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    February 26, 2020 7:31 AM MSK

    INDYCAR kicked off the week in which its 2016 champion will be crowned by revealing important changes to its future car specifications. Mecole Hardman Super Bowl Jersey .The series announced Wednesday that development on body parts produced by Chevrolet and Honda for the central Dallara chassis (front and rear wings, sidepods, engine cover) will be frozen for 2017. In 2018, INDYCAR will roll out a single standardized set of body parts for Chevrolet- and Honda-powered cars, and it hopes to attract a third engine manufacturer to the series.Todays announcement follows an extended dialogue with Chevrolet, Honda, our teams and stakeholders, said INDYCAR president of competition and operations Jay Frye. This decision focused on what is best for the future of the Verizon IndyCar Series and is an integral component to INDYCARs long-term plan to continue to produce the highest quality of on-track competition while also positioning ourselves to add additional engine manufacturers.Aero kits have been a hot-button topic in the IndyCar Series since their introduction at the start of the 2015 season. Despite attempts to create parity between Chevrolet and Honda, Chevrolet has dominated the past two years, winning 23 of 31 races. However, Hondas package has been more competitive on superspeedways, with Alexander Rossi winning this years Indianapolis 500 and Honda teams faring strongly on other ovals.The kits were implemented at the request of the engine manufacturers to create visual differences between the Honda and Chevy cars. In that regard, the project was somewhat successful. But teams balked at the high cost of equipping their fleet of chassis with the array of different components required for the IndyCar Series mix of short ovals, speedways, and road and street courses.INDYCAR attempted to adjust the performance difference between the two manufacturers by allowing Honda to make additional changes to its 2016 kit outside of what was mandated by the rulebook. But Chevrolet still dominated, with its drivers holding the top six places in the championship standings heading into this weekends season finale at Sonoma Raceway.With aerodynamic development halted for 2017, Honda is expected to use its budget surplus to try to lure at least one Chevrolet team into its camp, with perennial championship contender Chip Ganassi Racing top on its list. The Ganassi team won 10 CART and IndyCar-sanctioned championships as a Honda partner between 1996 and 2013, but it switched to Chevrolet in 2014.Honda still may be struggling in 2016, but some of its issues the past two years can be pinned on having a generally weaker lineup of drivers and teams than Chevrolet. A move by Ganassi from Chevrolet to Honda could go a long way toward improving the competitive balance between manufacturers.Insiders say the changes to the appearance of the 2018 car will be radical and could include relocating the turbo air intake from behind the roll hoop and shedding the controversial bumpers that shroud the rear wheels.The 2018 car also is expected to have a redesigned floor in an effort to shift downforce production away from the front and rear wings. Some form of increased cockpit protection also likely will be part of the 2018 package.The 2018 car is a tremendous opportunity for INDYCAR, and the design collaboration is already underway, Frye said. The goal of the universal car is to be great looking, less aero dependent, have more potential for mechanical grip/downforce and to incorporate all the latest safety enhancements. Larry Johnson Super Bowl Jersey . Traditional contenders Brazil, Greece and Turkey drew the other three spots to complete the 24-team field for this summers tournament in Spain, basketball governing body FIBA announced Saturday at its meeting in Barcelona. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Super Bowl Jersey . Pettersen, winner of last years Evian Championships, had nine birdies and three bogeys, holding off a series of challengers led by Marion Ricordeau of France. The second-ranked Norwegian made her season debut after missing the LPGA Tours opening event last month in the Bahamas because of a shoulder injury. .com) - The Montreal Canadiens embark on their first road trip of the season as they head out west to battle the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo says the Chicago Cubs will be ready to roll when the seasons second half begins on Friday in the opener of a three-game series with the Texas Rangers at Wrigley Field.The Cubs ended a 6-15 pre-break skid with last Sundays 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.Was it a slump possibly of their own making?Rizzo seemed to suggest that the Cubs may have eased up a bit after rolling to a 25-6 start and double-digit game leads over their closest Central Division competitors.You build a big lead, and I dont want to say we were coasting, but I guess we were, the Cubs first baseman told reporters during All-Star Game festivities this week. You cant be good all the time in this game. Its impossible. Well be ready for the second half.Chicago outfielder Dexter Fowler echoed Rizzos expectations for a second-half start.I think the break was good, I think well come back recharged, hopefully, Fowler told reporters. And I think were in for a long, long season.Fowler, a catalyst for the Cubs fast start, opens the second half still on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain and no projected return date.Rizzos assessment might be an overstatement because the Cubs slump could also be attributed to a series of injuries, fatigue through a stretch playing 24 consecutive games and the end of a run of exceptional pitching especially by reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta that would be hard to perpetually sustain.Chicago (53-35) starts the second half with a seven-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and a six-game homestand with two challenging series.AL West-leading Texas (54-36) brings that leagues best record into a three-game weekend series. Thats followed by a three-game set with the New York Mets next week, a team that humbled the Cubs with a four-game sweep prior to the break.Chicago owns the National Leagues best home record (26-14) and are facing a team that knows about slumps.Texas owns a 5 1/2 game lead over the Houston Astros and has dropped seven of its last ninee heading into the All-Star break while Chicago had lost five straight before beating the Pirates. Tanoh Kpassagnon Super Bowl Jersey. Texas entered the break with the rotation having a 10.50 ERA over the final nine games as Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis are on the disabled list.Its obviously a challenge, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. We go as our starters go. When we get quality starts, its proven, has been all year long that when we get quality starts our offense gives us an opportunity to win baseball game.Texas sends left-hander Martin Perez (7-5, 3.85 ERA) against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (7-6, 2.55 ERA) in the series opener.Hendricks needs one win to match a career-high. Hes 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA at home. Perez is coming off a rough start again the Red Sox on July 5, allowing 11 runs (seven earned) over four innings in an 11-6 loss.Neither starter has ever faced the opposing team.Darvish (2-0, 2.87 ERA in three starts) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday and start against Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.46 ERA).Darvish had been on the disabled list since June 13 and has made two rehab starts. He also opened the season on the disabled list while recovering from 2015 Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.Chicago and Texas have met only 12 times since interleague play began in 1997 and have six wins apiece.The Cubs took two of three in the most recent meeting in 2013 at Wrigley Field with two games played in cool April conditions and an early May makeup of a rainout.The Cubs play 24 of their next 32 games at home and two series will be strictly by bus including two against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and three at Milwaukee. Chicago also has a three-game trip to Oakland (Aug. 5-7).The Rangers are on a 10-day, nine game road trip that also takes them to Anaheim and Kansas City before hosting the Athletics July 25-27. ' ' '