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February 13, 2006|By PETER BLAIR

NASCAR

NEXTEL CUP

Daytona 500

Site -- Daytona, Fla.

When -- Sunday, 2:30 p.m.

TV -- Chs. 11, 4 (1:30 p.m.)

Track -- Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile tri-oval)

Distance -- 200 laps, 500 miles

Purse -- Approximately $18 million, with a minimum of $1,438,155 going to the winner. Last place pays at least $224,665.

Pole sitter -- Jeff Burton

Qualifying format -- Only the top two qualifiers from yesterday's qualifying session are locked into their starting positions (Burton and Jeff Gordon). The rest of qualifying results are used to set the lineups for Thursday's 150-mile qualifying races. The top 35 teams from last year's final owners standings are guaranteed starting positions in the race, leaving just eight positions for the rest of the entries. The two top-finishing nonqualified drivers from each of Thursday's races will make the field, along with the four fastest remaining drivers from yesterday's time trials.

Last year -- Gordon held off Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in extra laps to win his third Daytona 500.

Drivers to watch -- Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler topped the speed charts in the two Daytona 500 practices Saturday. Harvick had the fastest lap in the opening session at 188.399 mph, just ahead of Gordon, Kyle Petty, Sadler and Jimmie Johnson. Past winners of the event who will race Sunday include Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarrett, Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin and Bill Elliott.

Missing -- Rusty Wallace, who retired after last season, will be absent from the race for the first time since 1983.

Quotable -- "It wasn't much fun. We had no warning. ... It just let go. It's just one of those things. Sometimes motors just blow up. There are a lot of moving parts in there." - Driver Brian Vickers, on his crash in practice Friday.

FORMULA

ONE

First race -- Bahrain Grand Prix

Site -- Manama, Bahrain

When -- March 12

INDY

RACING LEAGUE

First race -- Toyota Indy 300

Site -- Homestead, Fla.

When -- March 26

CHAMP CAR

WORLD SERIES

First race -- Streets of Long Beach

Site -- Long Beach, Calif.

When -- April 9

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