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Starting Line for March 10

Sprint Cup

Event: Good Sam 500 (312 laps, 312 miles), Phoenix International Raceway; Avondale, Ariz.

TV: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox.

Then and now: Kevin Harvick is the defending winner from last year’s race at Phoenix. In fact, Harvick has won five of the last seven races (and seven races overall during his career) there. … Dale Earnhardt Jr. won last fall’s Chase race there. Sunday marks the 40th Sprint Cup race to be held at Phoenix International, dating back to its first race in 1988, won by the late Alan Kulwicki. … The three drivers already locked into this year are race winners Denny Hamlin (Daytona 500), Jimmie Johnson (Atlanta) and Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas). … The Sprint Cup standings remain tight after the first two races of the 36-race season. Kyle Busch, who is the only driver to finish in the top five in each of the first three races this season, continues to lead the points standings. The younger Busch brother holds a six-point lead over Jimmie Johnson, followed by Kevin Harvick (-7), Joey Logano is fourth (-12), Kurt Busch is fifth (-14), Brad Keselowski (-18), Carl Edwards (-20), Denny Hamlin (-23), Martin Truex Jr. (-26) and Austin Dillon (-26).


Event: Axalta Faster, Tougher, Brighter 200 (200 laps, 200 miles), Phoenix International Raceway.

TV: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Fox.

Then and now: This will be the 29th Xfinity Series race held at Phoenix. Joey Logano, who is a full-time Sprint Cup regular, won this race last year. Another Sprint Cup full-timer, defending series champion Kyle Busch, won last year’s fall race there. It was Busch’s fourth win at Phoenix in the last six Xfinity races, and his eighth overall in NASCAR’s junior league there. … Sprint Cup regulars have dominated Xfinity races at Phoenix, with 19 of the last 21 races being won by drivers from NASCAR’s premier series. The last true Xfinity driver to win was Elliott Sadler in 2012. … Winners of the first three Xfinity Series races this season have been Chase Elliott (won Daytona and Atlanta) and Kyle Busch (Las Vegas). … Daniel Suarez moved into the lead in the Xfinity Series standings after last Saturday’s race at Las Vegas. Elliott Sadler is second, three points behind Suarez. Ty Dillon and Brandon Jones are tied for third (both seven points behind), followed by Justin Allgaier (-11), Brendan Gaughan (-15), Erik Jones (-20), Ryan Reed (-27), Ryan Sieg (-33) and Jeb Burton (-34).

Camping World Truck

Event: Series is off until April 2 at Martinsville Speedway.

Then and now: 18-year-old John Hunter Nemechek won the most recent Truck Series race, two weeks ago at Atlanta. Parker Kligerman is the surprising leader in the Truck series points standings. He leads Daniel Hemric by one point, followed by Nemechek (-3), Timothy Peters (-6), Tyler Young (-8), Ryan Truex (-10), Brandon Brown (-12), Ben Rhodes (-12), Grant Enfinger (-13) and Daytona winner Johnny Sauter in 10th place (-14).


Event: Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (198 laps), 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street course in downtown St. Petersburg, Fla.

TV: 12:30 p.m. Sunday, ABC.

Then and now: This is the 12th IndyCar race (and 13th overall, including the 2003 Champ Car World Series race) held on the streets of St. Petersburg. Juan Pablo Montoya is the defending winner of this event. There have been five different winners in the last five races (Dario Franchitti 2011; Helio Castroneves 2012; James Hinchcliffe 2013; Will Power 2014 and Montoya 2015. Montoya’s win in last year’s race propelled him to lead the IndyCar point standings for each of the first 15 races of the 16-race season, until Scott Dixon came from behind to win the championship in the 2015 season-ending race at Sonoma, Calif.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing

Event: Series is off until the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, March 17-20, at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida.

Then and now: Winners from the most recent race, two weeks ago at Phoenix, were Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel), Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock). It was Pritchett’s first career Top Fuel win, defeating Brittany Force in only the second all-female Top Fuel final in NHRA history. The other race was in 1982, when Shirley Muldowney defeated Lucille Lee. Doug Kalitta leads the Top Fuel point standings with 171 points, followed by Pomona winner Steve Torrence (163), Brittany Force (133), Clay Millican (131) and Pritchett (129). Defending Top Fuel champ Antron Brown is sixth (110). Ron Capps maintains his lead in the Funny Car standings with 183 points, followed by 16-time series champ John Force (168), Robert Hight (158), defending series champ Del Worsham (154) and Wilkerson (147). Line took over the Pro Stock lead (227 points), followed by Greg Anderson (209), Bo Butner (171), Drew Skillman (131) and Chris McGaha (129). Defending series champ Erica Enders continues to struggle with rough starts in the first two races. She’s ranked 11th, 163 points behind Line,