Weekend motorsports at a glance

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

  • Sprint, late model, modified, hobby, pure street, cruiser classes, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Malden (Mo.) Speedway.

  • Late model, pro street, pure street classes, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Fredericktown (Mo.) Raceway.

  • Karts, micro sprints, bandoleros, legends, challenger series classes, 1 p.m. Saturday, SEMO Motor Speedway, Sikeston, Mo.

  • Sprint, modified, pure stock, cruiser clsases, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Auto Tire and Parts Racepark, Benton, Mo.

    NAPA Auto Parts 500

  • SITE: Fontana, Calif.

  • SCHEDULE: Friday, qualifying (FX, 7 p.m., tape); Sunday, race (Fox, 1:30 p.m.).

  • TRACK: California Speedway (d-shaped oval, 2 miles, 14 degrees banking in turns).

  • RACE DISTANCE: 500 miles, 250 laps

  • LAST RACE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. prevailed in a four-lap shootout and won the Aaron's 499 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway -- his second straight win at the track.

  • LAST YEAR: Rusty Wallace held off two-time California Speedway winner Jeff Gordon in a 19-lap shootout to win the NAPA Auto Parts 500.

  • FAST FACTS: Last weekend's activities was marred by the news that NASCAR team owner Jack Roush was seriously injured in a small plane crash in Alabama. ... Earnhardt's victory was the first for Chevrolet this season. Teammate Michael Waltrip finished second. ... Earnhardt won the 2000 event by passing his father with 31 laps to go. ... Gordon has won two of the five races in Fontana, including the inaugural 1997 event, where he set a race record of 155.012 mph. ... Sterling Marlin is atop the standings with 1,369 points, 109 ahead of Matt Kenseth.

  • NEXT RACE: Pontiac Excitement 400, May 4, Richmond.

    Auto Club 300

  • SITE: Fontana, Calif.

  • SCHEDULE: Thursday, qualifying, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, race (FOX, 3 p.m.).

  • TRACK: California Speedway (d-shaped oval, 2 miles, 14 degrees banking in turns).

  • RACE DISTANCE: 300 miles, 150 laps.

  • LAST RACE: Jason Keller avoided a wild pileup that involved most of the 43-car field, then held off a strong challenge from Stacy Compton to win the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.

  • LAST YEAR: Hank Parker Jr. gambled and won, running the final 62 of 150 laps in the Auto Club 300 on a tank of gas. He beat Jeff Purvis by 5.458 seconds.

  • FAST FACTS: A 29-car wreck at last week's race left only 21 cars running at the finish. Sixth-place Jimmy Kitchens finished six laps behind Keller. ... Keller is second in the season standings, trailing leader Jack Sprague by just 22 points and moving 68 ahead of two-time champion Randy Lajoie. ... Matt Kenseth owns two wins in the Auto Club 300, 1999 and 2000. He also has two third place showings here in 1997 and 1998. ... Drivers of General Motors cars have won all five previous Busch events at California Speedway. Chevrolet has won four times, with Pontiac taking the other. ... Todd Bodine won the first Busch Series race at California Speedway in 1997. He started 28th, the deepest starting position for any of the race's previous winners.

  • NEXT RACE: Hardee's 250, May 3, Richmond.

    Bridgestone Potenza 500

  • SITE: Motegi, Japan.

  • SCHEDULE: Friday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 1 p.m.); Saturday, race (Speed Channel, 11:30 a.m., tape).

  • TRACK: Twin Ring Motegi (egg-shaped oval, 1.548 miles).

  • RACE DISTANCE: 311.148 miles, 201 laps.

  • LAST RACE: Americans finished 1-2 in a CART event for the first time since 1996 when Michael Andretti edged out Jimmy Vasser to win the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14.

  • LAST YEAR: Kenny Brack took his first checkered flag in the cockpit of a Champ car, shaking off Helio Castroneves to win the Firestone Firehawk 500. Brack grabbed the lead on the 150th of 201 laps and fought off a late assault by the faster-qualifying Honda Reynards of Castroneves and Tony Kanaan.

  • FAST FACTS: This is the fifth time CART has raced in Japan. ... Brack, Castroneves and Kanaan dominated last year's event by combining to lead 199 of the 201 laps. ... Fastest winning speed records have been set in each of the last two races at Motegi. Brack had a winning speed of 178.228 mph last year, besting Adrian Fernandez's mark of 176.195 mph in 2000. ... Fernandez won the inaugural race in 1998. ... Jimmy Vasser's podium finish at Long Beach was his first since Australia in 2000. ... Honda, who built the Montegi track, and Japanese-rival Toyota has yet to win race at the facility.

  • NEXT RACE: Miller Lite 225, June 2, West Allis, Wis.

    Spanish Grand Prix

  • SITE: Barcelona

  • SCHEDULE: Saturday, qualifying (Speed Channel, 6 a.m.); Sunday, race (Speed Channel, 6:30 a.m.).

  • TRACK: Circuit of Catalunya (road course, 2.937 miles).

  • RACE DISTANCE: 187.968 miles, 65 laps.

  • LAST RACE: Michael Schumacher continued to roll through the Formula One season by leading the entire race at the San Marino Grand Prix for his third victory of the season. Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello finished second.

  • LAST YEAR: Michael Schumacher won the Spanish Grand Prix after leader Mika Hakkinen broke down on the final lap. Hakkinen was leading by more than 40 seconds over Schumacher and seemed headed to his fourth straight victory in the race when his car quit midway through the 65th lap.

  • FAST FACTS: Michael Schumacher leads his brother, Ralf, by 14 points in the standings. ... Barrichello recorded his first points of the season last week after having retirements in the first three races. ... Jacques Villeneuve's seventh-place finish last week was the best result for the BAR Honda team this season. ... Last year, the cars featured traction control at the track for the first time since the 1993 race. ... The track is known to be a true test of a car's aerodynamics, with a good combination of fast and slow corners.

  • NEXT RACE: Austrian Grand Prix, May 12, Spielberg.

    Mac Tools Nationals

  • SITE: Bristol, Tenn.

  • SCHEDULE: Friday, qualifying, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, qualifying (ESPN2, 7 p.m., tape); Sunday, eliminations (ESPN2, 4:30 p.m., tape).

  • TRACK: Bristol Dragway.

  • LAST EVENT: John Force became the third driver in auto-racing history to claim 100 victories by winning the Funny Car event at the O'Reilly Nationals, beating Tommy Johnson Jr. with a speed of 310.20 mph. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel) and Jim Yates (Pro Stock) also won in Houston.

  • LAST YEAR: Doug Kalitta became the first Top Fuel repeat winner of the 2001 season, taking the inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals. Ron Capps won the Funny Car division and Greg Anderson took the Pro Stock category.

  • FAST FACTS: The facility has been host of the special Top Fuel-Funny Car eliminator event in 1999 and 2000. ... Larry Dixon lost in the first round of eliminations for only the third time in the past 52 races last week, a run that dates to the 2000 season-opener. He did not lose a first round matchup last season and lost only twice in 2000. ... Force has never won a national event at Bristol. He won at the Dragway during an NHRA all-star event in 1999 that pitted Top Fuel dragsters against Funny Cars. ... In the first five events this season, Jeg Coughlin Jr. has a runner-up finish, two first-round losses and one race in which he did not qualify. ... Top Fuel legend Shirley Muldowney will return to action this weekend for the second time in 2002. Muldowney, voted fifth in the 50 Greatest Drivers program, competed in Gainesville on March 17 and advanced to the second round before losing to Dixon.

  • NEXT RACE: Southern Nationals, May 5, Commerce, Ga.

  • LAST RACE: Scott Sharp earned his first IRL victory of the season when leader Gil de Ferran ran out of fuel on the final lap at Nazareth Speedway.

  • NEXT RACE: Indianapolis 500, May 26, Indianapolis.

  • LAST RACE: Dennis Setzer, who started 33rd, avoided double-digit cautions to win the Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville on April 13. Setzer initially qualified fifth but was relegated to his starting position after an illegal spring was found after qualifying.

  • NEXT RACE: Busch 200, May 5, Madison, Ill.

    -- From staff, wire reports

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