JOLIET, Ill. Christian Vazquez Red Sox Jersey . -- Matt Kenseth pulled away from teammate Kyle Busch to win the opening race in the Chase for Sprint Cup championship. The steely win by the top seed in the Chase helped restore a sense of normalcy at the end of a week that saw NASCAR fighting the biggest credibility crisis in its history. Now the sport waits to see if its fans are still angry that several teams manipulated the race finish at Richmond. The ensuing scandal has raised questions about NASCARs integrity that winning team owner Joe Gibbs said hes seen before in sports. "Ive seen things like that happen on the NFL side," said Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl winning coach with the Washington Redskins. "We tried to do the best we could in handling it, and hopefully weve got this behind us with the race. We all love our sport and nobody wants anything that would hurt or harm it or disappoint people." Kenseth slid into Chicago under the radar as all the attention centred squarely on NASCARs investigation into the schemes of at least three teams to alter the outcome of the previous week. It led to severe sanctions against Michael Waltrip Racing, and Martin Truex Jr. was replaced by Ryan Newman in the Chase field. NASCAR continued to review incidents long after cars began to practice for Sundays race. Chairman Brian France took the unprecedented step of expanding the field to 13 drivers to add Jeff Gordon. Then France held an ethics meeting for teams on the eve of the opening race to outline new "rules of the road," demanding drivers give 100 per cent going forward and banning any attempts to artificially affect the outcome of races. Kenseth said he was eager to help NASCAR move on. "I think the important thing is its behind us," Kenseth said. "I think its pretty clear what everybody expects and the things we should do or not do, though a lot of that is pretty obvious, anyway. Hopefully we can move on because I think its been a tough week -- not only for some of the teams involved, but I think its also been a tough week for NASCAR." A strong opener to the 10-race Chase would have gone a long way, but rain made it a difficult day. The start was delayed by mist for almost 90 minutes. Once the race did go off, it made it almost to the halfway point before the sky opened up again. In all, there were two stoppages totalling 6 hours, 30 minutes and Kenseth didnt cross the finish line until early Monday morning. It was worth the wait when he passed Busch on a restart with 27 laps remaining -- in part because of a push from Kevin Harvick -- then led Busch across the finish line for a 1-2 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota. Hell take an eight-point lead over Busch into next weeks race at New Hampshire. Thats bad news for the rest of the Chase field: JGR drivers have won six of the seven races so far this season on 1.5-mile tracks, and four of the nine remaining races in the Chase are tracks covering the same distance. Kenseth, a six-time winner this season, has four wins on 1.5-mile tracks. "Were excited about that," crew chief Jason Ratcliff said. "I think our program has been pretty solid all the way around." This latest victory denied Busch a weekend sweep yet again. Hed won the Truck and Nationwide Series races this weekend, only to come up short in the main event. The same thing happened last month at Bristol, where Busch won the first two legs of the trifecta only to be denied the sweep by Kenseth. "Oh, yeah. I watched it slip right away," Busch said. "Nothing you can do about it. Certainly it would be nice if we could have won and brought home a trifecta. It was going to be cool." Harvick finished third, Kurt Busch was fourth and teammates Jimmie Johnson and Gordon were fourth and fifth as Chevrolet took spots three through six and Chase drivers swept the top six spots. Gordon, who only learned he made the Chase 48 hours before the race, was in great shape until he got a flat tire that forced him to pit and claw his way back for his finish. "That was an incredible accomplishment. It just shows how much fight this team has in them. They just never gave up," he said. "To think how far down we were with 40 laps to go -- I know we were 18th on one of those last restarts -- to be able to come up through there and get sixth, and have a shot at top-five, was a lot of fun. Thats what we needed to get this thing started off right." Defending series champion Brad Keselowski, who failed to qualify for the Chase this year, was seventh. Keselowski was the defending race winner. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was eighth. Clint Bowyer, the driver who first triggered all the trouble last week at Richmond when he spun with seven laps to go in an effort to help teammate Truex make the Chase, finished ninth. Newman was 10th, Carl Edwards 11th and Kasey Kahne 12th. Chase driver Greg Biffle was 16th. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (35th) and Joey Logano (37th) had the worst nights of the Chase drivers as both failed to finish because of engine issues. "I am pretty angry. That was such as fast race car we had," said Logano, the pole-sitter. "Unfortunately the motor blew up. You have these every once in a while. It is a bummer to have it in the Chase when you are running for a championship." Blake Swihart Red Sox Jersey . Keenum will make his first appearance in a regular-season game against the rugged defence of the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, where the fans just set a Guinness record as the noisiest outdoor stadium in the world. Custom Boston Red Sox Jerseys . Sami Salo scored two goals as the Canucks overcame a hat-trick from Edmonton Oiler rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to win 4-3 in NHL action Saturday. http://www.redsoxapparelsshop.com/craig-kimbrel-jersey-c-34/ .com) - Semyon Varlamov more than earned his third shutout of the season as he made a career-high 54 saves to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Two days before putting his title on the line, UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon (Bones) Jones took in a Justin Timberlake concert in the same arena where he will fight Saturday night.Most people would be freaking out in their hotel room, a relaxed Jones said.Apprised of his opponents pre-fight plans, challenger Daniel (DC) Cormier smiled.No concerts in my future, he said. Again I one-up him. I got to watch Justin Timberlake go through his whole concert a couple of days ago with nobody in the arena. So go ahead, enjoy yourself with 20,000 people. I did it with 100.The UFC 182 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena has been marked by such one-upmanship since the matchup was announced last July.Were both so competitive, we dont want to give the other guy anything, said Cormier. I dont want to let him beat me at anything. So if he makes a joke, I want to try and make a funnier joke.At times, the rivalry has boiled over. The two fighters came to blows at a Las Vegas photo-op in August, tumbling off the stage in a sea of bodies that left one security official with a broken rib and netted the two combatants fines and community service.An exchange over a satellite feed later that day, as both fighters sat in separate rooms at the UFC offices for an ESPN interview, offered a private look at the animosity between the two.I wish they would let me next door so I could spit in your face, Cormier, adding an F-bomb, said after the two traded insults.You know I would absolutely kill you if you ever did something like that, replied Jones (20-1).Such vitriol is manna from heaven for the UFC, which had a tough year in 2014 due to a spate of injuries to frontline fighters.While the fight wasnt a sellout as of noon Friday — tickets were available from US$170 in the top row to $2,500 cageside — the UFC still expects a gate of $3 million-plus as well as a bumper pay-per-view audience of 750,000-plus buys.In the fight game, especially in MMA, its fun when you get this because its very rare, UFC president Dana White said of the bad blood.In a weight class that was once the rock star division of the UFC, the Jones-Cormier fight is probably the biggest news since the trilogy between Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell and Randy (The Natural) Couture in 2003, 2005 and 2006.Jones became the UFCs youngest ever champion at 23 when he dethroned Mauricio (Shogun) Rua at UFC 128 in March 2011. He has defended the 205-pound title seven times since, replacing former middleweight champion Anderson Silva as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.The lone blemish on Joness 21-fight record was a loss by disqualification in 2009 against Matt (The Hammer) Hamill, who was beaten and broken before the illegal elbow was called.Joness legacy is already impressive. His reign as champion when he enters the cage Saturday will measure 1,386 days, the longest in UFC light-heavyweight history.His run of 11 straight wins is the longest active streak in the UFC.While Cormier (15-0) comes from an elite wrestling background, he has outstruck every UFC or Strikeforce opponent he has faced.The challenger has said he plans to press Jones from the get-go, a strategy the champion seemed to welcome. Hes a wrestler at heart. Im a martial artist ... I think when I pop him with some of the things I plan on popping him with, I think hes going to say OK, that hurt and Im not moving in on him again like that. And I think when that starts to happen, Ill pull away with the fight.While Jones has consistently been victorious in the cage, he has not won over all the fans and remains a polarizing figure.In 2012, a drunk-driving conviction put a dent in the image of a scriptures-quoting family man. But he does not shy away from his faith, telling rreporters this week he rang in the New Year with a family prayer session. Chris Sale Red Sox Jersey. hristians are not perfect people, he said. We are just people ... At the end of the day, a Christian is not someone that does everything right. Christians are ultimately sinners who recognize that theyre sinners and they try to do things a little bit better. But perfect, I never claimed to be.Joness self-confidence and desire to march to his own drum has turned off some, including White at times.He definitely rubs people the wrong way, said White.Hes the champ and hes annihilated the whos who in this division and people are always rooting for the challenger.While Jones has been an occasional thorn in Whites side — UFC 151 was cancelled when Jones refused to accept Chael Sonnen as an injury replacement for Dan Henderson — the UFC boss says the champion has been very good to deal with recently.While some athletes choose to avoid social media to ignore the negativity of some fans, Jones embraces it. He knows every one of his 971,000 Twitter followers makes a difference to potential sponsors.Jones, a native of Ithica, N.Y., who trains in Albuquerque, N.M., is clearly at ease in his own skin and with his chosen occupation.This really is my comfort zone, he said with a smile. Fighting scary guys, guys that most people would be like crapping their pants (to challenge). This is my lane. I live in this lane.The 27-year-old Jones offers opponents a unique challenge thanks to his size and array of weapons. A former junior college champion wrestler, he stands six foot four with an 84-inch reach.The five-foot-11 Cormier, a former Olympic wrestler who came fourth at the Athens Games in 2004, will be giving up 12 inches in reach. He knows he will have to get in close to have a chance.If I stand on the outside, I will tell you right now, I will lose that fight. So its no secret that I need to get close, said Cormier, who trains in San Jose and works as a UFC analyst on Fox when hes not competing.Punches to the body may also play a part for Cormier. They worked for No. 1 contender Alexander (The Mauler) Gustafsson, whose five-round war with Jones in Toronto at UFC 165 in 2013 proved that the champion is human.Cormier, who has stuffed all 11 takedown attempts in his four UFC fights, knows staying off his back is also a key. Jones, whose 50.9-per cent takedown accuracy leads all active light-heavyweights, finishes opponents when he gets on top of them.Jones believes his age, speed and versatility will count in his favour against the 35-year-old Cormier.Every round starts on its feet and Im very aware I have a much larger array of techniques on my feet than he does.Jones also points at his record.Hes 4-0 in the UFC. Im 15-0 in the UFC, he said. I really feel like Im the aggressor in this fight, like Im the predator. I dont feel Im defending my belt at all, I feel like Im getting ready to attack this challenger.Lightweight Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone, a Jones teammate who fights Myles (Fury) Jury in Saturdays co-main event, agrees.I just dont know if Cormier has the tools to beat him.The bookies think enough of Cormier, however, to keep the odds low. Jones is less than a 2-1 favourite.Cormier, ranked second among light-heavyweight contenders, is No. 14 on the UFCs pound-for-pound ranking list — separated from Jones by a line of current or former champions.This fight has proved to be a twisted road to the cage.Jones was originally due to meet Gustafsson in September at UFC 178, a card originally slated for Toronto before being shifted to Las Vegas. Cormier stepped in when Gustafsson injured his knee.The fight was then pushed back to January after Jones suffered a leg injury of his own.———Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter. 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