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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This week's top auto races

Associated Press

Eastern Times


Daytona 500

Site: Daytona Beach. Fla.

Schedule: Thursday, Gatorade Duel at Daytona 150-mile qualifying races (Speed, 1-6:30 p.m., replay 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.); Friday, practice (Speed, 1-3:30 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Speed, 10:30 a.m.-noon); Sunday, race, 1 p.m. (FOX, noon-5 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles).

Race distance: 500 miles, 200 laps.

Last year: Matt Kenseth won the rain-shortened race to give team owner Jack Roush his first Daytona 500 victory. The race was called after 152 of 200 laps.

Last week: Kevin Harvick won the Budweiser Shootout for the second straight year, passing Greg Biffle with two laps left in the race that ended under caution.

Fast facts: Hendrick Motorsports teammates Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the top two starting positions in qualifying Saturday. At 51, Martin became the oldest 500 pole winner. Fifteen drivers including two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip are fighting for the final four spots in the 43-car field. Martin Truex has replaced Waltrip running a partial schedule this year in Michael Waltrip Racing's NAPA-sponsored Toyota. ... Jimmie Johnson won his record fourth straight series championship last year for Hendrick. The 2006 Daytona 500 winner has consecutive seven-victory seasons and 47 wins overall. In December, he became the first driver to be selected AP Male Athlete of the Year. ... Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 in July at Daytona. ... Earnhardt was a career-worst 25th in points last year.

Next race: Auto Club 500, Feb. 21, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.

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

Drive4COPD 300

Site: Daytona Beach. Fla.

Schedule: Thursday, practice (ESPN2, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.); Friday, qualifying (ESPN2, 3-6 p.m.); Saturday, race, 1:15 p.m. (ESPN2, noon-4 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles).

Race distance: 300 miles, 120 laps.

Last year: Tony Stewart won the season-opening race for the second straight year and fourth time in five seasons. Carl Edwards was second.

Fast facts: Danica Patrick is making her NASCAR debut, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. In her stock car debut Saturday, the IndyCar star was sixth in the Daytona ARCA race. She's set to run 13 Nationwide races this year. ... Kyle Busch won the series championship last year for Joe Gibbs Racing, unifying the driver and owner titles for the first time since 2006. Busch won nine times and had 11 second-place finishes last season. He has 30 wins in 173 Nationwide starts. ... Chrissy Wallace is attempting to join father Mike, uncle Kenny and cousin Steve in the field. If she qualifies, it will mark the first time that a father and daughter have raced together in the series. They broke that barrier in the Trucks series last year at Talladega. It also would be the first time four members of the Wallace family have competed in a NASCAR national series event. ... Clint Bowyer won the July race at Daytona.

Next race: Stater Bros. 300, Feb. 20, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.

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

NextEra Energy Resources 250

Site: Daytona Beach. Fla.

Schedule: Wednesday, practice (Speed, 6-7:30 p.m.); Thursday, practice (Speed, 9-11 a.m.), qualifying (Speed, 6:30-9 p.m.); Friday, race, 8 p.m. (7:30-10:30 p.m.).

Track: Daytona International Speedway (tri-oval, 2.5 miles).

Race distance: 250 miles, 100 laps.

Last year: Todd Bodine won the season-opening race for the second straight year, holding off Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch.

Fast facts: The series has adopted shootout-style, double-file restarts and lifted its year-old ban on changing tires and adding fuel on the same pit stop. ... Ron Hornaday, driving the No. 33 Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc., won his series-record fourth title last season. The 51-year-old Hornaday, also the champion in 1996, 1998 and 2007, won six times last year to push his series record to 45. ... Busch is making his first start as an owner-driver in the No. 18 Toyota. A seven-time winner in 15 starts last year for Billy Ballew, Busch also is fielding Tayler Malsam's No. 56 Toyota. ... Rick Ren stepped down as Hornaday's crew chief to join Busch's operation. Dave Fuge replaced Ren at KHI. ... Johnny Benson is driving the No. 95 Ford for Danny Gill. After winning the 2008 series title, Benson lost his ride last season when Red Horse Racing failed to find sponsorship, then was injured in June in a Supermodified event in Michigan. ... Bodine also has two series wins at Talladega.

Next race: Atlanta 200, March 6, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.

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

Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals

Site: Pomona, Calif.

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

Track: Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Last year: Ron Capps (Funny Car), Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) raced to victories in the season-opening event.

Fast facts: Tony Schumacher won his sixth straight and seventh overall Top Fuel championship Nov. 15 at Pomona, beating Larry Dixon by two points in the closest title race in NHRA history. Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won championships.

Next race: NHRA Arizona Nationals, Feb. 19-21, Firebird International Raceway, Chandler, Ariz.

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


WORLD OF OUTLAWS: DIRTcar Nationals, Wednesday-Saturday, Volusia Speedway Park, Barberville, Fla. On the Net: http://www.worldofoutlaws.com