Auto Racing Destination

Nascar / Indy Racing League / Formula One / Champ

October 10, 2005|By PETER BLAIR



UAW-GM Quality 500

Site -- Concord, N.C.

When, TV -- Saturday, 7 p.m., Ch. 11

Track -- Lowe's Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)

Distance -- 334 laps, 501 miles

Last year -- Jimmie Johnson beat Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon by 1.727 seconds in a race that had 18 lead changes. The win didn't help Johnson much in the standings; he moved up from ninth to eighth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. Besides Johnson, only two other drivers in this year's Chase - defending series champion Kurt Busch (fourth) and Tony Stewart (10th) - had top-10 finishes at this race in 2004.

Drivers to watch -- Mark Martin, seventh in the overall standings, will try to build off his victory yesterday. Greg Biffle, who finished second yesterday and is third in the standings, struggled to a 33rd-place finish at this race last year. Busch, 10th in the standings and 224 points behind Stewart in the Chase, is in danger of falling too far behind to catch up.

Quotable -- "I'm not into all that touchy, feely, analytical stuff. Analytical don't make the car go fast." - Martin, on his style of driving



Toyota Indy 400

Site -- Fontana, Calif.

When, TV -- Sunday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Track -- California Speedway (2-mile tri-oval)

Distance -- 200 laps, 400 miles

Last year -- Tony Kanaan clinched his first series championship by finishing second to Adrian Fernandez in a race that previously was held two weeks earlier in the season. Helio Castroneves was the pole-sitter for the third straight race.

Drivers to watch -- Entering the final race of the season, Dan Wheldon already has clinched the series championship. Danica Patrick has her last chance to win a race as a rookie.




Next race -- Lexmark Indy 300

Site -- Southport, Australia

When -- Oct. 23



Grand Prix of China

Site -- Shanghai, China

When, TV -- Sunday, 1:30 a.m., SPEED (live)

Track -- Shanghai International Circuit (3.39-mile, 16-turn circuit)

Distance -- 56 laps, 189.8 miles

Last year -- Rubens Barrichello edged Jensen Button by a little more than a second to win for the second consecutive week.

Drivers to watch -- Fernando Alonso has clinched the series title. Michael Schumacher, who has won one race all season after finishing with 13 victories in 2004, looks to gain momentum for next season.

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