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Starting Line / This week's racing

> NASCAR Nextel Cup

Event: Sylvania 300

Site: Loudon, N.H.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 12:10 p.m.); Sunday, race (TNT, 12:30 p.m.).

Track: New Hampshire International Speedway (oval, 1.058 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 317.4 miles, 300 laps.

Last race: Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth locked up two of the final spots for the Chase for the championship with solid runs and Jeff Gordon was eliminated after crashing during the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, Va. Kurt Busch won and was followed by Kenseth and Greg Biffle, giving Roush Racing a sweep of the top three -- the first team to do so since 1997.

Fast facts: Owner Jack Roush will have five drivers vying to win the Chase for the championship. His cars have won the last two titles. . . . Jamie McMurray has been eliminated from the Chase during the final qualifying event in the last two seasons. . . . Gordon will not finish in the top 10 for the first time since his rookie season of 1993, when he was 14th.

Next race: MBNA 400, Sept. 25, Dover, Del.

> Busch Series

Last race: Kevin Harvick pulled away from Paul Menard in a two-lap dash for his third victory of the season. The points race tightened after leader and defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. crashed spectacularly with about 50 laps to go and wound up 27th. That was one better than third-place Carl Edwards, who also crashed late, but allowed second-place Clint Bowyer to cut a 142-point deficit to 94 by finishing 11th.

Next race: Dover 200, Sept. 24, Dover, Del.

> NASCAR Craftsman Trucks

Event: Sylvania 200

Site: Loudon, N.H.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 10:05 a.m., race (Speed Channel, 3 p.m.).

Track: New Hampshire International Speedway (oval, 1.058 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 211.6 miles, 200 laps.

Last race: Mike Skinner got his second straight victory by outlasting Todd Bodine and Kevin Harvick in a two-lap sprint to end a crash-filled Cheerios Betty Crocker 200 at Richmond International Raceway.

Fast facts: Ted Musgrave finished fourth at Richmond and gained significant ground in the standings, moving from 143 points to 49 behind leader Dennis Setzer. . . . There have been no repeat winners in the first nine years of this race.

Next race: Las Vegas 350, Sept. 24.


Event: NHRA Nationals.

Site: Reading, Pa.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying, 2 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 11 a.m (ESPN2, 4 p.m.); Sunday, eliminations, 11 a.m. (ESPN2, 4 p.m.)

Track: Maple Grove Raceway.

Last event: Del Worsham became the sixth driver in Mac Tools U.S. Nationals history to sweep the Funny Car eliminations and Skoal Showdown bonus race, beating Frank Pedregon in the final at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Sept. 5. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Bike) also won.

Fast fact: The remnants of Hurricane Ivan forced the postponement of last year's event until October.

Next event: O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Sept. 25, Ennis, Texas.

> Indy Racing League

Last race: Dan Wheldon set an IRL record with his sixth victory of the season and all but clinched the series title by taking the PEAK Antifreeze Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. Wheldon only needs to start the next race to officially win the championship.

Next race: Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix, Sept. 25.

> Western New York

Lancaster Raceway Park: Vinny Arcadi vs. Bobby Lagana Jr. Nitro Burn-Out Contest, 7 p.m. Friday; Street Warriorz Drags, 4 p.m. Saturday.

Holland Speedway: NASCAR Dodge Season Championships, 7:15 p.m. Saturday.

Ransomville Speedway: BRP Can-Am Super Stock Series plus DIRT Pro Stocks, 7:15 p.m. Friday. Josh Comp King of The Hill 100, 6 p.m. Saturday.

Freedom Raceway: Fun Night, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Wyoming County: Four-Cylinder Nationals, 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Lake Erie Speedway: Race of Champions starring Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte, Casey Mears, Matt Kenseth, 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Compiled from News and wire service reports.

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