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STARTING LINE
THIS WEEK'S RACING

NASCAR Nextel Cup

Event: Subway Fresh 500.

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 6:10 p.m.), Saturday, race (Ch. 29, 7:30 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: Greg Biffle led 219 of 334 laps while driving his backup car and won the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Biffle crashed in practice and had to start at the back of the field.

Last year: Inaugural race.

Fast facts: Biffle has five top-10 finishes, including two victories, in seven races this season. . . . Tony Stewart has first-degree burns near his right thigh and right elbow after his car burst into flames late in Sunday's race. . . . Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the last two Cup races at Phoenix. . . . Phoenix International Raceway is hosting multiple races for the first time this season. The series returns for the Checker Auto Parts 500 on Nov. 13.

Next race: Aaron's 499, May 1, Talladega, Ala.

On the net: www.nascar.com

Event: Bashas' Supermarkets 200.

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4:30 p.m.), race (Ch. 29, 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: Kasey Kahne got past rookie Reed Sorenson just before the final caution and held on the final two laps after the restart to win the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Last year: Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch swapped the lead twice in the final 27 laps, but McMurray used a surprising outside pass on a restart 10 laps from the finish en route to winning the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.

Fast facts: Sorensen, 19, has finished third in each of the last two races and has five top-10 finishes in seven starts this season. . . . Points leader Carl Edwards has seven straight top-10 finishes after placing fourth at Texas. . . . NASCAR suspended Joe Shearn, Johnny Sauter's crew chief, for the next four races and placed him on probation for the rest of the year Tuesday for rule violations at Texas.

Next race: Aaron's 312, April 30, Talladega, Ala.

On the net: www.nascar.com

Event: San Marino Grand Prix.

Site: Imola, Italy.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 7 a.m.); Sunday, qualifying, 4 a.m. (Speed Channel, noon, tape), race, 8 a.m. (Ch. 4, 1 p.m., tape).

Track: Enzo and Dino Ferrari Autodrome (road course, 3.057 miles, 17 turns).

Race distance: 189.534 miles, 62 laps.

Last race: Fernando Alonso won his second straight race with his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 3. Michael Schumacher's troubles continued after he dropped out after just 12 laps in his new Ferrari.

Last year: Schumacher continued his dominance by winning the San Marino Grand Prix, giving him victories in each of the first four races of 2004. It was Schumacher's sixth career win on the Autodrome.

Fast facts: Schumacher won the 2003 event despite his mother passing away the previous evening. . . . Alex Wurz will replace injured McLaren teammate Juan Pablo Montoya this weekend. Montoya is expected to return for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 8.

Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, May 8, Barcelona.

On the net: www.formula1.com

Last race: Bobby Labonte became the first driver to win in each of NASCAR's top three series at Martinsville Speedway by capturing the Kroger 250 on April 9 in the closest truck event at the track. His Chevrolet beat Ricky Craven's Ford to the finish line by just 0.257 seconds.

Next race: Dodge Ram Tough 200, April 30, Madison, Ill.

On the net: www.nascar.com

Last event: Larry Dixon gave team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme his 100th career victory, beating Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel finals of the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Las Vegas. Whit Bazemore and Dave Connolly also won their divisions to top the season standings.

Next event: O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, May 1, Bristol, Tenn.

On the net: www.nhra.com

Last race: Sebastien Bourdais moved past Paul Tracy on lap 38 and built a pair of leads of more than 5.5 seconds to give Newman/Haas Racing its fourth Long Beach victory, but first in 19 years, on April 10. Bourdais was 8 when Mario Andretti won America's longest-running downtown street race in 1987.

Next race: May 22, Monterrey, Mexico.

On the net: www.cart.com

Last race: Dan Wheldon became the circuit's first multiple winner of the season after he took the inaugural Honda Grand Prix at St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 3. Andretti racers claimed the top four spots, with Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta finishing behind Wheldon.

Next race: Indy Japan 300, April 30, Suzuka.

On the net: www.indyracingleague.com

Lancaster Raceway Park: Friday, IHRA drag racing, 7 p.m.; Saturday, stock car practice, 11 a.m.

Ransomville Speedway: Friday, Test and Time Trial Night, 7:15 p.m.

Genesee Speedway: Saturday, Stock car season opener, 6:30 p.m.

Lake Erie Speedway: Sunday, Spring Thaw Weekend, 11 a.m.