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STARTING LINE <br> THIS WEEK'S RACING

Nextel Cup

Event: Subway 500. Site: Martinsville, Va.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 3 p.m.); Sunday, race (Ch. 2, 1 p.m.).

Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 263 miles, 500 laps.

Last race: Jimmie Johnson got his fifth win of the season in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Concord, N.C.

Last year: Jeff Gordon completed the season sweep at Martinsville Speedway by winning the Subway 500.

Fast facts: On Monday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost his appeal of a 25-point penalty and $10,000 for using a vulgarity during a postrace TV interview. . . . Rusty Wallace won the April 18 race at Martinsville, but the track has since been repaved. . . . Kurt Busch won the 2002 race from the 36th starting position, the farthest back in the field to win in track history.

Next race: Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, Oct. 31, Hampton, Ga.

On the Net: nascar.com

Event: Sam's Town 250. Site: Memphis, Tenn.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4:30 p.m.); Saturday, race (TNT, 3:30 p.m.).

Track: Memphis Motorsports Park (oval, .75 miles, 11 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 187.5 miles, 250 laps.

Last race: Mike Bliss made a three-wide pass to take the lead, then held off a charging Matt Kenseth to win the SpongeBob 300 at Concord, N.C.

Fast facts: Martin Truex Jr. maintained his 144-point lead over Kyle Busch in the standings, but they were nearly involved in a postrace confrontation after a pit road mishap during the event. . . . Busch has recorded top-10 finishes in both of his Busch starts at Memphis. . . . Six drivers are still eligible for the championship with five races remaining.

Next race: Aaron's 312, Oct. 30, Hampton, Ga.

On the Net: nascar.com

Event: Lexmark Indy 300.

Site: Surfers Paradise, Australia

Schedule: Friday, qualifying, midnight; qualifying, 11:45 p.m.; Sunday, race, 12:30 a.m. (SPIKE, 4 p.m., tape).

Track: Australian Street Circuit (temporary road course, 2.795 miles, 12 turns).

Race distance: 159.315 miles, 57 laps.

Last race: Sebastien Bourdais held off Newman-Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira in a side-by-side battle to win the Las Vegas 400 on Sept. 25 for his sixth victory of 2004. Bourdais won by 0.066 seconds, the sixth-closest finish since 1979.

Fast facts: Bourdais can win the title if he records at least eight points more than Junqueira. . . . There have been no repeat winners over the first 13 races at Australia. . . . The 2002 race featured by a 10-car wreck on the opening lap that put Adrian Fernandez and Tora Takagi in the hospital.

Next race: Nov. 7, Mexico City

On the Net: cart.com

Event: Brazilian Grand Prix. Site: Sao Paulo

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, noon (Speed Channel, 3:30 p.m., tape); Sunday, race (Speed Channel, 12:30 p.m.).

Track: Interlagos, Jose Carlos Pace (road course, 2.671 miles).

Race distance: 189.641 miles, 71 laps.

Last race: Michael Schumacher won his 13th race of the season and first since August by taking the Japanese Grand Prix.

Fast facts: This is the final race of the season. . . . Michael Schumacher finished in the top three in 10 of the last 12 Brazilian races, and won four.

On the Net: formula1.com
Associated Press

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