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ON THE TRACKS This weekend’s events



Published: Fri, July 6, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

NASCAR NEXTEL CUP

Pepsi 400

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Schedule: Today, qualifying (Speed Channel, 4 p.m.); Saturday, race (TNT, 6:30 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles, 31 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 400 miles, 160 laps.

Last race: A two-tire gamble for Denny Hamlin paid off with his first Nextel Cup victory of the season at New Hampshire International Speedway. Hamlin edged Jeff Gordon by 0.068 seconds — less than a car length.

Last year: Tony Stewart was back to his on-track dominance and off-track hijinks, winning his second straight Pepsi 400 by charging to the lead with two laps to go. He then celebrated with his trademark climbing of the fence. Stewart led more than half the event, surged back in front with two laps remaining and held off a late charge from Kyle and Kurt Busch. The Busch brothers finished second and third.

Fast facts: Kevin Harvick won the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, but is winless in a Cup points race since then. ... Jeff Gordon finished second at New Hampshire, Dale Earnhardt Jr. fourth and Jimmie Johnson fifth despite having their crew chiefs suspended six races last week for inspection violations. ... The race was lengthened to 400 miles in 1963. ... Tony Eury Jr. has served his six-race suspension and will return calling the shots for Dale Earnhardt Jr. this week. An illegal rear wing was found on the DEI No. 8 at the Dodge Avenger 500 in Darlington, S.C.

Next race: USG Sheetrock 400, July 15, Joliet, Ill.

NASCAR BUSCH

Winn-Dixie 250

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Schedule: Today, qualifying (ESPN2, 1 p.m.), race (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles, 31 degrees banking in turns).

Race distance: 250 miles, 100 laps.

Last race: Kevin Harvick held off a late challenge by Carl Edwards to grab his second Busch victory of the season at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Last year: Dale Earnhardt Jr. returned to Daytona’s Victory Lane for the first time in more than two years, winning the Winn-Dixie 250. Earnhardt took the lead early and dominated the rest of the way, holding off Brian Vickers after a late restart. Earnhardt led 88 of 103 laps and picked up his 21st Busch victory, tying his late father and Harry Gant for seventh on the career list.

Next race: USG Sheetrock 400, July 15, Joliet, Ill.

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES

Grand Prix of Toronto

Schedule: Today, qualifying, 1:15 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 1:15 p.m.; Sunday, race (ESPN, 1 p.m.).

Track: Exhibition Place (temporary road course, 1.755 miles, 11 turns).

Race distance: Undetermined, timed race (1 hour, 45 minutes).

Last race: Robert Doornbos drove to his first career win at the inaugural Champ Car Mont-Tremblant, but it was marred by poor sportsmanship. Sebastien Bourdais, the three-time defending champion, finished second and claimed Doornbos blocked him during the race. Bourdais was booed by some in the crowd when his finishing position was announced following the race and he refused to shake Doornbos’ hand on the podium.

Next race: Grand Pix of Edmonton, July 22.

FORMULA ONE

British Grand Prix

Silverstone.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 8 a.m.); Sunday, race, 8 a.m. (FOX, 1 p.m., tape).

Track: Silverstone Circuit (road course, 3.194 miles, 14 turns).

Race distance: 191.64 miles, 60 laps.

Last race: Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa gave Ferrari a sweep of the top two places at the French Grand Prix, ending McLaren’s winning streak at three Formula One races. The Finn finished the 2.74-mile circuit in 1 hour, 30 minutes, 54.200 seconds. Massa, a Brazilian, was nearly 2 1/2 seconds behind.

Next race: German Grand Prix, July 22, Nuerburgring

INDY RACING LEAGUE

Watkins Glen Grand Prix

Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Schedule: Saturday, qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, race (ABC, 3:30 p.m.).

Track: Watkins Glen International (permanent road course, 3.4 miles, 11 turns).

Race distance: 204 miles, 60 laps.

Last race: Pole-sitter Dario Franchitti led all but nine laps and held off Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon with the help of a late caution, giving the points leader his first IndyCar Series victory at Richmond. It was his third victory of the season and eighth straight top-five finish, and made him the second consecutive winner at Richmond to set a record by leading the most laps in series history (241).

Next race: Firestone Indy 200, July 14, Gladeville, Tenn.

NHRA

Thunder Valley Nationals

Bristol, Tenn.

Schedule: Today, qualifying, 4 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2, 4 p.m., tape); Sunday, eliminations, 1 p.m. (ESPN2, 9:30 p.m., tape).

Track: Bristol Dragway.

Next event: Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 15, Denver.

Associated Press


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