ON THE TRACKS \ This weekend's events
NASCARNEXTEL CUPSubway 500Martinsville, Va.
Schedule: Today, qualifying (Speed Channel, 3:30 p.m.); Sunday, race (NBC, 12:30 p.m.)Track: Martinsville Speedway (oval, 0.526 miles, 12 degrees banking in turns)Race distance: 263 miles, 500 lapsLast year: Jeff Gordon held off Tony Stewart in a three-lap dash to win at Martinsville Speedway.Fast facts: Series leader Jeff Burton is the only driver to post four top-10 finishes during this year's Chase. ... Stewart won the DIRECTV 500 at Martinsville on April 2. ... Kasey Kahne's six wins this season are the most for a Dodge driver since Ryan Newman won eight in 2003. ... Kevin Harvick, who clinched the Busch Series championship last weekend, is 89 points behind Burton. He is trying to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win the Cup and Busch titles in the same season. ... Gordon has slipped to 10th in the standings after starting the Chase in third.
CRAFTSMAN TRUCKSKroger 200Martinsville, Va.
Schedule: Today, qualifying, 5 p.m.; Saturday, race (Speed Channel, 1 p.m.)Track: Martinsville SpeedwayRace distance: 105.2 miles, 200 lapsLast year: Ricky Craven drove the last 145 laps on the same tires and tank of gas, and made Jack Roush the leader in career wins among owners in the truck series with a victory at Martinsville Speedway.Fast facts: Series leader Todd Bodine leads Johnny Benson by 113 points in the standings with five races remaining. ... No truck champion has won at Martinsville during his title season. Only two of them, Mike Skinner and Bobby Hamilton, have recorded wins at the track. ... David Starr won the Kroger 250 at Martinsville on April 1. ... Rich Bickle is the only driver to win a Martinsivlle truck race from the pole, doing it in 1987.Next race: EasyCare Vehicle Service Contracts 200, Oct. 28, Hampton, Ga.
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIESLexmark Indy 300Gold Coast, Australia
Schedule: Today, qualifying, 12:10 a.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 12:20 a.m., race, 11:10 p.m., (Sunday, Speed Channel, 3:30 p.m., tape)Track: Australian Street Circuit (temporary road course, 2.795 miles, 12 turns)Race distance: 159.315 miles, 57 lapsLast year: Sebastien Bourdais needed only to start the race to win the Champ Car title. He did a whole lot better -- winning the Lexmark Indy 300, for his second straight championship in the open-wheel series.Fast facts: Bourdais can clinch the championship with a finish of ninth or better. He has two podium finishes in three career starts at Surfers Paradise. ... There have been no repeat winners in the first 15 races in Australia. It's the longest such streak in series history. ... Ryan Briscoe will fill in for the injured Cristiano da Matta for the last two races of the season. ... Bruno Junqueira spoiled teammate Bourdais' bid to clinch the championship at the 2004 event. ... Paul Tracy won his first series championship when closest rival Junqueira crashed with 10 laps left in the 2003 event. ... The 2002 race featured a 10-car wreck on the opening lap that put Adrian Fernandez and Tora Takagi in the hospital.Next race: Mexico City, Nov. 12.
FORMULA ONEBrazilian Grand PrixSao Paulo
Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 1 p.m. (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 lapsLast year: Fernando Alonso became F1's youngest champion by finishing third in the Brazilian Grand Prix. The 24-year-old Spaniard needed only a top-three finish in the race, which was won by Juan Pablo Montoya.Fast facts: Alonso needs only one point to win the championship. ... Michael Schumacher has finished in the top three in 10 of the last 14 Brazilian races, winning four. He was fourth last year. ... Renault holds a 195-186 lead over Ferrari in the constructor's championship chase.
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