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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Auto racing: Keselowski likes his position as Chase leader

From Wire Reports

Brad Keselowski is leading the standings in NASCAR’S Chase for the Sprint Cup, and while his margin over five-time champion Jimmie Johnson is a mere seven points, and perennial contender Denny Hamlin is only 20 points behind, Keselowski quickly dismisses talk that being chased in the chase means pressure.

“I know in my shoes, I feel good about our situation,” Keselowski said. “I love the way we performed over the last few weekends, really over the Chase. You want to win every race and obviously that hasn’t happened, but that’s not realistic either. But we’ve been fortunate to win two races and be in contention for others. Even when we don’t win, we seem to be able to find a way to not have a disaster out of it.”

That might be harder to do today during the Tums 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va., where Johnson is on the pole after turning a lap at 97.598 mph, Hamlin is starting fifth and the two have combined to win 10 times. Keselowski, meantime, has never finished better than ninth and will roll off 32nd, back where on-track mayhem can ruin a driver’s day quickly.

“Ultimately, at the start of races, when you start getting into each other, things happen a little bit worse back there because of the chain reaction,” Hamlin said. “Usually, if you have a good car, and you don’t get in trouble, it takes your second or third run, you’ll find yourself in the top five.”

NASCAR Truck Series

Denny Hamlin and James Buescher both came from the back to the front in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.

For Hamlin, it meant a second consecutive victory in the fall NASCAR Truck Series race at the half-mile track.

For Buescher it means becoming the series points leader with three races remaining.

Formula One

Formula One championship leader Sebastian Vettel took the pole for the Indian Grand Prix in Greater Noida, India, edging out teammate Mark Webber by 0.04 seconds for Red Bull’s third straight front-row sweep.

Vettel is primed for a fourth consecutive win as he chases a third straight F1 title.

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