barbs relating to their romantic relationships ahead of Wimbledon, where Sharapova made an early exit. Sharapova only played one match after that in 2013 and spent the latter months of the season recovering from a right shoulder problem. Williams, meanwhile, had a spectacular year, winning 78 of her 82 matches and capturing 11 titles, including two majors. As far as any grudges go, Williams said Thursday: "Its very difficult I think for anyone to be best buddies when youre so competitive." Sharapova didnt back away from the comments she made about Williams at Wimbledon in a New York Times profile last month, giving the impression that the relationship between the pair was still cold. On Thursday, she said shed used the newspaper interview to "clear the air." Asked how shed describe their rivalry now, Sharapova replied: "Well, I think I got to win a few times in order to call it rivalry." "I havent had a lot of success against her," she added. "Its the first tournament of the year. I came here wanting to play as many matches as I could and obviously wanting to play the best.&qquot; Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka had difficulty closing out her quarterfinal match before beating Stefanie Voegele 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-1. Rickey Henderson Jersey. The second-seeded Azarenka failed to convert eight match points in the second set -- three serving at 5-4 and another five in the tiebreaker -- before Voegele rallied to force a third. Azarenka raced to a 4-0 lead in the deciding set, dropped serve and then finally finished it off on her 10th match point. "Yeah, I made it ... about 20 times harder than it should have been," Azarenka said. "I definitely should have closed it out a little earlier." Azarenka will next face fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, who beat fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-7 (8), 6-3, 6-1. In mens second-round matches, Romanian qualifier Marius Copil beat third-seeded Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-3 and will next meet former No. 1-ranked Lleyton Hewitt, who ousted No. 6-seeded Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-3. No. 8-seeded Jeremy Chardy beat Nicolas Mahut 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3 and fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson withdrew due to a stomach ailment before his scheduled second-round match against Australian wildcard entry Sam Groth. In other Australasian tournaments, Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard combined to give Canada a 3-0 win over Italy at the Hopman Cup in Perth, and Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic progressed to the semifinals at the WTA Tours ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. Canada (2-1) maintained a chance of qualifying for Saturdays Hopman Cup final from Group A when Raonic beat Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4 and Bouchard clinched it when Flavia Pennetta retired with a right wrist injury while trailing 4-0 in the first set. Poland also won, beating Australia 2-1. In Auckland, Venus Williams beat Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-3, 6-3 and the second-seeded Ivanovic beat Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-2, 6-3. Ivanovic will play her doubles partner, third-seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, in Fridays semifinals while Williams will play Jamie Hampton. Flipkens beat Japanese qualifier Sachie Ishizu 6-4, 7-5 and the fifth-seeded Hampton beat Lauren Davis 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. 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