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Starting Line for May 7

Sprint Cup

Event: SpongeBob SquarePants 400, Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kan.

TV: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

Then and Now: Jeff Gordon comes into this weekend’s race as the defending winner. It was Gordon’s first of what would be four wins in 2014. Gordon led just the last nine laps of the 267-lap event, but it was enough for him to take the checkered flag. It was Gordon’s third career win, 10th top-5 and 12th top-10 finish in 18 starts at the 1.5-mile track. Kevin Harvick was second, followed by Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. ... Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won this past Sunday for the sixth time in his career at Talladega Superspeedway, comes into Saturday night’s race still in pursuit of his first career win at Kansas. Earnhardt has made 17 career starts, with just two top-5 and eight top-10 finishes. ... Kevin Harvick has opened up a lead in the Sprint Cup standings of nearly one-full race worth of points (minimum of 43 points). He leads Martin Truex Jr. by 40 points. ... David Ragan makes his debut for Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend in the No. 55. Ragan spent the last nine races filling in for the injured Kyle Busch for Joe Gibbs Racing. In related news, 18-year-old phenom Erik Jones will make his first career Sprint Cup start at Kansas, also filling in for Busch. Jones filled in for Denny Hamlin at Bristol a few weeks back when the latter suffered neck and back spasms.

Camping World Truck

Event: Toyota Tundra 250 Kansas Speedway; Kansas City, Kan.

TV: Friday, May 2, 8:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

Then and Now: Kyle Busch won this race with a dominating three second lead over runner-up Matt Crafton, who won the year before at Kansas. Because he remains injured from the February Xfinity Series race in Daytona, where he suffered a broken right leg and fractured left foot, Busch will not compete in Friday night’s race. He’ll be replaced by Justin Boston in the No. 54 Toyota Tundra. ... This is only the fourth race of the 22-race season for the Truck Series. The last race was March 28 at Martinsville Speedway. ... Ryan Newman will drive the No. 8 truck, his first appearance in a Truck Series race since the inaugural 2013 MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. ... Crafton remains the points leader, holding a razor-thin two-point edge over Tyler Reddick. Erik Jones is a close third, just four points behind Crafton, while Johnny Sauter is fourth (16 points back) and James Buescher is fifth (28 points back).

Verizon IndyCar Series

Event: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

TV: Saturday, May 9, 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

Then and Now: Simon Pagenaud won the first-ever IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis, held within the infield and frontstretch of the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one year ago. There were 25 cars in the field. Pagenaud led just six laps, including the final five, to take the checkered flag. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished second (was just .891 seconds behind Pagenaud), followed by Helio Castroneves, Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball. ... The Grand Prix serves as a warm-up act of sorts for the legendary Indianapolis 500, which takes place May 24 at IMS. ... Josef Newgarden won the last IndyCar race, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, on April 26. Graham Rahal finished second and Scott Dixon was third. ... Juan Pablo Montoya remains atop the IndyCar points standings. Helio Castroneves trails by three points, while third-ranked Scott Dixon is 13 points behind Montoya.


Next Event: May Iowa Race, May 17, 2 p.m., Iowa Speedway.

Last Week: Joey Logano won the Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Formula One

Event: Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday, 8 a.m., Circuit de Barcelona-Cataluyna, NBCSN.

Western New York

Lancaster National: IHRA Drag Racing Two-Day Season Opener, Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m.

Holland Speedway: McKinley Mall Show, now through Saturday.

Ransomville Speedway: Stock Cars and Spectator Races, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Freedom Motorsports Park: Season Opener, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Merrittville Speedway: Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Opener, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Humberstone Speedway: Racing, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

Raceway 5: Dirt Track Stock Cars, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Stateline Speedway: Lloyd Moore Super Late Model Memorial, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Empire Dragway: Empire Gassers, Saturday, 5 p.m.