Destination Auto Racing

April 24, 2006|By PETER BLAIR




Aaron's 499

Site -- Talladega, Ala.

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

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

Track -- Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)

Distance -- 188 laps, 501 miles

2005 winner -- Jeff Gordon

2005 pole-sitter -- Kevin Harvick

Last year -- Gordon led 139 of 194 laps to win his fourth race in the past five restrictor-plate events at Talladega and Daytona. Gordon held off Tony Stewart by 0.193 of a second after a two-lap overtime shootout. A six-car wreck involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. with one lap remaining sent the race to overtime. Michael Waltrip finished third after starting 38th. Jimmie Johnson left with a 130-point lead over Kurt Busch.

Drivers to watch -- Mark Martin, who is fourth in the standings, holds the Nextel Cup race record at the track at 188.354 mph, set in 1997. Earnhardt won four consecutive Talladega races during a stretch from 2001 to 2003. Dale Jarrett got his second Talladega win in the fall race last year.

Quotable -- "It's a wonderful sport, I would hate to see Congress screw it up." - Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was at Saturday's race outside Phoenix, when asked if the government might ever get involved in policing rough driving in NASCAR.



Next race -- Grand Prix of Europe

Site -- Nuerburgring, Germany

When -- May 7

TV Note -- Yesterday's Grand Prix of San Marino will air Sunday at 1 p.m. on SPEED.



Next race -- Grand Prix of Houston

Site -- Houston

When -- May 13



Next race -- Indianapolis 500

Site -- Indianapolis

When -- May 28

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