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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2009

This week's top auto races


Associated Press

All Times EST

NASCAR

SPRINT CUP

Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (ESPN2, 2-3:37 p.m.), qualifying (ESPN2, 5:30-7:30 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Speed, 1:30-2:30 p.m.; ESPN2, 3-4 p.m.); Sunday, race, 3:15 p.m. (ABC, 2:30-7 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway (oval, 1.0 miles).

Race distance: 312 miles, 312 laps.

Last year: Jimmie Johnson closed in on his third straight season title, racing to his third Phoenix victory in a row. Kurt Busch was second.

Last week: Busch won at Texas Motor Speedway after brother Kyle Busch ran out of fuel with 2 laps left. Johnson finished 38th after wrecking on the third lap, cutting his points lead to 73 over Hendrick teammate Mark Martin.

Fast facts: Jeff Gordon is third in the points, 112 points behind Johnson. Kurt Busch (-171) is fourth, followed by Tony Stewart (-178). ... Martin won in April at Phoenix to snap a 97-race winless streak. He started from the pole and led 157 of 312 laps. ... In 12 Phoenix starts, Johnson has three victories, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10s. ... Kyle Busch also is racing in the Nationwide and Trucks races, the second of three straight tripleheaders. He won the Nationwide and Trucks races in Texas and has 19 victories this year in the three series four in Cup, eight in Nationwide and seven in Trucks. He also leads the Nationwide standings.

Next race: Ford 400, Nov. 22, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

On the Net: http://www.nascar.com

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NATIONWIDE

Able Body Labor 200

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (Speed, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying (Speed, noon-1 p.m.), race, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN2, 4-7 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway (oval, 1.0 miles).

Race distance: 200 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Carl Edwards raced to the sixth of his seven 2008 series victories, holding off Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin on a late restart.

Last week: Kyle Busch ran his series Texas Motor Speedway winning streak to four, easily holding off Casey Mears. An eight-time winner this year, Busch has a 247-point lead over Edwards with two races left. Busch was fined 25 points Tuesday after the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed inspection before the race,

Fast facts: Busch will clinch the title if he finishes the race with at least a 195-point lead. ... Greg Biffle won the April race at Phoenix.

Next race: Ford 300, Nov. 21, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

On the Net: http://www.nascar.com

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CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS

Lucas Oil 150

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Thursday, practice; Friday, qualifying (Speed, 4:30-5:30 p.m.), race, 8 p.m. (Speed, 7:30-10:30 p.m.).

Track: Phoenix International Raceway (oval, 1.0 miles).

Race distance: 150 miles, 150 laps.

Last year: Kevin Harvick raced to his first Trucks victory in five years. Kyle Busch finished second after restarting ninth with seven laps to go.

Last week: Busch raced to his fifth straight Trucks victory, beating Matt Crafton by 0.725 seconds at Texas Motor Speedway. Busch has seven wins in 13 starts this season in Billy Ballew Motorsports' No. 51 Toyota.

Fast facts: Ron Hornaday Jr. has a 197-point lead over Crafton with two events left and will clinch the title if he finishes the race with at least a 195-point lead. The 51-year-old Hornaday is winless since Aug. 1 in Nashville, the last of his series-record five straight victories. He has 45 career wins and three season titles, both series records. ... In the owners' standings, Kevin Harvick Inc.'s Hornaday-driven No. 33 has a 75-point lead over Billy Ballew's No. 51.

Next race: Ford 200, Nov. 20, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead, Fla.

On the Net: http://www.nascar.com

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NHRA FULL THROTTLE

Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals

Site: Pomona, Calif.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying; Saturday, qualifying (ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.); Sunday, final eliminations (ESPN2, 7-10 p.m.).

Track: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Last year: Cruz Pedregon won the season-ending event to wrap up his second Funny Car season championship and first in 16 years. Larry Dixon (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also finished the season with wins.

Last event: Robert Hight closed in on his first Funny Car championship, beating Jack Beckman on Nov. 1 in Las Vegas for his third victory of the season. Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Larry Morgan (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won.

Fast facts: Hight enters the season finale with a 105-point lead over teammate Ashley Force Hood. ... Tony Schumacher, seeking his sixth consecutive Top Fuel title and seventh overall, has a one-point lead over Dixon. Cory McClenathan, Schumacher's Don Schumacher Racing teammate, is third 48 points behind the leader. Antron Brown is fourth, 80 points back. ... In Pro Stock, Mike Edwards has a 139-point lead over Anderson. ... Hector Arana leads the Pro Stock Motorcycles standings, 54 points ahead of Ed Krawiec. ... Ron Capps (Funny Car), Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) won in February at Pomona in the season-opening event.

On the Net: http://www.nhra.com

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OTHER RACES

U.S. AUTO RACING CLUB: Silver Crown and Midget, Thursday, Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.; Sprint Car, Saturday-Sunday, Thunderbowl Raceway, Tulare, Calif. On the Net: http://www.usacracing.com

WORLD OF OUTLAWS: Super Dirtcar, DIRTcar NE Night of Champions, Saturday Cayuga County Fair Speedway, Weedsport, N.Y. On the Net: http://www.worldofoutlaws.com