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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Gets Back on Track for NASCAR Glory

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. rode into Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway on June 8, enjoying what is looking a lot like the best season of his NASCAR Sprint Cup career. His triumph in that race was his second of the season, meaning he'd already won as many races this year as he had the seven previous seasons combined. And with this year's points system favoring wins much more than consistency, Earnhardt is now a lock to qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff that begins in September.

Earnhardt is grateful in his celebration. "[When I] thank those guys on my team, I really mean it," he says of his crew. "Especially Steve Letarte — this is his last year."

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NASCAR Revs Up for New Season at the Daytona 500

55th Daytona 500

NASCAR is all abuzz with what's new, from yet another revised points system — meant to give the final race of the season more of a "playoffs" feel — to the return to competition of Dale Earnhardt's No. 3 car (driven by Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Dillon). But even as the Daytona 500 kicks off a fresh season on Sunday, teams still have to contend with the same old leader — the sport's formidable six-time and defending champion: "The road to the Sprint Cup championship any year goes through Jimmie Johnson," says Fox NASCAR commentator Mike Joy. "That's who you have to beat."

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Fox Sports 1 Issues Apology After Terry Bradshaw F-Bomb

Terry Bradshaw

Fox Sports 1 issued a public apology Saturday after commentator Terry Bradshawaccidentally dropped the F-bomb on the air during a commercial break.

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Blake Shelton and Usher Duet, Miranda Lambert Tears Up at Oklahoma Benefit Concert

Usher, Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton hosted an emotional Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert Wednesday in Oklahoma City to benefit United Way's recovery efforts in tornado-ravaged Oklahoma.

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Breaking In's Odette Annable: Comic-Con Job is Our "Geekiest Episode So Far"

Breaking In, Odette Annable

What do you get when you mix Goonies fandom, a Xena: Warrior Princess costume, Avatar blue paint and 130,000 plus comic book convention attendees together?

"The geekiest episode so far" of Breaking In, star Odette Annable tells TVGuide.com.

On Wednesday's episode, airing at 9:30/8:30c on Fox, the Contra Security team travels to... read more

NASCAR's Top 12 Set for Chase and Letterman Pit Stop

Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch by Bennett Raglin/ WireImage.com

NASCAR's "regular season" ended Sunday, and the 12-man field for the Chase for the Sprint Cup is set. The 10-race postseason begins with the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sunday, Sept. 14, 2 pm/ET, ABC).

The dozen drivers in contention for the 2008 title are: Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth. The Chasers will present a special "Top 12" on Late Show With David Letterman on Tuesday (Sept. 9, 11:35 pm/ET, CBS). read more

Sports News Briefs: Beckham Scores Down Under; Johnson Honored in NYC

David Beckham by Scott Clarke/ESPN

Sydney FC, an Australian soccer team partially owned by Without a Trace star Anthony LaPaglia, defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy in an exhibition in Sydney earlier today. David Beckham's presence helped attract 80,295 fans — including LaPaglia — to Telstra Stadium. Beckham scored one of his trademark bending free kicks, but it wasn't enough, as Sydney won, 5-3. According to Sydney FC's website, "a series of three Beckham [corner kicks] in four minutes looked like the Christmas illuminations as flashes went off repeatedly in the nearby crowd...."ESPN Classic will air the NASCAR Nextel Cup Awards live on Friday from the (very un-NASCAR-like) Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan (Nov. 30, 9 pm/ET). David Spade and Kelly Clarkson will perform and driver Jimmie Johnson will be honored for his second straight Nextel Cup title. The show will replay at midnight/ET on ESPN2....The New England Patriots' nail-biting 31-28 win over the Philadelphia Eagles gave NBC's Sunday Night Football ... read more

Jimmie Johnson in the Driver's Seat at NASCAR Season Finale

Jimmie Johnson by Ida Mae Astute/ABC

By winning the last four NASCAR Nextel Cup races, Jimmie Johnson has placed his fortunes squarely in his own hands. All he needs to do Sunday is finish 18th or better at the season-ending race at Homestead, Florida (Nov. 18, 3:45 pm/ET, ABC), and he gets to drink in a Nextel Cup title for the second year in a row. If he finishes 19th and leads just one lap during the race, it also won’t matter what Jeff Gordon, second in the Cup standings, does.Which is not to belittle what Gordon has already done. A top-10 finish at Homestead would be Gordon’s 30th — out of 36 races — for the season, a mark of consistency unseen since Dale Jarrett scored 29 top 10s (out of 34 races) in 1999.Gordon and Johnson’s tug-of-war through the Chase for the Nextel Cup has been remarkable, the first time since the Chase began in 2004 that the main title contenders were teammates and buddies. "We’re good friends and get along great as teammates, but we’ve always been trying t... read more

NASCAR, Curb and More Fresh Stuff

New to Interviews & Features:• NASCAR preview: Can Jimmie Johnson keep the pedal to the metal in the postseason?• Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin shares a look at the new season, and more.• Our introduction to the new cast of Dancing with the Stars continues with a look at Floyd Mayweather Jr. read more

NASCAR Preview: Can Jimmie Johnson Hold His Lead?

Jimmie Johnson

Any fans still wallowing in shock over Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing the cut for the 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup had best get over it. NASCAR's postseason gets under way this Sunday with the Sylvania 300 (1 pm/ET, ABC), in Loudon, New Hampshire, and it looks to be the most jarringly competitive last 10 races since the Chase format began in 2004. The field of 12 (an increase this year from the customary 10) is rife with former winners, led by defending champ Jimmie Johnson, who's entering the Chase with great momentum.Johnson won the last two races of the "regular" season — not to mention notching top-five finishes in five of the last six contests. Still, he must contend with fellow ex-titleholders Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth. Stewart, who won his second Cup trophy in 2005 but missed the Chase cut last season, read more

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