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STARTING LINE /THIS WEEK'S RACING

Nextel Cup

Event: Samsung/RadioShack 500.

Site: Fort Worth, Texas.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4:10 p.m.); Sunday, race (Ch. 29, 12:30 p.m.).

Track: Texas Motor Speedway (oval, 1.5 miles, 24 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 500 miles, 334 laps.

Last race: Jeff Gordon was four laps down early in the Advance Auto Parts 500 but rallied to win his sixth race at Martinsville Speedway. Gordon followed Mark Martin past Ryan Newman on the 461st lap, went underneath Martin to move into second three laps later and passed leader Sterling Marlin with 34 laps remaining.

Fast facts: Gordon has never won at Texas or Phoenix, the next two events on the schedule. He has four top-five finishes at Texas -- all in the last four events. . . . The Joe Gibbs Racing tandem of Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart led for a combined 279 laps at Martinsville, but neither finished higher than 26th after experiencing car trouble. . . . There has never been a repeat winner in eight Cup races at Texas. . . . The track was repaved during fall 2001 in an attempt to obtain faster lap times. . . . On Tuesday, NASCAR announced a plan to install lights at Homestead-Miami Speedway in time for this year's finale in November.

Next race: Subway Fresh 500, April 23, Avondale, Ariz.

On the net: www.nascar.com

Event: O'Reilly 300.

Site: Fort Worth, Texas.

Schedule: Thursday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 6:05 p.m.); Saturday, race (Ch. 29, 2 p.m.).

Track: Texas Motor Speedway (oval, 1.5 miles, 24 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 300 miles, 200 laps.

Last race: Kevin Harvick completed a Bristol Motor Speedway sweep by holding off Jeff Burton to win the rescheduled Sharpie Professional 250 on April 2. Harvick, who snapped a 55-race winless streak with a win in the Nextel Cup race, beat Burton by 0.159 seconds.

Last year: Matt Kenseth won the O'Reilly 300 after taking the lead from Bobby Hamilton Jr. just before a caution flag with only six laps to go.

Fast facts: Shane Hmiel was fined $10,000 and docked 25 points in the standings by NASCAR on April 6 for making an obscene gesture at Dale Jarrett during the Bristol race. . . . Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his first Busch win at the 1998 event. . . . No driver has won from the pole. Kyle Busch won the pole last year but finished second.

Next race: Bashas' Supermarkets 200, April 22, Avondale, Ariz.

On the net: www.nascar.com

Event: SummitRacing.com Nationals.

Site: Las Vegas.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 6 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 3 p.m. (ESPN2, 10 p.m., tape); Sunday, eliminations, 2 p.m. (ESPN, 7 p.m., tape).

Track: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Last event: Warren Johnson, 61, became the oldest driver to win a pro drag race, and Tony Schumacher took his 23rd career Top Fuel win at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston. Rookie Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Bike) also won.

Last year: Schumacher raced to his third Top Fuel victory in four events of 2004, beating Larry Dixon in the finals of the SummitRacing.com Nationals. Phil Burkart earned his second career victory in Funny Car while Greg Anderson took Pro Stock.

Fast facts: Kenny and Brandon Bernstein became the first father-son combination to win at the same event in 2001. Kenny recorded his first Top Fuel victory in over a year while Brandon took the Top Alcohol Dragster category. . . . The track features luxury suites above the grandstand covering the quarter-mile, the first such facility in drag racing. . . . This is the fifth year of the event.

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

On the net: www.nhra.com

Compiled by the Associated Press

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