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FOX Watch: Weekend racing guide

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NASCAR NEXTEL CUP: Subway Fresh 500

  • Site: Avondale, Ariz.
  • Schedule: Thursday, qualifying (SPEED, 8:30 p.m.); Saturday, race, 8:25 p.m. (FOX, 8 p.m.).
  • Track: Phoenix International Raceway (tri-oval, 1 mile, 11 degrees banking in turns 1-2, 9 degrees banking in turns 3-4).
  • Race distance: 312 miles, 312 laps.
  • Last race: Kasey Kahne became the 11th different winner in as many Nextel Cup races held at Texas Motor Speedway, yet he still managed a first - by doing it from the pole. Kahne sped way from the field after the final restart with 17 laps to go for his second victory this season. Kahne, who turned 26 on Monday, earned his third career victory. The last three times he's been on the pole, he's won.
  • Last year: Kurt Busch led 219 of 312 laps on the mile oval, emphatically putting behind him a streak of bad luck that included crashes at four consecutive events, including an IROC race a week earlier. He beat Michael Waltrip to the finish line by 2.315 seconds - about 10 car-lengths - for his 12th career victory.
  • Fast facts: The 2005 race was the first Cup race run under the lights at PIR. ... This is the first of two Nextel Cup races at this venue. The Nov. 12 Checker Auto Parts 500 is the penultimate race of the season. ... In 19 years, no pole-winner has won this race and only two winners - Jeff Burton in 2000 and Kurt Busch in 2004 - have come from the No. 2 position.
  • Next race: Aaron's 499, April 30, Talladega, Ala.
  • On the net: http://www.nascar.com
  • NASCAR BUSCH: Basha's Supermarkets 200

  • Site: Avondale, Ariz.
  • Schedule: Friday, qualifying (SPEED, 5:30 p.m.); race (FX, 9 p.m.).
  • Track: Phoenix International Raceway (tri-oval, 1 mile, 11 degrees banking in turns 1-2, 9 degrees banking in turns 3-4).
  • Race distance: 200 miles, 200 laps.
  • Last race: Nextel Cup driver Kevin Harvick raced to his first NASCAR Busch Series victory of the year, taking the lead with 52 laps to go and holding off teammate Clint Bowyer after a late caution in the Pepsi 300. Harvick finished 0.504 seconds ahead of Bowyer, his Richard Childress racing teammate, en route to his 18th career Busch Series victory.
  • Last year: Greg Biffle survived an early spinout and grabbed another dominating victory, overpowering the field. The former Busch Series champion, winner of the Cup race the previous week at Texas Motor Speedway, followed it with the win on the mile oval at Phoenix, leading 112 of the 200 laps. It was his 17th Busch victory, but his first since last September at California Speedway. He previously won in Phoenix in 2001.
  • Fast facts: Harvick took a 156-point lead over Denny Hamlin in the series standings with his win last week. He also became the eighth Nextel Cup driver to win in the first eight races of the Busch Series season. ... Mike Wallace, who drove in the season-opening Daytona 500 for James Finch, has replaced Jason Keller as driver of Finch's No. 1 Dodge in the Busch Series on an interim basis. In 16 seasons, Keller had won 10 Busch Series races, the most recent coming at Milwaukee in 2003. Wallace has four Busch Series victories in 237 starts over 16 seasons. ... After finishing no better than 37th in his three Busch Series starts with Keith Coleman Racing, Chris Wimmer was released as the team's driver.
  • Next race: Aaron's 312, April 29 - Aaron's 312, Talladega, Ala.
  • On the net: http://www.nascar.com
  • NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCKS

  • Last race: David Starr held the lead through eight restarts over the final 121 laps to win the Kroger 250 at Martinsville, Va., on April 1, his fourth career truck victory.
  • Next race: Dodge Ram Tough 200, April 29, Madison, Ill.
  • On the net: http://www.nascar.com
  • FORMULA ONE: San Marino Grand Prix

  • Site: Imola, Italy.
  • Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (SPEED, 8 a.m.); Sunday, race, 10 a.m. (CBS, 1 p.m., same-day tape).
  • Track: Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome (road course, 3.057 miles, 17 turns).
  • Race distance: 189.534 miles, 62 laps.
  • Last race: World champion Fernando Alonso held off Kimi Raikkonen to win an action-packed Australian Grand Prix on April 2. Renault driver Alonso has two wins in three races this season after winning the opener at Bahrain.
  • Last year: Fernando Alonso held off Michael Schumacher by 0.2 seconds in a fierce duel for his third straight victory and fourth in a row for Renault. Alonso and Schumacher raced 1-2 for the final 12 laps. Schumacher moved his Ferrari around the track trying to set up a pass. Each time, Alonso responded with a block.
  • Fast facts: Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at Imola, with a total of six wins. ... Imola is the start of the European F1 season. ... Alonso leads the series with 28 points, 14 ahead of Raikkonen and Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella. ... ... The track was initially named after the Santerno River which borders the paddock side. The circuit was renamed Autodromo Dino Ferrari in 1970 after Enzo Ferrari's son, who had died of leukemia in 1956. Enzo Ferrari's own name was added following his death in 1988.
  • Next race: Grand Prix of Europe, May 7, Nurburgring, Germany.
  • On the net: http://www.formula1.com
  • CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES

  • Last race: Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais began the quest for his third straight Champ Car World Series title with an overpowering victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Winning at Long Beach for the second straight year, Bourdais trailed only after a midrace pit stop, leading 70 of 74 laps on the 1.986-mile, 11-turn circuit that threads its way through city streets tucked between downtown and the Pacific Ocean. Likely championship contenders Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira and A.J. Allmendinger didn't even make it through the first turn of the first race of the season.
  • Next race: Grand Prix of Houston, May 13
  • On the net: http://www.champcarworldseries.com
  • INDY RACING LEAGUE: Indy Japan 300

  • Site: Motegi, Japan.
  • Schedule: Thursday, qualifying, 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, race, Midnight (ESPN, Noon, same-day tape).
  • Track: Twin Ring Motegi (oval, 1.5 miles, 10-degree banking in turns).
  • Race distance: 300 miles, 200 laps.
  • Last race: Helio Castroneves turned his luck around by winning the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on April 2 when Scott Dixon's fuel strategy came up just short. Castroneves had not finished the three previous road races in the series.
  • Last year: Dan Wheldon, driving a Honda-powered Dallara, won his second consecutive Japan 300 when he inherited the lead on lap 198 after Tomas Scheckter ran out of gas. Scott Sharp was 3.4612 seconds back of Wheldon while Buddy Rice was third. Female rookie Danica Patrick, who started from the front row along with Sam Hornish Jr., was fourth. With the victory, Wheldon became the first driver in IndyCar Series history to win three of the first four events in a season.
  • Fast facts: Helio Castroneves leads the IRL standings with 93 points after finishing second in the season-opening Toyota Indy 300 and winning the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. ... Wheldon is seeking three straight wins at Twin Ring Motegi. No driver has won three straight at the same track during the IndyCar Series era. ... Tomas Enge will drive for Eddie Cheever Jr., who will be competing in the Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series in Virginia. ... Each of the first two races this year have had five race leaders and eight lead changes.
  • Next race: Indianapolis 500, May 28.
  • On the net: http://www.indyracingleague.com
  • NHRA

  • Last event: Melanie Troxel raced to her second Top Fuel victory of the year and became the first driver to advance to the final round in the first five events of a season in the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. It also was Troxel's sixth consecutive final and she is one final short of the NHRA record for most consecutive finals in Top Fuel, set by Tony Shumacher in 2005. In Funny Car, Ron Capps advanced to his fourth final in five starts and held on to the No. 1 ranking. Capps, who has won two of the five 2006 races, lost to Cruz Pedregon, who had a pass of 5.417 seconds at 266.16 mph. In Pro Stock, Kurt Johnson beat Dave Connolly in the closest of the three finals. Johnson had a pass of 6.842 seconds at 202.42 mph, while Connolly was timed at 6.874 at 202.00 mph.
  • Next event: O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, April 30, Bristol, Tenn.
  • On the Net: http://www.nhra.com
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