Share this article

print logo


Starting line /This week's racing

Event: Checker Auto Parts 500. Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4 p.m.); Sunday, race (Ch. 2, 3:30 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 (500 kilometers), 312 laps.

Last race: Jimmie Johnson is the first Cup racer since 1998 to win three straight races, closing within 59 points of standings leader Kurt Busch after taking the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Fast facts: Busch, who had a 232-point lead in August, has had engine failure in three straight races. . . . Jeff Gordon won four straight races in 1998. . . . NASCAR fined Rusty Wallace $10,000 on Tuesday for intentionally hitting Ryan Newman's car as the field returned to pit lane following the Oct. 24 race at Martinsville.

Next race: Mountain Dew 500, Nov. 14, Darlington, S.C.

On the Net:

Event: Bashas' Supermarkets 200. Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Thursday, qualifying, 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, race (Ch. 2, 3:30 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway.

Race distance: 200 miles, 200 laps.

Last race: Matt Kenseth held off Kyle Busch in a two-lap sprint to win the Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Last year: Bobby Hamilton Jr. won the rain-shortened Bashas' Supermarkets 200, and Scott Riggs took the lead in the tight five-man points chase at Phoenix International Raceway.

Fast facts: Series leader Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth at Atlanta but still has a 176-point lead over Busch with three races left. . . . Kenseth, the 2003 Nextel Cup champion, has three Busch victories this season. . . . Busch remains one top-10 finish shy of Greg Biffle's rookie record of 21 set in 2001.

Next race: South Carolina 200, Nov. 13, Darlington, S.C.

On the Net:

Event: Chevy Silverado 150. Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, race (Speed Channel, 5:30 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway.

Race distance: 150 miles, 150 laps.

Last race: Jamie McMurray became the eighth driver in NASCAR history to win in the Cup series, the Busch series and in a truck after taking the Kroger 200 in Martinsville, Va., on Oct. 23.

Last year: Kevin Harvick held off Ted Musgrave and won the Silverado 150.

Fast facts: Dennis Setzer erased a 79-point deficit in the standings by finishing second at Atlanta and leads Bobby Hamilton by one point with three races remaining. Hamilton finished 26th. . . . Musgrave set a track qualifying record of 129.427 mph during last year's event. . . . There have been 12 different winners this season, two short of the series record set in 1998.

Next race: Darlington 200, Nov. 12, Darlington, S.C.

On the Net:

Event: Gran Premio Telmex Tecate. Site: Mexico City.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 3:20 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 3:05 p.m.; Sunday, race (SPIKE, 4 p.m.)

Track: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez (road course, 2.786 miles, 17 turns).

Race distance: 178.304 miles, 64 laps.

Last race: Bruno Junqueira spoiled his teammate's bid to clinch the championship by winning the Lexmark Indy 300 in Australia on Oct. 24. Sebastien Bourdais finished second and will take a 22-point lead over Junqueira into the season-ending race in Mexico City.

Last year: Paul Tracy dominated the Mexican Grand Prix from the pole before a circuit-record crowd of 221,011 and moved closer to his first championship.

Fast facts: Bourdais has to finish 12th or better to clinch the title. If Bourdais finishes last, Junqueira needs to finish no worse than third to become the champion. . . . Bourdais finished second in this race last year while Junqueira placed seventh. . . . Michel Jourdain Jr. is a native of Mexico City.

On the Net:

Last event: Greg Anderson set the single-season record for wins with his 14th Pro Stock victory at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals. Doug Kalitta, Gary Scelzi and Chip Ellis also won.

Next event: Automobile Club Finals, Nov. 14, Pomona, Calif.

On the Net:

Compiled by the Associated Press

There are no comments - be the first to comment