NASCAR

AUTO RACING PACKAGE: Auto racing glance

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(All Times EDT) NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Sharpie 500 Site: Bristol, Tenn. Schedule: Friday, qualifying (TNT, 6 p.m.); Saturday, race (TNT, 7:30 p.m.). Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (oval, .533 miles, 36 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 266.5 miles, 500 laps. Last race: Jeremy Mayfield came out on top of the chaotic GFS Marketplace 400 by running the last 52 laps on a single tank of fuel at Michigan International Speedway. Mayfield, whose most recent win came last September in Richmond, inherited the top spot with six laps to go as the leaders were forced to pit for fuel. Mayfield's crew chief, Slugger Labbe, decided to pass up a late pit stop and go for the win. Last year: Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the weekend sweep at Bristol by winning the Sharpie 500. Almost completely healed from burns he suffered the previous month in a non-NASCAR wreck, Earnhardt led 295 of the 500 laps for his first Cup win at the track. Fast facts: Kevin Harvick won the Food City 500 at Bristol on April 3. ... Bristol is one of the shortest tracks on the Nextel Cup circuit. "The World's Fastest Half Mile" has the highest banking (36 degrees). ... Earnhardt Jr. will be competing in both the Busch and Cup races this year, going for a second sweep. ... This year's Sharpie 500 souvenir program features Rusty Wallace on the cover. Wallace, a nine-time winner at Bristol, is making his last Nextel Cup start at the Speedway. ... The Sharpie 500 marks the 90th race that's been held on the half-mile oval. Next race: California 500, Sept. 4, Fontana, Calif. On the Net: http://www.nascar.com --- NASCAR BUSCH Food City 250 Site: Bristol, Tenn. Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4:30 p.m.); race (TNT, 8 p.m.). Track: Bristol Motor Speedway (oval, .533 miles, 36 degrees banking in turns). Race distance: 133.25 miles, 250 laps. Last race: Ryan Newman raced to his second straight victory, passing Greg Biffle with six laps remaining and holding him off by 0.766 seconds in the Domino's Pizza 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Last year: Dale Earnhardt Jr. beat Matt Kenseth in the first green-white finish in series history to win the Food City 250. Earnhardt started from the pole and led a race-high 125 laps, but a series-high 13 cautions extended the event by six laps. Fast facts: Newman has finished in the top five in all four of his Busch starts this season. ... Points leader Martin Truex Jr. recorded his 14th top-five finish of the season at Michigan. Truex had 17 top-five finishes last year. Next race: Busch Series 300, Sept. 3, Fontana, Calif. On the Net: http://www.nascar.com --- NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS Last race: Mike Skinner led all but 10 laps and won in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series for the first time since 1996 by turning back a late challenge from Todd Bodine. Skinner, a former champion, left in 1997 to race in the Nextel Cup series. He returned last year to compete full time in the trucks. The victory in Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway was his 17th on the circuit. Next race: NCTS 200, Sept. 8, Richmond, Va. On the Net: http://www.nascar.com --- INDY RACING LEAGUE Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix Site: Sonoma, Calif. Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, race (ESPN, 3:45 p.m.). Track: Infineon Raceway (road course, 2.26 miles, 12 turns). Race distance: 184 miles, 80 laps. Last race: Dan Wheldon took his second lead with 60 laps left and ran away with the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway, for his record-tying fifth win of the season. Wheldon beat Sam Hornish Jr. by 12.4763 seconds and matched Hornish's record for wins in a season, set in 2002. Last year: Inaugural race. Fast facts: This is the first Indy-style race at Sonoma since a USAC Indy Car event in 1970. ... It's also the first time the series will compete on a natural terrain road course. ... Weldon's win last week clinched Honda's second straight manufacturers title. The victory increased Wheldon's lead over Hornish to 97 points with four of the series' 17 races left. ... In road course races, pit strategy often determines the outcome. Next event: Delphi Indy 300, Sept. 11, Joliet, Ill. On the Net: http://www.indyracingleague.com --- CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES Molson Montreal Indy Site: Montreal. Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 2 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 2 p.m.; Sunday, race (NBC, 1:45 p.m.). Track: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (road course, 2.709 miles, 15 turns). Race distance: 186.921 miles, 69 laps. Last race: Sebastien Bourdais took advantage of a late crash by Paul Tracy, then pulled away from the pack to defend his title in the Grand Prix of Denver, his third straight victory and fourth of the season. Last year: Bruno Junqueira recorded his first win since August 2003. Fast facts: Jimmy Vasser made his 193rd consecutive start in last year's race, moving him past Al Unser Jr. for most in open-wheel history. ... The track, named for the fabled Ferrari driver and father of former CART champion Jacques Villeneuve, has been the site of this event since 1978. ... This is the first year the CART Series will visit the track. Next race: Las Vegas, Sept. 24. On the Net: http://www.cart.com --- FORMULA ONE Last race: Kimi Raikkonen won his second consecutive race and fifth of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso finished second to put him in the driver's seat for the title. The Spainiard has a 24-point lead with five races left. Next race: Italian Grand Prix, Sept. 4, Monza. On the Net: http://www.formula1.com --- NHRA Last event: Part-time driver "Hot" Rod Fuller upset defending series champion Tony Schumacher in the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., winning the Top Fuel final with a quarter-mile run of 4.612 seconds at 313.07 mph. By advancing to the final round, Schumacher pulled within four points of first-place Doug Kalitta in the season standings. Eric Medlen (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won their divisions. Next event: Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 5, Clermont, Ind. On the Net: http://www.nhra.com

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