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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 9, 2010

This week's top auto races


Associated Press

Eastern times

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

Subway Fresh Fit 600

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (Speed, 1-3 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m.), qualifying (Speed, 7-9 p.m.); Saturday, race, 7:30 p.m. (FOX, 7-11 p.m.).

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

Race distance: 375 miles, 375 laps.

Last year: Mark Martin raced to the first of his five 2009 victories, snapping a 97-race winless streak. At 50, Martin became the third-oldest winner in Sprint Cup history. Tony Stewart finished second.

Last race: Denny Hamlin won the rain-delayed race at Martinsville Speedway on March 29, giving up the lead to take four tires, then rallying from ninth in a pair of two-lap sprints. Joey Logano, Hamlin's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, was second.

Fast facts: Jimmie Johnson, the winner this year at California, Las Vegas and Bristol, leads the season standings with 898 points 14 more than second-place Greg Biffle. Johnson won the November race at the track, his fourth victory in the last five races on the mile oval. He has 50 career Sprint Cup victories. ... Hamlin had surgery last week on his left knee. He was injured playing basketball in the offseason.

Next race: Samsung Mobile 500, April 18, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.

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

NATIONWIDE

Bashas' Supermarkets 200

Site: Avondale, Ariz.

Schedule: Friday, practice (Speed, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.), qualifying (ESPN2, 5-6:30 p.m.), race 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2, 9 p.m.-midnight)

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

Race distance: 200 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Greg Biffle won the second of his two 2009 victories, holding off Jason Leffler over several late restarts and a final two-lap sprint to the finish.

Last week: Kevin Harvick raced to his second series victory of the year, holding off Reed Sorenson at Nashville Superspeedway. Harvick has 36 Nationwide victories.

Fast facts: Carl Edwards, the November winner at the track, leads the season standings. Brad Keselowski is second, 16 points back. ... Biffle and Edwards each have a series-high three victories on the mile oval. ... Leffler was placed on probation for three races for intentionally wrecking James Buescher at Nashville.

Next race: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, April 17, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas.

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

CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS

Next race: O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. May 2, Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.

Last week: Kyle Busch raced to his first NASCAR victory as a team owner, dominating the Nashville 200 for his 17th career Trucks win. Kevin Harvick was second.

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

IZOD INDYCAR

Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Site: Birmingham, Ala.

Schedule: Friday, practice; Saturday, qualifying (Versus, 6-7 p.m.); Sunday, race, 3 p.m. (Versus, 3-6 p.m.).

Track: Barber Motorsports Park (road course, 2.38 miles).

Race distance: 178.5 miles, 75 laps.

Last year: Inaugural race.

Last race: Will Power won the rain-delayed Honda Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 29 to sweep the first two races of the season. Barely seven months after breaking his back in a crash, the Penske Racing star held off Justin Wilson to become the first driver to win the first two events of a season since Sam Hornish in 2001.

Fast facts: Power leads the season standings with 103 points. Wilson, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti are tied for second, 44 points back. ... Danica Patrick was 15th in the opener in Brazil and seventh two weeks ago in St. Petersburg. ... The teams tested for two days in February at the 17-turn track.

Next race: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 18, Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.

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

NHRA FULL THROTTLE

O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals

Site: Baytown, Texas.

Schedule: Friday, qualifying; Saturday, qualifying (ESPN2, 11 p.m.-1 a.m.); Sunday, final eliminations (ESPN2, 1-3 p.m., 8-11 p.m.).

Track: Houston Raceway Park.

Last year: Ashley Force Hood raced to her second career victory, beating Jack Beckman in the Funny Car final. Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Ron Krisher (Pro Stock) and Craig Treble (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won.

Last event: John Force won the rain-delayed NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Concord, N.C., on March 29 for his second Funny Car victory of the season and record 128th overall win. The 60-year-old Force beat daughter Ashley Force Hood, Ron Capps and Matt Hagan in the final in the NHRA's first four-wide event. Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won.

Fast facts: John Force, the Funny Car leader, won the season-opening event in Pomona, Calif., to end a 20-month victory drought. He has an NHRA-record 128 victories and 14 season titles. ... McClenathan leads the Top Fuel standings.

Next race: SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, April 16-18, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas.

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

FORMULA ONE

Next race: Chinese Grand Prix, April 18, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai.

Last week: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel led from start to finish in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Teammate Mark Webber was second.

On the Net: http://www.formula1.com

OTHER RACES

ARCA RE/MAX SERIES: Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200, Sunday, Salem Speedway, Salem, Ind. On the Net: http://www.arcaracing.com

GRAND-AM ROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIES: Porsche 250, Saturday (Speed, 1:30-4:30 p.m.), Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala. On the Net: http://www.grand-am.com

WORLD OF OUTLAWS: Sprint Car, Saturday, Tri-State Speedway, Pocola, Okla.; Late Model, Illini 100, Friday-Saturday, Farmer City Raceway, Farmer City, Ill.; Super DirtCar, Saturday, Fulton Speedway, Fulton, N.Y. On the Net: http://www.worldofoutlaws.com

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS: Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Sunday, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala. On the Net: http://www.indycar.com