Destination Auto Racing

March 20, 2006|By PETER BLAIR

CALENDAR

NASCAR

NEXTEL CUP

Golden Corral 500

Site -- Hampton, Ga.

When -- Today, 11 a.m.

TV -- FX

Pole-sitter -- Kasey Kahne

Food City 500

Site -- Bristol, Tenn.

When -- Sunday, 2:10 p.m.

TV -- Ch. 45 (1:30 p.m.)

Track -- Bristol Motor Speedway (.533-mile oval)

Distance -- 500 laps, 266.5 miles

2005 champion -- Kevin Harvick

2005 pole-sitter -- Elliott Sadler

Last year -- Harvick won his first short-track race and got his first victory in two seasons while his crew chief, Todd Berrier, was serving a four-race suspension for cheating a few weeks earlier in Las Vegas. Harvick beat Sadler to the checkered flag by 4.652 seconds. Jimmie Johnson finished sixth and maintained the Nextel Cup points lead, 94 ahead of Greg Biffle. Kyle Petty started 37th but charged to an eighth-place finish, one of only two top 10 finishes he had last season.

Drivers to watch -- Kurt Busch won three straight Food City 500s from 2002 to 2004 before being involved in an accident and finishing 35th last year. Jeff Gordon won the race four straight times from 1995 to 1998. Gordon also won the fall race at Bristol in 2002. Mark Martin has six career poles at Bristol, but he has only two victories there. Matt Kenseth sat on the pole and won last season's fall race at the track.

Quotable -- "Hopefully, we won't have any more bad luck this year. And we're not changing our strategy. I'm not panicking but, if we go to Martinsville, Bristol and Talladega and wreck, that's going to make for a miserable season." - Driver Carl Edwards, who is 23rd in the Nextel Cup standings

INDY

RACING LEAGUE

Toyota Indy 300

Site -- Homestead, Fla.

When -- Sunday, 3:40 p.m.

TV -- Ch. 2 (3:30 p.m.)

Track -- Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile oval)

Distance -- 200 laps, 300 miles

2005 champion -- Dan Wheldon

2005 pole-sitter -- Tomas Scheckter

Last year -- Wheldon led 158 of the 200 laps and beat Sam Hornish Jr. in the season opener, which used to be held the first weekend of March. Danica Patrick was involved in an accident and finished 15th in the first race of her rookie season.

FORMULA

ONE

Next race -- Australian Grand Prix

Site -- Melbourne

When -- April 2

CHAMP CAR

WORLD SERIES

First race -- Streets of Long Beach

Site -- Long Beach, Calif.

When -- April 9

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