INDIANAPOLIS -- Jacques Villeneuve is ready to make an IndyCar comeback. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports said Wednesday it has hired Villeneuve to race in this years Indianapolis 500, 19 years after the Canadian driver first drank the milk in Victory Lane. "IndyCar is growing again and thats why last year when I started watching races again, every time I watched I felt almost angry I wasnt there," the 1995 race winner said on a satellite hookup from France during a news conference held at the teams Indy headquarters. At age 42, Villeneuve seemed content being a television analyst, musician and RallyCross driver. But when Schmidt and co-owner Rick Peterson, also from Canada, made a serious offer, he couldnt refuse. The 500 is scheduled for May 25. Villeneuve certainly has a compelling resume. As an Indy rookie in 1994, he qualified fourth and finished second to Al Unser Jr., and was named the races rookie of the year. The next season, the reigning CART rookie of the year was even better. He qualified fifth at Indy, forced Scott Goodyear into a costly mistake on the final restart and eventually held off Christian Fittipaldi to become the first and only Canadian winner of the race. Villeneuve completed all 400 laps at Indy in those two starts and won the 1995 CART title, too. But after starting 33 races, winning six poles and five races in two IndyCar seasons, Villeneuve had a chance to become an international star. So he headed to Europe and joined Formula One -- the series that made his late father, Gilles, a household name. Like his dad, who died in a 1982 F1 qualifying crash, Villeneuve excelled on the world stage. In 163 career starts between 1996 and 2006, the younger Villeneuve reached the podium 23 times, won 11 races, 13 poles and claimed the 1997 world championship. At that point, American open-wheel racing wasnt even on the radar. His journey back to North America began in 2007 when Villeneuve made the move to American stock cars. Over the next seven seasons, he dabbled in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Le Mans series as well as sports cars. Villeneuve regained interest in IndyCars last season as he watched how close and competitive the races had become. To him, it reminded him of the series he left almost two decades earlier. Suddenly, he was interested in making a return -- if he could find the right car and the right team. "To get this opportunity is a gift," Villeneuve said. "A lot of people say when you have kids, you slow down. I want my kids to see me race." Schmidt is the winningest team owner in Indy Lights history and already employs two full-time drivers in the better-known IndyCar series -- Russias Mikhail Aleshin and Frances Simon Pageland. In previous years, Schmidt has always found a way to compete at Indy. Getting Villeneuve might be the biggest coup of all for his low-budget team. "Indy is a special place. We go there not to exist but to win the race," Schmidt said. "To see a guy that finished second and finished first there, I dont think hes going to have any problem going back." Villeneuve becomes the fifth 500 winner on this years entry list. The others are three-time winner Helio Castroneves of Brazil, two-time winner Scott Dixon of New Zealand, 2000 winner Juan Pablo Montoya of Colombia and Brazils Tony Kanaan, the defending champ. Another trip to Victory Lane would give Villeneuve two more milestones. He would break Al Unsers record for the longest gap between first and last victories. Unser went 17 years between his first Indy crown in 1970 and his record-tying fourth win in 1987. Villeneuve also would break Gordon Johncocks record for the longest gap between first and second wins at Indy, 1973 and 1982. Villeneuve isnt motivated by records. He wants to win. "Im a racer," he said, explaining he does not plan to retire anytime soon. "Ive got to find ways to get better and better and better, and Im going there with a team thats very experienced and has been very successful as well." Ethan Westbrooks Jersey
. Phoenix got injured centre Emeka Okafor and a top-12-protected first-round draft pick in 2014 -- giving the rebuilding Suns potentially four choices in the opening round. The Suns also sent guards Kendall Marshall, Shannon Brown and Malcolm Lee to Washington so the deal will work financially. John Johnson Jersey
. It was the start of one nice night for the goalie and the Minnesota Wild. Backstrom made 33 saves in his first win of the season and the Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 on Saturday in a rematch of their first-round playoff series. http://www.authenticramsfansclub.com/Bl ... Jersey/.ca
NHL Power Rankings, ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Moving up, from 10 to seven this week, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won seven straight despite a depleted lineup. Los Angeles Rams Jerseys
.The third-seeded Murray, who won here in 2009, will face seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa next on the indoor hard court. Kurt Warner Jersey
.com) - Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with just 12.ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha lost his no-hit bid on Ryan Zimmermans infield single with two outs in the ninth inning, and St. Louis beat the Washington Nationals 2-0 Tuesday night to close in on the NL Central title. Making his ninth career start, Wacha came about as close as possible to finishing off the third no-hitter in the majors this season. Instead, the Busch Stadium crowd let out a loud, collective groan as he became the third pitcher to have a bid broken up with one out to go. Zimmerman hit a chopper just over the 6-foot-6 Wacha, and the ball bounced slowly toward shortstop. A charging Pete Kozma grabbed it with his bare hand and whipped a throw to first that was a little wide, pulling Matt Adams off the bag as Zimmerman arrived. "I think it nicked off my glove a little bit," Wacha said. As the ball left Zimmermans bat, several Cardinals started to climb the dugout railing, ready to pour onto the field to celebrate. Second baseman Matt Carpenter did a little hop, all set for the final out. But first base umpire Jeff Kellogg correctly called Zimmerman safe, and the Cardinals sagged right along with their fans. Third baseman David Freese sat crouched in the infield, stunned at how close his 22-year-old teammate had come. Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright put his hands on his head in disbelief. Wacha (4-1) was pulled after Zimmermans hit and walked off to a huge ovation. The right-hander struck out nine and walked two. "I guess I wasnt meant to throw one tonight," he said. Trevor Rosenthal got Jayson Werth to ground out for his second save. With anticipation building and fans on their feet in the ninth inning, Wacha retired pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi on a grounder to Kozma before throwing a called third strike past Denard Span. But on the next pitch, Zimmerman spoiled it. Texas Yu Darvish lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning against Houston on April 2 and San Franciscos Yusmeiro Petit had his try at perfection end one out shy against Arizona on Sept 6. Cincinnatis Homer Bailey and the Giants Tim Lincecum threw no-hitters in July. The last two no-hitters by St. Louis pitchers came from roookies -- Bud Smith in 2001 and Jose Jimenez in 1999.dddddddddddd It has been 30 years since there was a no-hitter in St. Louis. Bob Forsch finished off his second for the Cardinals on Sept. 26, 1983, against Montreal. Drafted 19th overall out of Texas A&M last year, Wacha has been up and down from the minors a couple of times this season. But he came up big for the Cardinals in the final week as they try to nail down their first division title since 2009. St. Louis, which already clinched a playoff berth, began the night with a two-game lead in the NL Central over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The Reds lost to the New York Mets 4-2, falling three games back with four to play. The Cardinals have won four of five. They remained a half-game behind Atlanta for the best record in the NL. Washington was eliminated from playoff contention with a 4-3 loss to St. Louis on Monday night. The Nationals have dropped three of four. Wacha retired his first 14 batters before Adam LaRoche reached on an error by Carpenter at second base with two outs in the fourth. Span tried to break up the no-hitter with a two-out bunt in the sixth. The ball rolled just foul near third base, and the crowd booed lustily. Left fielder Shane Robinson made a running catch of a tailing liner off the bat of Anthony Rendon to end the eighth. Robinson drove in Carpenter with a two-out single off Gio Gonzalez (11-8) in the third. Carpenter began the rally with his major league-leading 55th double. Yadier Molina pushed the lead to 2-0 with a run-scoring double in the fourth. Gonzalez came within inches of a no-hitter himself this month. He finished with a one-hit shutout against the Mets after pinch-hitter Zach Lutzs seventh-inning single landed right on the first base line behind the bag. This time, Gonzalez allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings. He struck out six. NOTES: Wacha was seeking the 11th no-hitter in Cardinals history. ... Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (19-7, 3.18 ERA) gets his last scheduled shot at 20 wins on Wednesday when he faces RHP Shelby Miller (14-9, 3.12) in the finale of the three-game series. ... The Cardinals are 14-2 against NL East opponents at home. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
' ' '