ut having dealt with ankle, shin, and back injuries atin TeeLeague 26.07.2019 12:20
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Our experts weigh in on four of the biggest questions in NASCAR:Turn 1: Should Dale Earnhardt Jr. retire?Ricky Craven, ESPN NASCAR analyst: Dale Jr. is the most qualified person to answer this question and he says no, that he would like to continue competing. What concerns me is the concussion symptoms have persisted, he will be 42 next season and another wreck is inevitable in this business. Unless he has a burning desire to accomplish more than he already has, he should retire. The risk appears to outweigh the reward.Ryan McGee, ESPN.com: No. Not yet. I think the best possible scenario is the one hes taken, which is having a half a year to see what kind of ground he can make up. I think we all know him well enough to know hes not going to go out there if he thinks hes a danger to himself and others. So if he needs to take another year, fine. But right now getting back behind the wheel should rank way further down his priority list than any fan would ever want to admit.?John Oreovicz, ESPN.com: Maybe its his call, maybe its his doctors. Id say yes. In the shadow of his father, one of stock car racings all-time most imposing figures, he has accomplished an awful lot on the track and developed into one of the sports best personalities in his own right. Junior has many avenues open to him to remain involved in NASCAR and, once the shock has worn off, he might find the reduced stress level from not being a driver is to his liking. If hes forced to quit due to medical reasons, he has nothing to be ashamed of and a great platform moving forward to advance awareness of head injuries and the prolonged damage they can cause.Bob Pockrass, ESPN.com: Earnhardt shouldnt race anymore, just like I shouldnt have this third cup of coffee while writing this. It potentially could be bad for his long-term health. But if Earnhardt -- and his fiancée and his car owner -- is willing to take the risk and believes he could mentally handle the consequences if he suffers another concussion from a routine accident, then he should race again.Turn 2: Should Rick Hendrick be working on a plan for a driver for the No. 88 car for 2017? Who should it be if Earnhardt isnt ready by the start of next season?Craven: I would say wait a few months; there is plenty of time. Allow this process with Dale Jr. to take its course and support his efforts. Alex Bowman has done a very nice job and has enough experience to be a solid alternative.McGee: Yes. And it should be Alex Bowman. Or perhaps a Bowman/William Byron mix. Whatever they do, it needs to be someone other than Jeff Gordon.Oreovicz: You can be certain Mr. H has already been working on a Plan B for the 88 for some time now and with William Byron waiting in the wings, it might be a one-year issue. Alex Bowman already has experience with the team and if he performs well in his remaining eight races this year, he probably has the inside track. As a short-term stopgap, Id also take a lk at Sam Hornish Jr.;?after his part-time success the last couple years in the Xfinity Series, it would be interesting to see how he would do given another shot at the Cup Series in a quality ride.Pockrass: Yes. There is no timetable for Earnhardts recovery. Hendrick should hire Greg Biffle. Biffles last year of his Roush Fenway deal is 2017, and Biffle leaving Roush Fenway allows the team to save on salary and for Chris Buescher to move into a full-fledged Roush ride. Hendrick gets a veteran for one year who could handle a situation if Earnhardt returns during 2017.Turn 3: Should NASCAR have taken the truck win away from John Hunter Nemechek for rough driving?Craven: Probably not. I believe this will play out among the fraternity of drivers. Let it be a driver-code issue. It did happen to Ricky Rudd many years ago at Sonoma, after spinning Davey Allison on the final turn, but it left a bad taste.McGee: Not just no, hail no. This was the Truck Series-level version of the 79 Daytona 500. They led SportsCenter! They won the Internet! The Trucks! They should send him and Cole Custer a gift basket.Oreovicz: NASCAR has always subscribed to the philosophy that the winner is who the fans saw cross the line first. But theres reason here to believe NASCAR could (or should) be rather heavy-handed in postrace sanctions because Nemecheks driving on the last lap clearly deserves to be penalized. Id suspend him for the first race of the Truck Series Chase, a genuine penalty that would make his path to a championship more difficult.Pockrass: No. The first bump was fine but the length of the shove of the second one was dirty. And then Nemechek lost control, resulting in the body slam that sent them to the wall. Nemechek could have lifted as they came to the checkered since it was his fault, but its also hard to fault someone going for the win. Nemechek will have to live with the consequences (payback). But Nemechek gets the benefit of the doubt that he tried to only bump-bump-and-run and not intentionally crash Custer -- therefore, no penalty.Turn 4: Did Kevin Harvick go overboard with postrace comments about his pit crew?Craven: Its not a healthy practice, but Kevin Harvick is among the few capable of pulling it off. The risk would be that team members lose confidence in their leader for humiliating them publicly. The flip side is, Kevin is among the best drivers in the business, he carries much authority at Stewart-Haas and can force change. Kevin will continue to be fast and consistent. His pit crew needs to be the same to win another title.McGee: Nope. He wasnt wrong. And hes taken this tack before at both Stewart-Haas and RCR to a pretty positive result. This is no different than a quarterback chewing everyones butts in the huddle on Monday Night Ftball or a coach questioning a guys play during a press conference. You cant do it all the time because then you become Chicken Little and you lose the impact. But when you do speak up, it creates action.?Oreovicz: No. Despite changes over the past couple of years, the No. 4 team regularly has more problems in the pits than any other crew. By his own standards, Harvick has been pretty diplomatic with his frustration to this point. But when he watches the Gibbs and Penske teams -- not to mention the other crews within Stewart-Haas Racing -- consistently execute flawless stops, hes got to be doing his best Jeremy Clarkson impression of saying, How hard can it be?Pockrass: Sure he did. But Harvick has been that way for years. You dont go play basketball for Bob Knight and then get mad that he yells at you. 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SEATTLE -- Lauren Jackson would have loved nothing more than a chance to don her Seattle Storm uniform and play one more time in front of the teams vocal fans.If I could, I would. But actually, I dont have a knee anymore, she said with a smile at the end of a media roundtable session with longtime teammate Sue Bird. Itd be almost impossible.Instead, the Australian superstar and four-time Olympian settled for being honored and cheered loudly by those fans in KeyArena on Friday night as the team formally retired her uniform after an 80-51 rout of the Washington Mystics.Jacksons No. 15 jersey, the first number retired in the teams 16-year history, was unveiled in the arenas rafters, next to the two banners signifying the WNBA championships she helped win in 2004 and 2010.It was then that the reality -- and finality -- of stepping away from the game hit home with the 35-year-old Jackson.I think the closure in itself is a sad thing. But at least I got to come back, said Jackson, who hadnt been in Seattle since playing her final game in the 2012 WNBA playoffs against Minnesota. It doesnt feel like it has been four years. I wasnt sure I was going to get to get back here. But having the opportunity to come back and retire here is probably the most important thing Ive ever done.Jackson was intrroduced as a ceremonial sixth starter before the game, and threw several of her basketball shoes into the stands at halftime.ddddddddddddI didnt realize how much I missed (Seattle) until I got back in, Jackson said. I did grow up here. I was a little teenager when I got here.Although she didnt play in the WNBA after 2012, Jackson did continue playing overseas. But having dealt with ankle, shin, and back injuries at various points of her career, Jackson announced in a tweet on March 30 that she was calling it quits.The 6-ft-6 Jackson was 19 when she came to Seattle with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2001 after the Storm went just 6-26 as an expansion team in 2000. During her 12-year career, she scored a team-leading 6,007 points, a total that ranks No. 7 on the WNBAs career list. She also ranks No. 3 in the league for career blocked shots (586) and No. 9 in rebounds (2,447).Jackson was a three-time MVP and named to the WNBAs All-Decade team in 2006 as one of the leagues top 10 players. Along with four Olympics for the Australian national team (three silver medals and one bronze), she played in three World Championships, helping the Opals win gold in 2006. ' ' '